I have the sense that this COVID-19 epidemic is a stepping stone to something greater. That we can learn something, a lot of things, from this situation. I'm not saying it's crappy, it really, really, sucks to be canceled on and have your pay cut and being told to stay at home. Especially for people like me, and other artists who rely on social gatherings to make our living.
I'm not sure what will happen. We have all lost, some more than others. I have lost some significant shows, and it's not fun. I know there are people out there hurting a lot more than I am.
So why do I say this is a stepping stone to something greater? I certainly am a silver lining kind of person, but I truly believe we have things to learn from this crisis. If only we choose to learn the lessons put in front of us.
Lesson one: Use the internet.
We live in a world where the internet rules us and we can't last 5 minutes without asking google or Siri a question. So why is it so hard for us all to "go virtual"? I think this is an opportunity to show schools and employers that yes, you can, in fact, trust your students and employees to get a good days work done from home. Some are more efficient even than with the constant interruptions they face at an office. Granted, there are plenty of jobs that can't be done from afar, but let's take a look at those that can. Can the businesses cut overhead costs if they don't need to house so many employees? Think rent, utilities, and for god's sake TOILET PAPER! How about utilizing the many brilliant software solutions that can help with meetings, task management, and time management?
Maybe even go so far as to realize the format of our schools is outdated and needs some re-thinking. We are not creating worker-bees like we were in the 1900s. When you were being trained to be able to join a factory workforce or a typing squad. The world has changed and maybe the schools will realize we can use the internet to re-think the format of the schools.
As for the creatives, I believe we artists have been ready for online concerts for some time. But it has been my belief that the public wasn't ready. I'm not saying, once this nonsense is over we don't go back to our social activities because there is nothing like a live show in front of a live audience. But let's use the internet, and keep streaming it. If we are lucky, this pandemic will open up the eyes of the general public and artists alike to the usefulness of the technology in front of our noses.
Lesson two: Get creative.
I have seen a bunch of creativity in the wake of this quarantine. My yoga studio is hosting live classes that you can stream in the comfort of your home and do alongside your teacher. How cool and creative is that?
I know of singing coaches who not only took their lessons online, using Skype or something similar but who also said, "this is my opportunity to make those online courses I've been talking about".
I know many of us are thinking mainly of survival at this point, but if you have a little forced free time on your hands, how about putting some stuff up for sale on eBay or taking that online course you've been meaning to do but haven't had the time for? Think about the opportunities you may have, to make the money back once this crisis is over!
My husband and I got creative with our food. We looked at our freezer and pantry and started making plans for how many meals we could make out of what we already have. Turns out, we have a long way to go before we run out of necessities. We are one of the families low on toilet paper, but hey! I have a bunch of old rags that, if it comes down to it, I am happy to use in the meantime. (I know, sorry the visual of that is a little gross, but you get it.)
Lesson three: Stay healthy.
If the only thing that comes from this is that we all learn to wash our hands and stay sanitary, I think that's a win.
I would like to think we as humans (because this is worldwide, which is not often we get to have a shared experience as a species) will come out as better creatures after this. Sometimes, getting a good shake and a scare can make us wake up.