The Power of the Collective

During these days of social isolation, I’ve been at awe at the power of collective support and solidarity.

The photo here is of my chosen family, people whom I love and share a flat with in the Bay Area. Usually, we’re all busy bodies, ships in the night. But since “shelter in place”, we have had time to slow down and plan the domestic work in our collective home. The grown ups take turns with cooking and cleaning. The children take turns with toys (sometimes). We’re all balancing work from home responsibilities, so we’re all taking turns being morning and afternoon teachers for our young children.

The teachers at my children’s schools have organized take home curriculum complete with bags with instructions on how to actually facilitate an art project with children and hot glue guns. Worksheets and pre-K curriculum are sent out weekly to continue our 5-year old’s fascination with pencils and worksheets. (I know, I know the worksheets aren’t the best way to teach a preschooler, but that’s where I’m at.)

Friends and community members have offered to collectivize shopping and buy in bulk to share across many families, to reduce the times folks head out for groceries and also to save a little.

Comrades and friends have checked in and set up video chats to see how we are all doing in during these times.

My colleagues have started a text thread that is simultaneously trading strategies on how to translate our curriculum online but also to commiserate around how to teach our own kids while teaching our students from afar.

We are truly living in strange times. But I don’t want to let go of the kindness and compassion people have for one another during this time.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be trying to write more here. I’d be so happy to hear from you about how you’re doing. And if there’s something you think I should weigh in on, I want to hear from you!

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