#WFH Diaries: Roger Bova of Deutsch New York

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the globe, we're checking in with creative people to see how they're coping. Here's an update from Roger Bova, head of design at Deutsch New York.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

I'm Roger Bova, head of design at Deutsch, creating, designing and building brands and their cultural footprints.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

A Greenpoint, Brooklyn, apartment with my wife Darcy Barber and our 2-year-old son Rio.

What's your work situation like at the moment?

I think finally accepting that these strange times are not going away soon has helped. The purchase of an office chair to replace the Coleman cooler I was sitting on was the official baptism of my new work life.

Describe your socializing strategy.

Lots of Zoom Drinks™, Zoom Birthdays™, Zoom Baby Showers™. A neighbor and I do a "Tim Allen/Wilson conversation" from over a fence like in Home Improvement.

How are you dealing with childcare?

We have a 2-year-old. It's been tough, as it's been tough on all parents.

What are you reading?

I just finished Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. Being from Cincinnati, many of the physical and social environments of the southern Ohio/Appalachian area are familiar and I think the author did a stellar job highlighting the obstacles and strains of some of those less fortunate in the area.

What are you watching?

On Amazon, there's a subscription called The Great Courses. It's a collection of lectures by college professors on a slew of topics, from How to Garden to The Basics of Thermal Dynamics. My wife and I are watching one on the Black Death by Purdue University professor Dorsey Armstrong. It's fascinating.

What are you listening to?

I love (and support) independent radio station WFMU. I've been listening to the archives of Fool's Paradise with Rex. It's like an old Wolfman Jack format with garage rock, soul and rockabilly—it keeps me upbeat. I've also been listening to our internal Deutsch podcasts on COVID-19 life called "Digging Into Distancing." It's a simple, 10-minute sketch of how some Deutsch employees are grinding through this thing. These are quite possibly the golden days of podcasting.

How are you staying fit?

I'm not. I've been eating to survive. Hahaha. I'm on track to gain "the COVID-19" for sure.

Have you taken up a hobby?

Washing dishes. I've never washed so many dishes in my life.

Any tips for getting necessities?

One big learning is streamlining how much I wasted before this. Paring down what we consume in food and consumer goods in the house. Helps stretch out the grocery runs even further.

An awkward moment since all this started.

Playfully teaching my 2-year-old the word "mask" so he wouldn't be scared of it.

Best work email you got since all this started.

Junk folder spam from brands trying to weave COVID into their pitches. It's unreal.

An aha! moment since all this started.

The week of March 9 we didn't feel comfortable with taking the subways, even though the mayor hadn't shut things down yet. So, we'd drive in, and every day the parking garage got full sooner, closing down earlier. We had to get mobile earlier each day to beat the rush. That was the when I started to see some eye-opening groupthink that was sobering.

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

I know for certain that there will be major societal changes that affect all of us for years to come. Watershed moments in human history product paradigm-shifting action. I read once that during fast-changing times, it's best to rely on your compass—who you are and the direction you desire—over maps that are constantly changing. I'm anxious but excited.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards and founding editor of Muse by Clio. Prior to joining Clio in 2018, he was creative editor at Adweek.

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