“We can’t live like we did before coronavirus. We won’t live like we did immediately after it appeared, either. Instead, we’re in the muddy middle, faced with choices that seem at once crucial and impossible, simple and massively complicated. These choices are an everyday occurrence, but they also carry a moral weight that makes them feel different than picking a pasta sauce or a pair of shoes. In a pandemic that’s been filled with unanswerable questions and unwinnable wars, this is our daily Kobayashi Maru. And no one can tell us exactly what we ought to do.”
— Maggie Koerth, Five Thirty Eight
Palatinate.org: I suppose the question is, then, what would a ‘literature of coronavirus’ look like? During lockdown, it’s been said many times that people at home have been busy working on novels, poems, plays and even podcasts. An abundance of text, audio, imagery, film footage and graphics is being produced as I type this – arguably, I’m contributing to it right now.
Travel Mole: More than a third (36%) of people working in travel are actively considering leaving the industry due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some 57% of respondents to a WorkAdvisor survey carried out last month said their mental health has been affected by the crisis, 11% said it had had a ‘significant’ impact on their mental health and wellbeing.
Causes included stress and anxiety relating to uncertainty about the future, the negative impact of Zoom or Slack causing intrusion and work distractions, being overworked as a result of the crisis and putting in extra hours.
Nextgov: Losing track of a friend in a packed bar or screaming to be heard over a live band is not something that’s happening much in the real world at the moment, but it happens all the time in the 2,100-person Facebook group “a group where we all pretend we’re in the same venue.” So does losing shoes and Juul pods, and shouting matches over which bands are the saddest, and therefore the greatest. Even the awkwardness of daily life is re-created in the virtual music venue, through posts such as “holds an empty cup the whole show because I don’t know what else to do with my hands” and the riffing comments beneath them.
Boing Boing: Every year around June 21, masses of people gather at Stonehenge to bask in the beautiful summer solstice sunrise above the iconic stones and hang with hundreds of modern day druids and pagans making the scene. However, due to the COVID-19 mandates prohibiting mass gatherings, Stonehenge will be “closed for a while,” according to the charity English Heritage that manages the site. Instead, they’ll stream the solstice live from the prehistoric monument. (Above is a recording of last year’s solstice.)
“Last weekend, I took two hours out of my Saturday to kick back on the couch and finish a novel. I turned off my phone and allowed myself to be transported to a fictional, non-coronavirus- related world, despite the whirring sirens outside my window. That night, before sending a few texts, I turned off access to any of my phone apps for 12 hours, then switched off my phone and dumped it in another room. I felt that same sense of freedom, just like when I’d deleted Instagram a few weeks earlier. That’s when it sunk in: I don’t have control over much at the moment, but I can turn off my screen.”
— Mary Holland, reported for the BBC
Associated Press: We, the people. But individual rights. The common good. But don’t tread on me. Form a more perfect union and promote the general welfare. But secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.
Hunkering down at home has come with a resurgence of handicrafts like flower pressing and natural dyeing. This craft renaissance also includes papier-mâché, which some clever and coordinated folks are using not only to pass the time but also to cope, reports the New York Times.