The Year of Pandemic (a sort-of holiday poem)

By Margaret Teichert, author, artist, and senior product owner with Berkshire Hathaway’s BHHC

’Twas the year of pandemic, when all through the lands
Were instructions to all to wear masks and wash hands;
In spite of precautions, the COVID was spread,
So, to our home offices BHHC fled.

The children attended their schools over zoom;
To keep any stray “cooties” from spelling their doom;
Then yoga pants, sweatpants and PJs abounded
And calls for “the new business casual” sounded.

The lines at the Costco wrapped clear ‘round the block
(For some reason, toilet paper was never in stock)
Headlines were alarming: Murder hornets were spotted!
A UFO’s flight through our airspace was plotted!

Elections disputed, and civil unrest,
So many small businesses doing their best;
The insurance biz braced to take one on the chin
When the worker’s comp claims started rolling on in.

With the country on lockdown and businesses shuttered,
We all stayed at home in our slippers and puttered.
We cooked in our headphones, read emails in bed,
Skipped lunch out and ate last night’s pasta instead.

Some took up hobbies that made us feel smarter,
Some of us nurtured a sourdough starter.
Our social lives fell into states of decline
And we shortened the distance ‘tween coffee and wine.

But the company made sure our home office set-ups
Felt much more comfy (to match our new get-ups):
With a budget for desks and monitors and mice,
And our chairs from the office (which are really quite nice),

It made moving all meetings to Microsoft Teams
Feel much less depressing than it at first seems.
A regular happy hour (albeit online)
Made the week’s end feel festive, with games and with wine.

And out of it all, there arose such resilience
We amazed one another with flashes of brilliance:
New ways to get work done together, alone,
New ways to make use of new apps on the phone,

“New normal” was flexible (sometimes even fun!)
Commute time reclaimed for a long morning run
Or a session of yoga or talk with a spouse
New ways to design and inhabit a house

Some stresses diminished in the midst of it all
“We’re in it together” a clarion call
To kindness and humor, work differently done
And in spite of it all, hope for 2021.

Oleg is a startup adviser, founder, executive, and former VC, who fancies himself a weekend chef and musician, whenever the opportunity presents itself.