In a way, the safe at home order has benefited me. Our first child was born about a week before the outbreak was classified as a pandemic. I was out on bonding leave when campus was essentially shut down. Returning to work afterwards now meant going in the other room and working from home. It’s been great having more time with my son, while also feeling productive with my colleagues as we collaborate remotely.

I did go to campus one time after we were to work from home—on my second day back. I really wanted the better external keyboard and mouse from my desk, along with my headset in order to properly video conference. I think I had a case of new baby mindlessness and forgot my keys to the internal door to our cubicle area. I had been concentrating on remembering my swipe card for the building, and hadn’t been thinking about how there wouldn’t be anyone there and the doors that are normally open during the day would be all closed and locked. Caltech Security was quite helpful and sent some folks to unlock the door for me (after I showed my carefully remembered ID card). I also managed to rescue my plant from a slow death by dehydration.