Initial Reactions (Late Feb)
Some people try to be comforting that healthy (they often mean young) people are less likely to have severe complications, but I don’t know how that’s comforting when I know chronically ill people (plenty of whom are not in the elderly category). Some of them are Big Name Bloggers, so we don’t personally know each other, but I do have online friends/acquaintances who are very aware that they’re being talked about as acceptable losses (1, 2). (That sucks, fam.)
It’s different kinds of frustrating for disabled and chronically ill people who are finding out that an accommodation they tried to ask for or cause they’ve been trying to change before all this is getting addressed now (#AccessibilityForAbleds; #DisabledAndSaltyAF). Remote working actually isn’t impossible (x). E-learning may not be getting rolled out perfectly due to the rush, but it’s also not impossible (x). I think certain food establishments that are still open for to-go service have reintroduced plastic straws after all that fuss about wanting to get rid of them.
And like the whole social distancing thing. Some disabled and chronically ill folks either can’t access sites, don’t have accommodations at events, or need to stay at home for other reasons. They’ve been struggling with social isolation and cabin fever for a lot longer than this (years, even decades), and they’ve already had to rehaul how they stay in touch with people because they can’t rely solely on in-person activities. It’s not like everyone’s being an ass, but is it really that hard to not tell disabled and chronically ill folks that you could never live their life directly to them?
Peer Unrest (Early March)
I fell off the wagon, in a manner of speaking, when it comes to utilizing my dual theatre degrees. I got two (2) Bachelors of Fine Arts and not much to show from them. However, loads of my fellow undergrads and grads have gone on to do theatrical work. They’re acting, doing tech work for small theatres, going on the road with traveling productions, some are in the concert/music side of tech (still traveling), and I’ve probably forgotten some others. They’re scattered all over – LA, Chicago, New York, Cleveland, slightly smaller but well-known for certain theatres or fests towns, and I don’t think anyone’s still abroad.
Some of them are doing the side hustle game, so they may not be solely employed by a theatrical gig, but lemme tell ya, the coronavirus sucker punched my peers. While some have their side hustles or day jobs that are still holding up or can be done from home, others have been thrown a serious curveball. Like, Actors’ Equity and IATSE – the two big unions for actors and techies, respectively – have put out statements calling for relief aid curveball. Like, some small theatres might bounce back if the strict quarantine measures are only in place for a few months, but that’s not a guarantee. (Not to mention, the timeline for how long we have to do this quarantine thing keeps shifting.)
Obligatory plug: Covid-19 & Freelance Artist Resources. Mutual aid groups: US (Canadian links at the bottom), UK, Germany, and other international. Safety Practices For Mutual Aid, Food, And Supply Distribution During The Coronavirus Outbreak (*not* direct care of Covid-19 patients).
Shit Hits The Fan (Mid-March)
You remember that “I am once again asking for your financial support” Sanders image that got turned into a brief meme? Well, I am once again reminding you I live in Ohio.
The state where there was a lot of confusion about whether we were still going to be allowed to hold in-person voting on March 17th, and at the eleventh hour, Governor DeWine was able to cancel the primary due to the Health Director declaring a health emergency. Officially, it’s been rescheduled to June 2nd. On the one hand, people in Cuyahoga county were probably breathing a sigh of relief [Cleveland], but on the other hand, could that have been any more confusing?
In addition to an insufferable tunnel vision on OSU and Columbus (if you don’t live far enough away to get Cincy or Cleveland foci), we are also dealing with: supposedly leading the way in shutting certain things down for social distancing, just following others’ lead on shutting other things down, and oh yeah, some people don’t want abortion to be considered an essential service that’s allowed to use PPE [link]. Just a fun quarantine.
Quasi-Acceptance (March 22 — )
Autoimmune condition: When your immune system is janky and tries to light the house on fire to kill a spider, which manifests in something happening to your body (psoriasis can cause plaques). It’s probably in overdrive if you’re not taking something that suppresses some part (or the whole system). Not being medicated is kinda-sorta-maybe better than being on an immunosuppressant, but y’know, the inflammation and various symptoms of your condition might mean you’re not exactly in tip-top shape even if you’re not immunosuppressed. So, fingers crossed and knock on wood that you don’t get the brand new virus going around.
No, I will not be thinking about anything else that might constitute an underlying medical condition rendering me more “vulnerable” to Covid-19 complications. This is enough to publicly worry about. This should be enough for certain relatives to take the coronavirus seriously. This is enough. My anxiety may or may not have ascended to the level of fake calmness. I guess we’ll see.
Also, today [3.22] has seen a lot of sharing of homemade masks, whether that’s for collective efforts for medical personnel or people suggesting these for people at home (who can then donate the actual N95 masks they have). Here’s a popular tumblr post (based around a particular hospital asking for donations with a youtube tutorial), the Forbes article linked in this submission (hashtags, who to connect with to donate any N95 masks you panic-bought, patterns for making your own mask, other open source projects for other medical supplies in short supply), a collection of studies looking at the efficiency of handmade masks and which material to use, and one of many tutorials. I’m not pressuring anyone to do this. There have also been a lot of posts about how we may not have the spoons to take on projects while under quarantine, and I know it’s not like everyone already has sewing skills or tools, including a stash of appropriate fabric and elastic. I’m, hopefully, passing on info that may help or inform someone.