Life in a Time of Pandemic: Making an Office & Other Adjustments

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As mentioned previously when I used this title, if for any reason you need a break from mentions of the covid-19 epidemic and surrounding public health crisis, feel free to skip this post.  I want all my readers to take care of themselves.  That said, this post is more about turning my spare room into a proper office than anything else.

So I mentioned in my last post that I had this wonky desk plus boxes and laptop stands set up for my home office space.  It was not particularly ergonomically comfortable.  So I ordered an honest to goodness standing desk.  I’ve wanted one for a while, but wasn’t willing to spend money on one yet.  But I found one at a decent price point at the right height and decided it was worth the investment if I was going to be standing at it for 40 hours a week at minimum.

For perspective, this was my cobbled together set up:

Laptop with spare monitor and keyboard on box and two laptop stands.

And for fun, this is Julio sitting on the box containing my new desk while it waited for assembly.  And yes, being up there did manage to get him into trouble, but no he did not manage to knock over the box.

Adapting our spare room into a proper office involved more than just the desk.  The spare room has always been at least half storage.  I’ve been working for several years to sort boxes and find homes for or get rid of as much as possible so it will all fit in our apartment without being in a stack of boxes, but I’m not completely done yet, so this was the space I had to contend with.

Leading up to desk delivery I did some more work in that direction, and managed to get it so I could keep both the standard height desks in addition to the new standing desk, and even regain a bit of floor space.  There was a good bit of shuffling around to get there though.

Here’s a bit of a photo tour of the space in progress:

And the final outcome:

Overall, I’m very pleased with my new desk.  It’s the right height, I’m able to store some things under it to reclaim floor space, and it fits my scanner (which means I might actually use it more).

The desk has been working great for having both my work desktop set up with dual monitors and my properly functioning pen tablet, having my laptop available for conference calls and video streaming, and the ability to swap one of the monitors to be a second screen for my laptop on evenings and weekends.

I’m very pleased with the final outcome.  (This picture was before I hooked up the desktop, the laptop is where the second monitor ended up.)

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The desk set up isn’t the only adjustment I’ve had to make as the stay at home orders have stayed in effect and CDC guidelines have been updated.  I spent some time making homemade cloth masks for my family and I.  I think they’ve turned out fairly well, but getting used to wearing them whenever we’re out and at risk of running into other humans has been interesting.  The size I made works great for me, but isn’t quite right for my husband (apparently the beard required extra room), or my parents (I mailed them a few).  I’ve since made my husband a slightly larger one (haven’t heard a review yet) and I made my father some significantly larger ones (haven’t mailed yet).  I talked my mother through some ways to adjust the over the ear elastic to make hers more comfortable.

Just for fun, here are the first two masks I made from the leftovers of my Halloween costume and a few of my mask fashion statements over the last month.

I hope you are all staying safe and well in these strange and trying times.

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