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” post, an artist will share their experience, strength and hope as we all navigate a new normal.
There’s a feeling of going to bed and not knowing how you’re going to feel when you wake up. What does a scratchy throat mean? Am I sick or do I just need a sip of water? You enter into this thinking most of the people affected are not going to be you. It will be old people, or people in nursing homes. But everybody you read about dying could be you. The sweet spot for this virus is people around my age. There are people I grew up with, listening to, who are dying and that introduces a level of reality to the pandemic that you can’t escape.
The most interesting and powerful thing for me is realizing that everything my father told me about health is true, that if you have good health then you’re a rich man.
I’m currently on leave from ESPN to write a book about my dad, my family and myself. I usually go a nearby Starbucks or the public library to write. Right now, I’m writing the book sitting in my car in a church parking lot as my place of refuge. I drive there with a laptop and a bottle of water, climb into the back seat and, with the windows open, write.
People ask me all the time how Fred Rogers [a Junod article in Esquire magazine inspired the film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood] would react to this. I think he’d be saying to find a way to shelter at home but also find a way to help your neighbors. I think he’d tell us to be present for each other in this time of great absence.
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