Pandemic Portraits

March 11th, coffee meeting and lunch date in town. Shook hands at the coffee meeting, immediately realised the mistake. No handshakes goodbye. Lunch date, no handshakes, no hugs. Washing hands as often as I could.

March 13th, day off. Went for lunch in a local cafe. Felt uncomfortable, wanted to support the cafe but wanted to be at home.

March 14th, our wedding anniversary. Spent the day grateful that we had decided not to go away for the weekend. Moe’s parents came to visit. He wanted to go out for coffee, I didn’t. We didn’t go.

March 17th, watched the miniature parades from all over the country. Lego men and toy tractors, children dressed in club colours and green tshirts parading through their houses, cars parading around housing estates. I was buoyed, I was hopeful, I was positive.

March 25th, the realisation dawning. Tears began to fall, drama, catastrophising. My work indefinitely on hold. Who am I‌ without the work? Who am I if I’m not busy? Who am I if I‌ have no conversations to have? Who am I‌ if this business I’ve worked so hard to build over the last three years is just overnight turned to dust? Who am I‌ if I can’t take on any new work for a whole year? Will there be any work next year? What do I‌ need?

Three days of tears falling. Grief for my business, my work, my sense of identity, what’s happening in the world, to its people. The helplessness.‌ Three days of quiet, thinking, listening.

What do I‌ need right now?

I need communion, conversation, connection. I need to know what everyone else is feeling, how they’re coping, what they’re worrying about and what they think might come of all this. I need a way to connect, express, to document.

April 1st, Pandemic Portraits started.