(AND CHANGE! I AM COUNTING THE CHANGE!)
I am the bulging eyes emoji right now, even though I thought I'd fully resigned myself to the idea that schools aren't going to reopen at all. Next fall, if we're lucky and our entire species hasn't been wiped out thanks to a couple dozen idiots throwing coronavirus parties and/or licking toilet handles for a TikTok video. Four weeks is actually more optimistic than that! And yet...this was a lot to take in this morning, especially since the announcement happened right while I was pretending that letting Ike watch PBS Kids cartoons counted as homeschooling.
I'm coughing a lot. I'm sure it's just allergies, because it's late March and I am being personally attacked by my backyard. I don't have a fever and feel fine otherwise, except after every cough I am compelled to assess myself for any shortness of breath, which OH HEY, I get that from anxiety, sooo...
Snort some Flonase, pop a Buspar, wash hands, rinse, cough, repeat.
I haven't been 100% isolated long enough to be solidly in the clear, mostly thanks to the logistics of trying to find a job during this mess. I was down in Virginia at a ghost town of a WeWork just last Tuesday, balling my hands up inside my suit jacket sleeves to summon elevators and wrestle with door handles.
As of yesterday, agencies can virtually onboard, so I was allowed to take photos of my passport and driver's license and digitally sign a few forms. I have no idea what to expect from this point on, however. I have to wait for a background check, get fingerprinted and photographed for a badge, and I've been given wildly different timelines on how long that will take. My position is allowed to work remotely two days a week, but not until after working full-time on-site for 90 days, and the campus is currently still open because...well. It's the Food & Drug Administration. Kinda pretty essential right now, no?
(I'm still technically going to be a contractor/consultant, not a direct federal employee. But my position is part of an existing, fully-funded [and desperately understaffed] contract, so it's a pretty safe, sure thing. I just don't know if or how this will impact my start date. Which is awesome because a vague-ish sense of financial uncertainty is my FAVORITE.)
In other news, Jason started a little sourdough starter lending library, for anyone who wants to come pick up a jar or two from our front steps and wave from a socially acceptable distance. Just doing what we can for our fellow stress-bakers out there. That discomfort you're feeling is grief. Have some bread, it might help. Even just a little.