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Social Distancing with The Whitman Team during COVID-19

by | Apr 14, 2020

March 2020 threw us a curveball as the Coronavirus quietly crept onto our New York City shores. Triplemint led the way as one of the first brokerages to begin working remotely to slow the spread. Days later, COVID-19 was declared a “pandemic.” Social distancing measures took effect. In waves, NYC businesses were asked to work from home until nearly all of us were working in our living rooms, indefinitely. Droves of NYC jobs were pronounced “non-essential” and were “paused” until further notice. Real estate was among those non-essential industries.

Some members of The Whitman Team left the city to social distance. Some stayed behind. We stay connected with Zoom meetings, a book club, and constant texts and calls. Below we’ve documented our current “new normals.” We look forward to returning to our gorgeous city that keeps us energized.

Tyler Whitman – Social Distancing in The Hamptons, New York

My biggest takeaway from this quarantine life is that we are not social distancing, we are physical distancing. As a real estate agent, I usually spend the majority of my free time at events and listing launches, or going out to dinner and continuing to build my network. And I love that – it is why I believe I was born to do this job – so being locked up with no end in sight was a fairly earth-shattering concept in the beginning.

And then I started FaceTiming my family. And then friends I had lost touch with. And then clients I hadn’t spoken to in years. And strangely, now more than ever, my life feels simple and my heart feels full and connected to my community on a deeper level than ever before.

There is something about going into crisis as a collective that has been uniquely special. I’m not saying that I don’t want this to be over, but I will look back at this time one day and be grateful for the grounding experience it has been. Here is a photo of my current new office in the Hamptons.

Josh Heyer – Social Distancing in Hoboken, New Jersey

Life in the Heyer household has slowed considerably. We sleep in a little later, work out more consistently, cook from home much more often, and try to figure out how to have two people work in a 650-square-foot apartment.

However, we look forward to and appreciate the little things more than ever before. The morning coffee tastes a bit better, FaceTimes with family mean a little more, and any time spent outside is not taken for granted.

Oh yeah, and we also had to postpone our wedding.

Bailey Gladysz – Social Distancing in Alpharetta, Georgia

I kicked off 2020 on maternity leave after my son, Fox, was born on January 2nd. To round out the last and final month of maternity leave in March, my new family of three had scheduled a ten-day trip to Atlanta to celebrate my dad’s 60th birthday. The day we landed in Atlanta was the day COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. We cancelled our flights back to New York and have been down in Georgia since. We’ve officially been here five weeks and counting.

I feel incredibly grateful to be “stuck” in my hometown with my family. Even though I returned to work from maternity leave “remotely” in April, I am thankful for the extra days I get to watch my son grow up while I am at home with him. Every day I take at least two walks with someone in my family, and the evening sun can be incredibly inspiring in the southern suburbs.

Every weekend, my family celebrates my dad’s 60th again, on repeat, since that was the reason we came down in the first place. He’s now had five 60th birthday parties with his family crew (yes, we sing to him each Saturday and give him another cake). We are all creating unexpected, new memories that we will hold for the rest of our lives.

Kemba Buchanan – Social Distancing in Cape Cod, Massachusetts

My senses have never been this awake as during this time. Everything I’m feeling and noticing has been on a deeper level – from the way the sun feels on my skin, to the way my mom sounds over the phone, my niece’s laugh via FaceTime, to the taste of cumin (it’s so YUMMY!), to the weight of my heart when I’m sad and it’s lightness when I’m laughing. Perhaps, being quarantined so close to the ocean is affecting these sensations as well – they say water has magical powers, and now I believe it even more.

Connection has always been one of the most important values I’ve carried throughout my life. FaceTime/Zoom/Google Hangouts/IG video chat have all been saviors during this time. Speaking on the phone is far better than text, and seeing someone’s face is better than hearing their voice. Only now, more than ever, I miss the energy that everyone I love gives off, even strangers I’d pass on the street. I cannot wait to experience that energy again.

These two pictures are close to my heart. The first is a photo of me and my beautiful niece, Gabby, on FaceTime. She is the silliest person I know, and she was making me laugh so hard. The second photo is when I had all of my siblings take a selfie in their present moment – this was the one I took. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon, and I was having a low moment but had just finished one of those “feel good” conversations with a friend who helped lively up myself.

Tara Burns – Social Distancing in Los Angeles, California

I have been in Los Angeles for over a month, missing New York City so much it hurts. Since news of COVID-19 broke in January and slowly started to infiltrate our world, I wanted to believe that this virus would remain on foreign soil and that all of this would soon be in the past. Sadly, New York City was about to become the nation’s epicenter of the virus, and we suddenly found ourselves in unprecedented territory with no playbook.

