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Although I've worked from home for 19 years - which means that for me, nothing much has changed since lockdown, it feels different. I don't know if it's because much of the rest of the world has slowed down, but I'm finding I spend more time thinking deeply about things. A thought comes into my head and instead of batting it away because I have work to do, I'm taking time to explore it. I often find myself asking aloud where the day's gone!
Business associates with whom I normally exchange short emails are phoning to catch up. We're sharing more than we normally would, about our feelings and the way we're coping with life. I like that side of things. One of the thoughts that's kept recurring in recent weeks is what decisions I'd make if I had to physically go out to work. If I was a low-paid key worker - one of those who not only has to go out to work but one whose work requires, perhaps, travelling on public transport and physical interaction with others, (I'm not talking NHS here) - would I continue to work and put my health and that of my family at risk? Or would I resign? Resignation won that one hands down. But then I got to thinking that these workers are the ones perhaps juggling several jobs to make ends meet - potentially all of them public-facing - who probably aren't in a position to be able to make that choice.
My thoughts have led me to conclude that I wouldn't be a key worker for anything in the world right now and I take my hat off to each and every one of them. I've mentioned here before that I write across two industries, the other being the kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms sector. Over recent weeks I've seen the two swap places in terms of positioning and stature. With retail outlets being forced to close, manufacturing has slowed considerably or ground to a halt. Businesses are really struggling. Press releases have virtually dried up and publications have reduced frequency. Doing up the house doesn't seem quite as important as it was, in the big scheme of things. The cleaning industry - or parts of it, anyway, seems to be on a roll as those who didn't realise it before, now know that good cleaning is essential to life.
I wonder how things will pan out, further down the line...
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7th May 2020