Perhaps you’ve heard the news: coronavirus is here to stay. She’s a pandemic now! Social distancing is what Americans have been urged to do, though what precisely this means is up for debate. Companies have urged their employees to work from home for the foreseeable future, in a means to curb the spread of a virus that currently has no vaccine and is moving rapidly. Those of us who are able to work from home, should. Anecdotally, I have heard whispers of joy from across my various social circles, thrilled to have a reason to call out of obligations and also to stay at home instead of commuting to their offices. Working from home, for me, is a treat, best enjoyed in moderation, like chocolate mousse or an entire box of Samoas consumed in one sitting.
The directive to self-isolate for the care of the community at large is a good one. Stay at home, don’t travel in packs, cancel your wedding, whatever. For those who live alone, self-isolation is essentially just living in your home the way you normally would. Do your work naked, masturbate for 15 minutes when you’re “getting lunch,” take a shower or don’t. The world is and has always been your oyster within the four walls you pay for, so really, bucko, business as usual. But for those who live with other people, self-isolating requires a little more thought.
The best-case scenario in this situation is to ensure that there is a space in your home that is actually free of other people. Is there a garret in your attic that you can retire to, locking the door with the deadbolt installed in a moment of blind panic and working as needed? If the answer is yes, congratulations! For those of us without a panic room or a she-shed readily available, more drastic and creative measures are necessary.
Closing the door to your bedroom and dragging a chair under the handle so that no one can come in works for the first few days, but the place in which you sleep will soon feel not like a respite, but a prison of your own making. Consider the bathroom in your apartment, instead. Drag a pillow or two into the tub, use that bath tray you bought as a stand for your computer, and do not call into meetings using the video function of whatever telecommuting service your company utilizes. It’s nice in there, yeah? Quiet. Calm. Your roommates’ needs to relieve their bladders or do a number 2 will provide you with the breaks that you should be taking, anyway. They need the bathroom, so you get up, do a lap, engage in some squats, and then drink some water. Let the air clear; crack the window and feel the sweet air on your face. Return to your office. Close the door. Take that call. No one can see you. You’re free.