COVID19 Work

Day 114: Here We Are

July 7, 2020

So. Here we are.

There is a limit to what I feel comfortable sharing here with respect to work, but I feel it is safe to note that the high local (South FL) load of COVID-19 virus is impacting my day to day work operations to a significant degree, and I see no end in sight. From a clinical standpoint, it hasn’t been so bad; transitioning to telemedicine was actually much easier than expected. From a program director standpoint (50% of my job), it has been incredibly stressful.

There are constant questions, mini (and maxi) crises, and everything is covered in a layer of uncertainty because NO ONE (definitely including me!) has done this before.

All of that while nothing else has slowed down. My job wasn’t exactly easy street to begin with. And I still have to do all of the things I would have had to otherwise (clinically + otherwise). It is just . . . wearing on me.

ALL this complaining and I am one of the incredibly lucky ones to have reliable in-home childcare throughout. (If I didn’t, I am quite certain I would have had to take a leave of sorts including a step down from my leadership role. Why me and not Josh? $$$). See: Deb Perelman‘s recent NYT Op-Ed, though most of you probably already have!).

PS: I did transition yesterday to an N95 which I was provided while seeing patients on one of our units. Very happy about that.

Well. I have a giant checklist of GME things to work on today. I will be doing it at home, so here’s to a focused day.

OH. We cancelled our Keys trip. (LOOK AT THE RECENT REVIEWS – OMG, I feel like I dodged a bullet). So . . . Staycation it is. (Unless one of our coworkers gets COVID-19 and we have to cover. Or we get COVID-19 and have to lie around miserable for some period of time with no childcare. Because I am just waiting for that shoe to drop.)


Enough whining.

One thing, one day at a time. Maybe one hour at a time today.

Beginning with:
Workout #45 (Booty)


(Because I know things have been getting a little dark, I am hereby promising some more fun posts on the horizon: Beachbody progress update, wardrobe update, maybe a bullet journal mini-tutorial series . . . any specific requests?)


  • Reply KGC July 7, 2020 at 6:24 am

    I’m sorry that things have gotten so bad in FL. I am basically just horrified every time I read the news about certain states and am increasingly glad that my mid-Atlantic home appears to be populated by many people who get it and take precautions. On my rare trip to Target or a grocery store, I have yet you see someone NOT wearing a mask and our state’s numbers continue to decline…but I’m terrified they’ll rise as things continue to reopen (even though I know some degree of reopening is necessary economically!). I hope you and your family (and nanny!) continue to stay healthy, and I also hope that despite the job stress that people are at least being somewhat understanding about all of the uncertainty and lack of answers even from people in leadership since…this is just totally unknown territory.

    As for post suggestions, I’ll put in a plug for a wardrobe update! Would love to see the results of your consultation but also to know in general how many clothes you own. If quarantine has taught me anything, it’s that I don’t need to own nearly as much as I do and I have consequently purged a lot. I think it is unlikely I will ever go back to the office 5 days a week after this so I also just need fewer work clothes. I’d love for you to write about your experience with the consultation, her advice, and see what you got!

  • Reply CBS July 7, 2020 at 6:35 am

    I’d love a book feature – what are your kids reading and loving? What books have you bought and enjoyed in an effort to diversify your bookshelf?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger July 7, 2020 at 7:12 am

      Currently LOVING The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas! Highly recommend if you haven’t already read!

      • Reply CBS July 8, 2020 at 8:16 am

        Oh it’s so good!

  • Reply Rachel S July 7, 2020 at 7:38 am

    We’re doing a staycation next week. We have the past few years anyway, but this year we will be even more at home. Normally we try to go to a few local/tourist things that are more difficult to schedule during “normal” life, but not this year. Our kids are 4 and 2, and have been mostly at home this whole time, so our plan is to do extra/epic at-home activities. We’re thinking along the lines of full-basement fort, whole-house hot lava, movie marathon day, epic play-doh session, etc. We haven’t planned it all, but I’m kind of excited to PLAY with my kids more 🙂

    I’d love a post about all your stationery and planner supplies and how you have it organized! Wardrobe update will be fun, too, especially since you just refreshed it!

