I want to do my best to keep this brief. For the first time this week, COVID-19 was the last thing on my mind. This week’s incident resulting in the death of George Floyd is devastating. And having to already deal with a pandemic and feeling like we are rolling backwards from the progress we’ve made on racism in this country is exhausting for everyone. Every time one of these deaths occurs, I find myself struggling with words. I know even after this post gets published, I’m going to go back and forth on it wishing I had said something differently or more.
There are many ways for Asian Americans to stand with African Americans as allies. I’m sure all of you are seeing these resources within your social media accounts right now. I urge you to take the time and read through each one. This is important and doesn’t warrant you skipping by it. Because I have this platform, it doesn’t feel right to not address it. It’s not business as usual; nothing about 2020 is normal. To not acknowledge what is going on in this country as a problem would signal that it doesn’t impact me.
I cannot speak for everyone and I recognize that not everyone is as comfortable with social media as I am. There are two points I want to say here: if you yourself are not a social media regular and don’t feel comfortable posting anything regarding the matter, that is okay. Know that there are other ways to become involved and informed and you can do this behind the scenes. Secondly, sharing related posts on social media and flooding your stories doesn’t do any good if you yourself are not taking action. What you are doing is spreading awareness, but take it a step further. Make those shares count for something.
This is actually a graphic designed by the [MTA] On another note, as of today, Mayor London Breed has announced that face coverings will now be required in San Francisco when outside the home and within 30 feet of people. And honestly, thank goodness because it’s not even that hard to be wearing a face mask when you’re walking yet people can’t seem to do it here anyways.
By now, most of you have seen this image of the front page of the New York Times for today. It’s the one thing that I keep seeing all over my social media. I saw it for the first time last night along with this tweet:
I thought about sharing the photo on the left with a comment about how we’ve social distanced long enough so everyone go nuts this weekend. To be clear, I’m being sarcastic; I don’t actually believe that. But as I spent minutes staring at this photo, I decided snark wasn’t the way to go late into the night. This image alone is powerful enough. But that won’t fix the divide that is tearing across America as people continue to show different standards for social distancing. For me, it feels both annoying and frustrating that even those closest to me and I cannot align.
Memorial Day Weekend is going to be the ultimate test, isn’t it? As I think about how many days into shelter-in-place we are, I wonder what this weekend’s setback will do to our country. Are we reopening too soon? Are we going to reopen only to have to restrict once again? I know in the end I have to make decisions that are best for me and my household. Seeing these names along with these one line obituaries should scare you. I don’t want this list to continue to grow and these people deserve so much more of a remembrance than what this is. They can’t because people keep dying and this magnitude of a list doesn’t do them justice. Here is where we stand with all of this on some of the more current pieces:
By the time 2020 is over, I’m never going to want to hear the words “social distancing” again. Despite how frequently it comes up, it by no means diminishes how important it is. As countries start to recover and begin their re-opening process, I’m curious to see how they approach it. Last month we shared how [Singapore] was tackling this and in my opinion, they set the bar high. Above, the Izu Shabonten Zoo in Shizuoka, Japan has filled their restaurant with the cutest and most cuddly stuffed critters. Honestly, this seems like something I’d be okay with even without the pandemic. Wouldn’t you agree that this beats filling seats with blow up dolls? The plushies aren’t just there for a cute visual though. They’re being used to mark appropriate safe distances for diners within the restaurant.
In another part of the world, a restaurant in Sweden offers a very different, but more isolated experience. Earlier this month, a chef-husband and wife duo opened up a new concept that allowed diners to be in a bucolic field and receive their meal via basket and clothes line. Completely contactless!
And back home, a little bit more locally San Francisco parks are adopting the 6ft apart circles inspired by Brooklyn’s parks. Pictured above is Dolores Park in the Mission, but these circles created this past Thursday just in time for the long weekend are living at three other parks within the city. Don’t let your guard down just yet; these circles are meant for groups that are still within the same household of each other.
Even though it feels like we’ve been experiencing summer for a couple weeks now, this is usually the weekend to solidify it. As a treat, I was able to also take off Friday giving myself a four-day weekend that I didn’t realize I also needed. With all of us still in shelter-in-place (some practicing, some not) the delight of a long weekend doesn’t hit the same as it once did. It’s hard to feel like we are entering summer when we essentially have something already that resembles a summer break.
