I mentioned in previous posts that I’ve been working from home for the past few days. More accurately, I haven’t been at the studio since Wednesday. The reason for this is that employees were informed one of our co-workers had travelled to Europe, came home, went back to work, and subsequently became ill with flu-like symptoms. The critical part of this is that they had visited a country that became a location where COVID-19 infections spiked alarmingly after they returned home.
Studio management erred on the side of caution and informed everyone at the studio. The person who became ill stayed home and was immediately tested for a COVID-19 infection. Because the test results were not available right away, employees were given the option to stay at home, even if they had no abilities to work remotely, without any penalty. I chose to work at home on Thursday and judging by the early closures of the cafeteria and the coffee shops, many others did so as well. Since the test results were not available on Friday, I continued to work from home on that day as well.
Today, a Tuesday, was my fourth day of working from home. Late today, a studio-wide e-mail was sent out, which announced the results had come back negative. While this is good news, the company is still going ahead with a disinfection of the entire studio, which will require two complete nights of effort. Furthermore, despite the negative diagnosis, management has stated that if people still feel uncomfortable about returning to work, they may continue to work from home. I have made the decision to return to work tomorrow but won’t hesitate to work from home again if a similar situation arises again.
Ten years ago, I would have never envisioned a global pandemic as one of the things that would make it difficult for us to develop a video game, yet, here we are. We live in strange times now.