Today was my first day working from home. I say working from home, I have always worked from home, but on an evening. During the day I’m in the office. It was a little bit sad as well. I had taken the decision to work from home to protect myself, my wife and child from any risk to being exposed to the virus.
I set up my stall in our second bedroom, which is painfully slowly being turned into an office. There’s plenty of clutter and things to sort in here, but it will get done now I have a lot more time on my hands!
My aim today was to get out any remaining quotes to home owners and focus on things we could do as a business to keep the wheels turning. I managed to get some of that done. Having a baby downstairs who is cute as hell is always going to be a distraction! Then at around half two it was announced Boris Johnson was to address the nation.
“Address the nation”. Three words which always means something serious is about to happen. There was to be no 5pm press conference. The public had been calling for a lockdown all weekend after seeing hoards of people cramming beaches and parks, ignoring social distancing measures and calls to walk locally and not travel far.
Generally it was a decent day. We had breakfast together as we always do. Then I went upstairs to work. Weird feeling. I wanted to spend all day with my little lad rather than work. But needs must, and I kept myself busy in the second bedroom to do what I could for our business. Soph (the better half), took Spencer out for a supplies run. As things are, we’re even worried about small journeys like that. The weather was nice, the roads quiet. She came back with a Greggs cheese and onion pasty. Little did I know that it was to be my last one for a long time!
Today felt less dramatic in some ways. The sun was out. Stock markets had not dropped a gazillion points. I had a customer sign up for a couple of doors whilst I was at home. Spencer was near which made me feel better. It was almost easy to forget the catastrophe taking place outside the window.
We did bath time together with Spencer. Its my favourite time of the day with him, other than when he’s asleep! His joy at the prospect of flooding the bathroom by splashing everything!
He was in bed when Boris began to speak. This isn’t a time for politics, and no matter who you vote for, you have to give him his due, he’s handling this as well as can be expected. Who would want to give that sort of address to the country? To have to tell them people are going to die. To say that we’re sacrificing the economy to save lives. To ask people to put life on hold. There’s no bigger ask. In what seemed absolutely perfect timing, he woke up as he neared the end of his address with a nightmare. I knew how he felt.
What followed was a frenzied search for clarity on who stood where went it meant going to work. Although it seemed we could probably keep working, installers and some fabricators quickly decided the right thing to do was to close. I wrote about it as information was coming in. You can read that here.
Boris said that these measures would be reviewed in three weeks time. We’re on the same path as Italy and Spain in terms of cases and deaths. I think we all know that three weeks is a holding date. We’re going to be in this for a while.
I will be honest with you all, in the hope that you’re all honest back. There are moments during these days where the impending sense of crisis and danger are overwhelming. A thumping lump of fear and dread in your stomach when you remember you’re indoors at home for months. When you see the stats stacking up outside. When I look at Spencer and consider the world he’s growing up in. I have been speaking with a number of industry friends of mine via DM on Twitter these past few days. All worried. All in the same boat. I’ve found it easier to bear the burden when its shared. Its easier when we talk. I am going to add features on DGB in the coming days to help you talk to me, if you want someone to talk to. Even if you just want to rant, vent, cry or ask a question. I don’t have all the answers, but I will listen and I will talk back. My door is open.
Be well everyone.
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