As we near the end of 2021, it’s hard to think about how we’re a little more than a year and a half into the pandemic. Remember how we all thought it would take only two weeks to flatten the curve? Well, we’ve made some serious moves to flatten the curve, but we’re not quite out of the woods yet with the pandemic.
I’ve been thinking about where we were last spring and where we are today, and how things have changed and stayed the same. For instance, we went into a mad hysteria over toilet paper and bleach wipes in the spring. Stockpiling toilet paper and obsessively washing our hands due to a new virus that we were learning more about every day. At first, we didn’t have to wear masks, and then eventually we did. There was quarantining at home, working from home, and attending school from home.
A Short Reprive
Now, we’ve relaxed quite a bit. In fact, once the vaccine became available, and we were able to go out again with occupancy restrictions lifted at restaurants, we relaxed a whole lot. For a short period of time, it was almost like the pandemic was a distant memory, and we were going back to how things used to be. I was enjoying going to restaurants with my best friend, having a margarita and a delicious steak in public again.
But then Covid numbers started going back up. Then fall came back around, which meant cold and flu season was back in swing. I won’t discuss the politics of getting vaccinated for Covid or not. This isn’t that kind of forum. Plus, I want to try to keep things pretty unbiased here.
It’s been a heck of a time since the pandemic hit in 2020. So, what have we learned since then?
We Touch More Than We Realize
Let’s start with one big thing. Our hands touch more items than we realize. Think about it. Our hands touch the surfaces in our house, our work, our computers, our phones, doorknobs, our faces, and just about everything else. Given everything that we touch and put our hands on, the pandemic has made it more important than ever to wash our hands and practice good hygiene.
Here’s another thing that we’ve learned – just about any desk job can be done from home. Before I started working in my current department, and before the pandemic, my boss would tell my team member and I when she was working from home. I remember sitting at my desk and thinking out loud, “I wish I could work from home.” Well, in the spring of 2020, I got my wish. And so did millions of people across the county. It took a TON of self-discipline, but I managed to work from home while taking care of my son as a single parent. I’ll admit that it’s not a perfect balance, but that’s okay. Employers know that you have a life outside the company, and they accept that they need to be flexible.
To go back to the point about how much our hands touch, something else we’ve learned is how truly interconnected we were before the pandemic. Think about how quickly the virus spread. Sure, one person may have had the virus, but how many people did they come into contact with on any given day? What started as one person quickly becomes many more. It makes me think of the Faberge shampoo commercial from the 80s where Heather Locklear quips that she loved it so much that she told two friends, and they told 2 friends and so on. If you haven’t seen the commercial, it was parodied in the movie, “Wayne’s World.”
One final item learned is how much we depend on technology. Don’t believe me? I’m sure you have a TV in your house, and you either watch cable or stream your favorite shows on it. Your phone has apps to keep you entertained and helps to keep you connected to friends and family via texting, phone calls, video chats, and social media. Don’t forget your computer or tablet keeping you connected to the office or loved ones via Zoom, Teams, or other platforms. Thanks to technology, we were able to keep in touch with our coworkers, family, and friends while having to keep our distance physically.
We’re Still Here To Help
The team with Albuquerque Plumbing Heating & Cooling is diverse, with most of our team members working in the field and others working in the office. Our technicians were out in the field during the height of the pandemic, helping members of our community with their plumbing, heating, and cooling needs. The office staff was able to work from home if they needed to. One of the lessons we learned was that we could still work together as a cohesive team, even when kept apart.
Don’t forget that we’re all on the same learning curve with this virus. We’ve learned so much since the pandemic first began, and we have more to learn in the coming days, months, and possibly years. We just have to remember to give ourselves and others grace while we continue to navigate this new terrain.