Writing in a Time of Peril: April 2, 2020

The US CDC reported 186,101 cases (22,562 new) and 3,603 deaths (743 new) on April 1. The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard is reporting 217,263 US cases and 5,151 deaths as of 11:00am on April 2.

Paul Robeson

by Gwendolyn Brooks

“That time we all heard it, cool and clear, cutting across the hot grip of the day.

That major Voice. That adult Voice. Forgoing Rolling River, forgoing tearful tale of bale and barge and other symptoms of an old despond.

Warming in music — words devout and large, that we are each other’s harvest: we are each other’s business: we are each other’s magnitude and bond.” 

— Gwendolyn Brooks, Family Pictures(1971)

There are people who are sacrificing their jobs, some their careers, some their lives to confront and expose Orange Julius’ betrayal of his oath to preserve, protect and defend U. S. citizens from the pandemic of Covid-19.

Meanwhile, Capt. Brett E. Crozier, the commander Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, sacrificed his naval career by writing a letter to his superiors demanding more help for his crew as Covid-19 spread unimpeded through the Roosevelt. He was relieved of his command.

He is not alone. A parade of people, sounding alarms about the catastrophic failures of the Orange Julius administration’s response to Covid-19, have been fired or reprimanded, doctors and nurses included. We must act in any and all ways we can to support and protect the people, their voices and their actions on behalf go their solders, patients and themselves

When I lived in Cambridge in th 90’s, I brought with me the tradition of Sunday Dinner. Often, I invited friends and colleagues to this feast of healing food and connection. Last week, after having difficulty connecting with , four my East Coast friends after the onset of Covid-19, we cranked up all of our modes of communication and finaly, my writing partners and extended family convened a meetin via Zoom. We caught up with each other and our children, parents, and other family members. We laughed together, remembered together, and touched each other.

We, Marcia and Jen in Western Massachusetts, Charlene and Liz in Brooklyn, New York and Joann and I, in Rio Vista, California, have committed to having a Zoom Sunday Dinner every Sunday during these Covid-19 times. We are refusing to be outside of the arc of each other’s love and blessed assurance. 

I count my blessings and go down my to-do list of selfcare: meditate, eat well, rest well, get exercise, connect, connect, connect, stay home, except for the pharmacy & the grocery & then only with mask and gloves & when there a very few people about. Watch less TV, but stay informed. Laugh a lot. Channel fear and rage into expression, action and art. 

I go to YouTube and look up Marcia Gomes. Marcia is an amazing musician, writer, teacher and beloved family to me. She has produced her first album! I go to YouTube to hear her voice, see he bandmates, and June Millington’s amazingly beautiful hair!

I continue to chronicle these times.

© Andrea Canaan, MSW, MFA



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