… and counting my blessings. Between the hourly (sometimes by the minute) updates of the latest closings and event cancellations in an attempt to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 virus, and my intense body aches, and high temperature, accompanied by the requisite fever dreams, this past week has been beyond surreal.
While lying in bed unable to do much else, beyond observing this crisis unfold through the lens of my FaceBook Feed, my mind kept wandering to the amount of privilege, beyond the color of my skin, I have in this world.
I can get sick and take time off from work without repercussions. This bout with the flu is a mere blip on my otherwise healthy immune system, not chronic or life-threatening. I no longer have children at home to care for. Therefore, with schools closed, I don’t have to choose between my kids being home alone and losing my job (or weeks of pay) to be with them. I have healthcare. While I don’t technically have WIFI, I do have an unlimited data plan and use my hotspot to connect with my laptop, which allows me to communicate remotely with anyone, in the world, I would like, or need, too. My kitchen shelves and refrigerator are stocked, and I have no worries about replenishing them (even though my diet this week has been limited to a few sick bed items). I have a comfortable home and a loving family who are all healthy. I am not a small business owner worried about keeping my business alive. And, I am not a healthcare provider on the front lines.
In my mind, this fairly long list precludes me from complaining about any inconveniences that may occur because of the efforts being made to keep this disease at a sustainable level that can be managed by our existing healthcare system.
These are the words Ken Danford, the Co-founder, and Exec. Director of North Star, and my mentor, shared with the North Star community (a message I also shared with DRC parents this morning) – “While young people are thankfully not at high risk from the novel coronavirus, closing is the responsible thing for us to do. This move is not only about the safety of our members, but to join community-wide efforts to protect the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions that make them more vulnerable.”
In reviewing the above long list of privileges, my largest concerns are about finding ways of helping others, through this time of upheaval and uncertainty. At this point, I have been thinking about innovative ways to not only continue to serve and connect DRC families, through online platforms such as video conferencing, but ways Deep Root Center can assist local families, who suddenly have their kids at home for an extended period, to join in on these virtual conversations and activities. I also have thoughts on ways kids can produce content for YouTube, etc. to share with a group. As I mentioned to DRC families earlier today, I imagine the kids will take the lead on this. If they know there is support for their initiatives – they will absolutely run with it and generate amazing ideas.
Over the next few days we will explore the best way to move forward with these ideas. I am imagining it will involve Google Hangouts for groups of up to ten people and Google Duo, Facetime, or FB Video Chat, for one on one conversations. As we develop ideas and strategies, I will share them on the DRC Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as our website. I also welcome your ideas and input on how DRC can help your family and our community, at large.
In the meantime, I am offering some resources, below, that have previously been shared in various places on social media.
I am viewing this as a time for a massive cultural reset - as an opportunity for all of us to take a couple steps back, along with a few deep breaths, to consider resetting priorities, and to decide how to use our privileges to advocate for the people and initiatives, in our communities, that need us most.
Again, copying from my message to the DRC community earlier today --- Be well! Take good care of each other! I’ll see you on the other side!
And, as always please be in touch if we can help you in any way!
(Note - Due to my continuing recovery, and the sheer amount of info in this post - please forgive the errors that I most likely missed in the editing process.)
**Resources: (I did not curate this list. I am simply copying and pasting links as they appeared in my social media feed, and in my inbox from other Liberated Learner Centers, over the past couple days. Deep Root Center does not specifically endorse any of these companies.)