Writer Steven Price dives into the Postmedia isolation questionnaire
With galleries locked, concert halls closed and theatres dark Postmedia has reached out to B.C. artists of all types to find out what they are doing during these trying COVID-19 times.
Q: Where are you spending most of your time?
A: At home, in Victoria.
Q: Who are you with?
A: My immediate family — my wife and our two children.
Q: Where are you getting your information?
A: Where aren’t we? It’s everywhere, it seems, overwhelming at times. We follow news mostly on the internet — The New York Times, The Guardian, The Globe & Mail, locally The Vancouver Sun and The Times Colonist.
Q: What is something you are doing that you don’t normally do?
A: Sleeping in until 8 a.m. Waking up only when the kids come in and start climbing all over us, looking for breakfast.
Q: What do you have lots of in your cupboards?
A: Cereal. Lentils. Tinned soups. Granola bars.
Q: What have you been reading?
A: Poetry, first. I find there’s something calming in it, in the slowness at which it occupies the world. So: the poetry of Charles Wright, Czeslaw Milosz, Lorna Crozier, Yehuda Amichai. I recently finished a heartbreaking book by the American philosopher Susan Nieman, Learning from the Germans, about how to accept histories of genocide and atrocity. And I’ve just started a gorgeous memoir by the American poet Carolyn Forche, What You Have Heard is True.
Q: What have you been watching?
A: The new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Loving it.
Q: What are you doing for exercise?
A: We’re lucky to live near the beach, above a bird sanctuary, so walking in our neighbourhood means walking in nature. We take the kids on two-hour walks most days.
Q: What worries you?
A: All of it. Every week is difficult, the news is always changing, the speed of infection just seems so fast. But I think what’s most worrying is how easy it is to get lost in this, to get overwhelmed, to feel like it’s completely dark. But it’s not: everywhere, there’s so many small acts of kindness being shown, so much civic responsibility being made evident.
Q: If and when this ends what will be different?
A: For those who lose loved ones, everything. For those whose financial lives are devastated, their futures. For those who are mostly spared, well, far less. But this isn’t the first pandemic in history, this isn’t the first catastrophe. It will end. Like anyone, I’d like to believe the world will see how much goodness people are capable of, in times of need, and that we’ll do better, and be kinder, both to each other and to ourselves. Who knows? Maybe we will.
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