It’s been a turbulent two weeks but after all of the disturbance I feel like I’m now getting into the new routine which means the return of week notes!
I think the obvious observation to start with would be the impact of working from home. Even with the constant contact with your team it can still feel pretty lonely working in isolation, and that’s not something to be afraid of. It doesn’t mean you aren’t communicating effectively, it just means you’re adjusting to the fact that those daily conversations about what you watched or did and the weekend are now in a slack thread as opposed to around a group of desks while doing work. It’s those important little conversations that build that familiarity of working in a team but just remember that you still have that connection, you’re just experiencing it in a new setting.
Another thing I’ve found myself struggling with is the blurred line between starting work and when you’re ‘home from work’. As someone who never fully clocks out, with ideas always flowing through my head, and always looking for opportunities or inspiration; it can be difficult to log out without the physical commute home to provide that cut off. But one productive way to fill that gap is to sandwich the day with other tasks and give yourself that physical signal that tells your body the ‘work day’ is over. It could be something as simple as paying a bill, putting the rubbish out our doing a work out; but by setting yourself tasks before an after work you can help maintain that sense of routine within the new-normal , something I think we’re all searching for at the moment.
As you can imagine, much of my work over the past two weeks has consisted of support for the COVID-19 response. It’s been both a privilege and a heartbreak to be supporting the digital team in creating proactive and responsive content for the PHW pages. I say a privilege because of the incredible team I get to work with and the content we create together; not to mention the resilience and solidarity we’re able to show one another through these extreme times. I should stress that there is so much work that goes into this, so many meetings, protocols to follow, procedures that ensure the information given is the most effective it can be; but what makes it heart-breaking is the abuse or scaremongering that we see online from troll accounts or those who have fallen victim to fake or misleading news. Each week I find it harder to bite my tongue but remain hopeful that people are able to see beyond the interference and do what is best, what is safest, and follow the guidance.
Going into lock down has also meant we’re now able to work on some longer-term messaging, ensuring people are able to self-isolate and social distance in the safest way possible. Particularly when it comes to supporting the more vulnerable members of our society, I’m excited to be working on something that will hopefully see us work closely with the third sector to ensure key public health messages are reaching those who need them the most. Coming from a third sector background I understand all too well the impact charities and NGO’s can have on both a local and national level; and in the spirit of solidarity against the impact of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) it’s important now more than ever to work with a range of stakeholder’s to create the biggest change in behaviour.
Outside of work but somewhat related ( I told you I never switch off), I’m very proud to say that along with Jacob Ellis and Abby Dickinson (both of team Future Gen Cymru), I will be launching a podcast- Flatten the Curve. I have wanted to do a podcast for the longest time and when Jacob got in touch to discuss the idea I was immediately excited. Having followed the conversation on Coronavirus since December, for me this podcast represents an opportunity to cut through the noise, bring the facts to the forefront and place them in the context of the world around us. Give it a listen and don’t forget to like an subscribe. (Also available on Apple podcasts)
Instead of a read of the week I’m going to be giving my favourite reflection of the week which came from the lovely Hannah Pudner, a fellow Heads Up organiser. During a catch up with Hannah she reminded me that while being able to wash our hands is a given for us, it is considered a rare luxury in some places. Now for me that really put into perspective the importance of people following the guidance and staying at home. When you realise there are people in the world being told they have to wash their hands but aren’t able to do so, it really should make you think twice about whether you need to make that trip to the super market, whether it’s worth risking a visit with a friend or relative and hopefully make you realise that being asked to stay in your (for the most part, especially by way of comparison) safe and sturdy home with running water, really should be easier to follow for many people out there. We have a duty to ourselves, to those we care about and to those less fortunate than ourselves to do all we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
So please, I know you’ve heard it everywhere else, but Stay Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives.