Tue 4/7/2020

Man... a lot happened last month! The morning after I wrote my February blog post I found Camilla dead in her coop. Like our other chickens, there was no sign of violence or any distress. She just went up to roost for the night and never woke up. It was very upsetting to me; Camilla was always my favorite chicken. Suzanne and I decided to paint the chickens' names on the side of the coop.

A few days later Wendy turned two! Her godmother Liz flew out from Maine for the celebration (and to visit her family out here), just before all non-essential travel was shut down and things really started getting intense out here in New Mexico with the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Wendy's big present was a new tricycle that my parents sent her! Even with the seat adjusted all the way up, it's a little bit too big for her currently, but she still has a lot of fun putting her feet down and scooting it along. Suzanne has also been having fun on the tricycle, even though it is too small for her (even with the seat pushed all the way back). Wendy will grow into it soon and will get many years of pleasure out of zipping down our street on it. Suzanne seems ready for her first real bike!

In the middle of March, it was decided to switch The Center for Cartoon Studies to an entirely online teaching model for the rest of the school year. I taught Professional Practices for CCS remotely for four years and did a couple years of online teaching at the California College of the Arts, so I was asked to help with the rollout. It has been an incredibly intense couple of weeks getting everything in place, but so far our system is working pretty well! I feel very lucky to still be a part of that amazing comics community and will do everything in my power to keep it going through all this madness.

I also feel very lucky to be so busy with work while millions of people around the country are out of work. Claire and I both work from home, so our routines are fairly unaffected by the pandemic stay-at-home orders. (Apparently we've been social distancing for years now?). Suzanne was only going to preschool three mornings a week, so she's home a bit more than usual, but it feels very routine to us. Her school meets each morning in a Zoom session, which she sometimes attends, when she feels up for it.

It seemed like Suzanne wasn't totally aware of what was going on in the world, but then the other day she was playing and I heard her talking about her imaginary ladybug friend, Zingy. She said, "Zingy caught the pandemic, but she's young, so she won't die from it," so obviously she's been soaking up a lot of the news on the radio and from our parental conversations. :(

We're mostly trying to stick to our routines, though maybe watching a few more movies than we would regularly. Pre-pandemic, Claire's mom would take Suzanne (or both the girls) twice a week for long stretches. Without that childcare help, our margins are very tight for getting all our work done, plus there is just the background stress of this entire situation (especially my parents and sisters being up in Seattle, one of the big hotspots of the outbreak). Anyway, out here in Santa Fe, we're doing fine! When I get stressed out I try to remind myself that so many people have it so much worse off than us right now. I'm trying to just keep my head down, work hard, and get through this.

We spend a lot of time in our backyard each day, and it has been heartening to see the leaves popping on plants and the first flowers coming up out of the ground. Spring is on its way out here in the high desert. Hopefully by the time it's in full swing the worst of this situation will be behind us.

Hang in there, everyone!

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