How I Spent my Coronavirus Vacation

Thanks to the COVID-19 shutdown — or as I like to call it, The Great Hiatus — my family and I have been practicing social distancing as best as we can. We go to the grocery store only when we need to, we only get carry-out from restaurants, and I haven't been to my favorite coffee shops in two weeks.

However, I still go to work at my regular office, which is a coworking space inside a shopping mall. The mall itself is mostly deserted, with just a few people walking around, even though many of the businesses are closed.

The coworking space, Neoware Studios, is officially closed, although a few of us have keys, which let us raise and lower the security gate at the front of the space. The gate is a transparent, heavy-duty plastic garage door that lets us see people, but unlike the zoo, they can't stick their fingers inside. When we shut it, we have our own private work bubble where people can look in, but they can't actually breathe their germs on us.

For the last few days, everyone else has decided to work from home, so I've basked in the luxurious solitude of having an entire 5,500 square foot office to myself. And while I've worked, I've also tried to keep myself amused. Here's a diary of a few of the things I did yesterday.

10:17 AM: Showed up for work because I'm my own boss and no one can tell me what to do.

10:18: Checked my email to see what my clients wanted me to do.

10:20: What's happening on Facebook?

10:23: Is it lunchtime yet?

10:24: I have to write a few client articles today, so I'd better get started.

10:25: What's happening on Facebook?

11:19: Is it lunchtime yet?

12:00 PM: One client article done. What's happening on Facebook?

12:08 PM: Peed with the door open. I never get to do this at home. I can do it here since the bathroom is in the back where no one can see. It's a wonderful feeling of freedom.

12:10: Received an email from the Neoware owners reminding me they have a video surveillance system installed, and could I please close the door from now on?

12:14: Pranced around the empty space, singing "I feel pretty, oh so pretty" at the top of my lungs. A family outside the gate applauds my performance, but refuse to slide any money under the door.

12:57: Finished another client article. What's happening on Facebook?

1:00: Lunchtime, finally. I brought a sandwich from home, plus a beer. Nothing beats day drinking in the office.

1:30: Nap time. I probably should have skipped the beer until I got home. We have a couch in the back, and I stretched out and fell asleep listening to my favorite Sherlock Holmes podcast.

2:17: Reenacted the "dancing to Bob Seger" scene from "Risky Business." I wisely left my pants on. No one needs to see that.

2:30: Printed out a sign on the printer: "Puppies available for adoption." Pretended to act like an excited puppy whenever anyone walked by.

2:37: Received an email from the Neoware owners. "Clean that up! Bad boy! Bad! We do that outside!"

3:07: A family tried to adopt me, which was nice, but the little boy looked like an ear puller, so I said "no, thank you."

3:32: Grew bored with being a puppy. Printed a sign that said "Feed the bear: $10." Whenever someone slid the $10 under the door, I slid back $5 with directions to the Chick-fil-A in the food court.

4:22: I can only eat so many chicken nuggets. Started giving directions to the ice cream place in the food court with specific instructions on how to make a chocolate peanut butter malted milkshake.

4:47: Argued with an old lady who says bears don't drink milkshakes. She was rude, so I climbed onto my tiny circus bicycle and rode into the back room.

4:48: Ran into the couch on my tiny bicycle. The couch and I have some unfinished business. Nap time again.

5:53: Wow, I really must have needed the sleep. Self-isolation or not, I need to quit watching old Baywatch reruns until 2 AM. Then maybe I wouldn't get to work so late either. Nah, that can't be it.

6:30: Another client article finished. I know it's past normal working hours, but this is what happens when you come in to work two hours later. Plus it's not that often I get to have this place to myself.

6:42: Text my wife and ask her if I can have a sleepover here.

6:45: Apparently, "grown-ass men do not have sleepovers" and I'm supposed to get my "man-child butt back home because it's almost time for dinner."

6:48: I'm leaving only because I want to, not because she told me to.

Photo credit: Erik Deckers

My new humor novel, Mackinac Island Nation, is finished and available on Amazon. You can get the Kindle version here or the paperback version here.