My quarantine experience during the COVID-19 pandemic

Melanie Penney, a Wills and Probate legal executive in our Worksop office, writes about her experience during this pandemic.

When I rushed home after a busy 10-hour day in the office, I noticed our 6-year-old had developed a persistent cough. Coughing – a common sign of COVID-19 – is alarming given the current situation where the virus is rapidly spreading. Suddenly, our dining room became my office and we were beginning our two weeks of self-isolation, or so I thought. But as soon as we started self-isolating, the UK lockdown was also announced, meaning the office would be shut for three weeks, possibly even longer.

Working from home

My desktop computer arrived on the first day of self-isolation. Sitting in front of a computer in my dining room felt just like being in the Worksop office.

At Foys Solicitors, we are prepared for a situation like this. Our robust digital infrastructure means we can securely work from a remote environment with little to no interruption to service – we’re adapting and we’re winning. However, it quickly dawned on me that as a Wills and Probate lawyer, I interface with clients regularly and I must find a way to still meet with clients while adhering to social distancing rules.

Thankfully, technology has come to the rescue – initial appointments are carried out through WhatsApp Video Call, FaceTime or Skype (I feel like I’m down with the kids now). For final meetings, I conduct them through open windows or doors at a safe distance of two metres. I know my colleagues are also using video calls to ‘attend’ court – and perhaps like me when I’m on video calls, they look professional from the waist up but may still in their pyjama bottoms.

After our two-week self-isolation, my husband had to return to work which left me to juggle meetings and looking after our 6-year-old, who is living her best life in isolation with plenty of singing and dancing, not to mention changing at least four unsuitable outfits a day. Once, she even taught our pet dog how to trampoline when I was attending a telephone appointment – that really was a face-with-tears-of-joy emoji moment. Suffice to say, dealing with an energetic daughter during lockdown requires a creative approach. I soon master the ‘Swan Movement’ – keeping a straight face during video calls with clients while my hands are waving furiously in an attempt to communicate with my daughter; it is as if I have developed a new sign language.

We’ll make it through the COVID-19 pandemic

I definitely miss seeing my family, friends, colleagues and, for some bizarre reason, the daily moans, and I know that this pandemic will be over someday. As a nation, we will come out on top!

Living in the midst of this pandemic could have spelt disaster. I could have experienced negativity in abundance which resulted in never-ending days seeped with stress. My career could have come hurtling towards the ground with speed. My firm could have folded. I could have run out of loo roll (oops)! But none of these scenarios has happened. On the contrary, I have witnessed an incredible rise in human kindness among family members, colleagues, clients, friends, neighbours and even strangers. I have experienced a lovely growth in community spirit and a stronger sense of togetherness.

My daughter has learned that the frontline NHS workers are heroes. She gleefully (and gratefully) clangs her wooden spoon and pan every Thursday evening as my neighbours and I join her – all with bright smiles and a tremendous sense of gratitude and pride. At work, everyone at Foys Solicitors also acknowledges this heroism and projects our gratitude by offering discounted services to all NHS workers.

We have discovered a new sense of gratitude for colleagues, warehouse workers, truck drivers, farmers, grocery store assistants and other professionals who are out on the frontlines for us every day as we fight this virus. We have become protective of our health, our families, our friends, our homes, our jobs, our environment, our communities and more.

This pandemic is without doubt challenging, but we’re going to win this.

I am confident the positive outcomes we are experiencing during quarantine will continue long after lockdown is lifted and we will be better because of it. For now, I am grateful that my house is multifunctional – it morphs from home to office, school, cinema, gym, restaurant and salon. I am also proud to work for Foys Solicitors – #FoysSolicitorsWinning as the hashtag goes.

Best wishes,

Melanie Penney

If you would like to know more about our Wills and Probate services, take a look at our Wills, Trusts and Probate page.

Enquire About Our Services Today

Book an initial FREE consultation or to find out more about our personal and business law services

Call the office nearest to you and speak to one of our professional specialists or fill out the form below