Work From Home is a new vertical dedicated to life and culture in the strange and unprecedented situation of self-quarantine that many of us are dealing with right now. From what to watch to how to get a fit off and how to not think about anything, this is our guide to the great indoors. For updates on the spread of Covid-19 and how to keep yourself safe and informed, consult WHO and the CDC.
Coronavirus is the first real shared experience of the globalized world of our generation, which seems bound to affect everyone’s daily lives, regardless of social class, age or race. Here in Milan, the everyday cheek-kiss greetings and salutations have been replaced by cautious glances and obsessive cell phone scrolling. The daily rituals have been interrupted by an invisible enemy, one that at times may have felt made-up but has proven to be menacing.
It was January 31 when the first cases of the Covid-19 virus were detected in Italy; from that day onwards, a whirlwind of events followed, including denials, worrisome newspaper headlines, and seemingly speculative social media updates that all took control of our decisions and sent us into a wondering daze. That all ended on February 22, when the entire region of Lombardy was declared a red zone, and Milan came to a standstill.
The first official measures took place during the last days of fashion week, when the city was more alive than ever and the final few events marked those moments of change in between quick handshakes and heartfelt hugs. We all slowly distanced ourselves as much as possible, into what would eventually feel like another dimension. Not long after, from February 24 onwards, Milanese companies gradually began to adopt to "smart working" in an effort to limit contagion and protect the health of their employees; then came the March 11, when the Italian government declared the discontinuation of all commercial activities that were not explicitly necessary and, consequently, implemented a mandatory national quarantine. In the span of a week, Milan transformed from the place to be, the city where one can chase dreams and seek out urban adventures, to what has become a motionless, paralyzed lockup.
Quarantine and working from home have their cons, some of which are surely worrying. Here in Italy, for instance, it seems that more time is spent organizing conference calls than actually having them. Not to mention the initial phase of pleasantries, which today is longer than usual, since everyone wants to talk about quarantine survival strategies.
Thankfully, my work has not taken a big blow or undergone many changes, mainly because I follow international projects that have not yet been affected by the slowdown. On the same note, I too am trying to plan ahead for upcoming goals and strategies. It is certainly the time to get things in order, but also the time to think outside of the box. Personally, and to my mother’s delight, I have at least one freshly squeezed juice every day.
To our friends in Europe and across the world, the best thing you can do now is stay at home and wait for the storm to pass.
These are my tips for self-quarantining:
1. Even if you're working at home, you should continue to dress as if you were going to work. Being cozy will not help with productivity.
2. Continue your beauty routines, and if you don’t have one, start.
3. Don’t give up on an espresso and a good orange juice to start your day.
4. Only update yourself on news through official channels.
5. Don’t share any fake news, but do enjoy the latest meme with your friends.
6. Define a goal for when the quarantine has passed.
7. Share your experience through social media, but don’t become a slave to it.
8. If silence comes along, get used to it, and try to get comfortable with your own presence.
9. Refocus your current goals, and set new ones that are even more ambitious.
10. Be compassionate, consider those around you who are less privileged, and check up on your friends who might not have family around.