Further Adventures In Working From Home

It’s Day 5 of the great Work At Home Effort To Limit COVID-19.

I can report that a week’s worth of telecommuting has not been easy. No big surprise, given my Day 2 report, right?

True, I approved a bunch of “postscripts” and “greenlighted” files and layouts for press, blogged as things seemed to change by the minute, made plans for coming issues, listened in on some conference calls on salmon seasons …


… while shushing little boys, taking breaks so they can watch another SpongeBob episode, getting them to empty the cat litter box, getting them to empty the cat litter box, ahem, getting them … CAN YOU JUST PLEASE EMPTY THE THING NOW, PLEASE?!?!

Tell you what, even as Amy is also working from home, she’s an angel, my rock, helping keep my blood pressure under control and ushering River and Kiran to do school work and then outside to do lots of weeding so I can work in peace for awhile.

And I have utterly enjoyed our midday walks around the neighborhood with the dog while, of course, maintaining good social distance from others enjoying the same. Hello, beautiful day, isn’t it?

This strange full week of warm March sunshine was somehow perfectly timed for lifting Northwest spirits during extraordinarily difficult times.

Also buoying my spirits, seeing from afar how other Northwest sportsmen have been spending their days.

Fishing guide Rob Endsley’s posts from his family’s Camp Coronavirus landscaping program, some folks practicing that same good social distancing and fishing well the hell away from others — per ODFW and WDFW, hunting and fishing are still open at this time — or “shopping” for forest greens, others posting silly memes, sharing stories of uplifting efforts about people — random and otherwise — making masks for medical workers.

We’re seeking normalcy, to maintain what we know, to hold onto it. Tightly.

Trying to keep the cracks from growing.

This afternoon and evening thousands were set to be harvesting razor clams during a +.4-foot 5:27 p.m. low tide on Washington’s beaches — until they weren’t and WDFW yesterday afternoon halted the long-planned and Governor’s Office- and Department of Health-consulted opener.

Even as diggers and clam gunners were being ushered away from the coast, many others were already there, up and down the Northwest’s sunset side.

Seeking the calm of sun, wide-open vistas and ocean waves in trying times.

I understand. The need for normalcy.

One of the problems with working from home — hell, from an office! — is that you’re connected to not only your servers and files and programs and whatnot, but also the world and all of its news these days, which is anything but normal.

Tonight, as I was finishing up the week’s work, due to the course of events this afternoon I ended up listening in on a press conference from Washington Governor Jay Inslee.

I know that most of you don’t care for Inslee, for various reasons, but I can report that it was sobering. He stopped short of what some are calling for, but issued a very stern warning.

“Everyone needs to change their behavior, change the way we live temporarily, if we are going to prevent significant loss of life in the people we love in the state of Washington,” he said.

Inslee said there are signs many are heeding advice to work from home and other measures, but not everywhere — probably, I would suspect, because of different work requirements that I’m somehow lucky enough to enjoy — and still evidence of large gatherings.

“What this points out to us in doing the analysis is that we are capable of changing behavior. It’s happening in King County [the heart of the Northwest’s coronavirus outbreak]. But in many places across the state, although we’ve made some progress, it’s not enough,” Inslee said.

To the south this evening, Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown followed suit to a degree, telling her state’s residents they should “stay home, stay healthy,” per The Oregonian.

I deeply apologize for veering into such troubled waters on a Friday evening as many of us are no doubt enjoying a very well-deserved adult beverage for holding onto the last shreds of our sanity, so let me try and steer back to the personal and what I’ve been trying to do in talking about working from home in this changed atmosphere.

I have never considered myself a religious person, but apparently I’ve been serving up a lot of what River calls — with a roll of his eyes — “sermons” about good hygiene and related matters this week.

We’ve been muddling our way through things here in hopes our tiny contribution will help this sudden nightmare be over more quickly and turn out to be just a temporary ruffling in the feathers of our long lives.

Just now I took a deep breath. I got the boys to bed — well, at least to their rooms and with their teeth brushed — and we have made it through another day as a family.

Be kind, take care of and support each other. We’re all in this together — well, in the sense of at least 6 feet away. I’ll see you next week.

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