    • Reply Kylie July 7, 2020 at 9:57 am

      Whole-house hot lave sounds brilliant. Gonna do that tomorrow with my girls! Thanks for the idea!!

  • Reply HeatherD July 7, 2020 at 8:55 am

    I would love to you do a bujo post! I have learned a lot from your approach to planning. I used to bujo (or more precisely a personalized modified bujo), now I have a weekly planner because I like the structure. However, I find myself with a backup notebook basically bujo-ing on the side!

  • Reply Linda July 7, 2020 at 9:11 am

    I’m so sorry about all your stress! It sounds so hard. I think of you when I read the news about Florida. You have so much on your plate right now, have you considered taking a break from podcasting? (Only if it feels like one more thing you have to do on your day off and not something that brings you joy.)
    I would also be interested in a blog post about your wardrobe consult and some details of what the organize 365 has been like. Take care of yourself!

  • Reply Hannah N. July 7, 2020 at 9:12 am

    I feel this – I am a CPA and this year has just been one non-stop tax season. It absolutely feels overwhelming with no end in sight. Definitely have perspective in that both my husband and I still have our jobs/incomes but still feeling completely worn down by it all. Hang in there!

    • Reply CNM July 7, 2020 at 11:30 am

      OMG My spouse is a CPA, with a solo practice (he has one employee but it’s mostly just him) and he is reaching a breaking point. Many people think that this tax deadline extension means he has less stress but it is really the opposite. Add to that the constant questions about the various COVID tax legislation and … it is just a lot. A lot of luck and positive vibes to you!

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger July 7, 2020 at 11:46 am

        OMG i believe it!!!

      • Reply Dana July 7, 2020 at 4:33 pm

        My husband too, I think not having the down time between busy seasons is really going to be difficult for morale and heath over the whole next year.

      • Reply Hannah N. July 8, 2020 at 10:21 am

        Yes! All of this! On top of the normal tax compression work, helping clients navigate the constantly-changing guidelines for PPP and other SBA loans has been brutal. I’m the tax manager in a small firm (just the two partners and myself plus part-time admin help) so can commiserate on not having anyone else to delegate to. Thank you and I hope your spouse gets at least some slowdown after next Wednesday!

  • Reply omdg July 7, 2020 at 9:32 am

    Deb Perelman HAS a nanny and she still feels that way. Can’t imagine the difficulties if I didn’t have childcare, or if I had more than one child. I do feel like I’ve been less productive in the CV era because of anxiety over the virus and my workplace’s handling of it, having my husband home all them time (he only wants to talk to me when I’m deeply engrossed in some cognitive task), and having to help our AP navigate the online school system (Luca did the school part, I did the supplemental materials and overall schedule).

    • Reply Jane July 7, 2020 at 11:00 am

      Deb said in her column that the nanny has not actually been providing childcare for them since March, even though the family has been paying the nanny throughout this time.

    • Reply Amelia July 7, 2020 at 11:11 am

      Deb has a nanny who hasn’t worked since March (but she still pays). I’m a New Yorker too and haven’t seen my housekeeper or had any child care help since March either. While I certainly don’t hold it against anyone who still has child care, I am surprised to see people in the new epicenters still having people work in their homes since that was definitely not the case here.

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger July 7, 2020 at 11:44 am

        that’s a fair point. Yet restaurants and camps and classes and everything else is still open. There may be stay-at-home orders coming (which I feel is appropriate) but the last time they exempted day care centers and childcare providers for ‘essential’ workers which Josh and I are both considered to be. (and we are both still providing a lot of patient care both in person and through tele.) Luckily our nanny is in the same age category we are and otherwise healthy. She is definitely aware of the risk we could bring home COVID. I truly hope it doesn’t happen or that if it does our kids are young enough to be lousy transmitters and (hopefully) wouldn’t give it to her.

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger July 7, 2020 at 11:46 am

          We did suspend cleaning services (and still paid) while the stay at home orders were in place and I anticipate will be doing that again (which means . . . i NEED to clean this weekend! though if I can blast a podcast and josh does something with the kids while i do it, doesn’t sound half bad . . .)

