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  • Autumn Barker

The COVID-19 Diaries: Get a Haircut. You Will Get Helmet Hair.

Contributed by Jordie R. Orlando


My name is Jordie R. Orlando. I’m a book editor with a family entertainment company. I’ve been working from home and practicing social isolation since March 23.


Prior to COVID-19, I worked in an office Monday through Friday. The team I work with is small, but mighty, and highly collaborative. Unfortunately, it’s even smaller now, due to layoffs brought on by the virus. It was heartbreaking. I miss my coworkers and being in the office more than I could have anticipated. It seems obvious now, but it turns out the people you spend 40+ hours a week with become important to you emotionally and mentally.


I’ve always known I have trouble concentrating, but working from home has made that so abundantly clear. I literally have no idea how to time seems to go so much faster at home. I end up working a lot more hours than usual just trying to catch up. I’m still working on my focus and would be happy to take any tips!


But there are some bright sides. I love being at home with my spouse and dog all day. We’re eating out way less, which has to be healthier, right? (Just ignore all of the snacking that’s also been going on.) I’m spending less money because I’m not mindlessly browsing Target or shopping online for unnecessary items. I definitely don’t miss my commute and I enjoy the extra bit of time for sleeping in!


I try not to linger on the negative thoughts—What if someone I love gets coronavirus? Why can’t you just get your work done? What if I lose my job? Why are you eating this? What if? What if? what if? Television, reading, and gaming have been a much-needed escape. I tend to gravitate to old favorites that I know won’t let me down or bum me out. Star Trek: The Next Generation, for example, provides a hopeful vision of the future of humankind. I finally feel like I have the energy to read the draft of my husband’s novel, which has been sitting on our coffee table for months now (sorry, babe!). And I’ve joined the rest of the world in playing Animal Crossing New Horizons on the Switch.


It would be remiss of me to not mention my friends, too. I’m so grateful that we live in a time when we can easily see and talk to people through our screens. Video calls have made game night more common than it was before we were isolating! But I do miss seeing everyone in person and I look forward to when we can gather to raise a toast to surviving a pandemic.



If I could say one thing to my pre-COVID-19 self, it would be to visit my family more often. My grandmother’s birthday was March 21, so we couldn’t celebrate with a meal around the table like we usually do. Instead, her birthday gift was a pressure-washed driveway. We sang happy birthday outdoors in a circle, each of us six feet apart from each other. I wanted nothing more than to hug her. So, yeah. Visit people as much as you can. Also, get a haircut. All of the salons are closed now and you will get helmet hair.



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