Coronavirus: Affecting Us All In Different Ways

In our previous blog post, we shared some advice on how audit plans and daily activities may need to change due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In light of continuously developing news about Coronavirus, we wanted to share with our subscribers and readers on a more personal level. Yes, The Audit Library is a business, but our purpose is to support the Internal Audit community. We share our experiences with you in the hopes that you find comfort and peace at this difficult time.

Together, we can get through this!

John in New York City

Hello from New York City, which is now being coined the American epicenter of the Coronavirus. While I am extremely thankful my family is healthy, life for us has changed drastically in a short period of time. On March 11th I went to see a production at the Metropolitan Opera (I’m an avid opera fan and a classical singer myself). The next day it was announced that all theaters in NYC were closing their doors until at least April 12. Quickly, businesses began closing and restaurants now only offer delivery.

The state of New York has put us on a “pause” and advised us not to leave our houses except for necessities. So, for the past eighteen days, I have not left my apartment except to go to the grocery store or to go on a socially distanced run. The difficult thing about living in NYC under such circumstances is that the moment I open the door to my apartment I am at a much greater risk. I have no backyard or porch to sit on and get some fresh air. I must trust that the people around me will appropriately abide by the social distancing guidelines. And like any good auditor, I trust, but verify! All that being said, I am in good spirits!

We are also doing our best to support local business and artists during this pandemic. Many of my friends are performing artists who have lost work indefinitely due to theatre closures. Some friends of mine have started a relief fund for artists called The Artist Relief Tree that will provide financial support to artists who have lost their income due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As of today, they have received 3,500 requests and have established a waitlist that includes over 5,000 professional artists. I have gladly donated and volunteered my time to help to support this fund.  Please consider giving, if you are able.

I personally know twelve people who have contracted Coronavirus. Thankfully, most of them are in their late 20s or early 30s and their cases are somewhat mild. However, one of my friends is currently fighting for his life on a ventilator in a New York hospital and sadly, someone living on my street died from the virus yesterday.  So, while the virus may seem a bit abstract to many living in more rural areas of the United States, it is very real in my community.

On the positive side, being quarantined at home has provided an opportunity to connect with many of my friends and family members in a way that we had not connected in the past. Almost every evening I have a video chat with a friend or loved one from around the world. Last night it was virtual cocktails with friends in Cincinnati and the night before was a chance to meet my new foster niece in Louisiana!  I’ve also been using some of this extra time at home to hone my cooking skills and deep clean my apartment.

To be honest, the mental toll of not being able to safely leave my apartment hit me hard during the first few days of quarantine, but I learned to practice some very important self-care, have focused on making The Audit Library even better for you, and have become very resilient.  I look forward to when our country and the world returns to a more normal state of existence, but now I am making the most of this situation!

Olivia in South Carolina

Hello readers, what a whirlwind two weeks this has been! Everyone in my family is dealing with the Coronavirus threat the best we can.

My husband and I have been following the progression of the virus in the news for about the last two months. At first, I was a bit skeptical that this was “the big one.” The news coming out of China seemed similar to past outbreaks of SARS, H1N1, etc. I was cautiously optimistic that it wouldn’t affect us here.

That all changed about a month ago, when news out of Italy became increasingly dire. I’m an avid news buff, and stories of the spread seemed to move faster than I could keep up! An event at my daughter’s school was cancelled on Friday March 6th, and we decided to stay in that weekend. I anticipated that the schools would and should close in an attempt to contain the virus. Then the call came in the following Sunday that the school district was shutting down for two weeks, and that has turned into two months! The teachers quickly put a remote learning plan into action. Extracurriculars were also cancelled for the foreseeable future.

John and I made the call to work from home in isolation. Two days later, my husband started working from home as well. So now, we are all home all the time. We are lucky to have separate work spaces, and a yard to go get a breath of fresh air when we need it. We try to get out and take a walk every day, weather permitting. My neighbors have been very good about giving one another space when passing on our community trails and sidewalks.

We have not been 100% cut off from the world; I go to the grocery store when needed, and we are supporting local businesses by ordering takeout meals. We even picked up some “drive thru” craft beer from a favorite brewery! We know times are tough, and getting tougher. We want our beloved small businesses to be around when this passes!

While we are trying to make the best of a bad situation, the quarantine has affected our lives and will continue to do so. There are a handful of confirmed cases in the greater Charlotte area, which is now under shelter-in-place orders. This just reinforced that we did not overreact when we started to self-quarantine back when many were doubting the seriousness of this virus. My daughter has been incredibly upbeat about this situation. We have been doing lots of cooking and baking projects. We made ice cream and bread from scratch, and have a few more projects in the works. Has anyone coined the phrase “Quarantine 15” yet?!

Though remaining positive that this situation will turn around, I am very concerned about my community. We live in a neighborhood that demographically is older than average, and we do our best to check in on our neighbors without putting them at risk. Being on the opposite coast from my relatives is stressful. If something were to happen, there’s basically nothing I can do. I also really wish my dog was still here; we lost him last November after 15 great years, and he would have been a nice quarantine companion. I try not to dwell on the negatives.

So, I’m staying healthy (physically and mentally), offering to run errands for the elderly folks in my life, and isolating as much as possible. Not going to lie, becoming a homeschool mom was an adjustment. But, I’m learning how to be productive under these conditions, and working on new and improved content for all of you!

Conclusion

How are you coping with Coronavirus? Has it touched your family and friends? Are you dealing with remote work, school closures, or shelter in place orders? Any advice for our Internal Audit community during this difficult time? Leave a comment, we miss interacting with you and would be glad to know how you’re holding up!

But most of all, stay safe!

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