Colorado: Stay at Home
With Stay-At-Home orders in place, employers have arranged for options to work from home. Critics call working from home “a middle-class privilege,” as there are many workers who have either lost jobs or are placed in at-risk circumstances as they continue to work (e.g. healthcare workers, farmers, delivery workers, grocery store employees, etc.).
However, for remote workers the opportunity to work from home is a godsend and relief to family’s household budgets.
“I’ve been very blessed to have the ability to work from home,” said Katleen Luistro. “I work for a civil engineering company and it’s definitely opened conversation on how people will now perceive public transit and what that means for traffic in Colorado.”
Ying Ong, who is now working remotely as a teacher, must tag team with her husband to watch their toddler. After both parents “get off work,” they make sure to spend time together as a family.
“We take a family stroll around the neighborhood with our dogs in the late afternoon,” said Ong. “They usually don’t go on walks because we usually just let them out in the backyard. It’s been great for us to get some sun and exercise.”
“I am very fortunate under these circumstances, so I am doing my best to support other communities and organizations that are in need. We need to remember to help one another so that we can get through this the best we can!”
Tips on Working from Home
Have a dedicated workspace.
Schedule work time and have a to-do list.
Step away from emails from time-to-time.
Take breaks. Step outside to get some sun.
Communication is key. Communicate with your partner on how you are feeling, as well as your boss.
Students heading to virtual world
Parents balance working from home with teaching their children.
Young people are experiencing online, home-based education in Colorado. What started as an extended spring break in March for school districts including Denver and Cherry Creek looks like will be the new normal into the summer. Governor Polis announced it is unlikely schools will return to class this semester. Online instruction has begun for students of all ages.
“My son started online learning and it seems to be working out so far,” said Phuong Nguyen, resident of Denver, who is referring to her 14-year-old in high school. “Although he misses his friends, he was still able to meet with his classmates for projects remotely.” TODDLERS Littleton resident Katie Manh Magstadt adjusted well with her 3-year-old. Activities at the house includes playing piano, video games, painting, movies, puzzles, playing with trains and cars, cooking plus eating and drinking, elliptical workouts, playing catch and hide and seek, and webinar distance learning.
Lulani Antillon, a member of Denver Asian Mom Extraordinaires (DAMES), confessed she’s spending this time with her kids, ages 2 and 4, to slow down and bond.
DAMES member Pamela Yang admitted missing daycare for her daughter Nora. Yang, who runs her own online shop (adorebynora.com), always worked from home, but now she is having to do her sewing alongside her two-year-old. “It has also been challenging to keep her away from her dad when he’s working from home,” said Yang, a common experience for families with both parents working from home and juggling their new schedules.
Ying and Erik Ong are taking on potty training their son Ashton during this time. “It is perfect since we are always home. We have had some successes throughout the day,” said Ong. Ashton is also very active at home doing various activities: puzzles, bubbles, painting with water colors, counting and identifying colors in English and Cantonese, building legos and magnetic structures, watching Peppa Pig in Cantonese and Titipo, throwing and catching balls, and having dance parties. GRADE SCHOOL Aurora resident Nerissa Knot says her two girls are missing school but fills their days with school work and “recess-type” activities in their backyard.
Denver resident Katleen Luistro shared heartfelt discussions with her 9-year-old. “Khloey is quite mature for her age and understands why we’ve had to change our routines,” said Luistro, adding that her daughter is bummed about not seeing friends or having regular volleyball practices. “We didn’t sugarcoat anything and she took it well.”
Denver resident Chris Lee indicated her daughter stays in touch with her friends through FaceTime. “It’s super cute,” Lee said. “She takes the phone and she’ll talk for over an hour sometimes.”
Maintaining an online presence through FaceTime and Facebook has helped Lee cope with working from home. “It feels surreal to be locked in place,” Lee said. “Birthday parties have been canceled and I feel the loss of my community.”
With four children from six months to 16 years old, Linh Ton shared their lives are hectic with no school or daycare. Since she already worked from home most of the time, there wasn’t a big adjustment period. But Ton doesn’t think her children realize the “severity or the impact.”
Broomfield resident Shino Inouye Neima jokes about feeding two million snacks daily to her children. Their activities include baking, cooking three meals a day, multiple walks, playing outside with chalk, riding bikes, online learning and learning a new language. HIGH SCHOOL Filipino American Rachel Badeo-Hockley Sangchompuphen balances gaming with online learning with her son. “My high school son has three online courses. For every hour working on his online course, he is granted one hour of video games,” she said. COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY CU-Denver converted to remote learning mid-March. Alexandria Joo, who works in the TRIO department at the university says, “All of our jobs are changing in some way as we are unable to meet students face to face but still providing them services. We are finding creative ways to keep our students connected in such a difficult time.”