In what has been an unreal 2020 so far, it's time to try and digest what is going on in the world and look back on the year so far from my own lens. So I'm not going to waste any time on the intro and jump straight in.
This is one of the most surreal global situations that we have found ourselves in and have no doubt this will be something we'll remember for the rest of our lives. The speed at which the virus has spread throughout the world has been scary but not totally unexpected when you consider just how connected everyone is with the various methods of transport. Even our beloved Mona Lisa masked up!
UK Lockdown Announced - 23rd March 2020
Here, in the UK, it was inevitable that we would be put in to lockdown seeing as people were still making their way en masse to the beaches or cycling in parks - despite being instructed not to go out for social gatherings on Friday 20th March by the Prime Minister.
It's as though the gravity of the situation won't be fully realised unless these members of the general public either pick up the virus themselves or a loved one does. Then they may wish they had listened and followed the instructions around social distancing and good hygiene.
UK Government Instructions:
The instructions are crystal clear. Only leave home for one of the following reasons (correct at time of writing 24th March 2020):
• Shopping for basic necessities such as food and medicine. Shopping trips should be as infrequent as possible
• One form of exercise a day such as a run, walk, or cycle. This should be done alone or only with people you live with
• Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person. This includes moving children under the age of 18 between their parents' homes, where applicable. Key workers or those with children identified as vulnerable can continue to take their children to school
• Travelling to and from work, but only where work absolutely cannot be done from homeSource
STOP PANIC BUYING & STOCKPILING FOOD!!
The panic buying and stockpiling has been completely nonsensical but my theory is that people don't educate themselves and read up and so panic and self-preservation comes in, thus rendering the bigger picture as forgotten. I thought we were better than that with the information available at our fingertips but seems I was wrong.
Supermarkets are now having to limit customers to buying 2 of each item but I've heard that people are doing their shop, packing their cars with 2 x 12 packs of toilet roll and other food items then going back to buy more of the same! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!Image Source
By clearing the shelves like this, you're depriving the nurses and intensive care unit specialists the supplies THEY need to stay strong to look after the patients that come in, which could potentially be YOU if you pick up the coronavirus. Your toilet paper will be pretty useless to you when you're ill and end up in hospital, won't it? THINK ABOUT OTHERS!
Although these measures announced by the UK government are set to last initially for the next 3 weeks, they will be assessed as more information becomes available. In the meantime, Stephen Fry has some great advice on how to deal with the "noise" around the uncertainty and anxiety of coronavirus. Having a timetable each day and not staying glued to the news will help but check out Mind's website and reach out. There are plenty of initiatives happening on social media as well so do some searching and get involved.
In situations like the one we are facing now, it brings out the good and the bad in people. We've seen incidents of the bad with the panic buying and teenagers faking the illness, coughing on each other and wasting police time but there's a lot of good going on as well. Neighbourhoods are coming together and shopping for the elderly or sending postcards to those on their own to keep them company.
In fact, this article lists out 13 good will gestures from last week and I'm sure we'll see more stories like this where people come together to help those in need or more vulnerable, even with the tighter measures in place. As I close off this section of the blog, all that leaves me to say is:
Please follow the instructions set out from your respective governments and health services. If you're unsure about anything, check the UK Government website here (or your own government's website if you're not from the UK).
This is a challenge I started doing at the beginning of the year where I am attempting to reach a total distance of 2,020km (~1,255 miles) in 2020 by a combination of running and hiking. The charity I'm doing this in aid of is Alzheimer's Society, which is united against dementia and you can sponsor me here.
With the latest announcement around coronavirus restrictions yesterday, it could have been the end of the challenge but the fact we are allowed to go outside once per day for walking or running (as long as we are on our own) then it looks like it's still game on! So I'll have a full update at the end of the month with this but it's been a steady month so far, despite a slight calf strain last week which stopped me for a couple of days.
Now that I've been pretty much self-isolating and distancing myself (both socially and social medially!) by being in my studio, it's given me a chance to carry on with some music projects and start clearing my backlog on my whiteboard of glory! Here's a quick snapshot of the latest rumblings in the studio and mothership!
