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How Are You Spending Your Covid-vacation?

At the Firm, we are into week number two of working remotely. The Firm is holding up to the self-imposed stress test well. Since we announced our complete conversion, all the court's have closed except for essential services and some have even shifted into video conferencing of their hearings, though on a greatly reduced basis. Several of our attorneys have successfully engaged in remote mediations, assisted by forward thinking mediators and equally adventurous opposing counsels. We still hold our daily Firm meetings (though now via Zoom) and still help out existing clients and new clients every day as they now come in through our virtual door.

So we are still chugging along just fine, thank you. But still, the lock-down has changed everything up, hasn't it? It makes snow-based cabin fever seem like child's play. We are all challenged in new ways to fill our time. Time that would have been spent running over there, working out over there, shopping over there, visiting over there, is now just spent ... here.

I've been watching fun videos of parents spending some long overdue quality time with their children. So much more time now than a rushed Saturday and Sunday. Hours upon hours of intensive time with the little ones playing in the yard, playing makeup and dressup. I can imagine newly discovered, old activities coming back into fashion. Perhaps some modern form of slide shows to teach the children their family history. Perhaps dust will be blown off of some once-loved board games. Perhaps people might re-learn the rules of Bridge and Pinochle.

On our home front, my wife set up a remote dinner party with the family on Sunday night. Five couples, sheltering in their respective spaces, breaking virtual bread. It was good to catch up. It wasn't the same as having them with us at the dinner table, but it was far more than we otherwise would have had.

Our collective Covid-vacation may be coming to and end, though. It seems that only one week in, pressures are mounting in Washington to require everyone to return to work soon. Our own governor won't order a shut down, instead telling anyone vulnerable to Covid-19 to stay indoors. (I think pretty much everyone is vulnerable to Covid-19.) As always, everything is about choosing your priorities. In the "market is king" argument, the economic engine has a greater value than our collective health. The value of people is to do what we do to generate what money it is that we generate for whomever it is generated. The value of people is not to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Know your place.

So we may soon have to return from our voluntary isolation "for the good of the realm." Or we may have to choose a different value and stay at home to better keep the public healthy. But for right now, while this time is maddening, this time is also precious.

So how are you spending your Covid-vacation?

-Michael Manely 

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