July 10th, 2020


friday 5: stages

From f.riday5.com...

When were you last onstage, literally or figuratively?
I present at professional conferences, the last one was in September 2019. I put a big speech together about some airplane design processes for our owner/customer base. I was really proud of it. I loved that audience and all the people I met, I loved hearing the other presenters. I miss those events.

Beginning with the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, what would you name the different personal stages you’ve been through to today?
I was just noticing last week that Coronavirus searches peaked around March 15, and have gone downhill. Like we're over it. Except the virus cases itself are going up and up and up.


March 1: I had posted one entry about covid19, about how we needed to be compassionate towards parts of the world dealing with the virus. Not us.

March 15: everything around me started shutting down and I could barely breath from the panic of it all. I was spinning.

March 26: I often say that I don't have the attention span to panic for very long though. I was starting to accept it and take each day at a time. Learn to shove my fear down inside and appreciate what I have.

April 15: More noticing where the world was. It was starting to get weird and political, with conspiracy theories, and freedom fighters deciding that they were against wearing masks and in favor of crowded restaurants.

April 30: I was learning to be at home. Settling into gardening, board games, reading and stockpiling food.

Since May, I've been updating livejournal almost every day, writing about the mundane in life. I eat breakfast on my porch and take long walks. Some weeks I am working, some I am not. I miss what we've lost. But I am very lucky, I have not lost much personally. It's still distant. Like thunder you keep hearing very far away, you get used to it, and can't really tell if it's getting closer.

When did you unintentionally upstage someone, or when did someone unintentionally upstage you?
I probably upstaged everybody when I spoke at the March for Science rally, I got the crowd chanting and the other speakers were professors summarizing their last science lectures. But it was a damn RALLY! That might be a problem with science. Scientists never study how to rally people. Maybe that's why masks are controversial now.

How or when do you experience stage fright?
Oh gosh tons. Even though I love speaking, presenting, and being on stage, it terrifies me every time. I can feel my heart thumping in my chest, my stomach is in knots, my hands shake, my voice shakes, my brain feels like it's out of oxygen and I can't think. But I know three things...

1) Every time I think I look nervous, other people say I did not look nervous. They can't tell.
2) Taking a slow deep breath helps. It's great to take a pause when speaking, for both me and my audience.
3) I've done this plenty of times before without throwing up or passing out. I just need to get up there and find my groove and focus. Once I get started, I will feel better and more natural.

What are you in the early stages of, and what are you the late stages of?
I still hope a vaccine will come out in the early part of 2021. It gets closer and closer every day. We're halfway there, I tell myself! If we can just hold on, we will figure this out. There are so many unknowns. I can keep laying low. I can keep out of the busy restaurants, keep avoiding my friends, keep washing my hands, and never get this virus. My family will be safe. I will remain on the outside of all of it. I will stay in this stage, this is the last step.