Sunday Check In

Gather round, ducklings, I want to give you all a (digital) hug.

How has your week been? I’ve been working 12-16 hour days again trying to corral and distribute information of all stripes across my stakeholders and workforce as humans and businesses alike struggled to understand the implications of government announcements last week and industry realities this week.

It’s been mental but weirdly satisfying to have so much TO DO, because I know, in the spectrum of possibilities, this thing is likely to last for a lot longer than most people realize. There are follow up waves of illness, potential mutations, economic disparities that mean people and countries will get help at different times, and the ripple effects of those timelines will spread outward for a long time. If some of the possibilities are correct, there is a potential down period coming where the initial frenzy of immediate practical response will come to an end and we all transition to a new, weird “normal” that consists for many in waiting this thing out. And the last thing my brain and I need is not enough to do right now.

As always, books and cooking are helping to keep me sane (Jeff’s drug of choice is video games), and the London weather has been behaving beautifully this week which has also been a delight. I’m acutely aware of my good fortune and hoping you are keeping well too.

Let’s chat about our weeks in the comments. Here, have another hug!

 

Weekend Links: Quarantine Week Two

Hi there, kittens. Here’s you weekly batch of goodness, take some time to rest today if you can. Let’s all meet back here tomorrow for a proper catch up, eh? Love you all, truly.

Respect the bean!

How NOT to be an ass in the time of COVID-19.

Beware wildlife #fakenews.

Surely these people have assistants who will take their phones away!

Here’s a way to “go outside” even if you’re not able to at the moment – responsible social distancing, people!

At a loss of what to cook? Bon Appetit is here to help.

OH LOOK, MORE PROOF THAT WE CAN HAVE AN EFFECT IF WE PUT OUR MINDS TO IT. I’ll be the first to admit that the petri dish is not exactly ideal, but as a forced experiment it is telling.

For me, the idea that my role in this situation largely consists of staying home as much as possible seems on its face to be egregiously fortunate…And more than simply being a luxury, it’s more than that: It’s a duty.”

In case you’re in need of a disco-y bop, Childish Gambino has got you.

SOLIDARITY.

More solidarity. This is going to get worse before it gets better.

As for the rest of you, stop doing brand adjustments and start paying people living wages with sick benefits.

The left gets accused (sometimes rightly) of virtue signalling, but we need to have a real investigation into the defiance signalling of the right. Whether it’s guns, anti-science or any other thing, the fact that we have allowed one of these things (an over abundance of caution or self righteousness to the point of ridiculousness) to be seen as equivalent evil to its counterpart (an overabundance of contempt to the point of public endangerment) is ludicrous. One of these things is annoying. The other is dangerous.

We stan a maximalist queen.

Never have we all been so obsessed with hand sanitizer, and Vanity Fair knows what #content we want right now.

How do we just lose stuff like this, part five million of a continuing series… (ETA: part five million and one)

Ah yes, Leyendecker and his impossibly beautiful men. We heteros aren’t immune.

I would very much like to be a part of this trend.

Meanwhile, in Britain

Friday Talk: How Are You Socializing?

We’re all having to get creative here, and I’m honestly looking for ideas because – while I’m used to my best friends and family being scattered across continents, and the truth is that Jeff and I already tended to be homebodies at the weekend – I’m feeling the emotional pinch of our flat’s four walls. I enjoy my interactions with my coworkers, who are all lovely and interesting people, and I have a habit of striking up conversations with random people throughout my day. In a queue, at the shop, asking to pet people’s dogs in parks… While this is not terribly British, it is terribly American and I find the accent breaks down cultural barriers, especially when attempting to be friendly.

So, if you’re like me and happen to like people…how are your socializing? Facetime? Instagram? Skype calls? Have you set up any new ways to connect with your nearest and dearest? Got any good ideas?

Small Gratitudes

In retrospect, thank goodness.

Thank goodness I prioritized addressing some of my persistent health issues – not least of all mental.

Thank goodness I spent the last couple of years fixated on money and budgeting, deliberating practicing self-denial and flexing my emotional discipline muscles.

Thank goodness that we can say that we have anything we could reasonably need to make a house comfortable and liveable, without practical wants.

Thank goodness I already started goals that got us spending more time in the kitchen and making an effort to cook.

Thank god I started therapy.

There’s a huge amount in privilege in all of this that I am not blind to in anyway – I know exactly how lucky I am. But staring down the barrel of uncertainty and more question marks than anything, I’m very glad that I’ve had the ability to make these choices and practice these emotional skills and habits.

Share: what’s something in the recent past that’s helping you right now, in this moment? It doesn’t matter how profound or trivial.

An incomplete list of things I will 100% buy if this thing lasts as long as it’s projected to

A few things that my fevered brain has suggested to me – assuming I live and don’t get laid off (insert image of me breathing into a paper bag because we live in the upside down:

A pet. Without fail.

A piano (or weighted keyboard at least)

A better desk chair

A better desk (?)

A month’s supply of wine to go with my very formerly-mormon food storage!

Approximately 17 more houseplants. They will all be named.

Another pet

A rice cooker

Better flatware

I dunno…maybe a lamp for the living room? Does that wall need a little something?

A fancy headset for work calls

Fancy headphones for everyday life

More houseplants, why not?

Another pet. I’m a cat lady now. Hi!

Cuticle cutters

A shoe organizer

A bougie leather bench

I think we need a pasta ladle…

The fanciest olive oil I can find

An Audible subscription

Totally unnecessary antique porcelain and glassware

A a piece of taxidermy

A blanket/robe hybrid

New sheets

Another pet

 

Guys, I kid, I kid, because literally all I can think about right now are worst case scenarios and I’m spiraling today. You?

A ramble.

Tomorrow is payday.

Never in my life have I felt more grateful for a paycheck…and never more convinced than ever that basic protections for individuals, workers, and families should be rights not luxuries.

We are seeing in real time what CAN be done by states, cities, companies and governments. Now, we need to confront that fact that the reason this hasn’t happened before is because those in charge chose not to. And of course they would! We’ve stopped referring to people as citizens and prefer to message in terms of “taxpayers,” as though the benefits of collective belonging are something you buy for yourself, rather than a public trust we all invest in.

What if the only measuring stick for success wasn’t just a bottom line or ledger? What if we stopped treating poverty like “lack of character” rather than a “lack of cash,” as historian Rutger Bregman put it? What if we respected the dignity of work of all types with a living wage rather than a constant negotiation and squeezing that leaves workers resentful of their bosses and bosses contemptuous of their workers? What if we treated public health as a public right…we might have fewer MLMs, people drinking bleach to cure disease, or be able to stop using GoFundMe as a kind of twisted healthcare to start!

Society should not be pay to play.

Perhaps I’m just unduly maudlin this evening but I have to believe that something is going change out of this mess. That something significant will change to materially improve a system so that the Dow isn’t the only thing people think should be lifted up. The alternative just feels…a bit bleak…