They’re basically just connecting, and chatting about the pandemic, the importance of being connected to each other, and more.
I’m sitting on one of our couches, blogging random stuff, and enjoying the conversation. I really enjoy these two people (and their friends) in Critical Role (we’re on Campaign One, episode 33, and going strong).
This is a very different, more personal context, and I like them even more as people dealing with this situation. Like the rest of us.
My wife recentlywrote a post about our city’s annual tradition of putting up flags ahead of Israel’s Independence Day. Apparently someone raised concerns on Facebook about how this extra cost was wasted in light of the need for more resources to combat COVID-19.
These flags aren’t an annual exercise in vanity and frivolity, they mean much more than that –
Seeing those flags made me smile. Seeing those flags made my heart feel lighter. It made me feel connected to people, my fellow citizens, when I had spent almost an entire month in my home with no personal contact with anyone outside of my immediate family.
Those flags gave me hope.
It was an affirmation. We are Israel! We are Israelis – and we can overcome anything that is thrown our way.
So, random Facebook man, I vehemently disagree!
Those flags are not a waste of money. Not at all. They are – Joy, Love and Hope. And they are a promise.
Maybe it is familiarity during a time of uncertainty that I find comforting. The unknowns pull the levers of anxiety. Because of this, I have to limit myself to thinking about today and not worrying too much about what may happen tomorrow. When I start to think about tomorrow, or the next week, I find that my motivation is sapped just a little bit more.
One of my friends pointed out Seth Godin’s post about transitioning to a new normal through a slog (at least that’s what I take from this). This idea resonates with me, to a degree, even as it unnerves me –
During a slog, we have a chance to accept a new normal, even if it’s temporary, and to figure out how to make something of it. You don’t have to wish for it, but it’s here. There’s very little value in spending our time nostalgic for normal.
When we get to the other side of the slog and look back, what will we have contributed, learned and created?
What I take away from this is that the slog we’re in at the moment (with pandemic restrictions, and a new way of living amidst these coronaviruses going forward) is that this is a period of painful change, and learning how to live uncomfortably.
When we finally emerge from the “slog” part of this journey, our lives won’t look the same anymore. Maybe that isn’t a bad thing.
One way or another, we’ll find out, th0ugh. And in times like these (as is the case generally), our attitude towards the change will make a huge difference to whether we can thrive in what becomes our new normal.
Many regions have started recommending, or even requiring, that citizens use face masks when leaving their homes. If you’re curious why we’re now being told to wear a face mask when, previously, we were told not to (unless we were sick), this Sci-Show video explains why:
I’m a runner, and I found it difficult to run with a mask. The main reason is that I run with glasses or sunglasses (otherwise I can’t see where I’m going), and my glasses fog up with a mask on.
I tested a workaround for this, this morning, and it seems to work:
The key is to tape the top of the mask to your face. I used a surgical tape that I bought at a local pharmacy. Just don’t use the very sticky type, it can be a bit painful when you remove it afterwards.
Making a mask
If you’re looking for tips on making a mask at home, here are a couple links to get you started:
Now is the time to embrace what work-from-home parents learned long ago — it’s not about winning; it’s about striving for the bronze. This is a perfect time to finally recognize how much you’ve been trained to perform parenting. To design a cozy little reading nook so your Instagram followers can see it and grudgingly approve. To bake your vegan muffins (and take a photo) or pack your kids’ bento boxes (and take a photo) or set out art supplies in a scattered but not too scattered way, if you catch my drift (and then definitely take a photo). To head into the woods and make flower crowns or whatever the fuck it is you’ve been doing out there. Give. It. All. Up. It’s time to take this parade float and strip it down to four wheels, a floor, and a functioning steering wheel. It’s time to be basic.
Perfection is utterly unrealistic. Most of the time, we’re trying not to take drastic measures just so we can continue working, and earning an income while so many are losing theirs.
I certainly find the new distance learning situation challenging. I don’t want our kids to lose months of progress because we’re increasingly confined to our homes.
At the same time, I don’t have the time I’d like to have to sit with them, and guide them through their lessons (or other learning materials). For me, it’s work as usual, and I have my days planned out between customer support shifts, and virtual meetings with my colleagues.
I certainly don’t have the time to cook nutritious meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I mostly just want to check that our kids have eaten something decent every meal during the day (and my wife has been cooking some amazing dinners in the evenings). You won’t see any Instagram gems from me there.
So, if you’re working from home, and trying to grab moments of sanity, while feeling guilty that you’re not winning any prizes as a parent, you’re not the only one. Let’s just strive for that bronze medal, maybe.
Update (2020-03-19): It seems that I read our Health Ministry’s restrictions a little too restrictively. For the time being, it seems to be possible to get out for a run, even if it should probably be closer to home to limit the risk of exposure to other people.
As with many other countries, Israel is slowly locking down cities in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Although this seems to be a good strategy to slow the growing pandemic, it’s also unfortunately disrupting exercise routines, too.
I’ve been running again for a few months now, and I feel like I’m growing stronger as a runner. I ran about five and a half kilometers this morning as part of my Garmin coaching program, and I was looking forward to two more runs later this week (including a roughly eight kilometer run).
Today our Health Ministry forbade any non-essential excursions out of home, and only allows 10 minutes of outdoors exercise a day allows limited outdoors exercise time (no more than five two people, and you need to remain two meters away from each other).
Exercise around a lockdown
Still, I want to make the most of the time I have available, so I’ve started mapping out roughly two kilometer routes that I can run in around 10 minutes nearby routes.
Instead of running longer distances three or four times a week, I’m going to aim to run for 10 minutes a day, and just treat these runs as speed training exercises (or something like that).
It’s certainly better than nothing, and I can’t just stop after all the effort I’ve been putting in the last few months. If I can increase my pace, I should be able to run around 12 to 14 kilometers a week.
Pausing my Garmin coaching program
I found out that I can also pause my Garmin coaching program that I’ve been following. To do that, you –
open Garmin Connect,
open the Garmin Coach panel,
tap on the three dots in the top right corner, and
It’s a little ironic that this coronavirus is undermining our efforts to remain healthy, and become fitter. At the same time, runners can become infected too, so we adapt, and do our part to help stem the spread of this virus.
Other opportunities to remain fit
In the meantime, I also want to take the opportunity to work on my core strength. I don’t use a gym (and couldn’t go now, even if I did), so I’ve been collecting videos with exercise options that I can probably do at home:
Do you do any core strength exercises at home that you can share? Let me know in the comments below?
One of the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic is that more people find themselves needing to work remotely after having worked in a more conventional office environment for most of their careers.
Shifting to remote work can be a little disconcerting. Fortunately there are substantial resources to help you work productively, remotely.
Automattic is a totally distributed company, and we have some expertise in how to make this work. As a starting point, take a look at these posts from members of our team: