“Where’d you get your mask?” I shouted to a woman on one of my essential grocery runs.
“My mother-in-law made it for me,” was the answer. “Can your mother-in-law make me one too?” She laughed, but I wasn't joking. I had been wearing the same disposable mask for days and couldn't find any in stores or online.
Then, I remembered that I had a homie in St. Louis who posted pictures last month of the masks she was making. So I slid into her DMs.
Showing me the colorful images of her double-sided cotton masks with patterns that ranged from candy skulls to Afros to Frida Kahlo, I admired my homie's unparalleled fabric collection as much as her undeniable talent. She commenced to telling me how she loves hearing about other artists and the things they are doing to learn new skills, practice old skills, and maintain levity. She asked me what was growing in my garden and I got a chance to share pictures too.
The Five Phases of Rona Life
Isolation isn't healthy for a lot of reasons, but basically, it encourages the false belief that we are alone when we are not. My homies, their homies, your homies, you, and I have been going through the same things.
Phase 1: Sh*t Gets Real
During your first phase of quarantine, you took inventory of your preparedness as food and toilet paper flew from store shelves. You pulled yourself together because who has time to panic?
Phase 2: I Was Built For This
In the second phase, you discovered that you're an introvert and have been longing for an opportunity to spend some time away from the hustle. You googled how to make a sourdough starter and remembered that when you were a kid, your family ran out of toilet paper all the time and somehow, everyone survived. All of your grandmother's life hacks suddenly became relevant.
Phase 3: Survival Instinct
You became proactive. Maybe you filed for unemployment. Maybe you re-negotiated your work-life balance. Perhaps you amped up your personal business marketing. You probably sold some weed (no judgment). You were handling things well enough that you had moments of boredom and started posting on social media a little too much.
Phase 4: Existential Crises
The fourth phase marked your first real breakdown. You were suffering from information overload. You became an asymptotic vector, free falling into eternity but never quite arriving. You had no idea what day it was as the space time continuum began to collapse and you came to terms with the illusory nature of consciousness.
Phase 5: Welp!
Just as you were about to let go into the abyss, you got hungry and snapped back into what could be considered a post-existential determinism. Life as you know it has changed forever, but no one knows the new rules. Then, enters phase five: all things are possible. But first, breakfast.
Whether these phases have occurred slowly over the past few months or describe your daily routine, the bottom line is that you haven’t given up.
Quarantine Creations Challenge
To stay inspired and reminded that we are not alone, Kahnma and I have teamed up to launch the Quarantine Creations Challenge.
Are you sewing masks, planting gardens, baking bread, slaying hairstyles, making stews, bbqing, home schooling, making movies? We want to know what you're doing up in that house all day and support it.
How to Enter:
Send a story (500-1000 words) with images about your original Quarantine Creations (videos optional). These can be things that you make to sell, things you make for your family, or ways that you celebrate and entertain yourself. Tell us how you came up with the idea, what you learned in the process of making your creation, and how you might consider using your new idea in the future. We’ll be posting all the stories for the public to vote. Whoever gets the most votes wins $50!
Story (500-1000 words) about your Quarantine Creation
Send images (in jpg form), stories (as text) and links to your videos (optional) to
Only original creations will be considered. All ages welcome.
Deadline for submissions: June 7, 2020.
How Voting Will Work:
Submissions will be posted as they are received until June 7.
Vote by clicking the heart icon at the bottom right corner of the entry. You can vote for as many posts as you want.
Voting will be open until June 14 at 7pm Hawaiian Time.
In case of a tie:
If there is a tie, names will be drawn from a hat.
Good luck everybody! <3 :)
Cathryn D. Blue is a social psychologist, quantum physics hobbyist, and contributor to kahnma.com.