Vance has posted a list of proposed core essays to consider and use as writing prompts for the #MOC19 project. I’ll pick some up if I am uninspired. But today is not that day.
So as you know, C and I are in New York City, the current epicenter of the virus in the US. We are currently fine, able to do our stuff without going out much. But I am also unemployed, which means that my day is spent in my home office either looking for jobs, applying for jobs, or doing continuing education projects. I was already getting stir-crazy, which is why I made sure I got out for lunch and/or exercise. One of the few upsides of having my workdays free was to be able to go ice-skating at the rink during the adults-only coffee club sessions. The rink is mostly empty, you don’t have to play Asteroids on Ice with a thousand little kids and there’s coffee and snacks! Well, that’s shut down of course. I can still powerwalk, and do want to get my bike out, but it’s gotta warm up a little more for that.
The other thing was to simply take myself out for an adventure. The city is an endless source of interest, after all. The last time I was unemployed*, I signed up for an IDNYC card, which entitled me to a free year of membership at various museums, so I could go to the Met or MOMA or whatever. Or even just to a neighborhood I’m not familiar with and walk around. Our cleaning lady comes every two weeks, so I usually (would) do this on her days to get out of her way. But, although I can still go out, the things that make such a trip pleasurable, such as a nice lunch or coffee break, aren’t possible any more. Really, I shouldn’t even be getting on the subway at all, although the last time I rode, it was pretty easy to keep your distance from the others, and they are making an effort to thoroughly clean the trains.
* yeah. Nov. 2018, I was laid off from a job I’d held over 20 years. Then I got a job in Feb 2019 and got laid off from that a week before Christmas. And here we are.
(so our cleaning lady is coming today and I’m just going to run an errand to the bank and then help C with food shopping. Other than that, we’re just going to be around while she cleans and she’s OK with that. And yes, of course, we’re lucky to be able to afford a cleaning lady, and that she’s still willing to come and clean for us in the Time of Coronavirus.)
But I’d also signed up for New York Cares and was looking forward to getting out and doing my first volunteer projects next week. I’d signed up to sort and clean donated computers for school kids, but to no surprise, that got cancelled. So I pivoted and signed up for helping out unloading trucks or whatever at a food pantry. Then I got a general email from them today:
if any of the following conditions apply to you, please stay home and do not sign up to volunteer: You are sick. You are over 50 years old or have chronic health conditions, including chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer or a weakened immune system
Well, fuck. I’m in my mid 50’s, so… I get it, it makes complete sense. But I’m not happy about it.
So there goes a way to help (for now) and to get out of the house. But it didn’t take me more than a few minutes to google “remote volunteer opportunities”. I found this: 25 Volunteer Jobs to Do from Home. Some look really cool, like the Smithsonian one or the Harvard quizzes. So I guess I’ll do some of that. And keep powerwalking.