COVID-19 Staff Stories

Varun Jog

The COVID-19 crisis has hit the world like a freight train, disrupting life as we know it at relentless speed, leaving us with little time to react. It’s spared no one, and brought the world together like never before, as we try to come to terms with this new reality, this new ‘normal’. Each one of us has been affected personally, all in different ways.

To be honest, this is not what I had planned for 2020. I’d completed my first full year in Canada in 2019, got a job that I loved, had plans to move to a bigger house and to travel to Europe in May with my wife for our 5th wedding anniversary. This crisis has derailed those plans and served as a timely reminder that there’s only so much we can plan for or control in life. It’s also helped put life into perspective. We often complain about things that seem so trivial now, we take so much for granted, and worry so much about the future that we forget to live in the present.

Personally, it’s been hard, though I am doing things to make it easier. It’s just my wife and me here, all of our family is back in India.  This has left us fighting ‘battles on two fronts’; we lack a strong support system here, and are also worried about our families so far away. We know that it might be a while before we get to see them again with the travel restrictions that are likely to be in place for the next year or more.  Thankfully, everyone is doing fine for now, and we’re also lucky that in 2020, while we maybe thousands of miles away, regular communication is not an issue.

It’s anxiety-inducing reading the news, and being on social media. I’m on Twitter a lot, and I recently made the decision to follow and interact with more with epidemiologists, doctors and smart people with Ph.D.’s who build data models. It’s hard for me to not be on Twitter, but interacting with people who know what they’re talking about, and treat this situation with a sense of calm has really helped to relax me. At the same time, it is equipping me with more knowledge about this pandemic that we’re facing.

I’m also so thankful that I still have a job and a steady source of income. Every day brings heart-wrenching stories of people being laid off or furloughed across the world. For all that I’m anxious about, there are millions of people out there who are facing far worse times than me. I’m fortunate that I work for a company like Delvinia, and can work from home. The transition to working from home has been almost seamless, with only a few minor hiccups along the way. Through this period of working from home, I’ve felt pride and a sense of belonging and togetherness, which is so important at a time like this. There has been constant communication at all levels, including an email every morning and evening from Adam, which has frankly become an integral part of my day and something that I look forward to every time!

While I definitely look forward to getting back to the office and to some sense of ‘normalcy’, I do understand that the current measures are for the best. As mentioned in my opening paragraph, this is an unprecedented situation that has caused the world to come together like never before, and hopefully is just the beginning of some much-needed unity in our increasingly fractured world. As the days go by, each day brings more hope than despair, and I’m confident that we will all come out of this stronger than before.

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