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Walter Scott: Changing times as we work from home

Walter Scott is an outdoors enthusiast and freelance writer from Drakesville, Iowa.

Columnist Walter Scott

In the past few months, many of us have had dramatic changes in our lives due to the coronavirus. Some changes are bigger than others.

One thing that has changed at our house is our television viewing habits. Before this all started, my morning routine was to get a cup of coffee and go to the porch with the dog. Billie, the poodle, would do what was necessary and bring me his ball. We would play ball for a while and go back inside to watch the news.

Since the news has become so repetitive and biased lately, more so than usual, we have quit watching it. Instead, when we go inside, I turn the television to the Animal Planet channel. At 6 a.m. a show about different breeds of puppies from birth to placement in their permanent homes is followed by "Dogs 101." This show tells about use and characteristics of different breeds of dogs. Billie loves these shows.

The morning routine now is for me to grab my coffee, go to the porch with the dog. He runs out and does what is necessary and wants back in. If I have neglected to turn the television on, he stares at the blank screen, glancing frequently at me until I turn it on.

When his show starts, I can return to the porch to enjoy my coffee and nature around me. Billie is totally engrossed for an hour. When his shows are over, we can play ball.

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Another change we have made is closing the office. The staff has all been working from home for most of two months. We have found, this works as well as everyone being in the office.

The office served as a central location for everyone to keep their โ€œstuff.โ€ With no office, everyone can keep their โ€œstuffโ€ at home and work on a more independent schedule.

As with most jobs, we have busy times and slow times. We can work at 10 in the evening or Saturday morning. It does not matter as long as the work gets done. During slow times, I can play with dogs, go for a walk, or call turkeys from the porch.

The view from my home office is also better than the one in town. Rather than looking at a row of parked cars with a background of brick building, I am overlooking the lake with a row of baby goslings following their mother and a background of green rolling hills.

It is difficult to guess how long we will have to put up with the pandemic and the associated government-imposed restrictions. People talk of getting back to normal, but I think normal is not going to be the same as before this all started.

We will do and see things differently in the new normal than we did before. I believe much more work will be done from remote locations as people find it more convenient. The new normal will find me enjoying the views of nature more and the dog will be watching television in his spare time.

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Since the routine has changed to work-at-home during the pandemic, Billie the poodle watches Animal Planet each morning.

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