Returning to work been a somewhat unexpected journey for the last 3 months, and it continues to be a bit disruptive, and a bit of relief at the same time. The first week in the more-than-familiar office cabin was slightly suffocating. The COVID wave hadn't subsided when we were called back, and there was every reason to feel apprehensive. With just the senior managers and the upper hierarchy called in, the team, people who contribute to the dense headcount at our office was nowhere to be seen.
Just to share some insight about my personal struggles to keep wearing the mask, I have been claustrophobic since I was around 17, and I have been on & off anxiety medications for more than a decade. Being grounded at home due to the pandemic, having just become father to a baby girl, also took a toll in some way though at many levels, I am also thankful for giving me the opportunity to be there when the little monkey was gifted to us.
Back to wearing a face mask for hours, a decision about which I had no second thoughts, I continue to struggle with it, and no matter how hard I try, it does not get easier for me. In the empty cabin, the mask became a lot more palpable. After the first two hours of the morning spent in clearing out the mailbox and sending updates to impatient clients, every time I sat back, the mask felt a lot heavier, like a shield that had been screw-driven into my face, seemingly welded around the ears and upper cheek. Needless to say, working without your usual team interrupting you, giving you a reason to shout a bit, and laughing/giggling during the day's hustle, did not come easy.