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CS Community Update: June 29, 2020

As Black Lives Matter protests continue, I am also constantly amazing by the art that is being created. This Twitter thread highlights some of the amazing art, and I can’t stop listening to the new Sault album. It’s hard sometimes to imagine live without COVID-19. I know I have a hard time envisioning what life used to look like, and I can’t imagine a post-COVID world (especially as cases spike across the United States).

Here’s what’s happening in the lives of some of our contributors:

Rose: I drove downtown this week to my doc appointment and saw more of the boarded up buildings. While the protests have been peaceful there are reports of police harassing protesters. Even outside of police violence, there are reports of of racist violence in the local area. One Black man was pushed off his bike on a popular local trail by a white man who hasn’t been apprehended yet. In an unrelated event, a likely mentally ill man stabbed several women on a downtown trail including at least one runner. I know people who witnessed both of these. Makes me sad and angry. The paper I’m writing for my online class is about biking while Black in the US.

More Ironman events have been cancelled. I am not certain my race will happen, but I keep training. If it it cancelled I’ll likely do it as a local semi-solo event. Starting to think about that. My husband returned to the office this week and I guess it has been ok. Since they can’t use the fridge or microwave because of virus concerns he’s struggling with lunch a bit. I’m glad my workplace is working from home at least through the end of August.

Ellen: After my post on Unseen COVID-19 hero I began thinking more about the elderly in nursing facilities who have been, and continue to be, under lockdown, unable to have visitors from family and friends. The man I interviewed for my post shared firsthand how lonely and isolating it has been for the residents he works with. This has led me to begin writing letters to the residents of a nursing facility close to my home.

I also approached my art auction group (The Creative Kind) about this; we unanimously agreed to focus a future auction on supporting an organization who sorts, bundles and mails letters to senior communities all over the world.

Laura: COVID cases are rising almost exponentially here, and it’s really scary, not just because my mother is a nurse but because I saw almost no one wearing masks while I was out on Saturday morning (except for Costco, where they are required). I simply don’t understand why wearing a mask has become a question of exercising personal freedom and/or a political issue. It literally has everything to do with keeping those most vulnerable safe, which should span political affiliation. With the spike in cases, I cancelled my non-urgent medical appointments, and I will continue to do so until I feel it is safe (or the problems become urgent). On the work front, I’m really missing writing in coffee shops; it is where I do my best writing, and I really haven’t been able to focus since the pandemic began. That is frustrating, so I’m trying different tactics (e.g., moving to my backyard to write) to hopefully spur some writing productivity.

Living in Utah, aside from the initial Black Lives Matter protests in Salt Lake City, there have not been as many opportunities to protest.  As I start to plan my move next month, I am planning to protest in the bigger cities that I travel through, as most larger cities will have protests, if only on the weekends. It is critically important that the movement keeps its momentum, and one of the best ways to do that is for white folk to get out into the streets. I plan to do that in whatever way I can.

An update from The Creative Kind auction last week to benefit the Innocence Project from Ellen: We had a great turnout this month and a very positive response to our chosen charity, The Innocence Project, which was lovely to see.  I continue to be inspired by the kindness and participation of our members.

What do you miss the most from pre-pandemic times?

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