Finally. We can see a ray of hope. With the CDC relaxing its guidelines with the recent announcement that those who have been vaccinated can go without their masks and relax social distancing, with exceptions, it seems we may be seeing the much-wanted demise of the pandemic. Or, at least, and at best, we are seeing it being managed much better. That is great news for those of us who are tired of the losses they have experienced or heard about from Covid-19 and want a sense of normalcy and freedom again.
I know I feel a better sense of relief after having received both my vaccines and continued the diligent wearing of a mask to help protect myself and others. How are you feeling right now? I hope better, too. While we all feel like we may be seeing the beginning of emerging from a deep, dark hole that has had its grip on us for well over a year, seeing and hearing the good news about the pandemic’s effects waning some, well, that’s welcome news to our ears.
Working from home has had a two-fold meaning by being both a blessing and a cursing. We’ve had the joy of not having to commute no farther than our home office, sofa or kitchen table—without having to dress up. That’s the good thing. On the other hand, we’ve not been able to engage with our coworkers and see people. That is the bad thing (unless you prefer not to see people). That is about to change, at least for my workplace. Administrators on our campus have announced, in plenty enough time, that we will back on campus full-force this fall. That includes faculty, staff, students and administrators. What will that look like? It will have been a full year and a half since I have seen our campus teeming with people, cars and chatter. Personally, I went back to face-to-face classes this spring, of course following strict protocols and guidelines for safety set by the Centers for Disease Control. And, I can say it was a successful semester. It was good to see my students again.
For others, though, the idea of going back to a full campus, office or workplace dredges up ideas of fear, stress and being overwhelmed. There are people who sincerely, and unashamedly, enjoy working in the solitude of their own home. I love my home, too. But I must say I like better the notion of going to my office and having that separation of work and personal space.
At any rate, it will be interesting to see how we all re-adapt, re-focus, and re-center ourselves at work. Hopefully it won’t be too big of a challenge, and we will be back to buzzing around visiting colleagues’ offices, strutting across campus with sunshine and fall leaves beneath our feet. I do plan to wear my mask a tad longer.
Share your thoughts with me about what it will be like to return to a full office location or workspace by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time,