Perspectives: Working in the coronavirus world

George Greger-Holt, Chatham Drug Free
Posted 4/17/20

Working from home. Sounds easy, even desirable. No distractions from co-workers, minimal phone calls, high productivity. But when you’re a people person in a people business, like I am, working …

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Perspectives: Working in the coronavirus world

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Working from home. Sounds easy, even desirable. No distractions from co-workers, minimal phone calls, high productivity. But when you’re a people person in a people business, like I am, working from home is not as productive as it might seem.

I have always thought the magic of Chatham County is that people do business face to face, whether that’s with the folks that fix our vehicles or the folks at the grocery store or the many talented people in county government and essential non-profits that serve our citizens. Relationships are how we get work done here, and our new world doesn’t make maintaining those relationships and especially creating new ones very easy.

For me, physical distancing, while vitally important if we want to manage this pandemic and reduce deaths, creates barriers to effectively meeting with co-workers, planning initiatives and engaging the public. Like many others, my calendar is filled with a lot of strike-throughs, meetings that had to be canceled, events that had to be postponed or canceled and in-person meetings that have become virtual meetings.

We have always had the technical capability to conduct conference calls, although I never found them as productive as meeting face to face. The new technology that adds video of those on the call is definitely an upgrade, but I still find it more difficult to be productive on those calls as compared to the old sit around a table and talk meeting.

These new videoconferences rely on the availability of high speed Internet and although I know the county is working on solutions, I have barely enough download/upload speeds at home to hear and see my fellow virtual meeting attendees. I’m becoming well acquainted with the “Your internet is unstable” warning box but am fortunate to even have working Internet. I know many in our county do not.

In spite of the challenges, things are getting done. Work is going on. Information is getting out. Initiatives are being planned and hopefully, when all this clears, we will again help the citizens in our county understand the importance of helping young people find things to do other than drugs.

On the other hand, my house has never been so clean and my garden has never looked so good.

Pittsboro’s George Greger-Holt has worked for decades in Chatham County serving and supporting youth and youth programs. He is the community outreach coordinator for Chatham Drug Free. He worked in a variety of positions for Chatham County Schools from 1991 until his retirement in 2013. He’s been the recipient of numerous awards and recognition for his work, including the GlaxoSmithKline Lifetime Achievement Award for Student Health in 2010, the Margaret B. Pollard Outstanding Community Service Award in 2009, and the North Carolina Governor’s Academy for Prevention Professionals Award of Appreciation in 2007.


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