I'm writing this almost to remind me looking back of these times.
So consider this my:
JARVIE ISOLATION CHRONICLES
Yesterday I went here to this place
It was awesome and my sister @sjarvie5 came along with her needing to be around people for one of her first times in a month?
This place was peaceful calm and beautiful. It's also 70-90 miles from civilization? It was just a few people there just walking around taking some pictures... normal people keeping their distance from other groups. There was one time our vehicle got almost within the 6ft bubble of another vehicle, (I hope my truck pulls through). Almost seeming like life was beautiful and normal... Which it was for us yesterday.
I've been within the 6ft bubble of 3 people in the last 35 days.
To be honest it's not been a big deal being isolated because I'm out in the middle of no-where, plenty of work to do and very self-sufficient.
Don't get me wrong it is a little strange to have to line up outside costco to go in. I don't mind the staying 6ft apart from strangers I mean who cares if the line LOOKS long because I realize it's not actually that long. I even did the in and out drive thru and it wasn't horrible I got some work done on the phone and thought i'd get more done than i did. They're efficient.
Social Distancing has made made many people hesitent to even travel or leave their house. While I don't often have the need to be around people. (A couple times to a grocery store and a couple times take out food delivered to your car) I've also realized that I'm very very sensitive to keeping my hands clean, and keeping a wide berth around other people even at grocery stores... i tend to do the 10ft strategy. I even regulate how hard I'm breathing. I'm also hypersensitive to coughing or sneezing I'm sure like most other people are these days.
I never ever touch anything public anymore and i try to use elbows or feet when possible specially to open doors. If i have to pick up the gas pump for example I'll use my sleeves, napkin or sanitize my hands like they're dipped in pure virus. It's almost like a game... the ground isn't hot lava but anything you have to touch is lava... how can you creatively not touch anything? I'm pretty good at the game.
Honestly I'm just working away and coming into town to do photoshoots. When i do photoshoots I am outside and never close to the people and neither parties are in danger.
Sadly... Not too many people requesting photoshoots even though it does seem to me their families have plenty of time. I guess they should know that I'm not going to suddenly get close to them or cough on them ... actually the clients i've had have been perhaps surprised at how careful I am to not let them close to me. I end up telling them that I'm not worried about being infected by being 5ft away or doing the infecting. But I do it more so so that I can make potential future clients feel comfortable knowing that I am very strict and that they can be around me with no concerns (not too close around me). I confess... sometimes I do show the image on the back of the screen to the client not sure if that's a 6ft infraction. Streched out arm sorta style and mere seconds but my arms aren't 6ft.
I mentioned in the last 1 month+ I've been within the 6ft bubble of 3 people. One was a friend who snuck hug me because I wouldn't get close to her or sit on her couch or give her a hug when I was visiting her place to meet someone for a photoshoot. I'm much more sensitive when inside a building. It was pretty funny to be honest. Another person rode in my truck. It's been 14+ days since those 2 people... I'm still alive. haha
I mean back on march 15th I was coming back from Colombia before all the shut downs part of me hopes i got the virus then a-symptomatically just developed the anti-bodies (hurry up anti-body tests)
It's been harder on a lot of other people not doing the normal distancing thing. And it's gonna be really interesting to look back at this post of mine in 6 months a year or heck 3 months and with a ton more information (hopefully) perhaps shake our heads a bit at the things we were doing or weren't doing during this time. ("We were so young and naive back then") We just have so little information even still after 4+ months of the virus. Some people are saying antibody tests are proving tons of people have the antibodies and never ever knew it. Never were even slightly symptomatic. That would honestly be awesome if we found that out. If that did happen could you imagine leadership saying: "Woops turns out it was 50-100x times less deadly than we thought... our bad bro." ... i mean we'd likely be a bit angry at the over-reaction, but wouldn't that be the best news to hear? But what are you gonna do when staring lack of knowledge in the face? I mean that's a what-if scenario... we really just don't know much and are blindly wielding what we do know and sometimes we wield what we know like weapons trying to cut people down with it.
I've tried hard to not say much on FB ... one time I did a couple weeks ago, didn't go well. Tensions were sooo incredibly high that I felt like the best thing was to self-isolate my social-networking interactions. Or at least sanitize them. (What if that's what we had to do... socially-fb-distance for a month.)
People are so scared and I kind of understand all the stuff being thrown around when you listen to the news it's basically their JOB to pump fear into people. I'm realizing you can't blame people so much... they're so much the product of what they consume and what they're consuming seems as toxic as dare I say it... a virus. And what good would it do to throw around the blame it's just another virus of hate.
**A STORY FROM PRE-VIRUS TIMES **
(aka ancient history... early march)
Let me dip back a bit further into the Jarvie Chronicles before the world wide panic/spread set in.
