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When I went to bed last night, the governor had declared a state of emergency with a level one driving restriction. This meant that people should stay off roads for non-emergency reasons. Unfortunately, this meant that my employer still requires us to arrive to work, which I confirmed with my supervisor by text message.

When I woke up this morning, the travel restriction had been escalated to a level two, which meant that roadways are off limits for all but “essential personnel.” According to the press release:

Essential personnel includes those employees necessary to maintain the core functions of government and maintain health and safety by providing utility services, healthcare services, and food and fuel deliveries.

Unfortunately, this also meant me. Because although I don’t have any direct patient care, the hospital considers every person on staff to be “essential.” So, reluctantly, I got ready and headed out for what would probably be the most dangerous commute to work I’ve done to date.

By the time I arrived to work, the powers that be issued a hospital wide mandate to implement the “Severe Weather Emergency” plan for each department. I had been at my desk no more than 13 minutes when the plan came in to essentially “go home” to wait it out. Unfortunately, every person in my department did make it in, and we all put in about three hours before finally closing up for the day. I was grateful to be sent home, but the entire day was an exercise in futility, putting myself at needless risk to push some paperwork that could easily have waited a day or two until this storm blew over.

On my drive home, the roads were eerily desolate. The storm was beginning to ramp up and the rain and wind were really beginning to worry me. I stopped to grab a quick snack at Dunkin Donuts on the way, to find that it was one of the few businesses open. At home, my husband was preparing for the inevitable power outage by boiling water to store in our brewing equipment. The rest of the day will be spent making ice, and keeping an eye on the basement, in case we need to move stuff upstairs. At this point, however, all we can do is watch.