Apr 22, 2020Having fun with my meeting backgrounds

I’ve not been counting how long we’ve been sequestering ourselves away from COVID-19, so I checked. Today is day 45. My last venture out ‘among the English’1 was on March 11, for a meal accompanied by local clergy, a vestry member, and the visiting National President of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew. We had a good conversation and a very nice bar-be-que meal. After that, I withdrew into my shell.

Ginger and I had decided that we’d isolate ourselves relatively early so we knew we’d be in the clear health-wise if TSHTF. Of course, that backfired when the spread of the coronavirus slowed as it reached the midwest.

The kids thought that we’d lost it, and even got angry with us when we told them to keep clear. With one (at the time), working in a restaurant and an old folks home, another working in a pharmacy, and the third managing a fast-food restaurant, we decided that it was in our best interest to isolate ourselves from them. After all, we both have minor heart issues, and I’m — I hate to admit this — now old enough to be in the ‘at risk’ age group. We did make a couple of concessions. When Lanie was furloughed from both her jobs we let her do some work out in the yard. And one night we sat on opposite sides of the deck to celebrate Lanie’s birthday. But none of them have ventured too near us or in the house since mid-march.

Within a week or so of our self-imposed isolation the diocesan office in Kansas City temporarily closed. Soon after that, Springfield and the surrounding county was under a stay at home order too.

While the world (essential workers aside) wondered what to do with the extra time they had on their hands, I, and all the other diocesan communicators, church communicators, and administrators had more work than we could cope with.

I’ve been working remotely in one form or another for over 30 years, so I’m used to it. Over the past five years I’ve worked to get the diocesan office off of email and onto instant messaging, video calls, and video conferencing, so from a technology standpoint, the transition was straight forward for almost everyone. Adapting to working in a home environment was probably a different matter. For me, it was business as usual. Except. Except it was manic. I won’t go into details, but for a while there I was working 10-12 hour days, 6-7 days a week. While the world (essential workers aside) wondered what to do with the extra time they had on their hands, I, and all the other diocesan communicators, church communicators, and administrators had more work than we could cope with.

Late last week, things finally started to slow down and settle into their new rhythm. Ginger has remained busy throughout this period too, with her workload not easing up either.

Ginger has been on two outings to pick up groceries, and another to replenish our alcohol supplies (liquor stores are considered an essential business in Springfield). I took a couple of days off to get away into the wilderness and recharge my batteries (within the rules of our stay at home order). My ventures out also give Ginger a chance to enjoy some quality alone time. Apart from that, we’ve not moved. Despite all the hours working, we’ve somehow managed to burn through all six seasons of Lost. I make that over 50 hours of TV. Lost and the UK Top 50 on Spotify have kept me entertained.

Not being one to give myself any respite, partway through all this, we came up with the bright idea of holding a daily video coffee hour, which is where today’s picture comes in. Microsoft has finally added the facility to put backgrounds on our video conference calls, and this is my current favorite. Very Dexter’s Laboratory. I screen grabbed it during a quiet hour.

If things go according to plan, I am heading out into the woods again this weekend. The forecast is for heavy rain, but, ‘frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.’ I’m ready to get some fresh air. The up-side is that my camera and rain don’t mix, so there probably won’t be any many pictures.

Copyright © 2020 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

1alludes to a quote from the movie Witness.

Comments

Scroll to Top