Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Coronavirus Remote Education and Dancing 

Day 102  Tuesday June 30

I know I haven’t written in this blog in quite awhile. The last time we were only at day 47 of being home working remotely and dealing with the isolation and unknown of COVID-19. Work became overwhelming and then George Floyd happened.

As if we weren’t dealing with a lot already, the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police, caught on video, was yet again another disturbing example of the social, economic, and racial inequity at the way in which justice is handed out in this country. It ignited not just country wide but worldwide protests and has forced us as a country to take a serious look at how we police our own citizens and specifically our African American citizens.

It is distressing, disturbing, and exciting all at the same time. Not since the 60’s have I seen such an out pouring of directed and focused anger that has the possibility of becoming an effective force for change and for the betterment of us as a society.

On a personal note, in the middle of all of this, a very dear friend lost her husband to his fight with cancer. He was a retired Police Officer and one of the First Responders at 9/11. He died on May 25 at age 56, just a few days before George Floyd. Larry was a great guy and I am sure would have been appalled at seeing the videotape of George Floyd being choked to death.

Dealing with all of this at the same time was truly overwhelming. Living in Downtown Manhattan I was witness to demonstrations everyday, helicopters flying overhead at all hours. Lafayette street is a direct thoroughfare from City Hall to Union Square,  both places of many demonstrations, not to mention the Manhattan, Williamsburg, and Brooklyn Bridges which all converge on my neighborhood. To say the least, it has been disheartening to figure out what to do next. Despite the fact that I continued to teach, as best I could online to my 525 students, I basically fell into a deep depression. Everyday was a struggle to stay focused, to make sense of what was going on around me, to take care of both myself and my spouse as we continue to navigate what puts us at risk during the pandemic.

Just before all of this happened I had made a short video of “life while sheltering in” and while I had no idea where we would be today I end the video on a note of hope, the ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I hesitated to share it because in the light of what occurred immediately after I finished it , it seemed premature and a little na├»ve. Just as I was beginning to think we were coming close to seeing the other side of this pandemic, we were thrown into a whole other series of events that set me back in my hopeful aspirations.

That said, I do feel hopeful. I am encouraged that New York and New Jersey seem to be doing the right  thing when it comes to opening up businesses in our states. I am encouraged that  the voices of protestors are being heard in a way that they have not been for sometime, dare I say since the 60’s. And I am encouraged that many people are waking up to the fact that we need to practice our right to vote and rid ourselves of one of the worst Administrations during my lifetime. There is a sea change coming and I see a tidal wave that will rid us of every trace of them and in the words of Taylor Swift “gone was every trace of you, that’s when I was finally clean.”

Here is a link to the video I created over a month ago. I still think it is somewhat simplistic but I do see a light at the end of this tunnel. Enjoy the documentation of the "Many Faces of Sheltering In"