one drop | COVID19 Comment, March 19th, 2020

Two and a half weeks a sign hung in all the stairwells of my apartment building.

“Please limit your HOT water usage over the next few days. You can do this by NOT LETTING THE WATER RUN while you’re doing dishes or taking shorter showers. Everything you do will be appreciated. We are waiting for one of our water heaters to be replaced. We are sorry for any inconvenience this causes. Thank you,”

Now, like anyone living in an apartment building pure frustration and annoyance consumed me. This sign had been hanging for the past two weeks with an impending threat to my hot bath ritual and I was not ready to give up that much needed “self care/me” time.

Fast forward to the past few days…Coronavirus (COVID-19) finally arrived on U.S. soil. The illness plaguing China months prior seemed far away and movie like. Well, now it’s not so far away, but still very movie like. The number of cases are climbing steadily daily with news seemingly nonstop from every device imaginable. Constant panic shopping, fervent hand washing, social-distancing and quarantining is now our new normal.

Well… today my hot water went out.

Time to wild west this shelter-in-place/self-isolation/quarantine I told myself. As I took a 60 second shower in freezing frigid water and washed my hair upside down, I had a moment to think of my privilege. I was complaining to my friends about not having hot water, yet I still had a stove to heat water…and electricity to microwave water…and my actual radiators were still producing warmth in my apartment. I started realizing quickly how fortunate I am in many ways. This one stupid little set-back from something out of my control hit me deep in the pit of my stomach. The aching reality at during a time of crisis my mind was so consumed with hot water.

Taking this selfish mentality to heart, I decided firmly the bus money I would have used this week to commute to work I would donate instead.

I used money I would have used to get to work instead to donate to Charity Water, Feeding America and The Subterranean, a small local Chicago music venue’s ‘go fund me’ page for their employees.

Let me be clear, this is not me trying to brag at how great I am. Far from it. This is about removing ourselves from this panic mode for a brief moment. I hope to inspire those who are in the position to give a few extra bucks in our pockets at the moment to boost others up.

It is a very scary financial time in the United States. It is important to support our local communities; restaurant workers, music venues, musicians, artisans, etc. Everyone’s world was rocked. Everyone.

This is the time to support one another and if not financially, then kindly with words of encouragement and comfort. Try to send good vibes out into the world right now because we all need a little help and comfort. Putting reminders into the space is all we can do because while we are all complaining a child is not getting food today. Someone has lost their job. Someone does not feel safe at home and school/work was their escape from that. Our problems do not go away and seem to multiple especially during times like these, but let’s all take a moment to breathe in and be thankful we are alive and surrounded by love.

Wash your hands, practice healthy social distancing, and be mindful of others.