It’s Thursday night and I’m sitting on the balcony, surrounded by Christmas lights.
I’ve been working from home for over four weeks, and the balcony has become one of my favourite places in the apartment. My apartment is reasonably small, and so getting out of bed, having a shower and then heading into my “home office” is a reasonably short commute. Whenever I receive a phone call, I’ll head to the balcony, as it’s a lovely place to have a conversation. I’ve also done a few video conference calls from the balcony. Right now, it’s a lovely place, as the trees in the street are still covered in leaves. That won’t be the case in a few weeks time, as winter arrives.
At my end of the Crown Street, Surry Hills, things are very quiet, both during the day and at night. The supermarket (which is only a short walk away) remains open, along with a few restaurants doing take-away.
At night, the only activity you see on Crown Street is from the cyclists delivering food. With their single bicycle lights on a darkened street, my mind has gone to European gothic film noir. “Bring out your dead, bring out your dead” has been the refrain going through my mind.
Things, of course, aren’t anywhere near as bad as that in Australia. Though most of the media attention has been on reactions in Europe and the United States, I remain more concerned about other parts of the world where the health system isn’t anywhere near as good. I worry about places in Southern Africa. In common with them, we’re in the Southern Hemisphere where the flu season generally arrives around six months later than in the Northern Hemisphere. Although I know the conventional wisdom seems to be that we’re passing the peak of the problem here in Australia, I wonder if things might actually get worse. As winter arrives, our immune systems weaken.
I have been getting out and about a bit, with a few “big walks”, providing welcome distractions from being at home all the time. I’ve also been catching up with friends via the phone and video conference, and am probably seeing and talking to them more often than I would otherwise.
The line between work and life remains blurred. When you’re working at home, I know you’re supposed to clearly define the lines by arriving at desk, sitting down and doing you’re work and then turning off. But the reality, for me at least, is that work, I’ll meet people face to face, go to different offices and buildings, and go out for lunch. The idea of sitting at a desk from 9-5 doesn’t match the reality of my normal working life.
After four weeks of staying at home, I started to feel a little down and depressed earlier in the week. I went to bed for a day, and I’m feeling much better now. Hopefully not much longer like this, though I’m not too hopeful.