"...In the last 8 months, I have been a part of making decisions that I never thought I would have to make. Policies about who gets to visit their dying loved one, which team members will take care of COVID patients, how to allocate scarce resources like PPE and vents...I am a fixer, a problem solver. And I can't fix a lot of this..."
"...I am exhausted and lonely...I don’t understand how caring for our neighbors became less important than our freedom to not wear a mask. This is not freedom. Nevertheless. We committed to serving our community. And we’ll be here for you when you need us..."
* Photo courtesy of Anna Dykhuis, RN
Editor's Note: Please be there for them. Stay home and mask up when you are out, especially with friends and family not in your household.
"...COVID19 is real. If you have not been impacted yet, you likely will be in the future. Health care workers have been sacrificing, and showing to help others, since the beginning of the pandemic. Those of us that are still healthy will keep showing up for as long as it takes..."
"...I feel like my sense of self has become very strong due to The Pandemic...My relationships with people have become stronger, and any loose ends have been tied up. My home has become a sanctuary and I feel so full of gratitude for the life I've created as well as for the simple basics in life like good health, clean water, fresh air, etc..."
"...My days are getting SUPER long with Thanksgiving right around the corner. People aren't near as grateful or as polite as they were at the beginning of the pandemic. I actually put in my notice at work this last week. I hit beyond burnout and I need a breather...I hope people are smart enough this holiday season to stay the fuck home. But people are selfish and I'm not optimistic."
". . .In addition to my role as Lt. Governor, I’m a mom, a
wife, and a daughter of a parent with underlying conditions and I am
navigating all of this as a human being, too. I think we sometimes
forget to remember that we are all human beings doing the best we can
and that no matter what, we can all start each day and each interaction
with empathy and understanding...We’re in this together,
". . .These last 8-months have been brutal. I am burnt-out. I live everyday with constant anxiety...Add to this, working through two hospital closures. My friends and colleagues are going to lose their jobs. During a pandemic...I'm so very tired. Tired of people being so selfish. So stupid. Tired of seeing people suffer. I need a break. We all do..."
with a chronic illness, the pandemic has further highlighted the
challenges of living with an often invisible illness...In the United States we seem to still be stuck on the
debate of if it is serious or not. I don't have the luxury of choosing
to not take it seriously..."
"...PLEASE take this seriously.
The average person may not think they have a big role to play, or they
may think that this is overblown and their actions don't affect others
directly. I assure you, all of our actions matter...Hunker down, realize that
life is not the same right now, and make some serious adjustments...Please! This nurse is begging you!"
"...These pandemics have opened the eyes of many to understand that
radical systemic change needs to happen for us to reach equity. If
someone gets COVID-19, it not only impacts their physical health. It
takes a toll on their (and family's) mental health, lingering health
issues, their job, housing situation, etc. These aren't new problems..."
"...This fire is out of control. I can't think of a time in 15 years of working in ERs where hospitals are so overwhelmed. And I think this is just the beginning unless something changes...I have a simmering concern about ongoing surge of Covid in the community, without any apparent new efforts to curb spread. This is especially concerning as we have seen widespread lack of hospital bed availability in the broader metro area of the Twin Cities..." *Photo courtesy of Dr. Frank Villaume, IV
"...This is my first year as an elementary
school principal so sometimes It's hard to distinguish what unique to
this year. What I find most challenging this year is the wide range of
what parents and teachers want...Some folks are really ready to get back into the building and
others are very scared and worried. The range of opinions and emotions
...I took it for granted,
mainly. That it was always there (I had been going infrequently since I
was an aspiring Gen Xer in the early 90s). And that it would remain...I'm
not sure when we will be back inside, brushing an accidental shoulder
with a stranger and smiling without masks concealing our hearts. So
until then, I'm gonna do my damnedest to smile big with my eyes...
"...I think one of the most important things this virus has given me is perspective. My father has a type of cancer that would not mix well with Corona, so my family has taken extra measures to stay inside and away from people. I have watched from afar as my friends and schoolmates hug, play with and hang out with each other, and it isn't the best feeling in the world..."
“...Salon life is starting to feel more and more normal. Which is a testament to how adaptable humans can become. Wearing masks and cleaning incessantly doesn’t feel like a big deal anymore. What does feel like a big deal though is how wonderful it is to see old and new clients smiling under their masks...”
"...Due to COVID-19, I haven't spent much time with my family or friends for months, because of cross contamination worries and health issues. It's a very lonely existence. I message or phone friends, I write with online poetry groups of virtual friends all over the world, I read, I watch movies...I know I'm one of the lucky ones, as I still live in my own home with my husband..."
* Photograph of Marianne and her daughter Katie around 1991
"...As a writer, I have been feeling full of emotion and have felt challenged to write. So many feelings and instead of spilling out, they are waterfalling inside of me with seemingly no end. And I am discovering that somehow I am still grateful to be alive and be apart of this movement work, this healing journey, this surrender into sweetness and abundance for Black life...I want to end the lie that something about Blackness is inferior or troubled..."
