Working and Living in a Pandemic

Title (Dublin Core)

Working and Living in a Pandemic

Description (Dublin Core)

I think one of biggest impacts of COVID for me has been wondering if, or when, someone close to me will contract the virus. A fear that at times can be intense or foreboding, and at other times, that fades into feeling ‘normal.’ It was several months into the pandemic before I knew of anyone who knew someone that was ill. More recently a couple of family members had very serious cases of the illness, and a couple more that tested positive but had no symptoms.
Being vigilant, following safety procedures such as masks and hand sanitizer have finally become normal as well. Early days I found myself nearly obsessed with reading the news, watching the daily press conferences, and looking up the statistics. These activities have reduced to a daily glance or two to look at numbers or read the latest about the vaccination.
I worry about my family. I wonder sometimes if I feel even slightly ill or off if ‘this is it’— have I finally contracted it? And then worry about giving it to others.
Another way that I have felt the impact has been in the work environment. I work remotely in the technical sector, and have for several years, so at the beginning of the pandemic there were no adjustments in my routine. However, it didn’t take long to see the impacts of the virus on my clients. Impacts that were not prepared for even with disaster recovery, risk management or continuity planning. The financial impacts businesses affected their ability to ensure employees could work from home. That their employees would have the correct equipment, connectivity, could adapt to the necessary behavioral changes that can disrupt productivity, etc. How now can we receive, prepare and ship equipment, when no one can be in an office to receive anything? The changes have especially impacted efforts to bring on new employees.
One thing that I found striking was the requirements in security and access to data when moving from a secure network environment, to set up for the same security at home. A majority of my teams live in countries outside of the United States where some don’t have internet in their homes, let alone being set up to manage Personal Private Information (PPI).
My clients in financial sectors have stringent background checks that can take several weeks to clear in the “old world” under normal conditions. With agencies closed and workforce reduced, it is taking two to three times longer to get simple things accomplished.
The last major impact I have felt during the shift to my sector becoming a “working from home one,” was experiencing people on the other end of ZOOM, as we all had to overcome our fears about interruptions. Children crying, wanting attention because they don’t understand why mom and dad are home but can’t pay attention to them. Dogs barking, doorbells ringing, calls dropping. It took several months to work out many of the kinks, and for everyone to adjust to these interruptions, but being OK with them.
Overall, I would say that I am not directly impacted too much for the moment. Most of the adjustments that have been made and are now normal feeling. Things are finally feeling like they are back to business as usual, I suppose. On a personal level, my fears rise and wain, and each day is different. I am leery of vaccinations, and wonder if the “wonder cure” we’ve been promised will be miraculous, or if more difficulties will follow? The verdict is not out on that yet, so we will have to wait and see what our next ”new normal” will really look like.

Date (Dublin Core)

Creator (Dublin Core)

Contributor (Dublin Core)

Type (Dublin Core)


Controlled Vocabulary (Dublin Core)


Curator's Tags (Omeka Classic)

Contributor's Tags (a true folksonomy) (Friend of a Friend)

Collection (Dublin Core)

Date Submitted (Dublin Core)


Date Modified (Dublin Core)


Item sets

This item was submitted on November 25, 2020 by Jordain Cheng-Kinnander using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

Click here to view the collected data.

New Tags

I recognize that my tagging suggestions may be rejected by site curators. I agree with terms of use and I accept to free my contribution under the licence CC BY-SA