In case you haven’t been paying attention, coronavirus cases are starting to climb in states that opened back up. Texas, one of the bigger “this is a hoax” areas, is looking at shutting back down again after case reports started to skyrocket.

A lot of the rise in infections is because a lot more people are getting tested. It was expected, a lot shout as they refuse to put on a mask for a 10 minute trip to the store. But a rise in the number of infections should be alarming, no matter what the cause.

Around here, everything seems to be pretty much back to normal. Everybody that has a job is back to work, restaurants are pretty much open, though some tables are blocked off. And wearing a mask in public is back to getting you looked at like you’re a weirdo.

And that’s mainly because the virus hasn’t hit the rural areas that hard. I read cases in the Nashville area are climbing, but that’s the big city and hasn’t got anything to do with us out here in God’s Country.

It would also explain why too many of us around here aren’t dealing with the whole work-at-home situation. I’m sure there are people around here who work at home, but they were probably working at home before all this started.

Working from home is one of the major ways people think life will be changed due to the virus. According to a recent survey by WalletHub (your go to place for surveys), 60% of Americans think working at home is how it will be from now on.

Working at home in rural areas can be problematic. Most of the jobs involve labor that can only be done in a certain place and that place isn’t home. You can’t do farm work at home, can’t do factory work at home, no working from home at a store and so on.

The WalletHub survey also found people thought:

  • There should be harsh penalties for not returning to the workplace. A third of Americans believe that businesses should fire employees who refuse to go back to work.
  • Parents’ work efficiency may suffer at home. Around 50% of parents with young children at home don’t think they are more productive working from home.
  • Working from home seen as the future. Almost a third of Americans think that physical offices are a thing of the past.
  • The virus will cause positive changes to the work environment. Almost 60% of Americans think COVID-19 has changed the way we work for the better.

When it comes to firing who won’t come to work, well, isn’t that the way a job works? If you don’t show up, the company decides you don’t want the job, takes you off the payroll and hires somebody else. Now, if somebody wants to come back, but is scared they might be exposed to the virus, well, that’s one of the new things companies might have to deal with.

And is anybody surprised people with small kids can’t get as much done as they would in an office? Kids can be a handful and they don’t really understand what momma or daddy are doing and why it’s vitally important, at least in terms of a paycheck.

Despite this, is working from home the future? There are a lot of things you can do from home with the help of computers. I’m writing this on my front porch on a rainy Saturday afternoon. But newspaper work isn’t my main source of income anymore and what I do for an income that does pay the bills cannot, in any way, shape or form be done from home.

At my age, the future probably won’t make much of an impact on me. But if I could somehow come back in 100 years, I probably wouldn’t recognize life. Imagine somebody from 1920 trying to make sense of what the world is now.

Will it be a good change, as 60% of us believe? No way to tell that, but it will undoubtedly be easier. You can yearn for the past all you want, but one constant has been life is getting easier as we go along. Not better or more enjoyable maybe, but it’s definitely easier.

You may think differently. Let’s meet up in 2120 and see who was right.

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