29 APRIL 2020
Greetings from quarantine, to you: the perusers of the pixilated page! The Miriam/Webster dictionary online has this to say about quarantine... quar·an·tine | \ ˈkwȯr-ən-ˌtēn , ˈkwär- \
Definition of quarantine
(Entry 1 of 2)
1: a period of 40 days
2a: a term during which a ship arriving in port and suspected of carrying contagious disease is held in isolation from the shore
b: a regulation placing a ship in quarantine
c: a place where a ship is detained during quarantine
3a: a restraint upon the activities or communication of persons or the transport of goods designed to prevent the spread of disease or pests
b: a place in which those under quarantine are kept
4: a state of enforced isolation
So what can we really be blogging about during this time? There isn’t really much going on. We are all dealing with the “enforced isolation” in different ways. I admit that I myself have not shaved since early March, and have also probably gained at least a good 5 lbs or more. One thing I began losing was motivation. Without the self-enforced daily routine, that happens. I mean, really, what’s the point of getting up at a certain time right now? Will I be late getting from the bed to the couch? The same applies in reverse: what’s the real motivation to go from the couch to the bed in any timely manner? So, by my own admission, I’m now nearly two months behind on blogging to you, an oversight I mean to rectify right now (as you can probably guess by reading this now). This self-isolation is affecting many of us in a variety of ways. Some of us are falling into the malaise that I just described above. Some of us are overcompensating: we simply HAVE to make “the most of this time”. For some, that means learning a new language or skill. Some of us have signed up for online scholastic courses. Some are taking the time to “get things done around the house”. Some others have taken to either downplaying or outright ignoring the “shelter-at-home” edicts from local governance. A good writer writes with an affectation of impartiality, but I know personally too many people with immune systems which are repressed for one reason or another, and for them this is a very serious issue, as not only their health but their lives depend on it. I for one have to wonder what my dog will be thinking once this is eventually all behind us. She’s gotten accustomed to my being home 24/7, with the exceptions of important errands such as the bank or the grocery store. She enjoys my always being around. I’m here for her to wake up so she can go outside, and then give her breakfast or supper. She gets her belly-rubs and playtime. She can attack me with both front paws to indicate that what I’m currently doing is not as important as walkies time. And of course she gets to lay on the couch anytime she wants, and either cuddle against my leg, or stretch out on the other 2/3 that I’m not occupying.
Technically, this has only really lasted for two months, and in just that short time people are becoming as nostalgic for the Good Old Days of just eight weeks ago, sounding every bit as nostalgic as their grandparents did of two generations ago; longing for the days before the virus pandemic. That will be the next new cultural catch-phrase: “Remember how we used to do that before the pandemic hit?” Certainly there is no shortage of conversational topic regarding our current state of affairs. We have the anti-lockdown protesters. We have of course the conspiracy theorists. We have the extremists, and their polar opposites. We have the hoarders and the helpers. Hell, for some of us it’s not even been much of a change at all, and for others it’s been the end of the civilized world as they know it. But you can read any news or even social media site for that. Here, you’re expecting something more to do with the Vampire Community, in particular the Community in Chicago. One serious blow that our Chicago VC has taken came to our monthly Meet-Ups. Obviously, we cannot really do that anymore. Even if we chose to ignore the stay-at-home orders and meet in secret (ooh, how very underground!), the scarcity of the turn-out would not be worthwhile. For this, we can look at the very beginning of the pandemic, immediately following the 2nd weekend of March. I remember that because our last GCVC Meet-Up was on Saturday the 14th. The first annual Chicago Vampire Ball, which was held at The Hyde, back in October was such a smash hit, especially for the owner of the venue, that something new was created. To ride the wave of that success, a new monthly Coffin Cabaret feature was added, and March 14th was to be the 2nd of three “trial dates”, and, if successful, would become an ongoing feature. Well, the pandemic and its accompanying restrictions nipped that in the bud. That is not to say that the Coffin Cabaret shows will not return: they’re just not returning anytime in the next couple of weeks. As