Moss and ferns growing on the branch of an old dogwood tree in my neighborhood.
Photo taken yesterday while walking the dogs.
We've entered our tenth week of staying at home/social distancing. While I'm still getting my regular salary, my husband has lost 3/4 of his. Half of that wasn't his choice, since he has a small business setting up and servicing aquariums and several of those are in nursing homes, hospitals, and schools--all places he couldn't go to right now if he wanted to. The other half is income from a pet store job he's had for over 20 years. He's the local aquarium expert and manages that section of the business at the store. He's an hourly paid worker there.
For the past 10 weeks, he's chosen to work very, very few hours at the pet store. The current owner has left it up to him to do as much or as little as he wants to. In fact, the owner, John, has been meeting Gregg up there hours before the store opens three days a week and letting him in so he can work on the tanks and take care of the animals without customers around. Altogether, he's working less than 10 hours a week as opposed to his normal 32.
His (our) dilemma is this: when should he go back to his normal schedule at the store? Our state is opening back up even though cases of Covid-19 are still rising. As some of you know, Gregg only has one lung, the result of cancer almost 10 years ago. That automatically makes him more vulnerable to a respiratory virus, despite the fact that he's reasonably healthy otherwise. But on the other hand, it's been 10 weeks, and while cases in our county and state are still adding up, it's not crazy out of control....not yet, anyway. Probably because of people like us, who are trying hard to do the right thing and stay at home. How long should that continue, though? It's not like the virus is going away anytime soon. In fact, I fear a second wave this fall that may make it crucial to lockdown again. If that's the case, we're going to need income between now and then to prepare. We haven't suffered any financial hardship so far, but we're hardly wealthy and sooner or later we will. Gregg also feels weird about the fact that so many people are resuming their jobs and activities yet we're still staying at home.....are we crazy? Is good hand washing, wearing a mask, and standing at least 6 feet away from others when in public enough to protect ourselves now? Or is going out now riskier than ever because of an unmerited sense of security?
This is the problem we're pondering, when to resume a more normal work schedule. Neither of us know what to think. What do you think? I'd love some outside perspective on this.