A Year in Lockdown — Part II

A series of long, non-gaming posts. Mostly to just document this extraordinary time. Part I is here.

Life in the Bunker

Continuing from last time– During the spring while the supply chain was stabilizing somewhat– at least it seemed like we weren’t likely to starve in the near term, much of everything else remained in a state of precariousness.

On the work front, management’s initial denialism from January and February was overtaken by the events of lockdown. I make the distinction here between leadership and management. We had plenty of the latter and scant little of the former.

Fortunately, when the lockdowns began rolling out county by county (and thereby potentially impacting our offices and all of the employees differently depending on where they lived), our former leader was recruited back to a temporary position of de facto leadership to help guide our organization through these existentially dangerous straits. A little demonstration of leadership in a crisis goes a long way. Particularly one that remained clear eyed, rooted in factual reality, capable of communicating and cognizant of the fact that human beings were involved in the process.

We found ourselves with a business, far from “essential,” with about two thirds of its employees unable to work. The pandemic and lockdown prevented all but the most rudimentary activities in our offices, and most couldn’t do their work remotely in any case. Temporary layoffs were the order of the day.

The rest of us were desperately trying to work for our customers whose lives and businesses were thrown into chaos as well. It wasn’t even clear how any of our customers were going to survive the disruption (and frankly, whether we were ever going to get paid, and thus whether we would survive in any recognizable form).

Continue reading A Year in Lockdown — Part II

A Year in Lockdown–Part I

A series of long, non-gaming posts. Mostly to just document this extraordinary time.

The Gathering Gloom

It was just about a one year ago when the world here changed. The COVID stay-at-home/shelter-in-place, call it what you will measures began rolling out just about one year ago now, catching many flat footed.

I live and work in Northern California just outside the Bay Area. About a year ago, the Bay Area counties announced their lockdown and surrounding areas were rapidly moving in that direction too. We were expecting something any moment.

We had been following the developing situation for weeks with increasing trepidation. While up north Seattle was becoming a local hotspot, transportation and network connections were distributing COVID globally in now fairly obvious ways, but at the time in ways that certainly didn’t seem direct. From abroad to an elder care home in Seattle seemed pretty indirect and frankly terrifying. There was no good news. Only bad news and worse news.

Continue reading A Year in Lockdown–Part I