Thursday, June 13, 2024

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Quarantine perspectives: Learning to work from home and stay connected

by Katie Arvia, Lansing Journal reporter

Editor’s note: The people who write for The Lansing Journal represent a diversity of ages, occupations, and family situations. I asked them if they would be willing to share their perspectives on the ways COVID-19 is impacting their personal and professional lives. -Melanie Jongsma

Katie Arvia
LANSING, Ill. (March 24, 2020) – By now, every Lansing resident has been affected by the coronavirus, in ways both big and small, including myself and my family.

My full-time job is with an office right here in Lansing (2304 173rd Street), and I have been working remotely since Wednesday, March 18, something I have never experienced before.

It’s been an adjustment.

My new work-at-home space (Photo: Katie Arvia)
I spent much of last week setting up my workspace in our basement family room, equipped with my laptop, phone, AirPods, and a box of work materials from my office.

Being home during the week is certainly a big change for me. Communicating with my coworkers has been a bit more challenging than usual, but through conference calls and texts, we are still able to collaborate on projects. Since many of my friends are also working from home, we have been able to communicate via FaceTime during the day, providing some nice “face-to-face” interactions.

FaceTiming with my friend Jessica (Photo: Katie Arvia)
My time outside of my house has been, naturally, very limited. I still voted in the primaries last Tuesday, but my normal weekly activities are currently on hold, including my guitar lessons at Melody Mart in Homewood and therapy sessions in Woodridge. Luckily, I was able to leave the house for a short amount of time on both Thursday and Friday last week.

On Thursday, I visited The Well in Thornton to take some photos for work. The Well is a distillery, and currently the team there is producing hand sanitizer to distribute free of charge to the at-risk community in Thornton and surrounding areas.

On Friday, I made a supply run to Jewel in Munster with my friend Amanda. Yes, the store was just as busy and shelves were just as empty as you think, but the employees were hard at work restocking, checking out and bagging groceries, and answering questions for guests. All in all, the trip probably took close to two hours, and I was able to get almost everything on my list.

The guitar I’ll be practicing! (Photo: Katie Arvia)
And since it’s looking like we are going to be stuck at home for a bit longer than I originally anticipated, I am looking forward to creating a new routine for myself to keep a healthy work/life balance as well as give myself time to do “me” things, including practicing my guitar, beginning an exercise regimen, reading a few good books, and developing my Photoshop skills.

Of course, we are in very uncertain times right now; I would be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned about the coronavirus and its effects, both short- and long-term. I am looking forward to the day that everything goes back to normal!

However, I am hopeful that we can make it through these difficult times, together.

Katie Arvia
Katie Arvia
Katie is a lifelong Lansing native who currently works full-time in marketing while also freelance reporting for The Lansing Journal. In 2015, she graduated with high honors from Saint Xavier University in Chicago with a BA in English, and she plans to pursue a Master's degree in the near future. Her favorite Lansing Journal assignments include coverage of TF South High School's walkout ("Demonstrating the possibilities") and her St. Patrick's Day interview with her grandma ("St. Patrick's Day traditions: reflections of an Irish granddaughter").