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Friday, 20 March 2020


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Do you still use/recommend a stand-up desk or other desk-bound tips?

Thank you.
Tidbits has made a free short ebook about working from home temporarily:


More wise words, Mike, though I must admit I've just been licking a blog post into shape, and it's 7:30 pm here.

Note to self:
Must. Keep. Regular. Hours.

Thank you Mike. Last week I had to use Google to find out, what was the acronym WFH (working from home). On Monday I and my many colleagues will commence this way of working. Interesting times, that will likely change the way very many people live and work henceforth, and not just for the pandemic period.

I worked at home for the last 13 years of my career (I’m retired now) and what you say makes sense. I used to have some particular routines: I always made my lunchtime sandwich immediately after breakfast and then wrapped it up - I’d “taken it to work”. I also had mugs that I only used for tea/coffee while I was upstairs working. And in summer, when the weather was good, I would sometimes walk around the block - it would help with getting my “work head” on.

But all that is behind me now. I’ve got used in the last 5 years to living a very relaxed life at home, just pottering around. I’m OK to continue doing that if the degree of recommended isolation increases. For me the key thing will be to be able to get out of the house occasionally for fresh air and exercise. I’m fortunate to live on the edge of the country, and I know any number of walks along footpaths that will keep me away from other people but will give me exercise, fresh air, and maybe even photo opportunities.

Good tips. But you need exercise, too. I recommend Gerald Undone's clever video that's full of great advice for idle photographers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KV9LnWWHtug

Excellent set of points, Mike. By the way, you should think about offering online photography classes. People are 'moving' online now in ways they haven't before, and you're in the exact right place to help them with this.

But we have to consider that we currently are in a special situation. I found these advices very valuable (translated from French):

"Dear parents with school age children

You may be inclined to create a minute-by-minute schedule for your children. You have high hopes for hours of learning, including online activities, science experiments and book reports. You limit technology until everything is done! But here's the thing ...

Our children are as afraid as we are right now. Our children not only can hear everything that is going on around them, but they feel our constant tension and anxiety. They have never experienced anything like this before. Although the idea of ​​not going to school for 4 weeks sounds great, they probably imagine a fun time like summer vacation, not the reality of being trapped at home and not seeing their friends.

Over the next few weeks, you will see an increase in behavioral problems with your children. Whether it's anxiety, anger or protest that they can't do things normally - it will happen. You will see more seizures, tantrums and oppositional behaviors in the coming weeks. This is normal and expected under these circumstances.

What children need right now is to feel comforted and loved. Feel that everything will be fine. And it could mean that you're tearing your schedule apart and loving your kids a little more. Play outside and go for a walk. Bake cookies and paint pictures. Play board games and watch movies. Do a science experiment together or find virtual trips to the zoo. Start a book and read together as a family. Snuggle up under warm blankets and do nothing.

Don't worry that they are going backwards at school. Each child is in this boat and everything will be fine. When we are back in class, we will all correct the course and meet them where they are. Teachers are subject matter experts! Don't choose fights with your kids because they don't want to do math. Don't yell at your kids not to follow the program. Do not impose 2 hours of learning time if they resist it.

If I can leave you with one thing, it is this: at the end of it all, our children's mental health will be more important than their academic skills. And what they felt during this period will remain with them long after the memory of what they did during these 4 weeks has long since disappeared. Keep this in mind, every day.

Stay safe"

Text by Murielle Double, www.psychoeducation.be

Mike, thank you for this. I forwarded the link to family members who are not accustomed to the WFH regimen. You have done a public service.

I sincerely hope that you can stay in touch with others in your support group. Dealing with both isolation and staying sober can be daunting.

https://wapo.st/3a8l8Ns video on Washington Post re this subject.

We have to put a lot of blame on the money whores who outsourced our manufacturing to other countries. I wish all other countries the very best but when "they" made a few extra bucks having nations like China produce our necessities then the problem has to be recognized for what it is. A huge damn mistake.

My wife is immune compromised and on 8 prescription medications. A few of these come from China. Because of her rare condition 3 of these medications are life dependent. Without them she dies in a week or less. We all need a better way than what has been given us.

I'm stuck with a six year old who has to be homeschooled too. And as my wife's not feeling well and I'm part of a support desk (irregular phonecalls and stuff), this is a bit of a struggle. Although I must say I do enjoy the company of my daughter in my homeoffice. We're lucky she mostly enjoys doing her homework sitting next to us. No motivational speeches necessary.

Biggest issue is getting her out of the door for some fresh air. The weather is wonderful: blue skies all day, so I try to get her outside for a short walk (or step in her case) at least three times a day.

Normal routine is an important factor in this as well: this is not a holiday, so we get up at normal hours, fully dress, and are ready for the day before nine in the morning. All stuff that's allowed in the weekend stays there. Normality rules to help feeling ok.

It's a good thing I'm quite good at that social distancing; not dissimilar to our every day life. I can only hope the rest of the population is getting the message before a full lockdown is necessary and we cannot even go out for a run, bikeride or walk. That is my biggest fear currently.

Okay, okay, WFH is not an acronym, it's an initialism, which was a new word to me, in your following post. Have never claimed to be a wordsmith.

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