There are some who will have the opposite experience. They will work filling whatever crannies of time they had. The line between work and home has been blurred for a while but for some, this thin wall will crumble completely, leaving them at the mercy of their many digital devices. But for the rest, working from home will be work, but with a very different flavour.
There is nothing we can do about the fear, for we are crouched against possibilities we cannot escape and cannot fully control. But in between the waves of panic, there is an opportunity to savour this freak chance we have received to legitimately do everything that has been denied to us in the name of responsibility. We can read, cook, go for long walks, listen to full albums, dig up old films, play computer games, call up old friends, write that book that we have told everyone that we are writing for the last many years.
For what we have today is an unexplored land that is neither home nor work, not routine everyday life nor exotic holiday. We are suspended between familiar concepts and it is in this liminal space, like all others, where rules can be relaxed and new codes of behaviour invented. It is noteworthy that we enjoy the most freedom in spaces that are neither this nor that. The beach is a great example of the inventive ways in which we use the in-between. What is matter-of-fact beachwear is shocking underwear five meters away.
The outward has an inflated sense of self-importance, which is very difficult to resist. We follow its dictates, whether it comes in the guise of work, or even play. Going out for work for social gatherings has always been surrounded by an air of ceremony. We need to get ready to go out, we prepare in some form, we make the effort to travel, we follow protocols of behaviour once there. The inward on the other hand, is available to us only in an exotic form. We have to become mindful, breath rhythmically, chant in a suitably rarefied language, eat extremely specific kind of food if we want to make an inward journey. What we have today is the opportunity to go inward without the accoutrements, the necessary heavy baggage that accompanies it. We can doze, feel the summer drone around us, space out, potter around meaninglessly, listen to birdsong, clean cupboards simply since they are there and so are you. We can go on an inward journey that does not have to be meaningful to be enriching.