Studies/the Internet/my husband have told me that you should mimic your commute to and from work even while working from home.
I’ve been trying to do that. Typically, when I am working at the office, I drive and have about a 10-minute walk from where I park, to the office.
Now before I start my work day in my dining room, I get a quick walk around the block in. (I’m only on day 2 of doing this, but it’s a start!)
During my first pre-work walk, I synced up with my friend, Joanna, who is currently living in Spain. I dialed her on WhatsApp, like the many times I have done before the COVID-19 outbreak, to stay connected while she is across the pond.
“Hi! How’s it going?”
“Oh, you know.”
And then Joanna asked if we wanted to videochat. I told her that I was out walking so that I may not be centered in the screen and would be moving. She didn’t care.
I turned on the video of my phone and saw her smiling face on my screen while she saw me on hers.
Quickly I learned it really wasn’t my face that she wanted to see. (OK, maybe it was an added bonus!) She wanted to see my surroundings. I turned my phone to face away from me and showed her a funny children’s crossing sign (you know, the ones that protective parents have posted in front of their house?) I walked slowly by one house that had a bunch of blooming flowers in their front yard. I pointed my phone across the street to two cherry blossom trees.
“Can you see those?” I asked, not confident in the video quality of my old iPhone SE.
Yes, she could see it all.
When I spoke to Joanna last Thursday, Spain citizens had spent two weeks in lock down or shelter in place — I’m not sure on the official verbiage. Basically, they can’t leave their house. They can’t even go out for a walk or a run, like I am able to do in Seattle. Joanna told me that they can only go on a walk if you are out walking your dog. Only one person per household can go to the grocery store. And they were going into another two weeks of this lock down.
So, I showed her as much of not only Seattle, the city she grew up in, but also just the outdoors in general.
Never did I think there would be a time where I would have to show a friend my surroundings virtually because they would not be able to go outside.
I am grateful for my Spring walks and runs even more now.