By Brooklyn Schultz
National Work From Home Day is a holiday that was designated for May 22 and first celebrated in 2006. It is becoming more relevant due to the Coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19. Working from home is becoming the new normal as many in the Branson area have resorted to doing just that - working from home.
Nathan Applegate, who performs at Clay Cooper Theatre, said there will be implemented changes to the theatre:
“They will most definitely be spacing guests out around the theatre,” Applegate said. “In fact, they have been going it [with] those who have kept reservations... It’s likely we’ll see many individuals in the audience wearing masks, which of course is being encouraged in general. There will be considerably more hand sanitizing pumps around the theatre and procedures in place between shows. I also anticipate any form of meet and greets to either be done differently or otherwise extra precautions put in place as well.”
With all these changes in place, Clay Cooper Theatre is planning to reopen on June 9. Until then,Applegate’s quarantine has included lots of practicing to keep everything fresh in his mind.
“It’s been very interesting,” he said. “Having only done five shows into our 2020 season before the lockdown began and having just learned a new show, I find myself going over material more often than usual to keep it fresh in my mind...”
While he tries to keep in high spirits, Applegate knows essential workers are needing as much encouragement as possible during this tough time.
“I’d like to tell those individuals that the word “essential” doesn’t even begin to describe how valuable [they] are to society,” he said, “A simple thank you will never be enough to show our gratitude. But nonetheless, thank you so much.”
Jody Shelton, a staff member of Elliott, Robinson & Company, LLP, is one of many others working from home. She, too,sees the importance of essential workers.
“We know that your exposure to this virus is greater.” Jody said, “We appreciate the sacrifices that you make.”
Shelton says her firm has made it pleasantly easier for her to work from home.
“I love working from home.” She said, “Our firm has done a great job anticipating what changes need to be made regarding workflow. I have been pleasantly surprised at how easily this type of work can be done remotely.”
While grocery stores around the globe experience mass chaos, Annette Gill saw her fun away-from-home job as a more nerve-wracking experience than before because of a significant increase in customers and purchases.
“At first, it was kind of fun because I could get out of the house,” she said, “I didn’t have to be quarantined. But as time went on, it got kind of nerve-wracking because everybody was freaking out about the virus. And, me working in a grocery store, I was exposed to a lot of people.”
People are stockpiling food and other supplies because they think grocery stores will shut down. A $200 receipt was a normal price to see at Harter House for the first couple days Gill worked.
“I started working at Harter House amidst all of the Coronavirus chaos,” she said. “On one of my first days, I remember I didn’t see a single order under $200, everyone was buying groceries because they were unsure what would happen in the following days,” Gill said. “Many people don’t realize the amount of hard work that essential employees, even ones that aren’t in the medical field, are putting in and what a huge risk they are taking by simply going to work every day.”
If you work from your home or if you cannot celebrate National Work From Home Day because you are an essential worker, there are grateful members of the public who say “thank you for all your hard work and dedication toward flattening the curve.”