Despite that, I’m noticing that time is just flying by, but also that it’s hard to tell the differences between a weekday and a weekend. Normally during Memorial Day Weekend, we’d be headed out on a day trip or even taking a trip. A year ago, I was in Denver with my girlfriends and this year we’re just going to have to get creative. In an article that I read about time in quarantine, a sentence stood out to me.
“People lose track of time when the future is in question,” – Refinery29
Without anything to look forward to whether it is plans or trips, I’m noticing that it’s easier for me to get my days and weeks all mixed up. Those moments in my calendar year were what helped me to identify my seasons and the time of year. Currently, all of that is lost. However you choose to spend your Memorial Day Weekend, I hope you’re taking care of yourself, practicing social distancing, and hanging in there!
Here are two pieces that I read related to me writing this post:
Before this year, I didn’t know that May was Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage month. While it has been a slow journey for me to become more acquainted with my culture and history, I know now I can appreciate this much more at my age. I think some of this has to do with the environment I grew up in and not having that kind of community until after graduating college and starting my career. Without even knowing how special this month was, we got into Korean drama all on our own and started to read and watch pieces that were all tied to the celebration of this month. By no means do I think that means I’ve done all the work that there is, but I’m excited to continue educating myself. I’ve really been enjoying this and have shared a majority of them here with you all!
- Studio Ghibli Producer is Giving Free Drawing Lessons Online [High Snobiety]
- Trump’s Refusal to cover up actually reveals his greatest fears [The Cut]
- 11 Phrases People Love to Hear [The Ladders]
- Forget Productivity: Let ‘Wuliao’ Be Your Quarantine Philosophy [Refinery29]
- How to Make Pancake Cereal – TikTok’s Latest Food Trend [Hypebae]
- MSG is a Valuable Kitchen Staple, If You Know How To Use It [The Takeout]
- Where New Yorkers Moved to Escape Coronavirus [New York Times]
- It Is Scientifically Proven That Flowers Make You Feel Better [Vogue]
It hasn’t been easy seeing all of my friends having to postpone what will be the most important day in their lives. This was supposed to be a big wedding year for us and it’s all of a sudden not. Some of my friends have decided to postpone an entire year while others are still finding ways to honor their original date. I’ve been waiting to find the perfect socially distanced quarantine wedding to share with all of you for Wedding Mondays and I think we did!
Elaine Welteroth and Jonathan Singletary met as kids at church through their mothers. It wasn’t until adulthood that they would finally end up together. Their story depicts how they planned to marry in their hometown of where they met back home, but COVID-19 had other plans. Not wanting to let go of their original date – 5/10/20 the couple moved forward and married right on their stoop. Following the exchanging of their vows was the best wedding block party I’ve ever seen! The photos are a must to look at, but we’ve also got a video that captures it all. For the full story, check out their wedding feature on [Vogue]
It’s not often that we get these periods of time where we can focus entirely on Yow Yow! Getting alone time with the blog only happens when I’m in between jobs or the holidays. Since we’ve been in quarantine, I’ve written more than I would have, but not to the level that I was expecting for myself. To be honest, I thought that I would be a content machine on Yow Yow! and that hasn’t been the case. I’ve boiled this down to a couple of reasons. First, my content is being spread between here, Instagram and TikTok. Secondly, we’re in a pandemic and that just changes the entire game.
At the start of quarantine, I read many articles about how people should be spending their time. Long story short, it’s okay if you don’t pick up a skill, create a side hustle, or read a gazillion books during this time. Our focus isn’t all there. The content that we’d normally write has shifted a bit. Obviously it no longer makes sense for me to talk about shopping the same way we did before. Since I’m not going outside as much, we don’t have outfit posts. There was also the internal struggle I had with myself about how much non-covid-19 related content to post vs. covid-19 related.
We are however many weeks into this quarantine by now and while I haven’t figured it out entirely, there is something that I’m sure of. Yow Yow! gives me a voice on this platform like none other. The way I write here is different from any other platform that I use. It may have taken me 11 years to acknowledge that, but I am grateful to still have this. And as fulfilled as I am writing this blog, it is still not at that point that I would give up my career for it. Having these two sides of my life doesn’t come without complexities. Many bloggers I follow have had to make that decision for themselves in the past. Creating content on a daily basis isn’t as easy as it looks!
The answer to what you build next in life isn’t always the gift of time. Instead, forgive yourself if you choose to do nothing with this time you’ve been given. This pause is a great opportunity to take care of yourself, relax, and get the sleep you’ve been wanting to catch up on.