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Chamber of Commerce president discusses life during the COVID-19 outbreak in new Estacada News series

COURTESY PHOTO - Michele Jones is president of the Estacada Chamber of Commerce.

As part of a new series called "Checking In," the Estacada News spoke to Chamber of Commerce President Michele Jones about adjusting to life during quarantine, working virtually and several other topics. Answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.

Estacada News: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your daily life?

Michele Jones: I'm a traveler. We were going to leave for the Canary Islands and Madrid on Friday, and that's been canceled. We usually try to squeeze some camping in. A lot of the recreational activities we look forward to are gone. Part of living in the Pacific Northwest is getting out, traveling and exploring. All of those things — when are we going to be able to do them again?

The other big one is family. I have kids and grandkids in the area. I haven't been able to see them or have them in my home. I really miss that connection.

EN: How did you celebrate Mother's Day?

Jones: It was the first time my kids had been over since February. We set up chairs in our driveway and did takeout, and had a socially distanced gathering. It was a lovely day that really recharged my battery, but it still feels different.

EN: You were working from home for awhile, and now you're one of a few people back in the Reliance Connects office. What was working from home like?

Jones: I think most people think working from home sounds great, but they eventually get bored. My dogs were loving having me around. I'd take photos of them and say "My coworker is sleeping, should I call HR?" But I'm an extrovert by nature, and I like to be around people.

EN: How is working virtually with the Chamber of Commerce?

Jones: We've been meeting by phone or Zoom. Even through this, the Chamber has been pretty strong. We feel like we're in a good spot. We've seen businesses renew their membership even during COVID.

EN: Have you picked up any hobbies during this time?

Jones: My yard looks great. We've gotten a lot of projects done. That little bit of extra time really makes a difference.

I also listen to Audible while I commute to work. While I was working from home, I didn't, but I've picked it up again a few weeks ago

EN: What book are you listening to now?

Jones: "Untamed" by Glennon Doyle.


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