22 April 2020

Waiting It Out

It’s been another week of eye-popping events. Oil futures fell below zero. U.S. unemployment numbers rose above 22 million. The President wants to temporarily suspend immigration. Florida joined those states keeping schools closed through the end of the academic year. Hundreds more people have died of coronavirus, putting the worldwide total to date at 177,000.

And there are other stories. People have started receiving government stimulus checks. Trump announced the availability of Labcorp’s at-home coronavirus test kit. The number of people worldwide who have recovered from coronavirus is 690,000. And some states are starting to relax restrictions in order to get the economy going again.

How are you doing? I suspect that you, like me, have gotten a bit numb to the news, both good and bad.

Avi (director & keys), Creighton (bass), and me at a Phagwa festival, covered in colored powder

It has been five weeks since we (Latitude28 Band) returned from our week in Suriname. We went to do shows for the Phagwa festivals. Every day we were there brought fresh news of the coronavirus outbreak, and it became clear that we should get back to the U.S. quickly. We were a group of 16. All of us were relieved to touch down in Miami, complete the final legs of our trip, and walk in the doors of our own homes.

We canceled our remaining March shows. Then we canceled all of our April shows. And the first half of May’s shows.

Reaching Audiences Through Facebook

Like the rest of the country, we’ve gone into hunker-down, wait-it-out mode. But we haven’t been idle. Avi, whose mind never stops churning out new ideas, has come up with four new Latitude28 Facebook Live shows, two new Latitude28 entity launches, an overhaul of our reality show model, and several other pursuits that are keeping the team busy.

Latitude28 Band has added new Facebook Live shows
Our newest live show, streaming weekday mornings on Latitude28’s Facebook page

Many of us in the band family have other jobs we do in addition to our work for the band. Like the rest of the country, we’ve seen that work get reduced or even vanish. We’re grateful for the work that remains, and the tasks that keep us occupied with Latitude28.

Coping, Caring, Working

Being home is affecting all of us differently.

For me, the whole thing has felt pretty surreal. I don’t watch much TV news, but I get email updates from two outlets throughout the day. I’ve watched the pandemic unfold from behind my desktop. I know no one who has tested positive for coronavirus or who has died from it. I do know people who have gotten sick, but they’re fine now.

The daily impacts of the outbreak for me have been: 1) I have yet to find a store with toilet paper in stock, 2) I’ve lost income, 3) I’m not hugging friends or family, 4) I’m wearing a mask and gloves when I go out to do errands.

So, with everyone else, I’m waiting this thing out. I’m working from home. I’m helping other people who have lost jobs or who shouldn’t leave the house. I call my mom and step-dad almost every day. I’ve started an exercise program, finally. My fiance and I are reclaiming his garage. I’ve played Scattergories with my adult kids over FaceTime.

Other members of the band family are doing similar things–work projects plus personal projects. Avi and Anisa have Amaya at home, so they also have to homeschool her.

Our first post-pandemic show is on the calendar for May 25. It’s Memorial Day weekend. Between now and then, we’ll keep doing what we’re doing–making the best use of our time at home as possible, encouraging people, and helping others in need.

Hang in there. The end is in sight!

–Kim (Writing, Inventory, Special Projects)

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