Friday 5: Healthy Sequestration?

Before I get into it, a quick update on COVID-19 from my part of Pennsylvania. Last Friday, the governor announced the first round of precautions, which was mainly the closure of non-essential businesses. My husband and I are both still working, but the way our employers have handled it is vastly different. Mine sent an e-mail last Saturday saying they were waiting for word from higher up the chain but that our department would be entirely remote effective Monday, which we mostly were anyway. We were down to supervisors and a few newer employees who aren’t eligible for remote work yet. Over the next few days, the company announced pretty much anyone who could work from home would and that they working to transition as many people out as possible. My husband’s employer, on the other hand, took a few days to even acknowledge anything was happening, and when they did, they said it would be businesses as usual. Thursday evening, the governor announce the closure of non-life-sustaining businesses. Again, being remote (and also in an exempt category despite not being life-sustaining), my job is unaffected, and we thought it would mean my husband’s would be shutting down. Not so! They’re saying they fall under an exempt category, and they’re having my husband’s small department work staggered shifts to minimize contact. This all seems very silly and unnecessarily risky to us when they could absolutely shut down.

I am grateful to still be working, though. The chances by job will be affected are low and if it is, the impact might be small, and when a lot of people are out of work and wondering how to make it for the next week or longer, I’m glad that’s not a concern of ours, at least not right now. Sure, we have enough savings that we could get by for a little while if things changed–and not considering the options being put in place for people who are affected–but if we don’t have to go there, great. Especially with a baby on the way.

There are three confirmed cases in our county and similar low numbers in other neighboring counties, with the except of where Pittsburgh is, which is now nearing 30. The other end of the state has the majority of the cases. Aside from my husband having to work and being the one to go out for anything we need, we’re holed up at home and being careful if I have to leave in particular, as being pregnant, I’m considered at higher risk. We do know someone who has been tested, but in my opinion, it’s out of an abundance of caution and the chances they have it are low.

I don’t know many people who aren’t taking it seriously, but in case anyone reading this falls under the category, I’ll say this–while I’m not freaking out, this is certainly a bizarre time to be pregnant. Pregnant women have weakened immune systems as it is, and we know very little about the impact this has on both women and babies. The most recent advice is conflicting, ranging from we’re not more susceptible to don’t go anywhere except prenatal appointments for the next few months. Pregnancy comes with its own set of challenges as it is, and this isn’t helping. We, as well as other at-risk people, are counting on the rest of you to make smart decisions so this all ends and we can have one less thing to worry about.

  1. In the next seven days, what’s something you’ll do for your mental health? I’m a homebody anyway, and since I spent my first trimester of pregnancy mostly at home, this is familiar. So I’m okay doing my usual routine of reading, watching TV, writing, whatever. But it does seem like a good time to take advantage of my therapist’s online counseling.
  2. In the next seven days, what’s something you’ll do to feel connected? Being married makes it easy–there’s a second person here to talk to and hang out with. I also text my mom, brother, and sister-in-law often enough and message my best friend at least once a day. My brother is still working, but his wife is a teacher and is home with my niece. My mom is retired-ish. Between me and the baby, meeting up is unwise, but the last couple days, we’ve all FaceTimed. At least we get to see the baby!
  3. In the next seven days, what’s something you’ll do to relax? My usual routine, which also includes warm bubble baths and at least one nap a day. Relaxing is a little easier when you’re tired all the time and can drift off in a nap fairly easily.
  4. In the next seven days, what’s something you’ll do to make yourself laugh? The memes have entertained me. As has Netflix. And the cats and my husband.
  5. In the next seven days, what’s something you’ll do to flex your creativity? I should write, but since I’m still working, it’s not like I’ve got loads of time to fill. My side hustles are taking a hit, though–you can tell people who are out of work are jumping on anything they can get, which I understand. So it’s a good time to polish things up and send them out in the world.

From Friday 5.

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