In some households, like mine, there’s a silver lining to the pandemic.
One of my two 20-something adult kids is back home again sleeping in her old room.
How did that happen?
She lives in San Francisco, and had been sent home to work remotely in her cramped studio apartment in early March. Her employer’s open-plan office, with dozens of workers in one large, communal space, just didn’t allow for social distancing.
It started out fine, but soon got a little old working, sleeping, and eating 24/7 in such a small, San Francisco-sized living space. So when her bosses gave her the green light to leave town, she jumped at it, arriving in Florida with suitcase, laptop, and cat on a flight from SFO.
She’s taken up residence in her old bedroom, but spends the daytime hours huddled over her laptop and on conference calls in what we jokingly call “the executive suite.” To insiders, that’s the space formerly known as her brother’s bedroom. He’s sheltering up in Orlando, where he’s in school. I’m also working remotely at home, and gravitate between a desk in my bedroom, and a perch at the kitchen counter when I need a change of scenery.
There’s a funny article in the Washingtonian magazine about young professionals landing back home again to shelter with their parents. In my case, it has been a big positive. From a work perspective, our paths barely cross during the day, since we are working intently in different ends of the house. She does the grocery shopping, since she’s better suited age-wise to be out and about, even with social distancing in place. Mom (me) does what she’s better suited for, namely paying the bills and keeping us all on track.
It’s hugely comforting to have a family member back home during such a stressful time. Some evening we do things together, like cooking dinner, streaming a movie, or just hanging out and reading side-by-side. Nerd alert: we’re both serious Sudoku junkies and enjoy working in tandem on puzzles, although she’s still got the edge on skills. Usually, though, she does her own thing, like Zooming online with friends, reality-tv binging, or spending time talking or texting on the phone (big surprise!).
Maybe you, like me, have family members back home for a visit during this pandemic, or are spending time just catching up with far-flung friends and family online. Whatever your situation, enjoy each opportunity to connect. That’s one lesson of the pandemic that we should take to heart. Savor these special moments and make every single one count.