It’s been one year. One year of isolation. One year of loneliness. One year of being fearful for the health of family and friends. One year gone. And I am one of the lucky ones.
I don’t know how to write this. I am not ever really sure what I want to say, but thought it was important to remember this day in some way. It was one year ago today my company implemented a short-term work-from-home order to help limit employee’s exposure to COVID-19. It seems so long ago, but I thought the WFH order would last two weeks and we could get back to normal life. How wrong I was… One year later, we are still in that work-from-home order; still trying to make things work remotely.
Looking back on the days leading up to March 11, 2020, I did not see the world changing like it did. I didn’t even take home my mouse or keyboard thinking I’d return to the office soon enough. How much has changed since I last saw the office. I am not sure the world can ever go back to what it was. The world is forever changed due to COVID-19, but it is up to us to make sure when we come out the other side we are stronger for it.
I don’t want to sound morose, but living through the handling of this pandemic really makes me wonder how we are going to be able to bounce back. And I have to keep saying that I am one of the lucky ones; both my partner and I were able to keep our jobs throughout the pandemic, we stayed symptom free and are still in good health. The world around us was not so lucky, and I feel so guilty about it. I wish we lived in a world that did not hate caring for others so much. Seeing the vitriol around wearing masks or the inability for the government to take care of the poor, sick, dying just added to the difficulty of this pandemic. It didn’t need to be so hard.
Even with all that, I am still hopeful we can pull away from this and head towards a brighter future. We need to take these past 12 months and not forget them, but learn and grow from them. That is going to be a huge undertaking, and not one that any one person should do themselves. But collectively as a civilization, we need to be better. And I cannot even start to understand the struggle anyone who lost their jobs or livelihood had to go through. This whole year has been just so overwhelming.
One thing that I am hoping comes out of this pandemic within my career is a more open williness to look into remote work as a viable alternative to living in Silicon Valley or New York City or even Washington, DC. I am hopeful that if more companies open their door to remote work, the career of software programmer can reach more edges of this country and open possibilities for those who could not work as a developer before the pandemic. I want to see companies reaching out to those whose opportunities did not afford moving to San Francisco, to those whose opportunities did not allow them to have a track record of successful startups under their belts. These people deserve an opportunity within this career. It’s the best series of jobs I have ever have and anyone who wants to program should be given an chance regardless of geographic constraints.
To end, I just want others to know that I too feel overwhelmed, lucky, jaded, embarrassed, hopeful, sad, grateful… too many emotions to list. We can get through this together. Here’s hoping for a better March 11, 2022.