Friday, March 20, 2020

Coronavirus Update 3-20-2020: How are you feeding your soul?

What did you do to feed your soul this week? I’ve been sheltered at home with my family. We’ve decided to self-quarantine because our 11-year-old son’s congenital heart defect makes him high risk. Aside from working (a lot), I’ve turned to a few things to fill my soul with some much-needed joy.

Center square ftw!

1. I recorded a podcast. Specifically, I recorded an episode of Marc Alifanz’s and Kate Bischoff’s Hostile Work Environment Podcast, along with our good friends Tracy CoenenSuzanne LucasJeff Nowak, and Dan Schwartz. For the past three years, the seven of us have had a WhatsApp group chat called “Team Halfwit.” (You’ll have to listen to the podcast to learn the story behind the name.) On the podcast we talked life and work in a world turned upside down by coronavirus. I learned is that those six professionals are six of my dearest friends, and by far the best relationships I’ve fostered on social media. Video chatting with them let me forget my worries and anxieties for a half-hour. We laughed, and learned, and let loose. You can listen to all of the fun here, or better yet, jump over the YouTube and watch the video.

2. I attended a (virtual) concert. If you’ve been reading me for any length of time, you know of my unqualified love for the band Old 97’s and its frontperson, Rhett Miller, both of which being a big part of my families’ life for the past six years. Wednesday night Rhett performed a virtual concert from his home in upstate New York. My family gathered around a computer monitor perched on our kitchen island, and I’m happy to report that I’ve never had more fun singing and laughing in front of a screen. It was everything I needed, and we’ll be doing it again at 9 pm tonight. You should consider joining, or finding another virtual concert to attend (NPR Music has compiled a list). Music really is good for the soul.

3. My wife and I started a GoFundMe. For my kids, School of Rock is their second home and the place they feel most comfortable. And that starts with the instructors that give my kids lessons and run their shows. COVID-19 is hitting these people particularly hard. The bars and clubs in which their bands play were already closed, and now School of Rock has also closed (except for some virtual lessons). We are raising money to help them out during this difficult time. All money raised will go equally to all School of Rock Cleveland’s instructors. Donations can be made here, and no amount is too small.

What have you done to feed your soul this week? Share in the comments below, on Twitter (please @ me), or in the comments to this post on LinkedIn. I’ll collect the best of the bunch and share them in a future post.

* Image stolen without permission from Kate Bischoff (but I don’t think she’ll mind).