"...Justice Ginsburg's decisions are the first ones I ever read where I felt like I was the subject and not the object of the decision...for women lawyers especially, her legacy is one that we deserve to be in all places where decisions are being made, and that we could do that while parenting and working and bringing our whole selves to both..."
"...I spent almost ten years in the Army Reserve, including a couple trips to Iraq. That service has given me a pretty deep well to draw from in the COVID environment...as a combat vet, having Blackhawks flying over my house all night and being able to hear and smell what was happening on Lake Street brought back some feelings I never expected to feel in my own house..."
"I've been on quarantine for a week and a half since I was exposed during my first week of school. I still have to stay home from work another half a week but I am continuing to do all my lessons on Zoom, teaching a full day from my house with my students in my classroom in the school building."
"...There's a tension...I think many teachers are struggling with anxiety about getting back in the classroom and making sure that we can still do the job AND maintain the health and safety standards that we feel are necessary to keep people from getting sick. My job is prioritizing student learning and I know being with them physically maximizes the potential students have for learning..."
"...We know our local business community needs support more than ever right now so we're getting creative... what we're planning to do moving forward is thanks to so many community members who've made a renewed commitment to shopping local... As a POC who's benefited from an immense amount of privilege growing up, there's a lot more that I should be doing to combat injustices, racism, and systemic inequities in my own community..."
"...Human beings are pretty fucking incredible. I’m so lucky that I get to listen to people as part of my job. I witness bold truths, powerful stories, and beautiful experiences around love, solidarity, justice, and connection every day... storytelling is how we make meaning, see connections, access our lineage and ancestry... it's an integral part of the human experience... "
"...Due to The Pandemic I’m more cautious about protecting myself from possible exposure from my patients and am very meticulous about wearing my PPE. And I make it a priority to be aware of my surroundings while on calls with a potential for violence or police interacting with us, not only at work, but also while I’m off duty..."
"...This past string of seven sleep deprived overnights in the hospital was a hard one. I saw some very sad Covid cases. But, I saw more "normal" cases and how they have been affected by The Pandemic...these patients weren't able to get the care they needed when they needed it, and it's now spiraled out of control... I just want this thing to leave us all alone already..."
"...Being the wife and caregiver for someone with a serious illness and the mother of a person of color has never been boring, but in this moment of a global pandemic and racial upheaval, it feels like everywhere I look danger is targeted directly at the two people I love the most... If you shout and post and tweet that "All Lives Matter," then please include the two that live with me..."
"...Many of our patients may have Covid-19, they just don't present like it... and so we would not know, and would not test as they do not present with a Covid-19 symptom profile. It's a scenario that requires us to adhere to strict PPE usage no matter what the chief complaint is... I also hope people start see the value in science and the scientific model, and lean back into it and trust in it wholeheartedly..."
Editor's note: it is with a heavy heart that I let the @by_a.thread community know that beautiful & brave participant Lindsay Norton (@lnortonj33) passed away Friday, August 21, 2020 from cervical cancer. She is missed immensely. Deepest condolences to her husband, five year old son, mother, and all who loved her. This is a gutting reminder to love your people. And to tell them you love them.
Life is a Gift. We're all connected by a thread.
"...If there was ever a time to be kind to one another and ourselves it’s now... "
"...I was at the protests everyday for two weeks after the murder of George Floyd. Then I began volunteering in the neighborhoods that were affected by the store closures. There are two pandemics, COVID-19 and systematic racism... I have nothing but conviction and time..."
"...I want people to know that both masks and fares are required to ride the bus. And that as Bus Operators, we are essential workers who are doing the best we can under difficult circumstances... cleanliness (disinfecting, sanitizing, washing your hands, covering your mouth or sneeze) is not just an option, its a necessity..."
"...I probably contracted this at work from an asymptomatic/presymptomatic patient who wasn’t wearing a mask. Going forward, I will insist every patient wear a mask when I’m seeing them because that is most important for preventing the spread..."
"...I was up late the night Minneapolis police killed George Floyd. I came across the video while scrolling and immediately wished I could unsee it. It was horrifying. The next day, I was glued to the news and social media. By the following night I was down on Lake Street at the protests..."
"...Something that society might not realize is that teachers are CONSTANTLY observing. We watch kids interact with each other; we notice slight changes in behavior. This allows us to get to the bottom of what is going wrong or right in students' lives. It was really difficult for me to do that for the last 3 months of school, and I worried so much about so many of my kids..."
...They have taken their Farmer's Market bounty ordering online Fridays to then directly bring it to your door on Saturday! This is what my family received - it was as delicious as it is gorgeous. I highly recommend you put in an order for the next Saturday you are able:
"...Being a chef isn't just about being in a kitchen or behind a grill...it's about understanding and addressing the full culture of the service industry. And how that affects the people who work for and with you...we don't just need food, because we do. But we need food because it is also a language of love and hope..."
Editor's Note: In the spring of 2021 Vang will be opening Vinai, a brick and mortar restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis, honoring the past, present and future of Hmong cooking.