Thoughts from Quarantine

Posted by Lee Yarborough on 1/12/22 3:00 PM
Lee Yarborough
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Posted on: January 12, 2022

I am one of those people who loves New Year’s—not for the parties because truthfully, I am usually home with my husband on New Year’s Eve watching the ball drop on TV. The reason I love New Year’s is the idea of having a clean slate. I love looking at the calendar and dreaming up the next year’s adventures. I love setting goals, and I even visualize checking them off throughout the upcoming year. I like to set goals on three levels: personal goals, family goals, and business goals. Setting a goal motivates me, and I review my progress throughout the year to keep me on track and focused.

FREE HR CHECKLISTHowever, this New Year’s has been quite different. I was diagnosed with COVID right before the end of the year, and I watched the ball drop from the isolation of my bedroom. My husband left a tray outside my door with a glass of sparkling grape juice, and I forced myself to stay awake and ring in 2022. I did not wake up on January 1st, ready to take on the world. Instead, I slept throughout the day with fever and congestion. I did not eat the obligatory collards, peas, and pork but instead sipped on soup and hot tea. And I have yet to make a list of goals.

AdobeStock_331604438_01Being in quarantine for a week has been interesting. I know of no other way to describe it. At times, I have enjoyed it. I have had the “alone time” that I often crave, and I have had a chance to read, work puzzles, write, and work remotely.

Yet, I have craved human touch and interaction. A phone call or conversation through a closed door is not the same as a hug and a smile. My family and co-workers have been wonderful and supportive, but I miss being a true part of the world. However, I do count my blessings, I have not been too sick, and I have the good fortune of living in a comfortable house with all that I need. I recognize that many people do not have my good fortune.

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Spending the start of the year in isolation has changed the way I am approaching 2022. I have been more pensive and less positive. I have been more meditative and less active. I have spent time looking backward and less looking forward. I haven’t made my list of goals yet, but instead, I’ve focused on lessons learned from the past year and thought about how those lessons will shape this new year:

Gratitude for My Community. 2021 had its share of difficulty both professionally and personally. Yet, my tribe showed up and supported me through very difficult times. The experience was humbling and, at times, overwhelming.

AdobeStock_61396169_01My wish for 2022 is to figure out how to accurately express my appreciation and pay it forward. After being on the receiving end, I have realized that the simple act of writing a note or reaching out to a friend in support can make a world of difference in someone’s day. I plan to give more in the new year.



Business is About People, Not Numbers. We spend so much time at work looking at numbers and setting goals based on profits and finances. While this is important and must always be addressed, we need to also set goals around people.

AdobeStock_272816828_01What will make us an employer of choice? What will keep our clients tied to our services? How can we deliver top-notch customer service day after day? How can both our customers and our employees feel appreciated? My goals for the new year will focus on people, and I know the profit will follow.


The World is Moving Fast, Are We Prepared? 2021 seemed to fly by, and the world changed quickly around us. From cybersecurity breaches to climate change events, we all had to adapt and learn how to survive when the world turns upside down. How do we better prepare for disasters? This is not a one-time exercise for a business. We need to constantly reshape and refine our disaster recovery plans. We need to make sure we are prepared for the worst-case scenarios as well as the best.

COVID is Here to Stay. I laugh when I think about how we honestly believed that if we stayed at home for a few weeks in March 2020, we could “flatten the curve” and go back to normal. We are now living a new normal, and we must adapt in order to prosper.

AdobeStock_340745381_01We have been challenged to be innovative and nimble, and we have lived up to that challenge. I am proud of Propel’s team and the value we have provided our clients during the past two years of COVID. We have learned new laws, developed new processes, and supported our clients during the many variants of the virus.

These lessons have made us stronger as we continue to navigate the pandemic in the new year. In 2022, we will continue to focus on the health of our team as we manage the daily business needs in new ways we never thought were possible before.

People are More than Political Beings. The past few years have brought about an extreme divisiveness in our nation. Friends and families have been torn apart in the name of politics and political ideologies. I have also been guilty of judging people based on their voting records and have even narrowed my circle to exclude those who do not agree with my tenets. This is wrong, and I aim to change this in the new year. I am going to start by focusing on our similarities instead of our differences when I interact with others. I will strive to be more open-minded and tolerant. I also plan to turn off the constant news cycle and just enjoy people more!

I hope to be out of quarantine in a day or so, and my idle time of pondering will pass. Life will be back in full swing, and my days will be spent in meetings, on the phone, cooking dinner, and shuttling carpools. However, this year, I may not make my traditional list of goals. I may just focus on my thoughts from this week and use them to propel me and the business forward.

Download your free HR ChecklistAbout Propel HR. Propel HR is an IRS-certified PEO that has been a leading provider of human resources and payroll solutions for more than 25 years. Propel partners with small to midsized businesses to manage payroll, employee benefits, compliance and risks, and other HR functions in a way that maximizes efficiency and reduces costs. Visit our new website at

Topics: COVID-19

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