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What to do when there's no work coming in?


Two weeks of social distancing later, and as is true for so many people, there's absolutely no work coming in. Bills keep coming through, but there's nothing in the pipeline. Art shows we were ready to attend have all been cancelled, so all our potential sales have evaporated. The studio building is closed, we're under order to stay at home. The good news is that we've apparently not gotten Coronavirus from the big fundraising event we attended 14 days ago, but we may well have gotten infected this morning at the grocery store. But today we're symptom free and feeling fine, if not a bit stunned.

I keep hearing from everyone that they have rested enough, and are now ready to start making inroads into this new world we've all found ourselves in. Of course, few of us have a sense of what needs to be done, and even fewer of us seem to have set up the right kinds of foundations and tool sets to function in a post coronavirus economy. Again, the good news is that we appear to have a whole lot of time on our hands to figure things out.

I thought that remote working was supposed to be so much more efficient. Granted, my commuting efforts have disappeared, but the number of times I am now required to open the door for the cat has risen to ridiculous levels. If I were to take half a day off to install a cat flap, there's no telling how many urban skunks and raccoons would start raiding my kitchen. So no, I don't feel that I'm more productive by working from home, and I know the isolation means that I have a lot less inspiration. There's something wonderful that happens when creative people get together, that doesn't seem to happen as much when you're alone.

Netflix isn't helping. I understand that they're trying to offer more variety in programming, but they've now stooped so lo as to re-run the first Dark Shadows episodes. Really? Do you think I won't watch those dreadful sets, with horrible actors being hit in the head with boom microphones? Of course I'm going to watch them... and eat junk food from the provisions I've hoarded in the pantry. Which reminds me... how can the orange juice container that I bought have a "best by" date two years into the future. What in the world is in that stuff? And here lies the nub of the problem... none of these insane and neurotic issues are ever among my worries when I'm sitting at my desk in the office. I'm a different person here at home.

I realize that this model for work-life may be the norm for quite a while, and I'm suspicious that it may become the norm even after this pandemic is over. I realize too that we must each deal with our physical health, our emotional stability, our fears and anxieties, as well as our productivity in these difficult times. And as this virus washes over our species, many of us will have to deal with unbearable grief, and economic ruin.

But we will survive, and we will flourish. But today, sitting here in front of my computer, with all my social media flickering with the unending creations of bored minds. it's still mighty, mighty quiet. Except for the cat, she wants in again.


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