Editor’s note: Atlanta’s artists face uncertainty in the age of coronavirus. To help us all connect, we’re offering this series. In each “In Our Own Words,” an artist will share their experience, strength and hope as we all navigate a new normal.
My wife, Melissa, works for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and kept me pretty well informed, but I don’t think I realized how bad it would be until the NBA canceled the rest of its season. I’m not a huge sports fan, but the fact that a world-famous corporation would turn down all the money it stood to make showed me how serious this was. It was the first domino in what turned out to be a collapse of our economy and way of life.
I’ve poured myself into home renovation projects and various artistic outlets. I dug up my entire front lawn and started from scratch with new grass seed, am finishing a bathroom remodel and a complete overhaul of our backyard. Melissa and I have created a few short films for fun, and I recently did a streaming performance of Romeo & Juliet via Zoom with the wonderful people of Shakespeare on Draught. I’ve also been mulling an idea for a novel and now have time to write it. I’m just trying to stay productive and keep creating.
I’m sincerely hoping that in 20 years, we look back at Covid-19 not just as a dark bit of history but as the catalyst that forced us to evolve into a more just and equitable society. I think we’ll look at grocery-store employees who have been seen as low-skill, minimum-wage workers and are risking their lives and collectively decide everyone deserves to earn a living wage. I hope that we look at the flaws of our for-profit medical system and collectively decide that we deserve better. I hope that this exposes the truth that economies can only be as strong as the working class supporting it and rebuild an economy that puts the well-being of people first.
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