Dear Members:

I don’t know what your inbox looks like, but in addition to the local health alerts and the AIA sending me updates, I find it comforting to know that a flooring company and a restaurant hood manufacturer also have my back.  It is so re-assuring to be informed that a carpet adhesive maker will remain open for all my needs during the pandemic. What a relief! (Okay, now that’s off my chest).

Seriously, I have been hesitant to add to the logjam in your mailboxes with more emails about best practices during the pandemic, but there is some useful information amidst the flurry. Hopefully, you have received the supportive emails from the AIA.  Your Redwood Empire Board of Directors and Executive Director are working with input from State and National to find and share information to help each other. We have some easy links on our website now.

As a chapter we are working to pull together a useful page that will have links to all the building departments to the counties and cities in our area to make it a one stop resource for the latest information ad contacts for you and your clients. In addition, we are hosting an online forum next week to hear your ideas and questions for your own practice.

Professionally, what is MAD architecture doing to weather the pandemic? My office desk actually got a spring cleaning – as in cleared and scrubbed.  Computer equipment was wiped down as well as the whole office for when we return.   I have been working from home for 10 days now and trying to find a balance of healthy de-stressing and maintaining life’s commitments. This week everyone else was set up to work remotely. We will take time to organize systems rather than trying to be 85-90% billable. We will look at subscriptions to make sure we are streamlined and not duplicating inadvertently. We will research best deals for E and O insurance and phone systems. Why? Because now there is a gap that opened up to attend to these lower priority items.

Personally, we have 3 adult sons at home and it’s a full house. Even if we get sick, the family is together. I look around the house and see those old projects that have been put off for years might get done. I am cooking again. We are settling in to just us which is not easy for college sophomores or 23 year olds. Maybe getting back to business as usual is not the point right now. Maybe now is the time to take a little moment to look out for your neighbors, community, family, friends in a way that might change your daily dos, and maybe your outlook on life. Good for those who feel strong and impervious to the virus, and good for those who respect that not everyone feels strong or safe. Be as brave as you can and as kind as you can today. If it didn’t work out, try again tomorrow.

Finally, I wish you all good health.  I wish that your friends and family are well and safe. I wish that your creativity and projects flow smoothly.  I wish the pandemic would suddenly end. It may all come true someday.

Stay Healthy!

Mary Dooley, AIARE President
Principal Architect
MAD architecture inc.
145 Keller Street
Petaluma, CA 94952