Well, what do I say?
We are living in historic times. I’m looking out my window as today’s episode uploads and the world is grey. Every now and then a dog-walker goes by. I hear occasional cars. It’s very still around here – like New Year’s Day.
You know I love New Year’s Day, but this is much different.
What’s happening right now?
We don’t really know. These are not just historic times, but for most of us unprecedented times. Some of us may remember the days after 9/11. The Northeast Blackout of 2003. Strange silences followed those events too. Capital “H” historical events tend to inspire pause – government mandated or not – in humanity. And so I’m pausing, partly to absorb the significance of it all and partly because my recent Mexico trip has me in voluntary self-isolation.
In the early part of the episode, I talked about the need for reassurance from the powers that be. There had been precious little of that when I recorded, but I’m pleased to say there has been more of it in the days since. That’s such a vital communications piece in times like these. As a professional communicator who has done a fair amount of crisis, I’m glad to see our Prime Minister and even – gasp – the President of the United States finally taking steps to calm people down.
Maybe now there will be toilet paper in the stores whenever I venture out again.
So what do we do in times like these? We keep calm and carry on, I suppose. For a podcaster like me, that means trying to bring a little inspiration, a little positivity, a little encouragement to the situation. This time around I’m recommending fun distractions from Marc Maron, Maria Bamford, and the heinously addictive Dr. Pimple Popper. Most of us have a bit of extra time on our hands right now and could use some laughs. These are some good places to look for them.
I also told a story on this episode about an incident (if it’s worth being called that) with a guy on the beach in Mexico. It’s a timely reminder that we should see the best in and be generous about people, especially as we endure this unfolding crisis together.
That’s the great silver lining in all of this, you know. When big history happens it tends to wash away the superficial stuff. If this goes deeper, we’ll see more and more what’s important and what isn’t. And what’s important in the end is that we support each other in our communities and all over the world. The sequestered singers in Italy (and to a lesser extent the airplane toilet seat licker) remind us that the human spirit is not easily diminished.
And if that doesn’t encourage you, maybe the fact that I see robins in my neighbourhood will.
Take care, gentle listeners. Be compassionate. Be generous. Support your neighbours. Keep your spirits up. When all of this is over, as it eventually will be, remember what truly mattered and carry that forward into whatever world we inherit from this thing.
If you want to listen to the Geoff Thompson interview on the Emma Guns Show (which I highly recommend), you can find it here.
And if you need to laugh, let's get started: