“So, what are you gonna do tonight?” Jacob asks as he prepares to retreat into his man cave to play Classic WoW. We have come to the point in our nightly routine where we part ways: him to play online video games, and me to– well… a few months ago it would have been “go to bed by 10 o’clock”, but these days it’s usually “watch videos until I fall asleep on the couch”.
Tonight, however, “I’m going to write another blog post”.
“Who are you writing it for?”
“Just myself, in the future. You know, my war diary.”
Jacob rolls his eyes dramatically.
“And that’s going in it,” I say, indicating his gesture.
Admittedly, I’ve been on the “watch videos until I fall asleep on the couch” train for much longer than Corona has been sapping away nearly all of our reasons for being cheerful and purposeful. Following a period of illness in December-January, I have been unemployed. I was having a lovely time going to interviews for some lovely job opportunities, and I really had a good feeling about how things were going to go for the rest of the year. But then this shit happened and now EVERYONE is unemployed. The US economy has shrunk to the size of a pea. Day by day as the social and public health situations worsen, I find myself feeling relieved that I am not currently going through the experience of losing a job and income. What a terrible stress that would be, to be sent home from a new job. My heart aches for everyone who is going through that right now.
The internet and the media are completely 100% saturated right now with content about the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s absolutely surreal because there is no other news. No events. No gatherings. No functioning. No working. No traveling. When I first conceptualized this post I was planning to liken the spread of information online to the spread of the virus and comment on how ~meta~ and ~poingnant~ that was. But now I think that likening it to a virus is not right the right comparison at all. It is more like a lightning strike. Every person is looking at the online chatter practically constantly, so when a new piece of news is announced, the whole world knows it at once. It gives a shock; the markets react, the internet reacts, and our worlds become even smaller.
It’s amazing how quickly my sense of time is deteriorating. I have nothing to tell the days and hours apart. Time passes so slowly when there are no landmarks. Since the Gregorian calendar is now meaningless, I will now refer to my days based on how long I have been in “isolation”. Yesterday, the day after my birthday, was the first day I committed to staying in the house except to go to the store for necessities. Currently in Atlanta we are not on “lock-down”, but I’m sure it is coming. “Lock-down” is what the media is calling it when there becomes some sort of government mandate for citizens to stay in their homes. Right now in Atlanta it is still just a strong suggestion rather than something that is being enforced, but the mandate will come soon. The lock-down goes where the virus goes. It is part of the process. Just a few hours ago we found out that the state of California and the state of Argentina have chosen to lock-down.
Today I am lamenting the terrible scar this will leave on our culture in relation to music. My heart bleeds for all musicians right now. Performing music with and for other people is one of the most primal and beautiful activities we can do as humans. Music has gotten humanity through so many awful things. Music heals us, it connects us. It has never been taken away from us before. I performed music on 7 March not knowing it would be my last time performing. I attended a concert on 8 March not knowing it would be my last time experiencing live music. Now, something that I never even took for granted feels like it was taken for granted.
This is going to be a dreadful time. But some day, it will all come back. The music, the food, the games, the collaboration, the movement, the momentum, the joy.
And oh, that will be a glorious day indeed.