alternative futures: living after the days of covid-1911 Mar 2020
note from lawrence: i write to process my thoughts, fears, and dreams. i weave them together in ways that surprise even myself. do with them what you will.
[scene: 2022. two 28 year-olds are planning a virtual conference as covid-20 begins to sweep the planet]
lexi: DAMN. again?!?! i really thought we had figured this thing out…
khou: it seems not, eh?
lexi: ugh. ok. so what do we do? we have this conference coming up in two weeks and, even though we haven’t seemed to learn much, we’re probably going all virtual. do you have that list of spring 2020 lessons from the first covid?
khou: mmmhmm. don’t i always?
lexi rolls their eyes
lexi: after you’re finished patting yourself on the back, would you like to share your brilliant thoughts or should i read them myself?
khou: d’awwww, don’t hate, friend; congratulate! winks and of course. my top three notes. number one: even as people were shifting into virtual meetings, we under-prioritized childcare needs for once schools got cancelled. need to include thinking for folks to have their kids at home and to need childcare breaks.
lexi: hahaha, oh i TOTALLY remember watching shae trying keep her 3-year old eating breakfast while keeping his cereal milk off her keyboard. it was a joyful moment and also i wish we’d planned better for that.
khou: yup. i remember…
lexi: interrupts wait. i get to go down memory lane. i’m the sentimental one remember? you’re the strategy lead, i’m the feelings guy, right?
lexi: next point please!
khou: as you wish… reflection number two: there is nothing new under the sun. we spent too much time trying to come up new lessons. next time around, we should prioritize listening to people who are experienced with large scale crises. black folx, disabled folx living with chronic illness, puerto ricans, new orleanians, survivors of the detroit collapses: listen to and follow the lead of those folks.
lexi: right. for some reason we kept attuning ourselves to “the officials” even though we all knew what that had gotten us in the past… disaster capitalism, eh?
khou: yup. are you ready for next lesson?
lexi: ugh i am but my videophone is buzzing and i just got a text from silas. she is saying our service is needed on some national call…
khou: …sooooooo we hop on?
lexi: we hop on. i mean, that’s our orientation in moments like this right?
khou: yup! that was lesson number three if you don’t remember: put on your own oxygen mask first and then orient towards service…
words / writing / post-processing
330w / 22min / 7min