June update and COVID liftings

Things are slowly getting back to normal and we are moving into phase 4 here in Chicago.
I started working 3 days a week in the office and 2 days from home which is a pleasant change of routine after 3 months of the stay at home order. I can finally go on coffee breaks with colleagues and enjoy office socializing. Of course, we take precautions and wear our masks when talking to each other and have hand sanitizer at our desks. Meetings are always 6 feet apart and with everyone wearing masks.
Something definitely to get used to but it is pleasant not to have zoom connection issues and seeing everyone in little boxes for a change. Luckily our workload has not decreased so there are enough projects to work on and we weren’t affected by COVID in that way.
In the beginning of my Trainee program, I had plans to travel the country a lot. Unfortunately due to COVID these plans were unrealistic but now that states are reopening I am thinking of renting a car and go explore some nearby cities. Especially as the 4th of July Holiday is coming up and I have a  long weekend.
Further plans include making the most out of this situation and enjoying the warm summer in Chicago with beach visits and outside dining. I originally also planned for my family to come and visit me but that’s not going to happen of course… This I would say is probably the hardest. Missing family and friends in these times and not being able to see them.
A few days ago President Trump also signed a new order for the hold on Visas including my J1 Visa which got me over here. As I understood this means that I may have trouble coming back into the country if I should decide to travel outside to visit my family. It all feels a little alarming and troublesome but trying to stay positive.

Miriam Mouchtar


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