I’ve spent this last week or so doing all sorts of alien things. We’ve had to make arrangements to temporarily close The Kiln the coworking space I run, all of my staff at F8 (including myself) have been sent to work from home, and pixl-latr has been causing me all sorts of monumental headaches. Ok, that last one is fairly normal…!
Joking aside – quite far aside in fact – things have gotten pretty serious. Having conversations with our staff about a desire to pay them their full salary for as long as we can manage in a world where a large chunk of society seems to be grinding to a halt is not something I dreamed we would need to be doing even as little as 10 days ago.
Fortunately, I think we are going to be ok. The business community we operate within – or at very least our clients at F8 – seem to be pushing ahead regardless, for the moment at least. We also have a bit of a buffer in The Kiln that should mean it doesn’t sink even if it has to remain closed for a good few months. (Since writing this, the UK government has announced a fairly significant package of support for businesses like ours, so it looks like we will be ok…).
As for pixl-latr, I’m just trying to work out how I can make all that happen without leaving the house. With my wife working in a school that’s going to be providing some childcare services to local kids who’s parents are “Key Workers” I’m otherwise stuck at home with my own kids with little desire to venture out, in or outside my duties as a parent or business owner. One way or another, I suspect a large percentage of you reading this are going to be mostly housebound too. What a strange thought that is.
The first response I had to the idea of this new home-life was that it would at least provide me some more time to create content for this website. I’m very unlikely to be going on photo/video shoots for work for the time being, so even though I’ll be at home with the kids, in theory I should be gaining a few hours in the week that I can put my mind to writing.
Yet when I sat down to start writing a post I’ve been planning about a some of the first shots I’ve taken with the new Fuji X100v, all I could think about was the impact of this damned virus. I don’t have the virus – not to my knowledge anyway – but it seems so deeply rooted into my psyche at the moment, that the idea of doing something so normal (normal to me at least) as writing about a camera seemed alien. In other words, I’ve spent so much time doing alien things recently that they’ve almost become the norm, and with that, my old norms have become more unusual. Even just typing that makes me feel a little uneasy…
And the fact is, we’ve not even touched the sides yet. School closures, societal restrictions, shortages of food and other essentials (loo roll!?!) are just the beginning. As Dave Walker said to me in an email the other day:
“We’re in a surreal sort of place at the moment waiting for the hurricane to hit. The excrement is very much in full flight, headed for the World’s biggest fan and we’re all hoping to avoid a mouthful.”
I really couldn’t put it better than that (I hope you don’t mind the quote, Dave…?). But whilst all this is fairly undeniable, there’s little to be gained from getting stressed or panicked about any of it. There is going to be a lot for us all to deal with. I for one know that there will be a lot I need to do to keep my work and home life functioning (even with the support from the government). But there will still be downtime. And I would suggest that how that downtime is spent is going to be of huge importance to the sanity of a lot of us – it certainly will be to me.
So where does this leave me, and what’s the point of this blog post? Well, to begin with, I think just needed to write something down. Before I can get back to trying to find some normality in the process of writing about cameras and photography, I just needed to write something about this nightmare-hell-ride, I guess to a degree, to help me process it. But more than that, I felt that I couldn’t just carry on writing and publishing posts about cameras and pretending everything is normal without taking a bit of time to acknowledge the fact that it’s really not.
That being said, I suppose the point I want to make here is that whilst a lot of things in society aren’t normal – and probably won’t be for a while – it doesn’t mean that some things can’t carry on as they were. In fact, I would go as far to say that it’s actually really quite important for as many of the normal things we do to carry on as uninterrupted as possible.
Just for my own benefit, I can’t help thinking that I probably do need to carry on blogging. Writing about cameras and photography over the last 7 years of running this website has always provided me with something of a distraction. It’s something to concentrate on that’s other than whatever else might be causing me stress at any given time. ￼So when things are as stressful as they have the capacity to be now, well, I’m sure you won’t hold it against me if I continue to choose the relive myself of at least some of that stress in the way I have grown to rely on.
More than my own benefit though, I hope this website can continue to provide a bit of a distraction for you guys too. Both those of you who read it, and anyone who might be inspired to write a few words for it in the weeks and months to come. There’s no solution here, 35mmc obviously isn’t going to cure CoronaVirus, but I really do hope it might provide a tiny bit of momentary relief from the stresses and strains it has the potential to cause.
So yeah, in short, CoronaVirus isn’t going to stop me blogging about cameras and photography, not because it’s an exceptional thing to do, just because its a normal thing to do, and I can’t think of many things that would make me more happy right now than a little bit of normality once in a while.