I have many relatives in the US and Europe, from whom I had been hearing great concern about the rapid spread of the virus. As soon as the first cases arrived in Argentina, we were alerted at home and took the necessary precautions.
As a technology company, a few days before the mandatory quarantine at CABA, Globant employees were all moved to work from home without any issues, and since then, we have taken all possible precautions. We did not personally go to any stores, but instead used the online supermarket. I didn’t order food delivery, we cooked everything at home. And so, the months passed by. However, one day, despite all the cautions we had taken, I woke up with a fever. Some of the things I’ve learned since then…
1- Nothing seems serious until it affects you closely
“It’s probably just another virus that’ll be gone by tomorrow,” I thought. But after 24 hours in bed feeling really bad, I decided, with great fear, to take the PCR test. The long wait for the result was filled with uncertainty, anguish, and anxiety. Now that I have gone through this, I advise against seeing COVID as something that can’t affect you. The saying “the virus is everywhere” can be literal. I don’t suggest being alarmed, but be prepared.
2- Never forget to think about others
Because I belong to the low-risk group (due to age and health background), before contracting the virus my thinking about it was rather relaxed. But when the virus arrives, it not only impacts you, but also potentially impacts the health of all those who were in contact with you. In my case, elderly residents who had used the same elevator as me, the building manager, my babysitter (and their families), not to mention my family at home. This motivates me to reinforce the importance of precautions, especially for anyone in contact with risk groups.
3- The “positive” result opens new decisions and challenges
When I received the positive COVID result, new questions arose on how to face what was coming: notifying the health insurance company (who might admit me), notifying my neighbors in the building, and work, my children, my parents…
But it was time to act, so after calling all of the doctor friends I had made in recent years, I confirmed the importance of strictly following my city’s protocol and communicating my illness status to everyone.
The medical service advised I self-isolate in my room, and the rest of my family would stay inside the house for 14 days. We agreed with the building administration that the manager would leave delivery orders at the door of my apartment so that no one in my family would come in contact with the elevator door.
4- Love is stronger
For my husband, the initial shock was strong. From one moment to the next he had to take charge of the house and our three children, and with the fear of possibly having the virus but not presenting with symptoms.
My children, of different ages (two, eight, and ten), were processing the news at different paces, in different ways. It was strange for them to know that I was “on the other side of the wall” and they couldn’t touch or hug me.
But even when everything seems complicated, it is possible to see the light. As I felt better, we found creative digital ways to overcome their fears and cope with the distance (they were a few meters away, but it felt like seas!). Lots of online Pictionary, Tutti Frutti, Battleship, Bingo, etc.
5- Globant and its BeKind value
Telling my work was not only easy, but also very comforting. First, my direct POD colleagues empathized and made themselves fully available to continue my tasks, without impacting my teams. But also People, from my Champion to the CPO and a Founder. They contacted me with the company’s infectious disease specialist, emotionally subdued me at such a complex time, and offered me help in different ways to make these weeks easier. And that’s how it was, thanks to them.
In difficult times, being part of a company that relies on these types of values is an invaluable differential that one doesn’t even consider until one experiences it firsthand.
6- Isolation, a time to reflect
Of course, we all know that every crisis brings new opportunities:
Time to measure the importance of the relationships that we build. My family and friends helped me a lot; they sent homemade food on several occasions, gifts for my children, virtual pampering, and great little gestures that helped it to be less difficult day by day.
Time to appreciate having a comfortable home to be in; being able to isolate myself at home was a great blessing.
Time to applaud the strength of my husband and children who were able to modify their doubly isolated routine, from me and the rest of the world, on the other side of the door during these two long weeks.
Time to appreciate my job, because while feeling better (even though isolated) I was able to resume my tasks and keep my mind moving, which undoubtedly helped me have a better time and reaffirm that I really enjoy doing it.
Now, a few weeks after having overcome the internal walls of my house, I hope that soon the city and country walls will be raised and I can visit those relatives from the US and Europe who informed me about the virus before it reached Argentina, and meanwhile appreciate how much I have. And in the meantime, I invite you to keep looking for creative ways to embrace ourselves and our surroundings, that physical distance may not be real distance and that, instead of counting the days, we make each day count.