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One Engineer’s Opinion: COVID-19 Has Totally Disrupted Our Lives

By Bruce Longino

My wife and I have been “sheltered in place” for 74 days. It is a good thing I love being around her. Before this pandemic began I would have considered my life as “Heaven on Earth.”

Bruce Longino, PE, LEED AP
Bruce Longino, PE, LEED AP

We were going the soccer games and baseball games watching our Grandchildren compete. Sometimes winning and sometime losing. Our extended family used these events to get together.

Then on most Sundays I would try new recipes on my extended family. Life could not have been any better. Then this pandemic hit us all. We love our church family and looked forward to Sunday school and church. We have been members of Northbrook United Methodist Church for over 40 years.

Carissa (left) and Andie
Carissa (left) and Andie

We were in shock at not seeing our friends in Sunday school and church. We absolutely hated to give up eating Sunday dinner with our extended family. I missed seeing my co-workers at Mingledorff’s every week.

Then do you know what happened, life began to adjust to the “new normal.” We began meeting with our Sunday school using Zoom. We began watching church services on the internet. In fact our newest Grandson was born during the online Northbrook UMC sermon. As we watched the service, a picture of Eric Xavier was sent to Lynn my wife’s phone. Since my Son-in-Law is a guitar player, I assumed Eric was named for Eric Clapton. However I found out that Eric Xavier was named for two characters in “X-Men.” I do not get out much!


With technology, my part-time work continues. Using VPN, I am able to review plans and specification just as I did before in my office. I miss seeing my friends, but I do not miss wasting time bickering over where to have lunch. It is very weird that I have not eaten in a restaurant for 74 days. Another thing that is weird is I have not had a haircut in over 74 days. My barber, Hica will have a coronary when I finally show up. Or maybe I should grow a “ponytail.”

What amazes me most is how quickly humans adjust. As an example, my son-in-law, Chris, is an Inside Sales professional for Mingledorff’s in Marietta, Georgia. Normally he would man the counter and work with HVAC dealers and mechanical contractors to order equipment from inventory. The contractor would go the warehouse dock to pick-up the equipment. Now, because of “social distancing,” he works with the same customers via phone or email. The order is “staged” on the dock. The customer picks up the order without physical contact with Chris or the warehouse people.

Carissa, Luke and Jailyn
Carissa, Luke and Jailyn

COVID-19 has certainly disrupted our lives, however we will adjust. I believe the “new normal” will include some better ways to conduct business. I have been involved with meetings using Zoom and Microsoft Teams. It was nowhere as good as person-to-person meetings, but there was a lot less travel time.

Our family finally got together for Mother’s Day at our oldest daughter’s home, spread out around her pool. It was great! We look forward to days in the sunshine. At left are our three oldest grandkids on Tybee Island before COVID-19. There will be good days ahead.

I sincerely hope everyone stays safe. We will get through this together.

About the Author

W. Bruce Longino, P.E., LEED AP, may be reached by email at blongino@mingledorffs.com.


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