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  • Writer's pictureElvira m. Dayel

The new abnormal

Updated: Apr 25, 2020

Freedom of movement / speed of change - the new abnormal

Speed w/ which we were boarded up was incredible. In a matter of two weeks everyone had to lock up. It was the haste to slow down. People stayed sheltered, major shops in SF put huge plywood barricades over their windows. Crime went down. School shootings ceased. All American shooting crime-rates possibly went down. Gun purchase is on the rise. Saw an article with a picture of a socially distanced line into a Culver City fire-arms store. Gun stores, just like Dope & Target are deemed essential. Eh, need some common sense gun regulation soon! The speed with which the virus initially spread & continues to spread is mind-blowing. Running away from it fast was the only option to slow down the spread. Conspiracy theorists at Fox news say it’s a fabricated virus, came from a Wuhan virology lab which is said to be located close to the market where the unfortunate inedible virus-infected-creature was sold to someone as their pancreatic disease remedy. Sounds like a true gossip.

Our personal bubbles as defined by CDC have grown from initial 3’ in radius to 12' in diameter.

I like to work in silence. No music, no leftist podcast, no background noise, nothing. Just birds & geese chirping & screeching outside the Shipyard windows. I used to keep my studio door open for an occasional conversation w/ a neighbor. Otherwise, no distraction. I have always loved this quiet bubble of thought, depth, contemplation. I am most productive & creative in total silence. I’ve always longed for a slower pace. Now, I'm afraid, it’s too slow.


image above: Male Figure lV. Mike


When I create, I take my time. Once things are mainly figured out, I rush to complete the piece or series. There is a span of extremes: at first it is slow, slow, very slow, then fast, fast adrenaline fast. I have compared my art process of creation to birthing and pregnancy. I remember when I was pregnant with my daughter, especially towards the end, I was so eager to meet my child, I would go through these bouts of happy anxiety of getting things to a resolution.

We were in Tahoe, staying with friends & skiing w/ kids. Winter was very late this year and the wonderful powder in mid-March was an awesome joy to play in. As we enjoyed our snow fun get-away, March 17th marks the week when mayor of SF was the first to close down the city, announcing the covid-19 quarantine. Then, the rest of the country followed suit. Having grown up & immigrated from Soviet Union, Ukraine, some many years ago, I'm always aware of any State imposed restrictions, whatever they might be. Viscerally I'm feeling very uneasy about these un-arguably necessary measures.

We are staying put. Surrounded by our closest to us. Being with them, & seeing them every day, all the time - as a total family on an extended vacay. Now Cali governor is talking about herd immunity. Does this mean we ought to stay in this cryogenic state for many more months or let out to confront the disease?

Not much of an artist life has changed for me, though. I still work in solitude & enjoy my work. I was able to order supplies from an art store the other day & they came unexpectedly soon. I am having trouble getting my art photographed / documented, though. My photographer’s shop closed until further notice. I found someone else, she’s great. I was in a double mask & gloves, left a piece by her door. When she handled the rest. When she was done, she called & i meant & picked it up. After weeks of trying, I finally got my work documented. Next step is to find out whether my framer is on a total quarantine. Last time I checked, he downsized the volume of work, furloughed all workers. Drop off at the storefront of the closed door with a prior phone call was possible.

Yesterday went biking & accidentally fell, injuring my left hand. Hurts like hell. I am considering going to the hospital, get it checked out. Would I go in healthier than I would walk out? Are hospitals sesspooling covid? Or are they safe?

This is a new abnormal.

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