Life in the time of a pandemic…

I’ve tried to write this post more times than I can count, on the plane and over the last few days, but I always stop and never finish. This time I’m finishing it…

I hope this post finds you all safe and well.

Sorry I’ve been MIA, but I’ve been trying to get back to normal in a time that isn’t remotely normal, battling exhaustion after a huge trip home and jet lag on top of processing what’s going on in the world. We’re stuck in the house having to rely on the kindness of our friends and family to deliver food and other things because we’re housebound for two weeks. Because we were overseas, we aren’t supposed to go for walks or leave our home at all, which makes it even more surreal as life looks pretty much the same outside my window as it did three weeks ago, if not a bit sunnier.

We’re fine health wise, which is surprising considering we were shoulder-to-shoulder with half of humanity as we went through airports in Manchester, Paris, Toronto, and Vancouver with a single sighting of hand sanitizer (last Friday). Thank you all for worrying about us. We are very lucky to have you all thinking about us. 

I’m watching everyone around me losing their jobs, being laid off, being told they might not have a job to come back to, on top of worrying about their health and exposure to this virus. I’m seeing people in groups not knowing if they’ll have a business a month from now, not knowing if the markets will be open, not knowing if they’re allowed to stay open as a non-essential business. No one feels safe or secure as the world changed almost overnight and every day there’s some new fresh hell that awaits us. It’s the start of every disaster or zombie movie come to life, and we all know how those end.

I need a place that isn’t about this pandemic, somewhere to think about something else, to read something other than how awful the world is right now, and I think my blog needs to be that place for me. Please don’t think me flippant or uncaring – like all of us, I’m so overwhelmed and overloaded by all the things happening right now, I need a space to feel inspired, happy, and connected. I need a place that feels hopeful and fun, where I can let the worries of the world slip away and spend some time immersed in things about which I’m passionate.

Even though I have more than enough experience being housebound over the last few years, I’m very aware that as an extrovert, I really need to connect with other people when possible. We enjoyed our weekly D&D session last night over Roll 20 and Discord, and had so much fun! 

To support our community, we’ve hired a few older youth from our programs to help (virtually) around the blog, updating lists and links, sorting through the e-zines, helping me organize my inventory and create other resources from their homes.

To nurture community on the blog, this is what I’m thinking might satisfy our needs for human contact and interaction while learning something new?

Is anyone interested in a virtual cosmetic chemistry coffee klatch? Are you interested in a video or audio chat? Are you interested in informal demonstrations or me just babbling about new ingredients or something or sharing a laugh? It would be an interactive thing – not like Facebook Live, but more like a video conference where everyone’s voice could be heard and we can share our experiences and thoughts. If so, I’ll get Zoom for the blog – it’s $20 for up to 100 people at a time with a super long time limit. (Or another video program? Google Hangouts or something else?)

I’m not a fan of being on video, so you don’t have to be if you don’t want! You can just direct your camera at your dog or a wall or whatever and still take part. 

Is anyone interested in some informal classes or tutorials? I’ve been talking to a few suppliers and since I can’t get out to teach, I thought maybe I’d try doing a video thing? It would be done live as I don’t have time to edit the heck out of something – I have the mad skills to make something basic, but it’s so so much work! I wouldn’t get any posts done! – but we could record it to be watched at a later date if people can’t attend?

Thank you all for still being here and for supporting my family and the blog! I hope you know how grateful we are for all you do for us. 

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear what you think!