Planning Ahead

I can not believe I am actually writing this post. At this point, the US has passed the 1,000 officially diagnosed cases. I have no interest in getting into the numbers, media, or politics. I choose to focus on positive community support.

First – I want to acknowledge the emotional impact potential isolation will have on some individuals. Most of us realize the health and financial impacts illness can have on individuals and families. The emotional impact can be significant for some as well – either due to the extended isolation which they are not accustom to or the stress and worry over their loved ones’ health, the financial impact, consequences at work, etc.. Please be keep this in mind and be kind to each other. Be aware of what negative or even humorous memes and posts can have on people who may be worn thin by the growing situation.

Second – I want to bring light to how the domino effects from COVID-19 are playing out for many artists. I am already hearing of artists who have seen a decrease in sales. This means a decrease in their income. For some artists, this income is an essential part of their regular budget. As spring shows and events are canceled or postponed, this decline in income will deepen. If an artist becomes sick, they will not be able to produce or even ship. Some may be in a position to take pre-orders or package and ship when they are cleared. Please keep this in mind. Be thoughtful. Allow for delayed shipping. Find ways of supporting artists beyond physical purchases.

Third – I will share my personal situation. As some of you know, I teach in a mid-size suburban high school. A good portion of our students and staff travel regularly. The State has issued guidelines for responding to COVID-19, including cleaning and closure. If we do close, I hope to simply be at home supporting staff and students with their at-home learning. Details tbd.

Fourth – Finally, I am getting to the planning. With each of the things above in mind, I have plan of “what if”s. Basically: If I get sick, I will focus on resting. If I get isolated due to exposure, I will not produce or ship until I am cleared. I may add to my digital offerings in my Etsy shop. If school has an extended closure, I will continue to sew millinery and ship.

In each case of home isolation or social distancing, I decided to increase video interaction on both my blog and social media. This is simultaneously for my own mental health and the communities’ mental health. I think it would be nice for those isolated or simply minimizing in-person interaction, to have simulated personal interaction. Currently, I am pondering whether to do instructional videos or more open-ended daily videos. The latter could include some fun Q&A. (You can add questions or ideas below if you like.)

I know other artists, merchants, and content providers are planning similarly. I’ll try to add those below as I become aware of these becoming “live”.

EDIT TO ADD (Wednesday afternoon)

A few requests:

  • Be honest with yourself about your mental and emotional needs during this process.
  • Identify friends and family who may need someone to reach out to them during isolation.
  • Make the most of your time isolated with family.
  • Make the most of your time isolated alone.
  • Consider alternative activites while practicing social distancing.
  • If you are able, support artists, merchants, vendors who will lose income during this time.
Published in: on March 11, 2020 at 9:13 am  Comments (3)  

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This is an excellent post, reminding us all that COVID–19 has a different impact on people making a living by handwork.

    May I also suggest that if people’s finances permit, they donate non-perishable food to whatever agency in their county would distribute food to the normally homebound or those under quarantine? Where I am, it’s the Office for the Aging and maybe Meals on Wheels.

    Hand sanitizer too if you can find it.

  2. Last night, my mother and I were discussing the changes they may need to make to food distributions. Call ahead to see what the biggest needs may be. Gift cards might be the way to go so online delivery orders can be made.

  3. Excellent thoughts on the current situation with the virus! More than ever all citizens must strive to support one another, community interaction is so important during times such as these. I work at a local sewing/quilting store and even though my city has no confirmed cases as of yet we are starting to get calls from patrons who want to cancel classes they’ve signed up for. Business has seen a drop off already, small business owners, artists etc (my husband owns a small restaurant) will be the first to be hurt by a downturn in sales. I’m a very optimistic person, I feel once the rising number of infections reaches its zenith, sometime in the future, we’ll be able to refresh and begin again. We must.

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