Seeing this created a rare release of tension for me. I don't know these neighbors but they have kept their pink flamingos busy during the pandemic -- they built a garden; went camping; got on a school bus; and now they are at the 'fly-in' watching a movie. This makes me laugh, and Dad too. I wish I could laugh more but I always feel a sense of tension deep in my bones this year.
In March, over the course of a few days, all my activities were cancelled. Hospice work with my dog, ESL tutoring, mah jongg with girlfriends, and more. ... And now Dad -- 97 years old and living with us instead of at the farm (which was sold) or at the senior living facility he expected to move to. I've never been so domestic. I'm trying to learn to love it. I should be so grateful that he is here -- and I am in a lot of ways -- but I feel sorry for myself more than I should. No help from sisters. Brother done with caring for him. None of them ask how we are doing with it. We're expected to carry on, carry on. And I can. But it's hard. And with all the chaos in the world -- climate change-related storms and fires, racial injustice -- sometimes I just want to curl up under the covers. This has been the hardest year for me EVER. We always said we lived a charmed life, and in many ways we still do. So I should just buck up and deal with it. But I want to cry a lot of times.
La semana pasada celebramos el cumpleaños de mi hijo. Aunque cumplió 27 años, pedí un pastel de un personaje de comic que a él le gusta. Creo que él también fue flexible y amable en tomar con entusiasmo un pastel un poco infantil para la edad que cumplió.
Para esta ocasión, nos reunimos varios miembros de la familia ampliada. Éramos 8 en total. Con algunos no nos mirábamos desde mayo. Fue una reunión agradable y cálida. En estos tiempos nos damos cuenta de lo mucho que nos hacemos falta entre nosotros. Aunque nos vemos en reuniones virtuales o hablemos por teléfono frecuentemente, el hecho de reunirnos en torno a una mesa y comer juntos es una especie de comunión que une, alienta y nos conecta.
Hicimos todo lo posible por mantener el distanciamiento social que establecen las normas para evitar el contagio de coronavirus. Aun así, nos reímos, conversamos, intercambiamos ideas y opiniones. Estuvimos unos para otros. Fue una reunión "oasis" en un desierto que nos pide estar aislados, distantes.
Al despedirnos, queda un calor especial en el corazón. No solo celebramos la vida de una persona porque sabemos que la vida en sí es difícil y hay que celebrar cada avance que logramos, también celebramos que, aunque somos personas imperfectas, con muchos defectos, somos capaces de comprendernos, de amarnos y aceptarnos.
23 Sept 2020. GENERAL. We are in the third week of teaching classes on line -- classes plus meetings, other seminars, etc. have me on zoom much of the day everyday -- eye fatigue and general fatigue is something that periodically forces nap-taking to revive. The weather has been mercifully nice and so am able to go for hour long walks. Among the places in my walk routine is a great park with some five playing fields populated in the good weather by many people by many of many kinds (ethnically, racially, age-wise, probably gender-wise -- though mainly young under 30ish, lots of tots in strollers and sitting around on the ground with them), soccer games, volleyball, many little kids, many dogs of all sizes and varieties, mostly cute; and a koi fish pond which both of us find relaxing, kind of meditative space, even though the pond is up against industrial-style buildings and serves as part of the plumbing -- but it is gentrified old factory spaces that now are wonderful loft apartments (remembering from when they were new and we could look inside, nowadays relatively few people about). Little kids have been coming to visit the fish. [...] they are on schedules and need food 4x a day, though as the weather gets cooler they will eat less and gradually go into semi-hibernation). We've eaten out three times in the last six months, take out one sushi restaurant a few times. We have friends come and sit in the garden six feet apart, offer water and nuts, but no sharing of food -- one group of all elders who have been meeting monthly and before the pandemic it was potluck dinner. TEACHING & WORK. Zoom meetings have some great advantages of seeing people from around the world, so some seminars are extraordinarily enriched. Two of my classes are intense graduate seminars (with a few undergrads) and these are enriched by people coming in from all over the world. The one intensive undergraduate class is minutely timed by my co-faculty and it is an enormous amount of backstage work and coordination, particularly at the beginning when we took seriously all the guidelines beginning with such admonitions that students attention span is (of course there is 'scientific data') only 1.5-2 minutes and videos should be made but not longer than 5 or 10 minutes at most. This proves to be just silly -- the students are engaged and attentive, ask questions, answer them. There are small break out rooms for short exercises -- this helps get to know them and to bond. Some 40 students total divided into four groups. DEATHS. Deeply mourning and grieving the death of RBG, but also at the same time a close philosopher friend, a less close but anthropologist friend, a few weeks ago close literature scholar friend, and a few weeks earlier a member of the Staying Put group of elders who meet monthly. Of these, he was one of the first to die of COVID-19 from our circle of closer friends, and one of the first to suddenly die from one day to the next in the nursing home that shortly experienced almost 100% of the residents infected, a high profile case of a high end care facility which was not spared. We did a shiva for his widow standing on the sidewalk outside her house, and only five people were allowed to accompany him to be buried; there was then a zoom shiva with relatives who from around the country. The deaths of George Floyd, Breona Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tamir Rice, Treyvon Martin, Eric Garner, Rayshard Brooks, Botham Jean, Daniel Prude, Freddie Grey, Alton Sterling -- many now recorded on video, puts structural racism and police violence on the agenda and contributes to a general state of rage and anxiety compounded by:
ANXIETY. The whole country is in a state of nervous breakdown in part through the criminal and negligent dismantling of pandemic preparedness infrastructure and a racist President and police departments that seem intent on restoring Jim Crow white supremacy in the nation, and in part through the violation of laws and constitutional obligations by the President, facilitated by his cabinet, Republican senators who refuse to curb him in any way, and a raft of "acting appointees" running agencies of the government to avoid vetting and Senate confirmation. This is not only Jim Crow racism, but also capitalist greed, and a total lack of any sense of public obligation or service on the part of so many of those who have become rich, and deny even basic relief for those who have lost their jobs and health care thanks to the pandemic. Everyone on all sides is agitated by the upcoming Presidential election thanks to the President and Republican Governors open effort to suppress voting, the packing of the courts with right wing judges (and the coming effort to appoint a right wing Supreme Court justice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, tilting the court 6-3 to the right), and the President's open refusal to legitimize the election process, already saying that he will only accept the election results if he wins, and, worse, today saying in answer to a reporter's question if he will ensure a peaceful and smooth transition in the elections saying that there should be no need for any transition, the votes should be dispensed with, and continuity will reign; he has also made rally speeches about his desire for an unconstitutional third term or more. We are watching the destruction of democracy in slow motion, that the system of democratic checks and balances we have long prided ourselves on be allowed to be destroyed. We seem to be learning that our system depended on norms of civility and good will rather than a strong institutional structure of enforceable law. We may well survive if the elections bring a Democratic Senate as well as a Democratic President, to begin to rebuild; but no one seems confident of such an outcome, and the voices of the gun-toting rabble and informal militias grow louder. To make things even worse, much of the world seems to be following suit in the polarization between populist-nationalist forces and international cooperation and interdependence. With the acceleration of climate change migration, and ecological destruction, the pressures will only intensify. FASCINATION: We cannot stop watching the video footage of all the above. We take hope where we can, above all in the incredible democratic moblizations of marches in the streets led by Black Lives Matter, My Brothers Keeper and other organizations (the hard organizing work getting less attention than it deserves, not least because if there was more attention people would feel more hope and join in more easily). We contribute money, write postcards to voters to reassure them that their votes will be counted, do phone banking, plant signs -- but it all seems too little.
ACADEMIC & COMMITMENT: Zoom meetings on the technical biology and the policy-politics of COVID-19 provide some sense of stability, that we are making some progress in unpacking the virus and its effects on the body (endothelial cells, damage to the heart, not just respiratory and the lungs as stressed earlier) and the terrible and largely still puzzling effects suffered by the "long haulers" (those who allegedly come out of severe infection, but suffer severe debilitation for months after), and the dynamics of infection and shedding by asymptomatic carriers; and some better understanding of the rearrangements of habitats that cause the spilling over" of the virus into human populations; and even more so that contact tracing and other "public health efforts" (when not disabled by the CDC and FDA under pressure from the White House) are revealing the social components of pandemics being the most important predictors of who lives and who dies. In the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, Paul Farmer reminded us in a seminar to day, key drivers of the epidemic were the care-takers and the people who had to bury the dead. We too in the more affluent world have lost all too many of our most courageous physicians, nurses, hospital staff, and other care-givers. Among the points of hope are where things have gone well: the preparedness of Uganda and other less affluent countries, the role that care-taking as well as contact tracing plays (checking in repeatedly, helping arranged daily needs, be it food or child care or translating), the commitment of places like Singapore to provide monetary relief for people being unable to work as well as to commit to more rapid diagnostics development.
TODAY the sun was out, and we count our blessings.
As of now, coronavirus has continued to cause a main problem in my life. This is one of the most severe and dangerous pandemic . My workplace is severely affected, there is no seating , 9 am Tuesday 17 March no one is allowed to sit in Dunkin. This emergency was made by the mayor of city of NY so to prevent more people to getting affecting to this pandemic . I never see anything like . This pandemic infecting people I know. The most powerful city of the world NYC is close , workers are losing their jobs. A lot of stores I usually attend are all close. My GPA decreases because of the new way we taking class. My parent that usually come couldn’t come and that was the most painful thing I had during that pandemic . I couldn’t apply for unemployment which made me nervous, no money in my account . In my case COVID 19 was really a disaster
This is the time of the Jewish holidays. The time of long hours in synagogue. The time of certain songs and tunes that, at least for me, make up the day. The time of gathering with friends and family. The time of communal rituals, and even dancing.
And all that is not allowed.
I can't get a ticket to shul - and even if I did, the service is shortened; there is not singing; there is not mingling.
I sit and pray on my own. And due to the rules, I can't even have more than 5 people sit with me in my garden.
I heard the shofar in the backyard.
I won't get to dance with a Torah on Simchat Torah. I won't march with others for Hoshanot throughout Sukkot. I won't sit in the sukkah with friends. There are not group meals.
Yom Kippur I will be fasting and being on my own. Somehow I am to make a Yizkor service three times, for no more than 5 people at a time. Create that sense of communal mourning as we are not really a number of a community.
It is Tishrei. It is the time of all the holidays. Just everything feels likes it's in the individual instead of the community.
Por suerte, he conseguido unos días de trabajo. No serán eternos pero servirán. El poder salir y realizar una actividad fuera de la condenada rutina me ayuda mucho a poder cambiar de aires y respirar aires nuevos.
El poder salir y trabajar en algo me ayuda muchísimo a distenderme. Puedo trabajar y pensar en lo que se me de la gana, parece mentira pero el cambio de ambiente me ayuda a hacer volver mi creatividad y mis ganas de hacer algo que involucre mis pasiones, cosas que el encierro y la rutina apagan lentamente sin notarlo.
Aprendí a dibujar y usar crayones pastel en el colegio cuando tenía 14 años. Realicé algunas pinturas y luego todo aquello cayó en el olvido, me dediqué a otras ramas del arte.
Con la pandemia, decidí retomar el dibujo, algunos con crayones pastel y otros, con acuarelas, una técnica que siempre me ha costado dominar. Dicen que cuando aprendes a pintar en óleo de primero, luego es un enredo lograr la técnica de acuarela. Eso me ocurrió a mí.
Comencé con algunas flores y paisajes en acuarela y luego decidí dibujar y pintar a mis mascotas: tres gatas y una perra llamada Piscis. En la foto pueden observar el retrato de Piscis. Con los ejercicios de pintura intentaba aplacar la ansiedad de esos días. Los trabajos se habían detenido, había demasiado tiempo libre. No me apetecía invertirlo en oficios de la casa. Así que pensé en volver a la pintura.
El resultado ha sido un diario de viaje que tenía guardado por ahí, en el que he ido pintando paulatinamente flores, paisajes y retratos de mis mascotas. Este diario de viaje quedará como un testimonio de mi actividad artística durante la pandemia.
Life is kind of difficult right now. My partner and I are both immunocompromised; I am on chemotherapy drugs and she has an autoimmune disease. So we have tried to avoid leaving the house as much as we can. But even when we have to go to essential places, like doctors or shopping, it is terrifying for us. We live in Oklahoma, and it seems like no one here cares to wear a mask or stay away from us. I am blind and have a guide dog, so before COVID, people used to randomly come up to pet him (which was really annoying in its own way), but at least that has stopped a bit. This pandemic has been very isolating for us. We dont have a car, which is a pretty tough way to live in Oklahoma. So I have to rely on my mother, who comes in contact with other people (usually with her mask, but I am never fully sure) to take me to get my meds or to my doctors appointments (which there is a lot of, cancer during a pandemic is not very fun). I feel like I am drowning in bad news all the time; getting on twitter is exhausting now. I feel like this country is falling apart at the seams. Every news story I see is of increasing COVID deaths, cops killing people for no reason, death, death, death. I mean, I am an Indigenous queer woman; I understand that this country was trash to begin with, I have lost family to cop violence and white violence against Native women, so I guess I am used to the death. But it feels like all of this death is building up around me, and I am scared. I am not really scared to die, but I am scared to experience the death of people I love. I have had enough of that in my life, I don't know how I would mentally handle anymore. All of my friends are long distance now. One of my best friends is literally my neighbor but I havent seen her since April; she works at the library on campus and it's not safe for me and my partner. She constantly tells me that people break the mask rule at work and that no one really understands what 6 feet apart actually means. One of my friends is in New York, which was really scary because he flew down here the week our college cancelled classes in March, when the highest COVID cases were in NY, but he had planned this trip for over 6 months and didn't live in the city, so we figured it would be okay. He said that he was the only person on the plane to Oklahoma, and there was only 2 people on the plane back to New York. The state of Oklahoma and the US government obviously dont care about use, but I do feel like my tribe is trying. They have ... my hometown, practically on lockdown: there has been a consistent mask mandate all over the city since April, and they are giving free testing to non tribe members, as well as delivering and distributing PPE all over the state. My people have my back, they even share meme like photos of our past chiefs and warriors in masks, encouraging everyone to wear them. Anyway, I am writing this the night of Trump admitting he wont peacefully transfer power over if Biden winds and the day that Breona Taylor's murderers got away with it, so I am pretty scared for the next couple of months.
This week has felt better than most. I was able to connect with people back at home in a way I feel I haven't been able to in months. My best friend and my mother experienced another year of life, and we celebrated that together. This week gave me hope; it reminded me that there will be plenty of times where we aren't dealing with this bullshit. Once this passes, I'll be able to connect more with those around me, and this will only be a memory. Not related to COVID, I've felt happier. This week I've managed to find a flow within this day-by-day schedule that I've struggled to find before. Its a little disheartening to say that I'm growing used to COVID, yet it's easier to adapt and survive than it is to sulk about it.
I'm really upset that the Pandemic Journaling Project would feature an entry from someone who believes the pandemic is a hoax and that it will go away after the election. I get it. Fairness on both sides, etc. But it truly defies logic. Denying that the pandemic exists should not be an acceptable condition. The reality is, we are in a pandemic. It's not up for discussion. It's like saying the sky is yellow or we breathe sulfur dioxide. Those are both false statements and you wouldn't give them credence. Why give credibility to someone who doesn't believe in the pandemic? It's not a debatable issue, even though people would like it to be for political reasons.
Featuring this person's entry just gives credibility to the alternative universe that Trump has created from lies. 22,000 of them in four years.
Do you really feel it's that important for the archives to give credibility to a position that you know is false?
She's 90 and
in the house
where four children
nine grandchildren and
a dozen great-grandchildren
now a virus dictates
she's 90 and
we cry for her
and with her
ravages the heart
I'm not sure sad is the right word, but I do feel very trapped. I just finished my PhD after 9 years. During that time, I always felt like I could be who I wanted to be or do what I wanted to do because I was too busy. Getting a PhD takes over your life. I finished my degree a little over a year ago. Last fall, I started a new job, which had it's own stresses, but was less work than getting my degree. I was looking forward to settling into the new job, meeting new friends, and exploring new responsibilities. Then, COVID hit. All of a sudden I was trapped again. Not able to do what I wanted to do. Not able to meet my new friends and explore the new parts of my job. I'm just trying to make it through each semester just like I did when I was finishing my degree. I feel cheated out of the life I glimpsed last fall.
It is a really sad and hard thing to think about but the reality is that this virus has had an impact on everyone one way or another. All of my friends got sent back home because the campus needed to close down. They did not have time to take everything and many of them didn't know where to go because they lived very far away. Something else was that some parents lost their jobs. Others needed help to get supplies like food, water or toiletries. I know that in the news they talked about people not having enough money to pay the bills. All of these things definitely impacted the way they had to change lifestyles.
This week has been the worst of all.
The west coast is engulfed in smoke and horrible air pollution from the worst wildfires in history.
Climate change is here and it's catastrophic.
We are now totally trapped in our homes by smoke and pollution. We can no longer pretend that there is even a semblance of our normal former lives out there in the world anymore.
We can't go out into nature, we can't go to large inside gathering spaces (Malls, movie theaters) not if we value our health. We can no longer pretend that things aren't that bad. There are no longer any distractions that are not harmful or self-destructive.
Everyday Donald Trump tells the blue states how much he hates us. If he wins again that will be the last nail in the coffin. If he doesn't win, that will be troublesome too as we will have to pry him out of the white house.
It's as if whatever Higher Power you believe in has put out their hand like a big STOP sign in front of our faces and has said, "WAKE UP AND DEAL WITH THIS SHIT! Climate change is real, you are killing the planet and now she is fighting back with pandemics, fire, hurricanes etc! Also you have a dictatorial ass-hole in the White House and things are only going to get worse! (America has always had "honorable" men (not perfect) as president, now we know exactly how 3rd world countries with dictators feel.)
... esta semana para mi y la anterior han sido de las semanas mas difíciles que he tenido en toda cuarentena. les cuento, tuve que realizar un trabajo con unos amigos y a raíz de eso tuve problemas con mi pareja, la cual no la ha pasado nada bien en estos tiempos asi que se habia vuelto mas irritable. en fin todo eso nos llevo a una ruptura, todo iba ''normal'' hasta que las cosas se comenzaron a complicar mas entre nosotros, a un punto terrible en el cual no encontraba que hacer al respecto que la unica alternativa que tuve fue bloquearlo de todos lados, aun asi estoy muy angustiada por él y siento la necesidad de saber si esta bien ya que la situación de él en estos momentos es muy complicada, mas los problemas que tuvimos pues se ha de sentir rebalsado y me gustaria ir a verlo o saber por medio de otras fuentes si esta bien pero con la cuestion de la cuarentena y el toque de queda en mi país es casi imposible.
me pesa mucho todo esto... hay momentos en los que me siento tranquila pero luego vuelvo a recordar todos los sucesos y me bloqueo por completo y no logro hacer nada.
no se cuanto tiempo me tomara superar todo pero por los momentos me es dificil trabajar, avanzar en mis proyectos y se que puede sonar muy exagerado pero me gustaria poder tomarme mi tiempo para sentir todo esto y no solo por intervalos de tiempo combinado con el tiempo de trabajo.
When I read and hear about how the virus is going to get worse in the winter, my heart aches. When are things going to get better? Are we ever going to get back to normal?
The political situation is making everything seem worse. The death of RBG has made things worse than ever.
The new Supreme Court pick is going to be a nightmare.
Why did Ruth have to die now?
The weather turned much colder and time to prepare for the next season. Reminded me I’d taken this picture of “The last Chapter of the Ant and The Grasshopper”. I am working on canning the last of the quince and the cornelian cherries... the abandoned crop at the farm...both kind of metaphors for the feeling many around me seem to have. We’re older, not in vogue, too much trouble in the eyes of some... yet this time has shown me beauty and importance in the tiniest of things. I have 4 friends who are ready to leave this “earthly” plane... too much pain, too little hope...life is getting too hard for too few rewards...Too much chaos, too much hate around us... there are moments when I get it, but I’m struggling on the other end... I have too many projects, too many things I want to get to, and I keep thinking people will get it! I’ve been tracking back the kernels of truth that underlie so many beliefs that are driving the polarization of the nation right now. Maybe I am the naive one, head in the sand, rose colored glasses...hard to believe ignorance, greed and hate can so easily be spread... i guess it’s the evolutionary leftover - our reward for climbing out of the water - to be constantly on the alert for danger so we can survive another day...
Since the pandemic has started not much about my life has changed. I still attend school and I still opened my snow cone stand in the summer. Some changes that have occurred include going to school online and less work during the summer because most of my events I attend were closed. I have not really participated in the pandemic because I believe that it is irrelevant. To me this is all a scam by the democrats because they do not want trump to be re-elected. I have not worn a mask unless I have been made to. they are uncomfortable and pointless if you ask me. I feel like this corona vires is nothing more than like the flu or strep. at the beginning of the summer my mom had it and she was just fine. I live in the same house as her and I never had any symptoms, so I continued my everyday life like everything was normal. I think that this will all be over after the election and I am just waiting it out to see where all this goes after September.
Trump’s appointed officials have been wrecking havoc in public health’s previously most trusted sources of guidance like the CDC and HHS. It makes me angry they could put up scientifically unsound information that could endanger more lives than already. Through my public health classes, I’m coming to truly understand how much the US government has mishandled a pandemic that many other countries have handled much better. Especially on a federal level, the US is failing. Free the people in detention centers! Abolish mass incarceration! Have some goddamn humility.