Thursday, June 04, 2020

COVIDiary: Path to Normal?

Except for five weeks the end of March and into April, the Atlanta History Center has provided enough remote work to keep me busy and a little solvent. Even the five weeks were covered either with PTO (paid time off) or unemployment, which AHC so graciously files for us. The rest of the time, I've been transcribing video interviews of World War II and Vietnam veterans for the Library of Congress' Veterans History Project.

That all may be about to change.

The History Center is hopeful it can reopen Monday, June 15. A very limited opening, however. - just the gardens and grounds, not the museum or the Swan House. The hours change. Our duties change. New normal will involve masks, much hand-washing and hand sanitizer, and keeping our distance. Lots of outdoor time, which won't be so bad except it's summer in the ATL, so hot and humid. Dress accordingly and wear a mask.

We were scheduled for on-site training this week, however another employee who had been working in the buildings for a few days tested positive for COVID-19. Sooooo. More online training. More building disinfecting. The hope is that we get in next week to familiarize ourselves with new procedures and reacquaint ourselves with some old ones. Will we open on the 15th? Hm. Maybe.

One thing is certain, and that's that our hours will be cut way back. Fortunately, Human Resources will file partial unemployment for us. Not sure how much that will be, but it will include the $600 weekly unemployment from the federal government through July.

Everything's still shifting sand. And when we do open, will people come? The biggest draws of AHC are the Cyclorama and the Swan House, neither of which will be accessible  in the immediate future.

Everything about COVID-19 is pushing us to think, plan, and act differently. Even when it disappears, work certainly won't go back to old normal. I suspect everything about life will be transformed - maybe a little, maybe a lot.

For now, all we can do is try to find that path to some kind of normal and adjust. Perhaps we can view this as the ultimate spring-cleaning of life. Onward. In hope.

No comments: