I don’t think this is a topic which comes up pretty often, but it’s applicable in this case: I’m already used to the germ phobia that is going around right now. That is, I am already used to having high barriers bordering on paranoia in regard to pathogens.
I’m still not great at not touching my face (though it’s almost always done with the back of my hand or my wrist, at this point), but the hand-washing stuff…this just gives me an excuse to wash as frequently as I feel is appropriate. It would be a good idea to put together a kit with extra soap and lotion, though: I have been at work when we’ve run out of soap, and lotion helps with the drying that happens with frequent washing. Drying also happens when using bleach-based wipes to disinfect things, without gloves as a barrier. My aim is to avoid cracked skin, which gives pathogens a way to enter the body (and is generally unpleasant).
So the rest of this month — not every day, but often enough to catch something — I will have to go in to work. Already scheduled. It wouldn’t be a big deal, except for the fact that there are seniors in my household — to protect them, I need to protect myself. As of yet, I’m not mandated to report for any more days than I’ve agreed to. Into April, though…it’s not certain how much I’ll be working. Thankfully, that shouldn’t be an issue, at least for the short term. Also — if I come down with something that isn’t Coronavirus, I’ll be able to stay home (and possibly miss people who could be contagious with Coronavirus).
The major issue I can see is that the libraries really should be closed, if the schools are closed and people are being cautioned not to gather in groups or travel unnecessarily. The entire basis of the library is gathering and sharing. I can see the necessity to stay open for people who need to use the computers; that’s an economic and technological disparity issue. But seriously: I’m even wary of picking up my own Holds.
I know what it’s like to be handling books. We can’t wash our hands after touching every book. What we can do is disinfect what is possible to disinfect after the items are returned, so that they go into the system “clean” (or at least, “cleaner”), but then there’s the issue of who does that work, and how we protect them. Protect them not only from the virus, but also from the effects of being exposed to harsh chemicals for so long (for example, respiratory distress).
I’m also expecting a lot of calls on how to access electronic collections. That’s not the easiest thing to assist a person with, especially as I can’t see what they’re seeing, over the phone, and I haven’t used every type of electronic device. I also set up my own devices a long time ago, and while at least the better versions of ebook-sharing software are fairly intuitive, that doesn’t mean that all of those versions represent anything easy to access.
To tell the truth, some of the more difficult versions, I don’t even want to try to use.
It is possible it will be quieter (though with the kids out of school…?). There is also the fact that in six months, no one has asked how to get set up to use the more difficult ebook platform in a way that required me to do more than point to the FAQ. Also frustrating is the lack of attention to the setup process and maintenance by whoever is running it.
But yes, I’ve had issues with my system’s electronic infrastructure for years. Just because I have a degree, now, doesn’t mean those issues go away. (I’ve also had fantasies of making it better, but the main point of that is the fact that making it better means constantly being on top of things — new technologies, new threats, and old and outdated tech; particularly as we figure out how to merge old information into new information systems — a burden I’m not sure I want to take on.)
It is satisfying to be able to actually understand some of what gets thrown around online…and my computer skills are probably more advanced than those of the average user (if that exists). However, having the responsibility to be on top of things, or the network goes down, or I lose my job…that’s not something I really want.
Now, if I actually trained for this, and knew what I was doing, knew the system inside and out, and exactly what was happening — that would be different. But that requires, likely, an additional degree (or two) in Computer Science (or Engineering) which I don’t have, and am not really Jonesing for. Though it would be a way to make an impact and a living — a fairly decent one.
There is also the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) thing that I mentioned a while back, though I’m not sure how much any of them deal with the fundamentals of how technology works, more than how to use it. As for whether I would actively pursue that knowledge…it’s a lifelong commitment to something I don’t think I love enough.
Is that because I don’t understand it enough?