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The now of April 2020

I missed a couple of months of “what I’m doing now” posts. I bet you can guess why.

By the end of February, the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic in my small corner of the world was limited to news articles and speculation. By the end of March, I had already been working from home for weeks.

Working from home! Even the transition to this has been stunning. Previously, we had never attempted to provide all of our library workers with meaningful and effective remote work, and now we have all made the jump. It hasn’t been without its hiccups, but we’re all doing our best.

While sometimes I am nostalgic for the halcyon days of … early March? … I don’t want to go back to the way it was before. I want this to change everything. I want us to value human life, actually value it, and we can start by treating the people our modern life depends on with respect and pay them accordingly.

We can also give our planet a break by building in work-from-home resilience to many jobs, resulting in less air pollution from fewer commuting hours.

There’s much more to do, of course, so much more that it can quickly become overwhelming. So here is your reminder that it is enough to be attending to basic needs during this global crisis; do not add another level of guilt onto yourself for not being “productive enough” while staying at home.

Cooking and eating are two of my favorite pastimes, so our new grocery-shopping reality has been a particular pain point for me. If you are feeling stress about groceries (for yourself or for loved ones) Imperfect Foods offers produce boxes delivered at a reasonable cost. I also recommend the meal kit delivery service Green Chef. The recipes are easy to make and the results are delicious, and the paleo plan is gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free.

If all of this is a bit much, here are some distracting links. Flula is reliably silly, and his recent video is no exception.

A friend of mine reminded me today of this excellent song by Brandi Carlile, “Hold Out Your Hand”.

And because the internet is the internet, I followed a link that brought me to a video that made me so happy about grammar and “they/them” pronouns. The message is simple: Those of us who love grammar don’t have to stop loving grammar; we just have to love people more.

One last distraction, a picture of a place that is both real and not real: my little corner of a virtual world. If you’re missing the ability to travel right now, why not do some virtual sightseeing in Second Life?

Throughout all of this, FunkyPlaid and the Bottlebrush Brothers have kept me in laughter and snuggles, which goes a long way during this isolation. Loved ones have sent care packages in the form of yeast for bread-making, jigsaw puzzles, and hand-sewn masks. I’m grateful for group texts with friends and for eye contact with strangers during neighborhood walks. All of the little things add up to one big feeling of togetherness.

I hope you are staying home and staying healthy, and I also hope you are being gentle with yourself. Let me know how you are doing in the comments.

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