Someone from my workplace in Houston has actually tested positive for COVID-19. The branch manager has declared everyone to work from home for at least one month. Unfortunately, my boss (let's just call him Joe for now) has forced us to work together physically for at least a week in order to finish the programming aspect of a game the company is making. He already rejected my request to work at someone's house.
The higher-ups have made it clear that if the game is finished (we did 85% already over the past year) within one week, Joe himself will get at least a $50,000 raise in his salary because that would show his "ability to concoct efficiency and cohesiveness within a group".
Now I wouldn't mind working harder to help Joe, but after the coronavirus case in the building, I cannot fathom working anything but work from home. However, Joe has threatened to tell the branch manager that me and my three other colleagues that he caught us doing "very naughty things while he was away". He claims it is way more productive and speedy to work when we are physically together.
I know the branch manager wouldn't fire my group because of our achievements in the programming field, but he would still do something very serious to us. We made our first game last year, and it was an out-of-the-blue hit in the United States.
The branch manager will not tolerate any misbehavior when making the sequel of it. There is a high chance he will heavily dock my pay due to Joe's lies. I really do not want to work in any public places (to preserve my health), even if it wasn't in our company building.
Honestly, this situation seems so surreal, and I thought its kind is only in movies or TV shows. My three colleagues and I are stressed out about this since we are all 26 and under and don't have too much experience in a workplace.
Joe said we must prepare to come in two days. I have considered telling a higher up, but I don't want to risk my group's salary in any way. I would greatly appreciate any kind of advice received.