This is a brief summary of our second gathering for Corona Therapy. The format was similar to last week: an open session, passing around the group to share how we are feeling, coping, struggling and crucially, what is working (or working for now, at least). The themes are from my recollection and scratchy notes – expect no social science here.
So, Corona Therapy hour, week 2 went like this:
This sample is starting to feel the colder draughts of economic impact and this thread ran through the conversation. The chill is more or less severe depending on role, sector and employment status, as you would expect. But the chill is there for everyone and despite the intellectual grasp of impending impact, how it feels personally when it does happen is impossible to estimate. The furlough word has arrived (one of our new lexicon that the news media seem to so enjoy), bringing a different flavour of anxiety alongside the familiar fare of contracts and projects cancelled/frozen/paused. This is a group of professional persons too, for whom grappling with the benefits system is a new skill and vein of resilience to discover. In so many ways, the long term view has evaporated.
The delicate matter of seeking work and being economically active is a running concern. “Selling feels grossly out of touch now” – a clumsy and inappropriate lunge. But the benefits of tending to a network with empathy and a kindness of purpose seem to be both successful and gratifying. A sense of progress and impact can be gained and an understanding of what real priorities are can be gathered. Maybe this can substitute a more blunt commercial purpose, at least in some vital ways? Being helpful has a crucial new currency. That must be a good thing.
Something I think I noticed from those who are managers or bosses of some form is a possible benefit from the contact that brings. There is stuff to be getting on with and organised. (It might be self-employed envy though). This is balanced, however, by the downsides of Zoom fatigue and the seemingly endless run of new world meetings. And still…this working from home lark is not straightforward for all – unfamiliar and uncomfortable and maybe just not as satisfying. For the seasoned WFH crew: how to adjust when the W is under threat?
Time sliding around at an unfamiliar pace is unnerving us all. Everything from ‘before’ feels like months ago. Yesterday feels like every other day as weekdays bleed together. And then there is the weekend…”I have never looked forward to a weekend less than on Friday”. Some sense of a new normal is nudging its way in. It will take some time to settle but there is some encouragement there.
Being ill is starting to become a feature of the environment as personal experiences and as stories from family and networks. So far, touching wood, mild symptoms – a further reminder of what this is all about and what it actually means.
The “what to do about it” hints from the group this week:
- Focus, where you can, on what you can control
- Find ways to be helpful that are close to the work you do
- Find ways to be helpful any old how because that feels good
- Watch out for Zoom Bombing – bastards and fools are surviving this too
- Sharing how we are getting on is a good thing
Same time, same place next week: Tuesday the 7th 4pm (Zoom link to follow). It’s an open invite, so feel free to join us and get in touch.