When I first began working at home, I couldn’t believe I was getting away with such a racket.
No one told me what to do or where to be! I could work in my bed, go to the grocery store in the middle of the day, and my clients were none the wiser. Even though I was a freelancer, I was constantly looking over my shoulder and expecting to be reprimanded by someone.
But my elation wore away when I realized I wasn’t quite alone at home: My anxiety was there, too.
Now, I’m an anxious person, even in the best of times. But these days, it seems like we’re all anxious. And anxiety is another ingredient — like Zoom calls, overloaded wifi or howling children or pets — that needs to be factored into your days, your productivity and your time management.
When the shutdown left us stranded at home, some women clamored for a tangible sense of freedom. A year later, one writer reassesses the bra with help from an O.G. expert, an Instagram-savvy start-up, and Seinfeld.
It took me 351 days to take off my shirt for a stranger on the internet. Somehow I had made it this far into the pandemic without partaking in the talked-about extracurriculars: an OnlyFans side-hustle; a virtual boyfriend (I have a real one at home). Instead, here I was, at a little past noon on a recent Thursday, making small talk over Zoom in a who-knows-how-old lacy bralette.
Tania Garcia, director of fit at the lingerie brand Cuup, was about to guide me through a size assessment. I apologized for having only baker’s twine and a handyman’s tape measure. “We’ve gotten very crafty in our fittings,” she said, describing the MacGyver-like setups she has witnessed since the company launched in late 2018. (Without a brick-and-mortar presence, remote fittings were baked into the business plan from the beginning, unexpectedly teeing up Garcia’s team for the Zoom-all-day era.) “I did a fitting once with floss, so we’re okay,” she said, her voice reassuring in ways that transcended the subject at hand. “Let me tell you, we’re fine.”
When the pandemic forced us into our homes to spend extended periods in contact only with a small circle of family members, it was one of the fastest, largest shifts of human behavior in memory. We’re just starting to understand the fallout.
About 1 in 8 were home alone.
Almost 2 in 5 were home with kids.
Almost half were in a household with another adult who was also suddenly sent home.
More than two-thirds were home with another adult, such as a stay-at-home spouse or retiree.