I'm working from home until January, at this point, in the hopes that things will look better next year. Our university is starting classes today, online until mid-September because we still have some pretty alarming trends in terms of COVID cases in this part of the state. In a way, it feels the same as it has since the first week of May when I officially "went on summer break" from my job in academia. But really the only difference is that I'm spending more time at this desk than I did over the summer.
In March, we watched the students leave for Spring Break and not come back. We had about a month of scrambling and pivoting to online study only. The summer was the beginning of the true exile: no renaissance faire, no girls night, no nothing except weekly trips to the shops for food. The anniversary of my mother's death. The death of one of my favorite aunts. Cancellation of the trip to Scotland to be with my partner's family to celebrate his father's birthday. Just me and the dogs and these four walls. Lots of time to write and barely any motivation to do so.
So this begins a new kind of exile. Daily communication with my office colleagues. I had a video call with my office mate last week that nearly left me in tears because I miss her. I miss the office. I miss the dynamic. But I'm determined to stick this one out and do my part not to spread this horrible virus. And so, my officemates now are Daddy's Jeany-greyhound, the duckling, the bluebird (inexplicably in the pond but there you are), the YHC lion reading his books, the odd Celtic-ish warrior and the no-longer roaring triceratops wearing Yoda as a hat. We have Julius Caesar as a guide to inter-office politics and Profee watching over all of us. And we are all fine, really.
Well, until I find the batteries for the triceratops, that is...