Electronic Music Alliance (EMA)
This is a joint venture that Bufinjer, DaveyHub and myself volunteered to set up at the beginning of 2019 and it's gone from strength to strength ever since. More than we could have imagined really! The core principles haven't changed at all since we began and these are:
1 - Help bring together a global community of talented electronic music producers who are actively engaged on social media, spreading positive vibes in the music community and,
2 - Provide a platform for music producers to grow, not just in terms of reach and getting new fans but also in terms of production and pushing new boundaries with our respective genres.
If someone has an idea, we all discuss and see how it can work before rolling with it. Effectively, it is run by the community and I love seeing everyone come up with different ideas, styles of music and keep each other inspired, particularly with the global situation we find ourselves in.
For electronic music fans, we have all kinds of playlists and active DJs & producers working on their own releases to keep you entertained - the best place to follow the action is on our Twitter page and our community run label continuously adds to its release catalog on our Beatport page.
We'll have a full newsletter coming up at the end of the month which you won't want to miss! Here's the EMA Blog for you to bookmark, which we update weekly with playlists too.
Travel Diaries EP
Over the last couple of months, I've been releasing the individual tracks in the build up to the main "Travel Diaries EP" release and it concludes this Friday with a liquid drum and bass track called "Night Sky" on the 27th March. I'll once again be making some noise over on the Spotlight on the Artist (@spotlight.artist) show over on @msp-waves radio station so come join me between 18:00-20:00 UTC as I have a chinwag with @onemedia and @d-vine!
As always, I'll have a separate blog coming up about that to get you in the mood but if you wanted to hear the story of the Travel Diaries EP so far, here's a Spotify playlist for you:
Other Music Projects
Oh yes, I've been working on some interesting dnb remixes of tracks from EthanolAddiktz and Spawn who make rap and ska music respectively! I've also got a release lined up on EMA's "Future Sounds Anthology Vol. 2" with winkandwoo at the beginning of April where we summoned our inner "David Bowie", creating an Electro Pop style track! Who'd have thought! Loads of new tunes to look forward to that I'll keep you posted on!
Platform Project Live Shows Return!
Yeaaaa buddies! It had been a long time since I last spoke to Mr B aka DJ Pi who carried on with the Platform Project after I went travelling last year - we were long overdue a catch up but managed to finally get in contact a couple of days ago.
The good news is that I'll be back on air doing a live monthly mix with DJ Pi every 3rd Saturday over on Bassport FM which I'm very excited about! It's been over a year since my last show so time to blow off the dust!
I want to quickly mention about the travel blogs as I haven't been as busy with them in recent times. I'm hoping to write at least one travel blog a month but if you want to see more of them, let me know and will shift a few of these other projects around to suit.
Maybe in these times, it'll be a nice escape to relive the adventure last year in which I feel very fortunate to have done given the devastating fires in Australia, the violent volcanic eruption in New Zealand and the global lock down from coronavirus that have happened since.
Amazing what can happen in less than a year isn't it?
Your Top 3 Contest
Finally, another project I'm involved with over on the Steem platform (for the next week at least) is this fun monthly contest where we ask folks to tell us their top 3 things about a particular topic for a chance to win some cool prizes at the end of the month!
We have leagues which run throughout the year as well with more ways of winning so if this is something that sounds like it would be interesting to you, then get involved!
It looks like we will be moving over to a new platform called Hive at the end of this month after our community members have voted to move over in our little forum - that's the beauty of listening to your members, they will let you know what they want to have happen and you roll with it!
We'll have an official announcement on our pages very soon but one thing is for sure, our mascot, Q, is one happy... thing!
So there you have it, a "little" Q1 update from life here at Havey HQ. Life evolves but I'll do my best to keep some form of positive vibes on my blog whether it's the music or the travel blogs or something else!
Just promise me you'll take care of yourselves and take coronavirus seriously hey?