You may recall we launched the scholarship program last month, and we got a few hundred requests, about half of which were specifically related to the COVID pandemic. Beyond that, we don’t really have a good sense of how all this is affecting everyone out there, professionally or otherwise. So, what do you all do for a living, and how are you making out?
For us, we worked for a long time to finally be able to afford our own studio, and it has made things worlds easier in terms of filming new material, and provided a quiet and perfectly climate controlled space for interviews in an otherwise noisy city. But it’s not cheap. Obviously, with the scholarships a number of those were converting from paid memberships. And we will likely see more of this. So in general I’d say the fear of the unknown here, in terms of will things turn around soon enough to spare us the worst of what has happened to the bars, restaurants, and movie theaters who simply can’t even show up at all. I feel for those businesses and the people who depended on them for their livelihoods.
Personally, my partner Reyenne is an ICU nurse at a NYC public hospital. To handle the COVID surge, she built and staffed a temporary intensive care unit from scratch out of an old, unused tuberculosis wing of the hospital. Lots of death. Five or more per shift at first, including young and healthy people. One who died in the emergency room was only 15. This all happened amid shortages of protective gear you’ve all heard about. They’re still reusing masks for up to a week, which despite the CDC guidelines, is not in any way how this is supposed to work. Every day we have to wonder, is today the day we get sick? We have plastic drop cloths set up just in case we have to split the living space in half.
Thankfully that day hasn’t come. In fact, this week the case load has finally dropped low enough that she transferred her last patient out of the temp ICU to the permanent one, and shut it down. But every time we drive by a crowd of maskless joggers on the way to work she gets a flash of anxiety that loosened restrictions will cause a new surge, and she’ll have to go through that all over again. Today 53 new cases showed up in the emergency room despite dropping to single digits in recent weeks. So for those who don’t care if they get sick, just know there is a cost for your choices you are not the only one who pays it.