It feels like an avalanche of emails…“x” is cancelled due to Covid-19; “x” is postponed due to Covid-19; “x” is closed due to Covid-19… Everyday, there are more notices about what we can’t do in the near future, but what are we going to be doing instead?
I am one of the lucky ones who can actually go to my studio, since I can get there without being in contact with anyone and can be alone once I am there. So I will keep going to work, as well as working from home, as I am doing right now. I have had events cancelled and orders postponed, which gives me time to work on new designs, and items that had been pushed to the bottom of my to-do list are now rising to the top. For example, when was the last time I updated my website and added new products? I am embarrassed to say that I can’t even remember!
In the months before everything suddenly shut down, I had been SO busy - getting ready for shows and traveling to them, keeping up with custom orders and orders for stores. As an independent designer who weathered the last recession (let me assure you ... that one was hard), and now has worries for the one that is likely to accompany this pandemic, I am loathe to complain about being too busy. And when I am busy, let me also assure you that I am grateful for the business, thrilled to be working hard, and thankful for times that are going well. But by the time this all hit and we were suddenly forced to “socially distance” ourselves, I was also exhausted.
While I cannot say that there is anything good, at all, about this pandemic, I have found a tiny silver lining: it is forcing me to slow down. Deadlines are getting pushed back at work giving me some time to breathe; and at home, we are cooking every meal, having more leisurely conversations, and going outside for daily walks. I am thankful that spring is on its way and we will soon be able to spend more time outdoors. And while I am missing being able to see friends and family, I am spending more time calling and messaging them. Also ... I’m about to reorganize my gem collection so that it will be easier to see (and use!) the pretty stones that I have collected over the years - so there’s another tiny win!
At the same time, I am worried for people in my community who need to work and can’t; or who are worried about being exposed when working, but have to. I am nervous for my cousin and for a dear friend who are doctors, and am praying they don’t get sick or find themselves on the front lines of a battle in which they don’t have enough equipment or space for everyone in need, like we’ve seen in Northern Italy.
And so, I am thinking about what I can do. Of course, the first and most important thing to do is also the easiest … do nothing. Simply stay away from others and help slow the spread of the virus. We do this not only to keep ourselves healthy, but to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.
What else can we do? Well, the hospitality industry is going to suffer, so Adam and I are going to do weekly “Date Nights Out”! (And, no … before you even ask, of course we are not actually going to go out - not that restaurants are open anyway.) Instead, we are going to pick a restaurant each week that we would love to go to and buy a gift card from them to use when this is all over (or get take-out, as lots of places are now starting take-out only service). Then we will eat at home, open a bottle of wine, and maybe watch a movie. Who knows - I might even get dressed up! 🤣 We’ll see how long this lasts ...
I am also going to donate 15% of online sales - I plan to split the donation between Minnesota Foodshare and Second Harvest Heartland. Many people in the community are going to be hit hard by this, and it seems like one of the best things I can do is to support the organizations that help support my community. If you purchase an item on either of my websites: Karin Jacobson Fine Jewelry or Superkarin Jewelry, 15% of the price of the item will be donated. To make it extra easy, I am also offering free shipping for all domestic orders with the code: FREESHIPPING. I’m just hoping to keep my business rolling along, and do some good at the same time. As of now, I plan to do this through May, but it may be longer. Again … we’ll see how long this lasts.
How about you? What will you be doing while you are Social Distancing??