CAGPM At Home: A Look At Lockdown Office Life

Monday, May 18, 2020
By Alexis Kessenich

Lately, work has been anything but business as usual for the Center for Applied Genomics and Precision Medicine team. To comply with Duke's coronavirus response, much of our team is now working remotely. Those who are actively involved in COVID-19 research still report to work, but even that doesn't look the same as it did just a few months ago. 

While it's stressful not knowing how long our lives may be disrupted, some of our team members are reflecting on recent changes and focusing on the beauty around them. Take a peek inside our new office life. 

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"When I'm not in the hospital, my kitchen counter or screened in porch is my new office. My wife and three kids are my new office mates, though my 13-year-old daughter is usually only spotted every two to three days, so she may not count." — Ephraim Tsalik, Associate Professor of Medicine

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"I'm working from home at my apartment in Durham and have a beautiful view of the pool I can't use. Without the commute to work, I've been able to turn off my alarm and wake up naturally most mornings, which has been refreshing!" — Alexis Kessenich, Communications Specialist

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"I have a great new office view from both my front and back porch. A few of my new coworkers are my animals that you can see from the back porch." — Lori Orlando, Associate Professor of Medicine

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"Now that I'm home all day, my outdoor kitties have become comfortable as my new indoor coworkers. In front of one of my new office windows is mine and my husband's record player, which I use to listen to music while working. Jazz, blues and classic rock are our genres of choice." — Carolyne Whiting, Data Manager

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"My overgrown garden with my son's skim board in the foreground, which he never seems to put away, has become my new office view. I see groundhogs, deer, and foxes in the woods on the other side of the fence." — Susanne Haga, Associate Professor of Medicine

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"I rotate 'offices' to keep things interesting. I work at the kitchen table most days, which has a nice view of my backyard, especially if my boys are outside playing. It makes me happy to see them having fun together. Since being stuck at home so much, I have started planting more flowers and enjoy watching them grow. Now my husband just wishes I would plant more of the edible variety! — Ryanne Wu, Assistant Professor of Medicine

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"I try to take calls from one of the blue chairs in my yard, weather permitting and when I don't need a computer. My new office view is a pasture with the Duke Forest in the background. We've had a lovely spring that COVID-19 has allowed us to enjoy more so than if we were in the non-virtual office." — Geoff Ginsburg, Director

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"Kane is my new 8 1/2-year-old coworker. If I sit on the couch with my laptop, he takes my seat, and if I don't pay him enough attention, he showers me with tennis balls or his favorite rope! He still thinks he's a puppy." — Anita Ruddick, IGNITE Staff Assistant

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"The view from my home office includes birds nesting in the bushes and trees near my window, and lizards running up and down the walls. This view is equally, if not more interesting, to my feline coworker, Cleo." — Rachel Myers, Research Scientist

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"I'm working from home in Durham with a deep thinker! His name is Mango, and he likes to keep me company during work. One nice thing about working from home is that I feel more productive. It also feels good to avoid the morning and evening traffic on I-147." — Yiling Liu, Biostatistician II

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"I'm usually boots to the ground every day. My new normal includes donning and doffing PPE when working with inpatient and outpatient COVID-19 positive study participants. Out of my windows and through my eyes, this is my new normal." — Tyffany Coleman, Clinical Research Coordinator

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"I have three new office mates: a first grader, Kylo Ren and Darth Vader. Look closely to find those who reside on the dark side." — Sunil Suchindran, Senior Biostatistician

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"My new work buddy is my dog, Ace. He's pretty needy and lays behind my chair all day long." — Ytina Mangum, Director of Administration