On Friday, March 13th, I booked a one-way ticket from JFK to LAX with one carry-on suitcase, thinking I would stay for the weekend and return in a few days. A month later, I am still here, rotating the same three pairs of yoga clothes everyday. In the midst of this crisis, I am so grateful for my work and for my team, who have provided a much-needed channel of accountability and daily structure. On weekday mornings, I attend virtual Triplemint trainings and Whitman Team meetings, and work with renters and buyers from afar.

During quarantine, I have been able to focus on aspects of my life that had been put on the backburner. Knowing that exercise is essential to my mental health, I am committed to daily Tracy Anderson Method workouts, meditation through the Synctuition app, and daily “sanity drives”, when I hop in the car and go for a drive to look at the palm trees, view the beach, and watch the sunset. I’ve been spending more time than ever in the kitchen, preparing meals and creating recipes that make me feel closer to home. One of my favorite things about New York is the vibrant culinary scene. This week I recreated a Vegetarian Ramen from Souen in the East Village and my favorite pasta dish, the Spicy Rigatoni from Carbone on Thompson Street.

It’s hard to put this whole experience into words, and yet there is comfort in knowing that we are all in this together. As we take this one day at a time, the following quote by Gurpreet K. Gill beautifully expresses some of the positives that can be found during this time: “What if the virus is here to help us? To reset. To remember. An invitation to turn inwards, a deep meditation, rather than the usual extroverted going out to self-soothe. What if this virus is an ally in our evolution? On our remembrance of what it means to be connected, humane, living a simpler life.

Lawrence Lee – Social Distancing in Long Island City, New York

An ideal day goes as follows, however, I allow myself to deviate as I need to be able to forgive myself for not having the same energy every day. These are trying times for everyone, and we simply should ask to present our best selves each day.

This vacillates but here goes:

5:30am: Wake up and meditate
5:45am: Morning run of 6 miles (up to 10 miles depending on training) or yoga
6:45am: Breakfast with the family (just tea or coffee for me, I do intermittent fasting)
7:30am: Catch up on articles
8:45am: Carry my sons on my back to simulate bus pick-up and drop-off for school
9-11am: Check-in calls to clients, friends, and relatives
12pm: Lunch with family
1pm: Teach my son, Hunter, math
2pm: Either family walk or indoor basketball on our mini-hoop (I play as Michael Jordan and my son plays as LeBron James)
3-5pm: Webinars, more reading, more catch-up calls
5:30pm: Dinner
6:30pm: Family movie night
8pm: Kids bedtime
8-10:30pm: Reading or more tv, maybe some Animal Crossing on Nintendo Switch
10:30pm: Bedtime

I’m learning on a daily basis to roll with the punches, control what I can, and not let the other things in life and the world overwhelm me. Getting back to working out and running consistently has been a godsend. I’m hoping I can get my running mileage up to 30-35 miles a week and get some body weight exercises down to routine.

I’m grateful for my wife, boys, and dog, and don’t know what I’d do without them to ride this isolation out. I’m also grateful for my entire family, friends, my Whitman Team Fam, and clients, who I have meaningful daily conversations with about the important things we all need to reflect on in these times. Being able to lean on each other and share laughs and tears has been so heartwarming.

Ashlie Roberson – Social Distancing in Manhattan, New York

LIFE IN THE TIME OF CORONA: I am trying my best to keep as much of a routine as possible during this time and also taking time to incorporate things that bring me joy. Being able to slow down and have “me time”, time with my boyfriend, and FaceTime with my family has been incredible. My self-care game has been on POINT! I have been doing a face mask a day because why not? They range from high-end masks to absolute ridiculousness like a shark mask. Everyday, I still work out promptly at 6am. Want to peep my routine? 150 burpees to a plank, 150 push-ups, 150 sit-ups, 300 squats, and I finish with kettlebell swings. I make dinner every night. Before COVID, my building was without gas for 14 months, so I am beyond grateful that the gas/my kitchen was restored the first week of March.

LOVE IN THE TIME OF CORONA: I am beyond grateful/happy/proud of my relationship with my boyfriend and quarantine partner, Eric. As two incredibly independent individuals and workaholics, this time has brought us closer in a way I will be forever grateful for. As a team, we decided to face this thing together and stay in NYC. We actually moved in together. Even on the more stressful days, we have each other’s back, and our home is filled with laughter every night.

We have made the absolute best of the time with each other here and with our families in Alabama and Florida. Both being children of nurses, we love our 7pm ritual of going on the roof with a glass of wine or whiskey while clapping and cheering for the men and women who are on the front lines every day. There is such power watching people migrate in the same way every night. We have been religiously watching Ozark and The Office. Jim and Pam are #relationshipgoals.

COMMUNITY IN THE TIME OF CORONA: I am so thankful for my community and tribe made up of my family, friends, and my team at work. The Whitman Team, in particular, is resilient and strong. We look out for each other and care deeply for one another. Forever and always, we are a little weird, but we are the strongest family and we will always hold each other up. #WhitmanTeamFamily #WTF

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