Humour

LOL! The four stages of coming to terms with life during the 'Rona era

Working from home while self-isolating is going to take some getting used to and, like grief, you'll go through different stages as you do

19 March 2020 - 15:15
'Urrrggggh ... did I really have to get out of bed for this conference call?'
'Urrrggggh ... did I really have to get out of bed for this conference call?'
Image: 123RF/Andriy Popov

Two weeks ago it was all fun and games. People were still singing “Corona!” in packed clubs and a fair number of us still thought that Covid-19 had become the brand ambassador of a beer.

Now, for those of us who are lucky, we’re all self-isolating, working from home and looking out our windows like sad children who’ve been grounded.

Welcome to the 'Rona era. Our new, temporary age of enforced antisocialism is going to take some getting used to and, like grief, coming to terms with it comes in stages:

STAGE 1: PANICKY RELIEF

So your manager has given you the green light to work from home. To be honest, they had little choice. Whole countries are shutting down, sports leagues are being cancelled and even actor Idris Elba has gotten sick.

Finally, working from home is an option — it's the only option — and you don't know how to feel about it. On the one hand, you’ve been dreaming of taking a few days off. On the other, you know you're technically supposed to be working.

With many countries in lockdown over fears of the spread of the coronavirus, millions are self-isolating. From Italians serenading each other from their balconies to patients dancing in China, here are some of the more entertaining ways in which people are trying to beat the coronavirus blues.

The thing is, once you work from home, you realise how much time you waste at the office. It turns out that when Siphosihle from two desks over isn't giving you the hot goss, you can get stuff done quickly, which means you now have some free time.

Unless of course you have kids. Have you ever tried to work in a house full of bored children — especially when all the coffee shops you could escape to for a quick "sanity break" are full of Covid-19? 

You end up spiralling down social media rabbit holes and absorbing whatever nonsense singer Keri Hilson is spewing. The news makes you panic and before long, you find yourself at Woolworths buying 98 rolls of toilet paper because somehow you think your bowels are going to be doing all the dancing you can’t do.

STAGE 2: BOREDOM

By now, Coronavirus is like Jesus: omnipresent. And to be honest you’re a little sick of it.

In your mind, working from the comfort of your bed seemed like a good idea, but now your sweatpants are starting to stick to you in a deeply unsexy way and your back hurts. Your lunch breaks are getting longer and longer.

Family members are only fun in small doses, you feel like you've read everything on the internet, and basically your social battery is fully charged with nowhere to go.

STAGE 3: HOPE

Hopefully at this stage, President Cupcake and co are looking at letting us all be normal humans again. Like a school kid nearing the end of their holidays, you're not too sure how you feel about this.

On the one hand, you don't ever want to go back to the office. On the other, you have ideas: work ideas, life ideas, world-changing ideas! There are spreadsheets upon spreadsheets of all the things you want to present to your boss as soon as you get back to work. This is what modern self-actualisation looks like.

Please God let them let us out soon...

STAGE 4: FREEDOM/APOCALYPSE

Depending on how long old Covid-19 decides to stay with us, one of two things may happen.

In the first scenario, we are freed. Having come up against the allied forces of modern medicine Herr Coronavirus gives up and shoots himself in a bunker. Like the survivors of WWII, we emerge from the situation shell-shocked but free. We take deep breaths, go back to the office with a smile on our faces, and revel in the company of others. Hands get shaken and good old Siphosihle gets a massive hug.

OR: it gets worse. What started as a pandemic evolves into a full on episode of The Walking Dead. The really rich run off to some island to do billionaire things (one assumes playing Monopoly but with real people and places) and the less rich get eaten by the rest of us. Toilet paper is worth more than gold and now when people talk about “the good old days”, they're not being racist.

In this scenario, the coronavirus finally does what we couldn’t and rids the world of influencers. On the plus side, at this point capitalism is probably also dead, so I’m sure politician Andile Mngxitama will be happy.