for the 2nd annual Chicago Vampire Ball, I cannot really say how this will affect it. I am one of the planners for it, and up until March we’d already been throwing around some very good and viable ideas to make the 2nd V-Ball even bigger and better than the 1st. To be perfectly honest, there has been no discussion of the event as of yet. We really need to wait and see how we all come out of this, before we can lay down any real and set plans. We all still have our ideas and our hopes, but in this situation there is really no way of knowing until we get there. Another big hit came not just to the GCVC, but to the GVC itself: the Greater Vampire Community across and outside of North America. The end of May was to have been the date for the 2nd annual Elders & Leadership Summit, to have been held in New Jersey. That, of course, had to be cancelled due to the harsh limitations from the pandemic. I am also on the inside of ACE, the organization behind the Summits, and I can tell you that the current plan is to keep what would have been this year’s plans (the vendors, the performances and acts, the speakers, etc) and simply roll them over to the following year. The original plan was to have Chicago hosting the Summit for next year, but now with NJ bumping back a year, this does work in our favor as it gives us another full year to plan on how we’ll be playing host; more on that later as it draws nearer. Certainly the biggest blow to the GCVC was the necessary cancellation of our 2nd Anniversary Celebration. This was a huge blow to us, as we were really shaping it up into a Big Deal. We had a house booked, locked and loaded for our overnight celebration. We had a dinner planned out. We had a ritual to be performed, blessings and wardings. Guest rooms were assigned. Fees collected. Every arrangement had been made. As of right now, GCVC Leadership has not determined where we will go with this Event after virus restrictions have been lifted. This, like the plans for the 2nd Vampire Ball, will just have to be played as we go; there will be many factors to be considered, and there are simply too many unknown factors at this point to even table ideas. The GCVC is, at its core, a physical entity. By that I mean that we are not just names to comments on a Facebook group; we actually do meet up offline, in person, and physically do things. We go to and hold events. We meet, we go places, we do things, we build our bonds. However, we do not have to remain completely isolated from one another. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, the GCVC has begun holding video chat conferencing every week or so. For those who wish to join in, these video sessions have generally been on Friday evenings via Facebook Messenger; a post in the GCVC Facebook Group will precede the video chats, and those who wish to be included have merely to say so in a comment, and will be added. One thing about the video chats is that it is easier for outside affiliates of the GCVC to join in as well, including representation of Clan Rahamdalph, House Of Storms, and House Of Lore, to name a few. So keep your head up and your eyes & ears open during this time. The GCVC has been moving ever onward and upward ever since its inception, and will continue to do so. Even during this “down time” there are still many plans and ideas brewing, which are simply awaiting the safest times after the lifting of restrictions. Not all of our summer plans have been cancelled outright; we are merely waiting and watching to see if it will be safe to proceed with them, postpone them, or if need be to cancel them. As always, continue to follow us on social media, and here on our website, for news and updates and information. Check in with the GCVC Leadership if you have any questions, suggestions, or even a hello. Please be sure to check in on your friends and neighbors during this time, especially the sick, the elderly, the immune-compromised. By all means, show your thanks and appreciation to those who absolutely have to work in public during this time; be respectful of and to them. Be smart when it comes to going out or being in contact with others. If you get bored, there are in-house options. If you miss going to music events, many artists are doing live-stream events; simply find when and at what link. They appreciate you watching them as much as you’ll appreciate them performing for you. Some are streaming their classic concerts for free each week. Some Broadway shows are available for free for limited times. Listen to internet radio; there are many options to choose from there. Many movies, TV shows, and specials are being made available for free on YouTube and on streaming sites. Now would even be an optimal time to read a new book, or even reread an old one you’ve enjoyed. If you’re creative, immerse yourself in your craft. We will get through this together, even though we must be apart.