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Temporarily Closed

March 16, 2020

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My lord, but I hope I’m not writing about coronavirus every day for the next who knows how long.

Honest to god, though, the news is nothing but. I mean, NOTHING BUT. For good reason, okay, but my goodness. It’s every news story in every medium. It’s a constant stream of emails from every imaginable business — my massage therapist, my bank, countless restaurants and performance venues, local government, even a shoe company.

They say it’s one of those tipping points. It’s exhausting, because these days, news is so hysterical and super-hyped all the time, and with my little cable news addiction the past few years, the hysteria on any given news item seems even more intense. And then a couple news cycles later we’re on to the next thing. Cue hype and frenzy. So it’s hard to trust that anything is as big as they always say it is.

But I think this is real, and may be lasting, and may very well be game changing. It may actually be a tipping point. For what, I’m not entirely sure, but it may be one of those events we all look back on with our own set of stories forever etched, and maybe we will remember it as the point when everything changed. I hope the most profound effect is the awakening of our country out of a sickening nightmare, and I really hope that this is what finally does our stupid conman freakshow of a president in.

Sorry.

Not sorry. Have you noticed that he’s become just sort of irrelevant in the last few days? He has a major oval office address and it’s so stunningly, numbingly frightening people just ignore it. He stands up at these press conferences and has not one intelligent thing to say, and says it badly on top of that. He can’t answer a question with any convincing authority and when asked a solid question he obviously can’t answer, he searches his assembled cadre of experts (thank goodness) for the right person to answer because he is in so far over his head.  He’s so irrelevant, the governors, the doctors, the scientists are taking over and running the show (again, thank goodness). Gavin Newsom and Andrew Cuomo and a few others are leading us through this mess, with Trump completely sidelined. (Though 80% of republicans still think he’s doing a bang up job… we’ll see what happens as this society-stoppage continues and the deaths mount.)

One other stunning statistic: I read that 60% of democrats are adhering to the CDC guidelines for social distancing, self-isolation, etc, while only 30-something % of republicans are. Republicans are still crowding into bars and Nunes was encouraging people to go out and have fun just yesterday. What the hell does that say about the power of Trump over common sense… classic acting-against-your-own-interest to spite those evil, elite democrats. Man, we’ve got problems.

Anyway. Sorry.

What I meant to write about is the sad closing of our just opened Volunteer Center and the suspension of all activities this morning. At least for a week while our leadership team regroups and figures out which activities we can continue, and how. It was a good meeting, if a bit tearful, with lots of good perspectives on the subject. Impressive, really. I work with good, smart people.

It was a really hard decision.

It’s just that no sooner do you go in one direction, then the guidelines change, and with each change, the restrictions get more restrictive. Understandably. Just makes it hard to roll anything out and expect it’s going to work for any length of time.

And the elections that we’re working on, themselves, keep changing. For example, in one election our phone bank team was working on, the campaign had to change its script four times in one day.

My favorite reason for closing down the center and suspending our activities was to model good organizational behavior, and demonstrate a commitment to be a community team player, focused on the greater good. We are a social justice organization, after all. Walking the talk.

So seems prudent to let things settle just a little so we can find a rhythm, so we can truly get down to business. Until then, we’re temporarily closed.

But is it temporary?

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