This is a humbling moment. This is a moment where we learn the true meaning of the word “essential”. Priorities are becoming clearer, and the power of human connection is transcending social distance. I worry. I worry about my family and friends, thousands of miles away. I worry about my studies and livelihood, which have come to a screeching halt. I worry about the consequences of the psychological trauma that this pandemic will have on society as a whole. I worry about my health. As a singer, a threat to my lungs is a threat to my voice, and by extension, my music, my identity, and my joy.
But despite all of this fear, I also feel deep gratitude. I am grateful for every healthy day that I’ve had so far. I am grateful for every unlabored deep breath. I am grateful to live in a country with a strong healthcare system, and where the government supports and appreciates the arts. I am grateful for my stable internet connection and iPhone, which make the isolation bearable. And I am especially grateful that I am an artist. Now more than ever people are turning to the arts as a distraction from all the madness, or as an emotional outlet. I feel privileged to be among people who, in the midst of danger and death, can create something, and who perhaps can help others create something too. Since the quarantine started, I have been on my own. I’ve been “socially distant” and I mostly stay home. I exercise daily, eat well and go to bed early. I have a routine, but I’m flexible and I take it easy. Artistically, this experience is a goldmine of inspiration. I’ve been writing and composing, and in this way my art is helping me cope with the myriad of emotions that I am experiencing. When this is all over, I hope to look back on these quiet, sunny days in quarantine as a productive time, wherein I updated my standards of self-care, reflected deeply on my life and goals, and felt the restorative power of slowing down.
singer, teacher, and artsitter