COVID-19 Staff Stories

Daniel Brousseau

To say that our lives will never be the same is far from being a far-fetched prediction. Our lives will change and for the most part, for the better.

Needless to say, our morning routine has changed considerably.  Humm…what to wear…to go nowhere.  Old t-shirts are making a comeback. Who needs to shave … so what if I look like a Neanderthal? My wife … my princess … has now adopted the “Fiona” relaxed look.

My mornings always start with reading Adam’s daily updates.  He keeps us up to date on several fronts.  I always look forward to these daily capsules. Workwise, working from home has its ups and downs.  The dining room, kitchen, living room and bathrooms have become “my” office.  All days look the same.  Working hours are unstructured and often extended.

Making sure the house is quiet when I need to make calls can be challenging.  Closing doors often doesn’t help when my wife decides to binge-watch episodes of “This Is Us” or to make homemade pasta using all sorts of electrical machinery.

I have probably spoken to Rosalie during the last 4 weeks more often than in the past two years.  Keeping track of projects and sending proposals is pretty much the same.  The Delvinia team has been fully operational and cooperative and our dealings with the Toronto office have been smooth and seamless. It’s “business as usual” as far as we are concerned. Our communications with our clients or potential clients are now a lot more personal.  We now enquire about their health and that of their loved ones, their safety and how they are coping with this crisis.  Hopefully, this “new” approach will be maintained even when all of this blows over.

When lunch time comes around, we turn on the TV and religiously watch Mr. Legault’s (our Premier in Quebec) daily address to the people.  Mr. Legault and Dr. Arruda (the province’s national director of public health) have gained “rock star” status since the beginning of this crisis.  The whole province is now baking pastel de nata since Dr. Arruda announced he would be spending his weekend making these famous Portuguese tartelettes. 

When it comes to family time, of course, technology has replaced family gatherings and casual encounters.  All excuses are good … sharing some family news around a glass of wine, brunching with family members around a glass of wine, cooking tutorials around a glass of wine, how to help your daughter get rid of a mouse that decided to camp in her kitchen … around a glass of wine.  However, like most of people I am sure, trying to get neophytes to use this video technology can be challenging … “Your camera is not turned on Mom”, “I can see your sister but can’t hear you” … and so on.

Taking on the task of completing a huge complex jigsaw puzzle has helped us pass the time.  It’s our main activity between 6:30-8:00pm … around a glass of wine before dinner.  Netflix has become our new best friend. “Just one more episode” has become a key phrase in our household. And to eliminate all those calories, I discovered my elliptical machine and remembered that I loved the mountain mode.  I hope I will keep this good habit a couple of days per week after the crisis.

Trips to the grocery store and drugstore have become an “event”. Oh what to wear?!

Every Tuesday and Thursday, I go to the office to take care of our plants and  to scan all the checks and send them to finance in Toronto.

Grooming has been another issue we needed to deal with.  I have become my wife’s hair coloring expert.  Hiding those unsightly roots was urgent.  As far as I’m concerned, my hair is not an issue … I will just have to do a comb over!

Weekends are challenging as well.  Walking around the lake is one of our favorite activities and even when it rains, we need to go out.  However, I must say that one the benefits of this pandemic is that we have nothing an no one waiting for us.  So, instead of doing very quick one-hour walks and back to our activities, we leave for hours walking in our neighborhood, enjoying the landscape and talking about … the next wave of COVID!

It could be very easy to procrastinate at home, but I try to resist. It’s the first time in my life that my income tax is done before the end of April.  My garage is clean, my shed is clean, the rest of the house is clean.  I do my Mom’s grocery shopping every week.

But now, it’s time to get back to the office. My wife has some projects of re-painting the house, and I miss my daughters and grandchildren!

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