Coronavirus and non-essential working

Coronavirus and non-essential working

When I woke up this morning, I was so grateful I did not have to leave the house. (It’s Saturday!) Practicing Social Distancing is difficult when you still need to go to work. And going to work is necessary when you work in a law office that deals in real estate.

We are absolutely a non-essential service in terms of Coronavirus and healthcare, or necessities of life. We are, however, legally bound by contracts signed well before this pandemic. If we cease working, we can be responsible for our clients losing money, and other lawyers can hold us liable for their clients. Things can get very messy.

I would like nothing more than to be laid off, and stay at home with my family.

I know it’s the responsible thing to do, and I absolutely want to do it. I’ve offered to be laid off, and if I put my foot down I know I would not be looked down upon for requesting to stay at home. But I also want to be responsible to my employer, and help ensure there is a job to return to.

These are confusing and unprecedented times. Our office has set up VPNs, but we do so much work with physical files, copies, scans, faxes and papers that need signing, that none of us can fully work from home.

(Fusix Corporation is my husband’s business, and they have been crazy busy these past weeks setting many offices up with VPNs so their employees can work from home. Consider them when you need computer products or network wiring/set up. They may be closing next week as well.)

Have you tried working from home with small children?

I would not have the same struggle now, but my coworker has a very high energy four year old. She prays he will sleep in so she can do at least an hour of work in the morning before he gets up. And then she hands him off to her mother (his usual emergency caregiver) for a few hours in the afternoon so she can come in to the office.

Related: Things I don’t miss about having small children

None of us want to burden our aging parents or others during this time of social isolation. But sometimes we have to. I’m sure many of us are struggling to work from home, or to find someone to spend time with our children so we can get to work for a few hours.

How long will this go on? No one knows.

The more responsible we our with our actions, the sooner this should resolve. Of course no one can predict the ultimate outcome of this pandemic, but keeping calm heads, and acting in smart and conscientious ways, will help the world through this time of chaos.

How do we make it through this in a responsible way?

Social Distancing is the best way to slow the spread of Coronavirus

The more we practice social distancing, the more we will lessen the spread. Scientists are working around the clock to figure this virus out. There is still so much we don’t know. But we do know it’s highly contagious and stays on surfaces for a long time.

Social Distancing is staying at least two meters (or about six feet) from other people at all times. The exception, of course, is the people with whom you share a roof. But if you have to go for groceries or other necessities, be mindful of your proximity to others, and clean those shopping cart handles!

The CBC has a great article on Social Distancing.

Something I have heard many times is “stay inside.” This is NOT necessary unless you have been asked to be in quarantine. Those who have travelled or have been in contact with someone confirmed to have the virus should literally stay in their homes. But the rest of us can – and should – get outside, into the fresh air.

Another recent piece of news is that climbers and play structures in public parks should be avoided. This ties in to the fact that the virus can live on surfaces like metal and plastic for days. So yes, get outside, but only use your own outdoor toys, or go for a walk or hike, being mindful of your distance from others.

When you have to be out and about, WASH YOUR HANDS.

I have been washing my hands every time I come into either my home, or my workplace – even if I just came from my home, or my workplace. I might buy stock in hand lotion when the markets start to recover. Dry skin is a small price to pay for our health.

Don’t stress about the lack of hand sanitizer. Regular soap and water washing, for 20 seconds at least, is the best way to remove germs from your hands. It’s easy to do, and it’s the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones.

After coughing or sneezing, touching surfaces or products that may have been handled by others, and before and after you eat are the key times to get those hands clean.

Just be smart

Don’t gather with others for any reason. If you think you and your housemates are well and have not likely been in contact with the virus in any way, you can still visit family and friends who are likewise healthy and not compromised in any way. But avoid large gatherings, others who are immuno-compromised, and respect others’ decisions.

When you need to go out, send one person from your household to get what you require. Family outings to the grocery store are highly unnecessary and potentially dangerous.

Fill up your car with gas while the prices are so low. But think about what you will be touching while you are at the gas station. Wear gloves or use a plastic bag to hold the gas nozzle and then dispose of, or wash, it right away before anyone else touches it.

Whatever you are feeling right now is justified. Today I’m feeling relief because I really can just be at home, with my family. But every day I have to leave the house my anxiety is high, and my mind buzzes all day long thinking about my circumstance, what I’ve touched, and who I’ve been near.

Share your Covid-19 life right now. What are you doing in terms or working, child care, and life in general? Fill that comment box with your thoughts – I love hearing from my readers!

Be well and be smart – we’ll get through this together.

Jess

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