As some of you may know, I live with someone who is immune compromised. We think that if she caught COVID-19, her chances of dying are far greater than the average so we decided that we’re not going outside at all, really, except to get necessary prescriptions for her medical conditions. Not until there’s a vaccine and it’s widely being used. I calculated that this means I would go outside this year maybe 6 more times… She was prepped to stay home and not leave even once for the remainder of the year. (This past week, we learned that we do have to travel in the next two weeks, unfortunately, but, as soon as that’s over, we’re back to hermiting…)
This time at home has given me a lot of time for contemplation. Like… A LOT.
The more I think about this year, the more I’m resolved to reach out to those I care about because I want them to know that they’re loved and that they matter. I also want to push them into educating themselves during our national/global time of not-normal.
This past week, in one of my courses, we talked about the desire to use ignorance as an excuse for inaction and avoidance as a way to stay happy and sane (which you can see with the Instagram trend of just discarding things from your life that you don’t want to think about and with the immature practice of ghosting), but we also talked about responsibility, ethics, and activism, and that the American usual to ignore uncomfortable topics is precisely why we’re in the shit we’re in and that to be uncomfortable is a necessary component for growth. So that’s just fueling my resolve to reach out.
Rather than trying to stay ignorant or avoidant to maintain happiness, learn to dwell in discomfort and see them as opportunities to learn and be better. There are things that are bigger than your bubble. Project your ideal self for how to be in the world and use that to dictate your actions. And for the sanity and happiness part, I highly suggest turning to playful satire (which only works for the informed). Read McSweeney’s, The Onion, follow memes, kpop stan trends, etc.
And generally, here are some other things that might be of interest to you (they were to me):
Two insightful articles from Time about being Asian American, its history, and why it’s important to stand up with our Black, brown, and indigenous brothers and sisters:
- The Asian American Response to Black Lives Matter Is Part of a Long, Complicated History
- Asian Americans Are Still Caught in the Trap of the ‘Model Minority’ Stereotype. And It Creates Inequality for All
- read The Decameron Project (29 short scifi stories about the pandemic)
- read The Grist’s Climate in the Time of Coronavirus series of articles
- use Intentionalist to find and support BIPOC restaurants and businesses
- read Conceptual Foundations of Systemic Racism
- register to vote and then VOTE this year
- check out the Anti-racist Reading List from Ibram X. Kendi
- subscribe to the 1440 and/or WTF Just Happened Today newsletters
- subscribe to the NYT (not free) and get the coronavirus and other daily newsletters
- (other news I follow: The Guardian, The Atlantic, KUOW)
- read Medium articles with a grain of salt
- stop consuming indiscriminately
- be critical and skeptical (in the scientific sense of those words) of everything
Wear masks and be safe, y’all.
If you need help with anything, I’m here for you.