          • Anna July 7, 2020 at 11:26 pm

            I’ve seen a mix with my patients. I have a fair amount of patients who are watching their grandchildren because their children are essential workers and they can’t afford a nanny (ie their children have working wage jobs such as grocery store worker or post office worker for instance). That’s not ideal either but there aren’t a lot of options. (Supposedly there are enrichment centers that the kids could be dropped off to but everyone has been super skeptical of putting their kids in with a bunch of other kids of essential workers).
            I wonder how other countries are making this work.

    • Reply Jessica July 9, 2020 at 5:37 pm

      LOL my husband only wants to talk t me when I’m “deeply engrossed” in a cognitive task too. Seems to be his ideal time to talk about when he should work out, if we paid certain bills, how we should handle child care, etc.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns July 7, 2020 at 9:53 am

    I’m glad that Deb Perelman’s article is getting some attention. I did not read it closely enough (kind of skimmed it) to realize she has a nanny. My heart goes out to parents who don’t have that/can’t afford a nanny. I am so so so glad our son is in daycare. My husband and I could not care for him and keep up with our jobs. I have way too many conference calls and 2yo’s don’t understand needing to be quiet! When he was home with us for 7 weeks, I could only take calls during his nap time which was only 1.5 hours at that time so I was severely limited on when I could take calls. It was ok for 7 weeks. It would not be ok long term.

    I am sorry things are so bad in FL. I think of you and other friends in FL when I see the news reports. I am thankful that I live in a state that is more blue-leaning, especially in our metro area. Masks are required and people follow the rules, probably because many of us have Nordic ancestry and we like rules/tend to follow them. So things are going ok here but I am just waiting for the cases to spike from the protests in early June… I live across from a hospitalist and when the protests were happening (which we all supported), he said he feared for what his job would be like in July. 🙁

    Hang in there. Sending you hugs! You are a strong, capable physician and you will get through this!

    • Reply BPS July 7, 2020 at 4:56 pm

      Because y’all have Nordic ancestry in your state, y’all follow rules? I don’t get this logic and it borders on implicit racism. A lot of the states having surges right now – Southern CA, TX, AZ, FL have very diverse populations from around the globe living there. Southern CA and the big cities in TX have a ton of immigrants from various East Asian countries, many of which have had the strictest lockdowns in the world during COVID, and also are societies have very particular rules. By that logic, those areas not have big outbreaks due to many folks being rule followers/hailing from such places?

      My point is, it’s not fair to generalize race/ethnicity being a reason for a breakout or a controlled response in any U.S. state when the reality is, it is a failure of both current national leadership in this country plus decades of de-prioritizing things like public health, health care, etc. Sure, many blue leaning Governors have done a much better job, but largely this is a case of stuff running downhill (including the poor national leadership) for those of us living in places like FL or TX right now.

  • Reply Irena July 7, 2020 at 10:28 am

    Sarah, i am a long time reader, but rarely comment here. Thank you so much for sharing your ups and downs, it really helps going through the struggles knowing that i am not the only one experiencing them! I am a research scientist, and yes i feel extremely privileged that i can keep my job and can transition to a lot of writing right now (research reports, articles, grant proposals, etc) but i do worry what would happen with the research funding overall, our lab, staff, hospital, etc because the research we do is not related to COVID. Our schools are supposed to open normally in the fall, but lets say if they close again (for an extended winter break, who knows?), who would step down from work to watch the kids – me or my husband, and why is it mostly me? All these questions keep running through my head, and yes when i have my “down” times, i too, try to get through it one-hour-at-a-time.

  • Reply Sophia July 7, 2020 at 10:50 am

    The Perelman article is spot on. This situation has been a nightmare for working parents. We are much luckier than most in still having jobs, having some flexibility and having $$ to find last minute help (college students) to do remote learning with our older 2 kids. It is a disaster for middle and lower income parents and will push many families into poverty/homelessness. It’s heartbreaking and maddening that this country has chosen bars and salons over families.

