Woman sitting on the floor typing on a laptop computer with a cat climbing on her lap.By Rita Pagan, DES

Please stop apologizing during online meetings for dogs barking, cats on your laptop, kids asking for lunch, and leaf blowers.

By now we all know the work-from-home quarantine COVID-19 drill. Working families everywhere have figured out how to manage this interesting time. Whether it’s a full day of Zoom meetings on our calendars or socially distant online holiday gatherings, we’re now pros at navigating the virtual world. My 9-year-old knows Zoom functionality better than I do!

On top of that, we are keeping our kids educated, entertained, and hopefully busy enough they don’t try some crazy quarantine activity like cutting their own hair (yes, I found hair in the bathroom sink this week!). The point is, we have gotten a system down pat–even if that system is utter chaos at times. Most importantly, we are doing all of this while trying to keep ourselves mentally, and emotionally sane, trying to resist the PJ’s-all-day look accompanied by the entire pack of Oreo cookies for dinner. I have watched ALL OF NETFLIX.

So no need to apologize for the background noise. We get it. We are all dealing with it and personally, I find it oddly reassuring. It means I am not the only one losing my mind and juggling entirely too much. Let’s have patience and understanding with each other. Mute and get that kid a PB&J! Or in my case, maybe a hat for that home haircut someone just gave themselves.

Rita Pagan, DES, is IPMI’s events and exhibits manager, currently managing our Mobility & Innovation Summit, online, Feb. 24-25. Don’t worry about your background noise or your baseball hat–register here.