A daily fly-on-the-wall blog about running a legal business during the Covid-19 crisis.
By Dónall Breen - 17 March 2020
We are now in this strange limbo where the denial is indeed eroding but what it leaves behind is not so much anger - but bafflement. Lawyers don't like to be baffled, this is very new territory for us.
Our working from home systems are quickly established. We all tended to work flexibly anyway so it was more small adjustments, like informing the dog that he will now have to share his house with us more often. At 9.30am we all log in to a video call, 22 faces far too close to webcams talking about next steps and practical issues. And then, nothing. Bafflement.
We all independently stare inboxes as it dawns on us that this is the new normal. For those who live with friends and family, their company is small respite from the idea that a whole chunk of one's social life - the workplace - is gone.
As today is St Patrick's Day, I don a novelty green hat for the briefing. A passing lorry driver beeped his horn and gave me a wave through the window. No parades, no cheeky midday Guinness, no flying home for a weekend of craic. But a friendly little wave helped me realise that there is still a whole world out there, even if it's self-isolating right now. Then I realise he wasn't waving at me but angrily beeping at the car in front and shaking his fist in anger. Oh London, never change.
Over the coming hours the green shoots of a new normal begin to a emerge. An afternoon coffee break is arranged to take place by video conference. Before shooting off an email to a colleague I think twice and pick up the phone. Then I do something unthinkable. I turn on my webcam for a brief, internal chat. Bafflement as the partner stares back at me. We then quickly realise this little slice of human contact is going to be necessary. And I really need to shave.
So, as we work our way through the stages of grief, mourning for the world as it was prior to the global pandemic, it is not anger we are feeling here. And thank goodness for that.
If you would like to read our Covid diaries starting from day 1 please click here.