It’s safe to say that both Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner and Rep. Jason Crow know a thing or two about having to work from home and stay indoors. The two congressmen are self-quarantined after they met with a constituent who tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Both lawmakers feel fine.
So what have they been doing while stuck indoors?
Gardner said via Skype that for him it’s been non-stop work “in very close quarters.” He’s held some telephone town halls about COVID-19, but mainly, like most people these days, he’s been on group chats and video conferences with colleagues. The Senate is negotiating a third coronavirus relief package.
Like most of us too, he’s surely hit some computer snags while teleworking. His IT advisor these days? His eldest daughter. “She’s got it all figured out, so she can help her old man out a little bit.”
Gardner is stuck in Washington, D.C., so when he’s not working, he’s FaceTiming with family and doing some reading, but not a lot of binge-watching.
“I did try to catch-up a little on the HBO Winston Churchill series,” the Yuma Republican said. “But I didn’t get very far.”
His main piece of advice is to stay connected. “There’s a lot of people under a lot of stress and strain right now,” he said. He encouraged people to pick up a phone and call neighbors, friends and family and check-in.
Crow’s advice is to maintain a daily schedule, especially with kids, and to get some exercise.
“It’s really good for your physical health and your mental health and it boosts your immune system,” he said. “So try to find ways to exercise and stay healthy.”
The Aurora Democrat has traded his Longworth office view for his home basement. Crow stays in touch with colleagues via conference calls and Zoom meetings, as they review legislation and craft new bills. And he does admit to some multi-tasking — watching movies while he catches up on correspondence in the evening.
Crow has been able to quarantine at home in Colorado, but the U.S. Capitol is still with him, in a way. He and his young son built a Lego model of the building and plan to install lights in it, so it can be used as a nightlight of sorts. He also crafted a unicorn pillow with his daughter, which he said turned out “really well.”
“I’m actually getting really crafts-y,” Crow joked.
His wife, Deserai, is also working remotely from home. And with two kids home from school, they trade off child-care duties.
Staying home all the time is hard, Crow conceded, but he said we have an obligation to do so for the community writ large. “You might feel fine, but there are very vulnerable people in our society – seniors, people with underlying conditions – and we have an obligation to help protect those folks by slowing the spread of this.”