9 June 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

Confession: I legit don’t get it when white people say they’re not racist.

I’m white. I’m racist.

Oh, I’m trying to be anti-racist, as in ACTIVELY WORKING AGAINST RACISM.

And also, I’m racist in that I’m participating in an ongoing way in upholding structures that discriminate against people of color.

I mean, if racism is the systemic oppression of a minority by the group with power, and if I benefit from that system in terms of wealth, access, and safety, and if I continue to use those benefits with alacrity, am I not more than simply privileged? Am I not engaging with the system? Am I not passively prospering due to it? And if I am — if I fight some things that are racist but not everything that is racist — can I claim to be not racist? ...  read more

5 June 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

Is there a kind of tired we’re not right now?

That’s the only sentence I wrote all week. In the back of a spiral notebook I was using to make lists and organize details for my parents’ move.

Is there a kind of tired we’re not right now?

Jotted between moving boxes and assigning jobs to my children and reading the news about pandemic updates and protests across the nation and the president alternately hiding in the basement of a White House gone dark and sending military force to remove priests and parishioners  from church steps to pose with a Bible for a propaganda photo-op to pander to the Religious Right. ...  read more

29 May 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

I didn’t watch the video of George Floyd’s murder.

I couldn’t.

I can’t.

I didn’t watch the video of Ahmaud Arbery’s murder, either. 

Their dying breaths.

At the hands of White Authority.

Modern lynching.

Careless disregard for lives deemed less valuable, less worthy — just LESS — than their own.

I hide the videos as they pop up in my Facebook feed, even while I read the articles, the calls to action, the statements of outrage, and the cries of grief. ...  read more

26 May 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

I found a turd on my desk this morning.

An actual poop.

Just one tiny tootsie roll, all by itself, still fresh. Puppy sized. But there was no way for the puppy to get on my desk, and, also, he wasn’t in my room. Which means the turd just spontaneously materialized there. Or someone put it there. Except WHO WOULD DO THAT so I’m going with Option A — spontaneous materialization. I cannot accept the horror show alternative that I’m STUCK IN MY HOUSE QUARANTINING with a MONSTER who deposits mini poopies, hot off the presses, ON MY DESK.  ...  read more

21 May 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

I’d prefer to avoid writing to you today because I’m in a state of transition and trying to figure out next steps and it’s easier to Avoid Everything right now by watching YouTube videos and season 4 of Riverdale with Abby than it is to Engage My Brain, Figure Out What I’m Thinking, and Make a Plan. 

There. I wrote that sentence, got up from my desk, made a cup of tea, ate a cookie, wandered around the backyard picking up dog poop, snuggled the puppy, texted my neighbor about the merits of walking vs. not walking, chatted with Chandler about tuna salad recipes, and now I’m back at my desk.  ...  read more

6 May 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

Today’s northwest Oregon weather looks like my feelings and my Facebook feed. Bright and dark, clear and stormy, warm and cold, and general mayhem — predictable in that it’s all chaos all the time right now, and unpredictable as far as when, exactly, the next deluge will start. 

I admit, Diary, I’m becoming increasingly distressed by the viral spread of conspiracy theories and debunked scientists/doctors’ videos, and disheartened by the swirling funnel clouds of disinformation wreaking havoc on people’s minds and hearts. I have no problem with disagreements regarding Staying Home vs. Reopening our economy; I just wish folks would use peer-reviewed science and respected epidemiologists and public health experts to make their arguments. Not all the experts agree — there’s a discussion to be had here, a debate to respectfully curate — but just as America failed the Ability to Source Reliable Data test in the 2016 presidential election which, in retrospect, was grossly influenced by bots and bad actors reporting an enormous amount of false information via alarmist headlines that fed confirmation bias and encouraged viral spread, so America is failing the same Ability to Source Reliable Data test in this 2020 global pandemic in exactly the same way.  ...  read more