  • Reply TAS July 7, 2020 at 10:51 am

    Yes please with the bujo. Your planning process seems to have changed – new tools, etc. any and all planning posts are welcome!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger July 7, 2020 at 11:50 am

      It has changed superficially but really the process is essentially the same. Some steps are no longer needed (date night planning – what is that?! lol.)

  • Reply Kersti July 7, 2020 at 11:02 am

    I would like to hear more about your goal setting process. I actually achieved two big goals this year (despite, or maybe even because of, COVID) and am ready to choose my next adventure…but I’m not sure where to go from here.

  • Reply Jenn July 7, 2020 at 11:03 am

    Wardrobe update!! 🙂

  • Reply Amanda July 7, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Need more cookies? 😉
    It’s scary to see FL numbers. I’m staying in my own “bubble” – i.e., limited activities and errands, masks wherever I go, and seeing that others are doing the same. In some ways the FL numbers seem so far away from me even though I am in FL.
    Posts about your planners, books, skincare updates, wardrobe – any/all of it!

  • Reply Ruth Cuddyer July 7, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    I would also like to see posts on the wardrobe update. Especially if there were any discussions on how to pick clothes based on how formal vs casual your workplace is. This is relatively easy for men to figure out, but I find it very difficult to figure out if certain clothing pieces or combinations are business casual or business (one step down from business formal). For example, I’m aiming for the suit with no tie level of formal, but have no idea what that looks like for women. Is a cotton shell under a blazer too casual?

    The other area I would love to see more posts is goal setting. Not the goals necessarily, but the process of picking a yearly goal and then turning that into monthly or weekly actions. Or even the process of picking the bigger goals for a family or household. I have a hard time even identifying what makes sense as a goal vs a wish.

    Also, I have really appreciated your posts. It has been a tremendous comfort to read them every day and see that the struggles we are facin ggv are common across the country.

  • Reply Irene July 7, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    We don’t have child care at the moment and yep, I am the one to cut back instead of my husband because $$$. I work in the public health field and he’s in the private sector in an unrelated field. I am actually some one who enjoys the addition time with my kids but as this drags on and on I wonder what message it sends to my daughter. It’s always mom who cuts back you know? My career is essentially optional, which is a huge privilege during these hideous uncertain times. But – I still feel like my career is important and it’s hard to fit all those thoughts together in my head on any given day.

    It also says a lot about the what our country actually values when, during a pandemic, my value is still less than half my husband’s despite the fact that I actually have more post graduate training than he does. Ugh. I’m just cranky today.

  • Reply Anne July 7, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    I guess I’m sadly in the minority of having the $$$ career over my husband. And it’s not even close 🙂 Without childcare, DH (he’s an RN) is working less days while I wfh full-time for now. I would never be the one to take a step back, not just from money and heath insurance point of view but also my career is not easy to stop/start. One of the great benefits of nursing is the flexible scheduling (although in CA we are not too far behind FL so things could get crazy quick for him). It’s sad to hear so many women needing to step back from their careers.

    Glad to see you continue with BB 80DO! I’m running every day so only doing the arms/legs videos, skipping all the cardio.

  • Reply Coco July 7, 2020 at 5:48 pm

    can I join your venting group? I feel the same. Cases are skyrocketing and it seems the gov doesn’t know what to do about it. My work load also increased a lot and no help for 3 months, so very challenging. but i know i’m the lucky kind that got a good job, and working to help people, which help me to put into perspective during hard times.
    hang in there!

    bullet journal tutorial would be nice.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger July 7, 2020 at 6:51 pm

      Oh man … I’m sorry you are seeing higher numbers too! Vent away!!!

  • Reply Jessica July 9, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    Hi! Ha ha ha, this resonates so well with me too – “nothing else has slowed down.” This is totally the case with me too. In fact life has accelerated – my husband & I both work in industries where our work has increased as a result of COVID. We have a 2 year old. We are in NYC. After going without childcare we had to add it, was not sustainable. But now we are almost out of back up days. Life is supposed to be heading back to normal, but we are a long way from normal, and without many of the supports we used to have. It’s tough! I hear you.

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