We will get through this.

Through the darkness and chaos, there is always hope.

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality. Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see. – Queen

Is this real life? The last few weeks have been unlike anything we have ever seen, except maybe in the movie theaters. A global pandemic is crushing the economy as flights are cancelled, restaurants are closed, and a number of public and private events are cancelled. Most school-aged children are at home with their parents, so working parents are trying to balance doing their job, taking care of the kids, and maintaining sanity. Not to mention there is NO TOILET PAPER ANYWHERE!

Through the darkness and the chaos, there is always hope. There is a sense of nationwide community that I have not witnessed since 9/11. There is bipartisan support for a bill currently before the senate that will provide relief to people physically and economically affected by the virus. Healthcare workers and researchers are working around the clock to take care of the sick and develop a vaccine to guard against coronavirus. Communities are virtually connecting for parties, workouts and hangouts. We are all doing our best to carry on as though everything is normal when it is anything but.

Our Focus blog has strived to provide professional women, and those interested in supporting professional women, with anecdotes, relevant news and legal developments, and advice for navigating workplace issues and work-life balance. Right now, however, our focus is on providing all of our readers – whether client, colleague, friend, or passerby – with some resources for these uncertain times.

For employers:

Constangy has a Coronovirus Resource Center for employers to keep up with the latest legal developments surrounding the virus as well as provide answers to employer FAQs. This covers issues related to pay, employee vaccines, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and more.

For real-time updates, subscribe to Constangy’s newsletters here. 

For parents:

Coronavirus (the illness) has affected men the most, but women in the United States are being hit socially and economically. In a recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek, Janet Paskin writes, “The vast majority of nurses, flight attendants, teachers and service industry workers are female, and their jobs put them on the front lines of the outbreak. . . . At home, women still do more caretaking, so when the virus closes schools, restricts travel, and puts aged relatives at risk, they have more to do.”

Kudos to all the men and women in healthcare and the service industries who are on the front lines of this pandemic. We cannot thank you enough. How can we help? We can pass on buying the surgical masks that they need, we can buy gift cards now at local restaurants and small businesses to use at a later date, and we can do our part to flatten the curve. 

For the working women and men at home with child care duty, here are some resources for you:

Busy Toddler – a lifesaver if you have young ones who need to be kept busy!

Free at-home educational resources and learning subscriptions can be found here and  here. 

There have also been sample schedules posted – some meant to be funny and some meant to actually help – for parents  and other caregivers who need some structure at home: here, here, and here

For those struggling with the stress of the situation:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes the coronavirus outbreak is causing stress among adults and children.

Here are some of the recommendations from the CDC to reduce acute stress and anxiety stemming from the current state of events:

  • Take breaks from social media and the news. While it's important to stay informed, too much news of the pandemic can exacerbate your stress.
  • Take care of your body by stretching, exercising, meditating, and eating healthy, well-balanced meals.
  • Even if you are self-isolating, there is no need to cut off communication with your friends and family. Text, e-mail and video chat your peeps! Or your therapist.
  • Make some time for yourself – in a normal workday, you would take small breaks, or you would finish your work by evening. So, try and fit in some activities you enjoy – whether it’s working around the house, doing crafts, or jogging.

For those who need a lift:

Finally, there are inspirational stories showing how our communities are coming together to help the elderly, immunocompromised, or those who have come down with coronavirus. Amid the chaos, the fear, and the uncertainty, there is plenty of good, too. If you’re looking to do some good deeds during your downtime, foster a shelter pet, donate to the WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, or give a bigger tip to your local waitperson.

To all our readers – take heart in knowing this is not permanent, things will get better, and Constangy is here for you every step of the way! In the meantime, wash your hands, stay at home if you can, and stay connected.

We recognize the immeasurable value of women leaders supporting other women in the workplace through example, mentorship, education and empathy. We hope you enjoy our tidbits of legal and practical information, wisdom, and humor. Thanks for joining the conversation! 
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