Worn-Out Feelings

For a while, I’ve been the kind of person who spends a lot of time thinking about how I’m feeling and feeling about how I’m thinking. (Long-time blog readers know this well.) So it was nearly impossible for me to not notice a distinct… shift… in both over the course of this pandemic so far. And I’ve spent a lot of time wondering how to put it into words so I can better understand it myself, likely thanks to 2 decades of making a habit of crystallizing my thoughts into blog posts for a handful of friends and an unknowable number of strangers to read.

Photo: Arun Sharma
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Two Years of Working From Home

Another whole year of working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Time has been so strange during this era of human history and this past year was no exception.
It feels both like ages ago and just yesterday that I was reflecting on a year of working from home, that I was seeing my coworkers for the last time, that I was nursing my husband back to health, that I was welcoming my brother to New York.
Time doesn’t feel quite precise enough for reflecting on the past 2 years.

But we’ll try.

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One Year of Working From Home

I’m so lucky, and privileged, to have even been able to work from home for the past 365 days. I understand that I am only able to do so because other people are not, that I am only able to have groceries and dinners and office supplies delivered to me during a year I rarely left my building thanks to the work of people who are not paid enough. I hope that you will join me in supporting the people and businesses that have sustained us throughout this year and who brought us joy in the time before… and the soon to come time after.

A year ago today, I set myself up to work from my dining room table after taking my laptop AND charger home from work, at the behest of my husband. The day prior, I was just getting settled in the office after a theme park visit (!) and a cruise (!!), but he was very worried about the news about the virus while I was much more nonchalant about it, so I humored him and packed my bag as though I was planning to do work over the weekend, which I hate and never do. That day, I remember tracking which office buildings near ours had confirmed positive cases: the building next to ours, a building owned by the same company, a building ours was connected to. The head of Port Authority was confirmed to be positive for the novel coronavirus after conducting visits to nearly every major airport, train station, and bus terminal. I went home early to avoid rush hour, but the trains were still full, and we couldn’t avoid feeling both in want of masks in such close proximity to other riders and consciousness of the stares other people of Asian descent got for wearing them. I asked leadership if we should expect to be back in the office after a week or maybe a month.

My office would ask employees to work from home one day after I began doing so. Later that evening, after “commuting” from the side of my dining table designated for work to the side of the table designated for eating, we would learn that Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks tested positive, the first celebrities who did at that time, and that the NBA was cancelling their season after Rudy Gobert tested positive. A day later, Broadway announced shows would be cancelled, and the majority of New York City offices were closed.

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