I was in Colombia with some amazing amazing individuals who have so much love and goodness in their heart... heck they were there with money from their own pockets helping refugees. Since this is a post about my experience to look back on I'll share one of my most poignant thoughts I left with: (poignant because it made me think not because it's the most inspiring message)
I saw that even some of the people (which i remind you I consider some of the best people in this country) are still plagued by fear and hate in their hearts. I'm no fan of the immorality, showboating and lies of the president and I don't vote for either of the two parties anyway... but the amount of obsessive hate they fostered in their heart daily saddened me. I have laughed when i heard this term previously but I now understood what the "trump derangement syndrome" is ... here we were focused on helping and loving others while the moment we stepped away from that situation we filled it with a focus on a "did you hear" game to foster anger and hate... and it spreads... like a virus. One person usually instigated so that it kind of became a little sub-cultural tick of our little group and the more and more the week went on the group kind of locked in with two main topics: 1. the beginnings of Covid19 and 2. whatever negative news they could dig up about trump.
We had a common theme that took us to another continent, we were in the middle of a historical event in colombia/venezuela, we were constantly in a unique situation even living in bunk beds on a military base with one warm shower for a group of ~30, we were having amazing touching experiences, we were trying to change the world a little at a time. We had a common place where we mostly lived and even shared a common religion... seems like so many opportunities to connect. But somehow we started down a path and then habit kicked in.
Bonds aren't always healthy... for this little group the bond that made people feel connected was what outrage could one person instill in the hearts of the other person about the person everyone disliked.
Now i recognize that more when I look around... even the best of people can create habits that aren't healthy. We always talk about the same things among the same people, hopefully good habits are set early. We see others complaining about the same things on FB or other places and that gets stuck in our heads until we too believe we need to think about it obsessively so that we can also share it online.
We get bonded to those with similar thoughts and judge the person with different thoughts. Are we literally so starved for connection that we use fear and judgement to connect us? Has it always been that way? Do we just sometimes lazily join in because we don't want to say something like: "hey can we change the subject?"
BACK TO THE VIRUS
I recognize how blessed I am to be in a situation where I am not as impacted by this virus as millions of my country-men. For years I've told people that my procrastination in calling in payments and laziness to submit invoices to businesses would benefit me. And having recently submitted invoices that will pay my bills for many months I recognize how nicely things are going for me. And even getting a couple engagement shoots and a senior pictures does help the loss of a couple wedding shoots. And then there's many years of photographing temples that still helps cover some bills. I'm blessed that hard work previously is paying off now.
How about the hard times personally... I've had to work really really hard and shed more than a few tears to find ways to find the comfort I have being alone... as a person who never wanted or even considered a life alone. But those sucky years are making these years pretty bearable.
Now I'm literally surrounded constantly by some of the most beautiful places in the world ... right outside my door. Miles from the nearest person.
I also get to spend my time in efforts of purpose... creating a new social media platform. An audacious task but so fulfilling and even fun because it's the other side of creativity.
TIMES ARE CRAZY
But doesn't mean the the whole situation isn't crazy.
It's crazy awesome that I can do so much all by myself.
But it's crazy to think of the lives that are impacted in so many ways. Sickness and economic disaster and the virus of fear and hate. And then it's inspiring to see what comes about in the midst of crisis... all the people stepping up to the plate to help others.
Sobering to recognize that those same heroes saving lives and making someone smile one moment may be fomenting fear and gossiping the next. But it's perspective... and when you realize that even the best of people are still susceptible to unfortunate quirks you start to look within and maybe you start to internalize, shut your mouth more, write more for yourself... think more and think twice before posting. And you give people perhaps a bit more of a judgement free moment... find a way to just do your thing and learn to deal with the situation that's impacting you instead of raging on the world. And then you just accept all those beautiful things you see around you... one of the most beautiful things I've seen these days is the youtube channel Some Good News. Seriously when will can we shut off all the news talk shows or late night shows and just have shows like SGN.
Obviously there's so much beauty physically around me... having my sister around for the weekend was wonderful. I wish more people could join me out here. I mean maybe there are people also as isolated as me needing a place to work online during the day and then adventure for sunset? Not sure but one can hope.
I still don't like hiking by myself... i can do the driving around and explore thing just fine. But hiking alone isn't my thing... maybe one day I'll get into it.
Anyway what is a long jarvie write up not complete without a maxwell quote ... I don't have one in mind but I'll go spend a little bit of time and find one or two that seems to apply.
"Moreover, partaking of a bitter cup without becoming bitter is likewise part of the emulation of Jesus."
"As things unfold, sometimes in full view, let us be merciful with each other. We certainly do not criticize hospital patients amid intensive care for looking pale and preoccupied. Why then those recovering from surgery on their souls? No need for us to stare; those stitches will finally come out. And in this hospital, too, it is important for everyone to remember that the hospital chart is not the patient. Extending our mercy to someone need not wait upon our full understanding of their challenges! Empathy may not be appreciated or reciprocated, but empathy is never wasted"
"Will we have that same perceptive tolerance for those being wrenched by a cruel irony? When, for the moment, we ourselves are not being stretched on a particular cross, we ought to be at the foot of someone else’s—full of empathy and proffering spiritual refreshment."