Contemplations #2

My Contemplations Are Lagging

I wrote one compilation of contemplations this year. That’s it. It’s not that I haven’t been contemplating, it’s just that 2021 seems to be moving along so much faster than 2020 that I’m not finding the time to write in between the events that inspire my contemplations. I’ll try to catch up a bit here.

The Silver Lining of Covid

Yes! Silver Lining! I optimistically think we will rethink a lot of things post-Covid. Number One on my list: traffic. I ran an errand last Friday late in the afternoon. Normally (pre-Covid), I would never take my car out of the garage on a Friday afternoon. But I needed something and decided to chance it. Ha! I was out and back in an hour! 

Since I live in the middle of a city, getting anywhere and back in an hour during Friday afternoon rush hour was something that NEVER happened. Yet I just did it. I came home via one of the most congested intersections of all time, and moved through without having to wait for more than one light. It used to take at least three or four lights, often more, which I why I never went out at that hour. 

So, traffic. I cannot imagine that anyone will want to return to our pre-Covid gridlock. People who can easily work from home will surely want to do so at least some of the time. Casual wardrobe, no traffic, what’s not to love?

Human Contact

Yes! Human Contact! I’ve had the joy of being with live humans recently. It feels so good, just to see faces and expressions apart from Zoom. So, in answer to the above, what’s not to love about working from home is the joy of human contact. One joy of working at the office is the opportunity for lunch or after work gatherings with co-workers, assuming you have some good co-workers. 

I’ll be interested to see if the folks who count beans and measure productivity will be weighing in on whether working remotely or working on site is more productive. I’m guessing there are advantages to each and employers will be very interested in sorting our what’s best from their perspective. Employees are likely to have some opinions of their own.

The Status of Wokeness

Remember last fall when our former president banned federal HR departments from doing diversity training that presented only the dark side of American history and assigned the roles of oppressor and oppressed based on skin color? Of course, Biden rescinded the ban, but in the meantime, a lot of ruckus is being raised about critical race theory, the basis of such training. 

Given that this approach to diversity training has little to show for it in terms of improved relationships at work (you’re not surprised are you?), imagine how shocked parents are to find this business (and yes, it’s a profitable consulting business) is infiltrating K-12 schools, both public and private. So far, no administrators or boards are backing down, but pressure is building to take this dark perspective out of K-12. It may take lawsuits, but I’m guessing it can’t possibly survive the scrutiny that is building.

Finches and Crows

Our humming bird bait is not blooming yet, so our tiny balcony is attracting only finches and crows so far this spring. We’ve had finches every year and love their courting songs. By accident, we learned that they love to eat one particular succulent that has tiny plump leaves. So every year we buy lots and resupply as needed. We’ve also rigged bird baths for drinking. My husband wired a little soap dish in the shape of a bathtub to our railing, and they use it! for splashing! It’s really cute.

To date, our crow has not attacked the finches, but comes when they’re not present. It takes a few sips of water, rests a bit, scans the area and moves on. Our resident ornithologist says a crow wouldn’t harass a parent finch because it’s waiting to eat the eggs or the young. Hmm. Well, we enjoy them both. 

In and Out of Quartine in 24 Hours

If you live in a retirement home as we do, quarantine is not a word you want to hear. A total quarantine means go to your apartment, close the door and stay put. Meals and mail get delivered. Everything else can wait. Not fun!

Two weeks ago we got a notice that because two employees had tested positive for Covid, the county health department said we needed to go to total quarantine. It’s a full year since we last were in this predicament, and we’ve been gradually working our way toward normal since then. No one was happy. Staff had to suddenly shut down the dining room, which only recently re-opened. They had to figure out once again the logistics of delivering mail and meals.

Beyond our inconvenience, there was a mystery afoot. Why did the health department not know about these two positive tests reported by the employees? Positive tests are reported each day so contact tracing can occur, employers can be notified, precautions taken, but the names of these employees were not on any list. Well, not just a mystery, but a crime had occurred. Seems that two friends wanted some time off, got Covid tests, then altered them to say positive, and used them as a way to get away from work for a few days. Altering Covid tests during a pandemic is not a good thing! Their names were forwarded to the county prosecutor.

Moral of the story: Don’t mess around with Covid tests!

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