On March 23rd, Prime Minister Boris Johnson mandated that all non-essential workers would now be required to work from home, if possible, to stem the spread of the Covid-19 Coronavirus. I had already been working from home for nearly three years as an IT Support company owner and partner.
The government also devised an economic support scheme where they would provide employers with 80% of their employees’ wages so they could be furloughed but kept on the payroll. Pretty good deal for furloughed workers, not so much for home workers.
I was at my home office desk at 8 every morning checking servers and updating support tickets whilst I was, at the same time, seeing stories of furloughed workers cracking beers at 10 AM and figuring out which Box Sets to watch. Envy much?
The world and the country were facing the biggest crisis since World War II, people were finding themselves locked down and isolated, and my life was going on as if nothing was really happening. In some odd way, I wanted to feel a part of it. Covid-19 was creating cottage industries of Zoom calls, Tik-Tok videos, Joe Wicks workouts, Netflix Tiger Kings – and here I was at my same desk doing my same job.
Then Pauline got the cough. The dry cough and the scratchy throat. The achy eyes and loss of smell. My wife had Coronavirus symptoms. Her symptoms weren’t bad enough for a hospital visit, but that cough went on and on for weeks. We’re naturally “Social Distanced Bordering on Self Isolated” people. I never developed any symptoms, but I saw first-hand the extreme discomfort of a loved one who did.
I had finally gotten to be part of it – and I didn’t like it. Business owners that we supported were struggling with decisions and finances, as it turns out the furlough scheme was a bit more complicated than 10 AM beers and watching The Sopranos. I was still working and drawing a paycheck.
So I am writing this at my desk, on lockdown, on a regular business morning, after checking servers and updating tickets – as well as working with a new prospective customer and having coffee with my lovely, healthy wife.
I’ll take it 😊