Coronavirus diary 20/3/20 – finding new efficiencies


I’ll be blogging my way through the Coronavirus period, with a focus on the psychological impacts and how to keep yourself and the people you care about safe and mentally healthy.

Look after yourself peeps..

Dr Gareth Furber

Did my first full day ‘working from home’ today.

Went pretty smoothly to be honest.

I am having to acquaint myself with the features of a few programs that I haven’t fully explored until now, particularly Microsoft Teams and Zoom. I’ve made a few silly mistakes along the way.

What I’ve noticed however is that the discomfort associated with having to do things differently is quickly giving way to a sense of achievement of finding new ways to do things. It only takes a few stuff-ups of trying to organise an online meeting or set up a teleconference, before you start to get the hang of it.

I suspect that across the university, staff and students are all being forced to learn in greater depth the systems they’ll need to keep functioning: FLO, Microsoft Teams, Webex, Zoom etc. It is one the strange benefits of being forced to work in a different way.

The biggest challenge of today has been that I’ve moved a lot less than I normally would.

On a typical day, I’d catch the bus or ride to work which provides some activity. Then I would use my standing desk at work or do lectures meaning I’d spend more time standing. Today however, I have been on my arse for the majority of the day. As the weeks progress I will need to find new routines to replace the physical activity I am losing or else said arse will get larger. I am contemplating a morning walk each day to the supermarket to get a few items. The round trip would be about 40 minutes. I can also then spend a bit of time wrestling with old people for toilet paper.

Then during the day I might have to look into ways to break up my sitting time. You’ve probably heard the recommendation to break up sitting time countless times. The mental metric I use to know that it is time for me to get up and move is that I am staring blankly at my computer screen without any kind of action

When you get up from sitting at the computer, try to go somewhere:

  • with some nature (trees, plants, non-dangerous animals)
  • with some fresh air
  • where you can focus your eyes on distant objects, not close-up objects
  • that makes you feel peaceful

Look after yourself everyone. I’ll be back next week for some more Coronavirus diary blogging!

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