29 April 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not


Dear Diary,

I’m finding in a time of global stress it’s very important to manage interactions online, which are, while we’re in isolation, our main outlet for interactions of any kind. And, not to brag, but I’d like the record to reflect that my social media game is on point, especially following Beth’s 3 Basic Tenets of Conscientious Engagement — 1. Post what’s truthful, 2. Post what’s just, and 3. Post what’s kind. 

For posterity’s sake, here’s the kind of thing I mean, Diary, and bits of what I’ve learned:

1. Post what’s truthful. It’s just super, super important we look out for common pitfalls both in our own posts and in our friends’. EVERYONE is susceptible to wonky thinking from time to time, and to fake news, and to confirmation bias. It can come in the form of bad scientific data or adherence to harmful cultural norms or in myriad other ways, so we must be on the lookout, like when my friend Laura posted this:

We really must correct wonky thinking with Scientific Data, challenging the old way of doing things with a healthier approach.

Now, I admit, I could’ve responded more gently, with fewer ALL CAPS and less frustration, but I’m still learning, like everyone else. I made my points, though, about SCIENCE and HEALTH.  

2. Post what’s just. I know I say it all the time, but WE HAVE TO LIFT UP VULNERABLE PEOPLE and HELP CHAMPION MARGINALIZED GROUPS, and we do this best by a) Telling people out loud that we support them, and b) Being fully, authentically ourselves… i.e. …

Is this true? YES. Is it just? YES. Check and check and said out loud so folks who are gay and folks who stealth deposit geese know they’re not alone. BUILDING SAFE COMMUNITY — that’s what we’re after. Not necessarily safe from midnight goose attacks, but, you know, emotionally safe.

However, sometimes when we post things like this, our friends will help clarify any confusing parts of the message. WE NEED TO LET THEM. 

We need to listen. Take their words to heart. Consider them thoughtfully. Decide where we can do better, and then do better.

Also, DO NOT ABANDON THE CONVERSATION. If our friends have questions and want to further the convo, let’s engage in that together.

Sometimes, our friends will take our ideas and run with them, improving the original concept immeasurably.

THIS IS WHY WE HAVE EACH OTHER. We are greater together than we could ever be apart, and our collaborative work nets better results than anyone going it alone.

Finally, when speaking of the importance of justice, empty threats do no one any favors. If we SAY we’re going to do something, we need to BE ABLE to follow through. We need to BE ABLE to do the legwork. We need to BE ABLE to demonstrate our commitment to the cause so that when we’re called out on it — say, by one’s father — we have the receipts

Street cred is everything. It’s the only way people can trust our commitment to justice.

3. And, lastly, post what’s kind. Look, there are a lot of folks out there hurting right now. They’re tired. They’re down. They’re vulnerable. And they’re reaching out for help and hope.

Let’s be there for them. When they express a need, like my friend Josie did, let’s do whatever’s within our power to meet that need. After all, this is what it means to love our neighbors as ourselves. 

It is the work of God.

With love,

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11 responses to “29 April 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not”

  1. I have everything I need now!
    Well, except for an actual goose emoji, because (sorry!) that one is a swan. Not that swans are any worse than geese when it comes to attacks — in fact, I think swans excel at such things.

  2. Beth, your Covid diaries uplift me every morning when I first wake up. I love this series. And I do have goose-attack PTSD, so this post was particularly validating. All these years I thought it was my fault they attacked me. But no. They’re just a-holes.

    I wanted to ask you for a favor though, and I hope it’s not too much, but if it is I understand. Can you please re-post the story about Greg buttering his toast? Hahahahaha I’m laughing just thinking about it. After being awake half the night with Mr. Snorey McSnoreface (even after several drinks), I need the stories of other people’s husband’s habits. 😀

  3. Oh WoW! I can’t wait to share my new skill with my mom friends. From now on I’m signing everything with boobs! ( . )( . )….sigh, such a simple pleasure.

    Oh and how did you know about the geese at my place this morning? 6 am and I hear the geese honking over head. But instead of the honking fading into the distance it keeps going. Huh? Finally, I look in the back and there are two geese perched on TOP of a couple of out buildings…just having a honking conversation back and forth. We have a pond out front so geese are not uncommon, but perched on the sheds? Now that I know that bedroom geese are a thing…I’m wondering if the kids had them in their room last night and they just got out? Hmmm….

    ( . ) (.)
    …one boob is bigger than the other!

  4. Thank you for the laugh today. I went on strike about 36 hours ago. I took to my bed and let people know they were good to go, I was in my room if there was a medical emergency. They looked scared and asked why. I cried a lot and said things about not wanting to clean the house because I had been doing that for 25 years and while everyone smells the baby kitten pee and poop in the house I am the one to go and actually look for it and clean it up (worst Easter egg type hunt in the world) and I want someone else to be in charge of all the things and people. I feel much better after receding my mama throne and am slowly emerging today. This post, and my coffee, have given me hope that: 1) I think I can do some stuff today, 2) reading 250 pages of Harry Potter was the right call yesterday 3) mama fits are a necessary cleansing exercise every once in a while.

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