I hate to add to the COVID-19 pile on, but here goes.
The run on toilet paper is an overreaction to the out of control feeling of there not being enough tests, and not knowing just how long our lives will be shut down, and not knowing the full extent of this outbreak. If you were seriously low on toilet paper to begin with, you might have to get creative. Anyone ever “MacGyver” a bidet? Fun fact: I’ve never watched “MacGyver” but I still know what that means.
Our toilet paper situation is just fine for now, thankfully. We had plenty stocked from before. I checked at the local Target just in case, but there was none in stock. There were other signs of panic shopping as well. People, you really don’t need all that soda.
There are only two other times when I felt this sense of unease: after 9/11, and after the Boston Marathon bombings. On 9/11 I had to navigate an uneasy Boston public transit system to get home. On the Friday after the Marathon bombings I found myself driving in Boston the day that one perpetrator was killed and the other caught. There had been a moratorium on driving in the city, and I drove on streets that were as empty as I’ve ever seen a Boston street.
Amid the closings, event cancellations, and companies telling people to work from home, I’m fortunate. The COVID-19 outbreak does not change my business model at all. Most of my work is done remotely thanks to existing voice recording technology. Instead of bringing me in to a studio, my clients can send me a script and schedule either a phone call, Skype call, or SourceConnect session to listen in on the recording session. And that’s whether there’s a worldwide pandemic or not.
Yes, there are disruptions. I lost out on one potential project because of the outbreak. In a fitting irony the project was to record an introduction for two clinical care specialists speaking at an event: one of whom works for the CDC.
And there are other personal interruptions, as well. My wife will be working from home for the time being. She has her own office space, thankfully. My son had his basketball tournament cancelled as well as his play scheduled for next week. My daughter’s birthday is next week, and we’re not sure if her party will go on as planned. But for now their schools remain open.
Eventually we may return to normal. Start flying, watching live sporting events, gathering for conferences. When it does get back to normal, let's think of all those in the service industry losing out on income and tips due to all the cancellations. But now is not normal, and we’re right to try to prevent COVID-19 from spreading despite how inconvenient it is.
And yes, I’m still open for business.