The Camden Community News invited some folks in the community to write a brief note on how they’re doing/coping during this time of social distancing, financial strain, being out of work, working from home, home schooling, isolation, etc. We invite you to do the same for the June issue of Camden News (deadline May 19). Keep your comments brief – 50 to 250 words tops. Since this is a request from us, we don’t need your full name as for a letter to the editor – just your first name and your neighborhood. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org or Camden News, 3526 Humboldt Ave. N, Minneapolis, MN 55412. We’ll print as many as we can fit in the upcoming issue.
One day during COVID-19 I went to the post office to mail something, wearing a face mask for the first time. Everyone in the lobby was wearing a face mask, and it immediately became apparent to me that I couldn’t see anyone smile. I mentioned this to the gentleman six feet ahead of me in line and he said, “Oh…I can still see the smile in your eyes.” I am so grateful for his beautiful insight into the human condition at this time.
A time for reflection, learning and healing: I find myself in a strong contrast of emotions and experiences, looking intently for the blossoming gifts that are possible, even in moments like this. I find it important to take a personal breath among the world’s collective pause to reflect, learn and heal. There is an opportunity to learn about who I am outside of the hustle of life. To be able to ask…What is different now? What is important? What have I been missing? What is toxic and needs to be released before life goes back to normal? What does this pandemic reveal about me and who I am?
This is where my focus is among the long days of all the responsibilities that are present. Days that are full of working from home, assisting my three kids with distance learning, navigating the rules and support systems in the ever changing landscape, supporting my family, and helping my community. I can’t control any of it, (COVID-19, businesses closing, high death tolls, etc.) but I can take an active role in self-reflection, self-discovery, and self-healing. That way, when we come out on the other side of this, I will emerge a more whole and heal person.
Dani Tietjen, Folwell
We are managing the stay-home decree. Exercise equipment purchase offsets Bob’s loss of the gym routine; my crawling job hunt is offset by my grandchild’s birth and nearly empty planes when the family needed me. We focus on the positive, pray for those in distress, and look forward to going to a movie again.
Linda & Bob, Lind Bohanon
We keep hearing about the new normal: out of work, isolated, financial problems, restricted movement, up against limits. Many people in the Camden Community were navigating these and other challenges even before the virus. This is not the first time we’ve experienced layoffs, loss, lack of control, death, and having to make do, to improvise.
First, I hope this challenging time brings locals together more than ever before with expansive empathy and kindness as we struggle to meet our needs.
I hope, too, that this is a wakeup call when it comes to our needs and resources, and what we buy and from whom. Appreciate how nice it is to have neighborhood businesses like North Market, the barber on the corner, the purveyor of food or coffee within walking distance.
Of course, when it comes to food, retailers that deal in volume, source goods worldwide, and distribute en masse, sell for less. At what price? For food, it is produce harvested up to a week ago or preservative-enhanced, and shipped from South America or China, at a terrific cost the environment that keeps us alive.
I hope these times bring resilience, thought, and creativity to us. I’m a jazz aficionado. What’s that got to do with the world according to CV-19? I find it inspiring, easy on the ears and comfortable; you might say effortless listening. Yet musicians dedicate hours practicing, putting much discipline and grit into their craft. They make music coming together. They listen, they intuitively improvise, adjust, and roll with it. The outcome is smooth and spectacular.
We can do this. We can turn the CV-19’s dissonant notes into a better present and a better future. It may not be easy now, but with practice, it will come. Best wishes to you and your family, and every person and every business in Camden that serves us.
Barbara Bach, Victory