The bubble bursts!
Are you prepared for your Covid-19 bubble to burst? I know you’re ready! We’re all ready for a significant change in the way we’re responding to the pandemic, but are you actually prepared?
September has always been a threshold for seasonal change in my part of the world. We’re hovering on the edge of harvest, the end of family vacation time arrives, the kids go back to school and the urbanized adults find themselves back at work with new imperatives for business success. This year September’s transformative role is being presented as far more than the normal threshold for change. The Covid-19 bubbles that we’ve created and maintained are going to burst with the nature and size of the changes being explored. Those changes under consideration have already begun in some areas before the end of August, such as the disorganized, abortive attempts to return to school.
Retail, office, manufacturing and education restrictions are being considered for sweeping change.
Government and businesses are looking to “open again”. That will mean that our ‘bubbles’ too must open and change.
The bubble that we live in is usually populated by our partners, our family with the occasional incursion by friends, and maybe a trusted co-worker, a supportive neighbor. That bubble, that self-contained world is being poked at by those that would have us all back to work in a bid to return to a normalcy that will never be fully realized. An important part of the challenge is the impact of children returning to school, and young adults returning to their studies.
As I asked; ARE YOU PREPARED?
The pandemic is NOT over. Are you clear in your understanding of the new ‘rules of engagement’ for your workplace, and your community in the shadow of the pandemic?
Return to School
Return to school means a refocusing of family priorities, and it may affect your workplace. Are you completely aware of the guidelines for the school districts that your kids, your grandkids, or the children of your co-workers attend? How are you going to manage the rolling risk of exposure? How will you deal with the sudden closure of a school because of a single case of the virus? How will you cope with before-school and after-school care in the event that your family’s usual go-to solution isn’t’ viable?
Will you or your partner need to continue to stay-at-home, either in a work-from-home scenario or a caregiver role?
What’s your backup plan? Have your parents, the grandparents who have been on-call since March to help out as you juggled priorities to find a new balance still going to be available? Have they moved on with their lives, fulfilling their other obligations, and trying to get back to their own sense of normality?
I know that as a grandparent myself who spent a big chunk of the time since March helping out with some online learning, daycare, and pet sitting I’m looking forward to the time to do my stuff. I question how much of the interaction with the grandchildren and how much of my own highly developed procrastination skills was responsible for my lack of focus.
Focus! Time to focus!
Many of us have whined and complained about a lack of focus during the pandemic lockdown. Guess what? Its time to really focus now.
We’re aware that elementary schools might be opening, with complicated government-mandated restrictions in place. We’ve heard that secondary schools may be trying to continue with the online teaching solutions experimented with during the final quarter of this past school year. Who is going to supervise?
Are you prepared for the unthinkable, the penultimate disappointment? You are expected to be back to work but your children are not able to be at their school. Being back to work doesn’t always mean in the workplace. It could be a work-from-home scenario where you and your children are going to be sharing your home spaces for working and learning. Another complication might be that the children are at home, and you are expected at your workplace.
This is going to get complicated.
It may not be that the bubble is about to burst, but rather it is beginning to expand to include more people and variables like a resumption of the daily commute. Your due diligence and awareness need to shift to hypervigilance.
No more screwing around with half-hearted attempts at physical distancing or limited use of masks and face coverings.
Keep your distance. Wear a mask in public spaces. Wash your hands.
We’re updating an old set of health department guidelines; No shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service.