Q: How has the crisis affected your everyday life?
A: I’ve felt the strain of loneliness due to social distancing and isolation. I tend to show my love and affection, in friendships as well as familial and romantic relationships, physically. The lack of touch is something that I’m sure many are feeling and it’s going to take some time to find effective ways to connect for people who rely on physical affection.
This is one of those times where the effort afforded to sowing the seeds of friendship and putting a focus on the quality of your connections rather than the quantity can really benefit not just you, but also those you hold dear. Marcus Tullius Cicero said “Friendship improves happiness, and abates misery, by doubling our joys, and dividing our grief.”
There have been a number of old friends who have reached out to me since the start of this, some just to check in, others who simply know that I prepare for events such as these and stay as educated as I can on matters of public interest. I’ll come out of this with renewed friendships, and the knowledge of that plays a huge part in my ability to stay positive and optimistic.
Q: How has the crisis affected your practice?
A: Being an “Essential Worker” is an interesting position. I’d much rather be able to quarantine and limit my exposure and the exposure I present to those around me, but that simply isn’t an option or reality for me. I also sympathize with those who would prefer to be working but have lost their livelihood and are feeling abandoned or under-served in our society. As many of us feel, our nations government could have, and should have, been in a position to better serve us in this disaster. My day to day responsibilities have lessened but are still essentially the same, with an added focus on looking out for the health and safety of my fellow workers, and clients.
Q: How has the crisis affected you economically?
A: My income has stayed the same, but my roommate was laid off from her job as a server, so we’re operating primarily on my income. I have made an effort to avoid larger retailers whenever possible and instead make my purchases exclusively from small businesses. I’ve set aside money that I typically would have spent going out or socializing and instead use it to support friends and makers who create art or goods. I’ll continue to focus on this even after life regains normalcy.
Q: What is the role of culture in a time of crisis?
A: Culture is instrumental in our ability to connect during these trying times. Culture adapts and evolves as events like this occur and gives us an outlet to share all of our thoughts, feelings and experiences. Staying involved helps us all feel less alone, helps us feel heard, and helps us cope in this strange new reality.
Occupation: Essential Worker (Public Safety)