In the novel, ‘Severance’, the main character continued working all during the initial stages of a pandemic. She woke up each morning, went into the office and tried to maintain a sense of normalcy in all she did. Even as the office emptied out with more and more getting infected, she still worked. And finally it was just her in a multi-story office building in the middle of Manhattan. When you read things like this, you sort of laugh it off, wondering how someone would really do that when things start getting bad and yet, here I am sitting at my table, working on my laptop day after day in the middle of a pandemic and now you can add the middle of wildfires with most of the West Coast engulfed either in flames or smoke.
My daily todo list still has random items on it, it still has the work I need to finish for a new project or the work needed to keep pushing an existing one forward. I don’t think we really contemplate why we continue to work, I mean the obvious of providing for ourselves and our families seems besides the point right now. For many, there’s a feeling of luck and privilege for having a job when so many don’t, that’s how I feel very often. There’s also this feeling of normalcy, of keeping things going, of getting up each day like it’s just another work day, there’s nothing more about it other than getting the items off the todo list and figuring out what’s next. But what’s next is the larger question, the larger issue. What’s next goes beyond just your next day, your next standup, your next project. It is where the mind needs to be, the plans which need to happen, the future prepared for.