• Hannah Cartwright

Week 1 of Isolation: Adjusting to WFH

New office set up!

Due to Covid-19, I’m currently one of thousands of others now working from a desk in my bedroom. It’s not an ideal set up – I’m in front of two big windows with another to my right making it a little cold and drafty. I’m struggling to concentrate and stay focused on my work with most of my energy going into fighting the voice in my head whispering 'play Sims'. But – it’s better than commuting into Central London and I’m so unbelievably thankful that I have managed to keep my job and still have an income.

I thought I would keep a running daily update of working from home and the changes going on around me in this unusual period of time, mostly so I can look back on this in years to come. We are living through a huge moment in history and I want to document it!

My work from home period actually started on Thursday 12th March with a trial run for our office. I then worked from home again Friday as I was concerned that I was displaying symptoms (sore throat). From then on, we weren't allowed back into the office which is when this all started to feel a little more real. This made Monday my Day 5 of social isolation.

Monday. Day 5.

I haven’t left the house since Wednesday and I’m starting to feel a little cooped up. But I’m feeling productive. My housemates are all still at work so I’ve been able to spread my work across the kitchen table and play some music. Without my work commute, I’ve had an extra three hours in my day to play with. I’ve used these wisely and slept for an hour longer, cleaned and tidied the flat, and watched New Girl. Feeling good.

Tuesday. Day 6.

I moved my work space into my bedroom today as my housemate is also now working from home and I needed to try and stay focused. I think my set up works quite well and luckily doesn’t take up too much space. The desk is easy to dismantle so it will be packed down on Friday evening.

After work, Ben and I went for a walk along the canal near our house. I was desperate for some fresh air and this was just what I needed.

When we got home, the reality of the situation really hit as Ben and Dan both received emails from work asking them to take three months of unpaid leave. With no income, they will struggle to make ends meet with rent and bills etc.

Wednesday. Day 7.

Today was hard as we tried to work out the logistics of paying the rent with half of the flat unemployed. There was lots of discussion, lots of stressing and a few tears. We just need to sit tight now until the government start to introduce new measures. In terms of work, it was so hard to focus and I know my work suffered because of this. Praying things settle down soon.

Decided to do another Tesco shop. We are running low on a few essentials, as is everyone right now. This was the first time I’ve been into a supermarket since this all started and it was pretty bleak. Seeing all the empty shelves and the queues of people down each aisle. It all felt like the start of a horror movie. We managed to grab a couple of essentials but things like eggs, milk, flour, olive oil, most tinned goods, rice, pasta, cereal, meat and a lot of frozen food were just completely sold out. We grabbed some more fruit and veg then treated ourselves to some more chocolate as this was well stocked. We didn’t even attempt toilet roll! After shopping we all curled up on the sofa to watch Cats. The madness of it was a great distraction!

Thursday. Day 8.

Things still felt very tense and stressful today. Our landlord replied to tell us that we need to find a way to pay the rent regardless of circumstances. I understand he still needs his money but was quite hurt by his lack of sympathy. Work again suffered as I struggled to focus. Went with my housemate at lunchtime for an alcohol shop. If we’re going to be shut up for weeks, we need wine! 

Friday. Day 9.

End of the week! Government have released measures to help renters and those that are losing their jobs so fingers crossed the boys can get the extra financial help they need. Things are feeling less tense and more positive. Work was much easier to focus on as I'm getting into a better WFH routine.

In the evening we drank wine and played Risk. It felt good to take our minds of the situation and have a laugh. I think we all needed it! I was out first so left to go to bed. I was woken at 5am - the Risk battle was over, my supply of 'apocalypse' wine had been consumed and Ben was unwell.

We found a swan building her nest on our walk!

Saturday. Day 10.

I felt so cooped up from not leaving the house for anything other than food all week so Ben and I decided to go for a walk. We thought this would be okay as we didn't need to touch anything or interact with anyone. However, we were a little shocked at how many other people had decided to do the same thing but in much larger groups! The walk made me feel better at the start but by the end I had a pounding headache and my throat was killing me. I don't think my body is over whatever was wrong with me last weekend (not Coronavirus!). We got home and I cocooned on the sofa with Animal Crossing and watched Mamma Mia.

Sunday. Day 11. Mothers Day.

Sad that I couldn't send Mum a present for Mothers Day but I know that I will make it up to her when all of this is over and I can see her. I still sent a card which she loved.

Still not feeling too great today so spent the day curled up on the sofa watching movies, playing Sims and Animal Crossing.

Week 1 down, hopefully not too many more to go! I hope you're all keeping safe and well!

I would love to hear in the comments how you are all doing and how your day to day lives are being impacted. Is anyone else at a desk in their bedroom?

Han X