In the previous month’s blog I discussed the current coronavirus situation, and how there’s much that is familiar to me about it, in terms of my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Being fearful of my life getting threatened by exposing myself to public germs and diseases is something I’ve experienced very often throughout my lifetime. Also, in combination with my autism I feel extremely uncomfortable with changes in my normal routine, and currently we’re all being forced to live life a little differently from usual.
However after saying that I must also add that my autism makes me favour a more isolated way of living and working from the comfort of my own home. In fact if I hadn’t become accustomed to living in such a face to face world where travelling is expected every day, I would have chosen to live the way in which I’m having to do now. The only thing that is slightly uncomfortable at the moment is the unpredictability of the whole situation.
Working from home is definitely something that isn’t unfamiliar to me. Due to my extreme meltdowns I experience I’ve been unable to get employed in the traditional way. Yet I’ve always managed to work full time from home by other means.
Since 2011 I’ve been a participant in a memory research study with The University of California, and living in Brisbane means that my dealings with them have almost always been via Skype, in the early hours of the morning my time. For the past few years the vast majority of my media talks have also been international and done over Skype or email. My blogging and public speaking work has rarely been in my local area, so again much of that has been done via Skype or email. Not too long ago I’d have many people tell me how easy I had it because I was ‘only’ at home while I worked. Now all of those people say otherwise!
All those years of having to work that way have enabled me to continue getting just as much work done now as I did prior to lockdown, because I have had to work in a very similar way to this for a decade or so. I’ve also got one very important thing to reassure everyone of if we’re in lockdown for a year or more. Working from home and via computer allows us to develop valuable skills of self-motivation, to not be distracted by the constant leisure of home, and the ability to come up with creative ideas to keep us active and productive.
Currently I’m still doing my Toastmasters and Spanish classes via video link. This does initially feel a little different from attending a class outside of the home. However all those years of doing long distance Skype calls with international universities and media have enabled me to quickly be normalised to the current situation. After more than a month lessons via video link have now become my norm emotionally and psychologically.
Despite the benefits and positivities this current way of life is bringing and introducing me to (as well as everyone else), I do hope this coronavirus epidemic does end as soon as possible. It’s tragic that people and their loved ones are dying as a result of it, and it’s terrible that the human population are living in fear.
I’m hoping that once a vaccine is found which can either eradicate coronavirus (or at the very least weaken the affects of the disease) we can all celebrate the return of our freedom, while keeping hold of everything useful that we’re gathering during this time of withdrawal from our previous way of living life.
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From my personal perspective, everybody has different genetic appearances. No two sets of eyes, mouths or any other physical features look 100% the same. This is even the case with siblings who are monozygotic. So, therefore, identifying facial expressions is just as difficult a task for me as choosing a grain of sand, and then trying to identify that after it has been randomly mixed amongst billions of others in a box is.