During my first post-lockdown massage we had the requisite chit chat about our lockdown experiences. He gushed: “Oh man. It was so great. Every day I woke up, drank coffee, read, rode my bike…”
This did sound pretty great. But it was nothing like my own, anxiety-ridden ordeal.
Had I done the lockdown wrong?
In Next Time There’s a Pandemic, artist Vivek Shraya reflects on how she might have approached 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic differently, and how challenging and changing pervasive expressions, attitudes, and behaviours might transform our experiences of life in—and after—the pandemic. What might happen if, rather than urging one another to “stay safe,” we focused instead on being caring? What if, instead of striving to “make the best of it” by doing something, we sometimes chose to do nothing? With generosity, Shraya captures the dissonances of this moment, urging us to keep showing up for each other so we are better prepared for the next time… and for all times.
With an afterword by J.R. Carpenter (An Ocean of Static).
- Cover design by Tim Singleton