Connecting with our staff across social distance
Amplio staff have been working from home since early March, and our productivity levels are still high. But we’re all missing the engagement and energy that comes from in-person interaction—that spark of connection! And we bet you’re missing it, too. So we’re bringing you the series, “Profiles in Quarantine,” to let our team share a little bit of their lives during this unique time (while remaining at a safe social distance).
Let’s start with the basics
No office chatter anymore, so what’s been the soundtrack to your quarantine?
Podcasts! Podcasts have served as good friends during quarantine. I’m always listening while I’m out for jogs, walking the dog, or working around the house. A few of my favorites: How I Built This, The Daily, Modern Love, Lovett or Leave It, Pod Save America, and Running on Om. I also binged The Catch and Kill podcast with Ronan Farrow—if you haven’t listened to it yet, you should!
Our routines have changed a lot. What’s the best habit you’ve picked up during captivity?
Checking in on family and friends. I’m originally from the Midwest, and my family still lives there. My friends have scattered throughout the country and the world. Somehow this sad, difficult, stressful time has brought us all closer (despite the physical distancing)! We’re regularly chatting on the phone, sending quick check-in text or Skype messages, meeting newborns via Zoom, and connecting over virtual happy hours.
How about the worst?
Too much screen time. I easily get consumed with work and find myself at the computer for hours and hours. I’ve had to make a conscious effort to walk away from the computer and put screens down for set times throughout the day.
Lisa takes her dog, Oliver, for lots of walks. He’s a very good boy.
It’s a good time for some new hobbies
We’ve all probably been cooking more than we were before. What’s the best meal you’ve made so far?
Last year we attended a great cooking class at The Pantry from Dana Frank and Andrea Slonecker, authors of the yummy (and beautiful) cookbook Wine Food. During the class we made a Pimento Cheese Souffle that I have dreamt about for a full year. We finally successfully recreated it during quarantine!
How are you keeping yourself sane?
I’m always looking for creative outlets which has led to a running list of things I want to start, finish, or try. I finished an embroidery project that I’ve been working on for years. I finally learned how to dye with indigo. I’ve also been spending a lot of time dreaming about painting a mural on a blank wall in the house using old paint samples. Thankfully I have a supportive and understanding partner as I create these messes around the house!
As hard as we try, boredom does start to creep in. What works for you, and what would you recommend for others, to keep it at bay?
Yoga with Adriene. The 30-day challenges are a great way to get into the habit of yoga. Adriene has a great way of easing you into the practice while making it fun and meaningful. After so many years of doing the videos alone in my home or on travel, I attended one of her in-person classes in Austin and felt like I was meeting a close friend! During quarantine I’ve tried to start each morning with one of her videos (they range in difficulty, length, focus) and it’s a wonderful way to start the day.
The book: I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott. This book showed up by surprise in my mailbox thanks to my best friend. I hadn’t heard of it and didn’t know what to expect but I can’t get enough of it! It’s a relatable memoir that has me laughing out loud at one minute and then wiping away tears at another—an absolute delight to read.
Lisa has taken this opportunity to learn new skills and brush up on some old ones.
When you’re working
We have to ask: Why Amplio?
I believe strongly in the power of information. Think about the pandemic we’re all living through right now and how often you are tuning in to the news, googling symptoms, reading about recommended prevention methods, exploring epidemiological models. Imagine going through this difficult time without vital information to keep you safe and healthy. Amplio works to bring important information across all sectors to the hardest to reach communities. That is something I can get behind.
What’s your expertise and what interests you?
My background is in math and international health/epidemiology which has led me to a career I love in monitoring and evaluation for international development. Within that, I’ve found my real interest is in data visualization and effective communication of data/results. There’s a lot of information out there—it’s a matter of effectively communicating it so that people can act upon that information.
Thank you, Lisa!
Thanks to Lisa for her time and for being the first in our series! (And for amazing photos. She didn’t mention it, but she’s also a talented photographer.) We’re lucky to have her at Amplio. Look out for more of what our staff is up to while we’re staying home and staying healthy.