COVID-19: first post in this new normal

Long before COVID-19 was a hashtag, work had been slow. To keep my tech up and skills relevant, I’d play (learn!) at work on Free Code Camp or with various tutorial. As work for our group continued to not show its head, I girded my loins and started rebuilding my portfolio.
My original one was, bless its heart, just basic HTML and CSS. I liked keeping it around. It is a great reminder why we use libraries such as ReactJS and static site libraries like GatsbyJS. Oh and to iterate instead of copy/past/edit. Keeping the old portfolio reminded me of the problems that led to better ideas. I will find a way to keep it around the way middle-aged people keep their high school jackets or prom dresses, but I needed to update. Trying to work on a portfolio at work felt like having no faith in my company to bring in more business. I was sure they would, but would it be for the React group I’m in or would it be for the Adobe Enterprise Manager? Or just backend work? Look, Work, I love you but I won’t sit around hoping and be left without a portfolio or the time to work on it. I’ll be subtle, but I can’t put it off.
Yet here we are, all working from home, waiting out COVID-19; for me that means 25% learning something new, 25% reviewing what I know, and 50% portfolio (structure—style and content are for after “work” as they do not pass the tech test for me). While I have not updated the résumé, about, contact, etc. content, I can blog, and the upside of not deploying the site yet is that I can write like no one is reading because no one is and no one can.
My new normal of WFH when the W is minimal, means that I don’t have a feel for a start and stop for the day. I am most productive from 11a to 11p. Do I just make sure eight hours of work happens at some time during the day? How does this work? We had no time to have a meeting (face-to-face or via Teams). What is expected? How do I communicate that I’m keeping myself ready?
This is awful. Awful for everyone. I feel there’s a lot of empathy for fellow employees, our local stores, the recently retired, etc. That’s getting me through this. If I lose my job, I lose my job. I will not lose my empathy for others, my skillset, my desire to make people laugh. This is a virus getting us, not a fascist regime, Aliens giving us the international sign of the doughnut, or an asteroid.

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