Isolation Coverfolk: A Social Distancing Playlist
Looks like we’ll be home for a few weeks, thanks to late-game honest-to-goodness State of Emergency declarations at every scale of government. We’ll have time, now, for that backlog of sound. And we’re looking forward to sharing. Because we’re all going to need some good strategies to fight the loneliness, in the days to come.
For a few hours, there, we were out in it: sharing fears as we wound up teacher planning sessions for putting schoolwork online “if it happens”; chatting lovingly and too long in the parking lot with friends and neighbors stocking up on nicotine and beer at the local package store. Now it’s morning, and the truth hits hard: for the first time in weeks, we’ve got nothing to do. And we shouldn’t go out: for the first time in a lifetime, most of the world is off-limits, anyway.
Being holed up with the spouse and children isn’t a bad thing: the house desperately needs cleaning, and we need the practice at sharing close quarters after a few growing pains years. They’re high schoolers now, the elderchild and the wee one stumbling through adolescence, and the shared time together will be among our last: this, and a pending trip for one more school vacation in the Outer Banks, by the sound; the summer that follows, and then – maybe – college, and the world apart.
It’s scary, out here. But we’re blessed: we have each other. And for us, more broadly, the virtual world we’ve maintained provides endless options for staying close, if we embrace it. The more we act to fill the spaces between us, the more held we will feel, as the weeks follow.
And it’s happening. Churches are going virtual. House concerts aren’t being cancelled; they’re going online. Thursday night I joined a Facebook watchparty for Kris Delmhorst’s live living room stream, in which she raised enough money to pay herself, the venue, and all the staff who would have been working that night if her scheduled show at Club Passim had gone on as planned, and enough left over to seed a fund to support more artists and venue staff as the closures take hold. Monday, my students will hear my voice, in a short video I plan to film tomorrow introducing them to their virtual packet analyzing Martin Luther King Jr’s message of hope and responsibility as they hole up in their apartments and urban homes.
There are hundreds of ways to stay close, in spirit and in voice – to support the lonely, and the out of work and sorts. All it takes is us, to come, and be welcome, and present with each other, even here, in our screens and distances, as we work to save the world.
May our homes be havens and safe houses, not prisons. May our isolation be brief, and brave. And may these electric waves between us sustain us, in the hours and days to come.
CLD Presents: An Isolation Coverfolk Mix [zip!]
- Ember Isles: Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You (orig. Bob Dylan) 
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So do your part. Listen, deeply. Comment and spread the word. Follow the threads of discovery. Purchase the music you love, to support the arts and the artists in their struggle to thrive and survive.
Connect. And stay safe, as always. The world is counting on us.