Coronavirus and Artists

The Second Safest Profession

This post is coming a bit off schedule, but it’s relevant now and posting at the same time as it posts on my blog site.

Amid all the panic shopping and toilet paper hoarding, the New York Times has listed coronavirus and artists as being very low risk for infection. In fact, artists are second only to loggers. It’s easy to understand why. Loggers are way out in the woods and artists generally create alone.

In a society where everybody is in super close contact with everyone from co-workers, customers, patients, students, etc., your risk jumps up exponentially. In particular with this virus, the person you’re talking to may not be showing symptoms yet. Artists don’t normally run the risk simply because of their minimal personal interaction with others.

Take precautions. Keep calm. And do your part to stay home as much as possible. (Photo Credit: Myra Naito)

I would love for my job to send everyone home for 2–3 weeks so that I could stay home and avoid the panic-stricken hordes of the ignorant and misinformed. Yes, I’m going to rant for a minute. First of all, this is not a virus that hits your gut. It’s a respiratory virus. Why the hell would you buy 10 years’ worth of toilet paper?? Secondly, if you scoop up all the hand sanitizer, what are other folks going to sanitize their hands with before they touch things that you’re going to touch also? Hello??? You have to sanitize and so do they for this to work! And to all the people who bought it all up to sell for a huge profit, there’s a special place in hell for you. *end rant*

This coronavirus pandemic has brought the worst out in a disappointingly large percentage of humanity. (Photo Credit: Business Insider)

And of course, politicians are haggling over whether or not those who do go on quarantine or sick leave should have paid sick leave and healthcare. The world is in panic mode about the coronavirus and artists are among the few that can continue working. Mandated time off would allow me to work on my art uninterrupted by the necessary J-O-B. Being “stuck at home” literally sounds like a dream come true. But alas, no. We are still being told to report to work despite the rest of the state shutting down because of COVID-19. And full-time professional artists the world over are going on, business as usual, tucked away in the isolated safety of their studios.

I’m jealous.

No, seriously.

It’s not that I’m making light of the current situation at all. I would love a mandatory order to go home because I would get so much artwork done… AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, I would not risk becoming a carrier of the virus myself. In all likelihood, I would survive COVID-19. I’m young(er) and do not have compromised immune or respiratory systems. But if I carried the bug home, I don’t have much faith that my nearly 90 year old father, who has half a lung on one side, would fare as well.

My primary concern is not for myself, but for my father. Even if I’m still healthy, I could become a carrier just by coming into contact with someone at work. (Photo Credit: Myra Naito)

So, please! Send me home. I don’t even care if it’s unpaid.

At this point, I think everyone should be minimizing the risk of exposure. That alone would slow this bug down faster than anything else. Self-quarantine isn’t really an option at this point for me. I may or may not have already been exposed. Work has me dealing with foreign college students on a daily basis, mostly from different parts of Asia. Requesting time off, having it approved (or not), paid or unpaid, leaving a bad mark on my performance for excessive absence… It’s much too complicated that way. However a mandated work from home order, would simplify things enormously. At that point, it is what it is and everyone just stays home.

But the governor is being cautious and so the president of our university is following his lead.

I’ve already done my shopping (not panic shopping and no, I don’t have toilet paper to last me until the year 2050), but I do have enough to last a couple weeks for my dad and myself. So, I wouldn’t have to leave the house and I wouldn’t have to be at risk of coming into contact with those already sick or those potential carriers who aren’t showing symptoms yet.

The simple fact that most artists work alone, prevents exposure to COVID-19. (Photo Credit: Myra Naito)

According to health and disease experts I’ve been watching on TV, the pattern that viruses take is following suit here. The virus spreads globally, it appears to slow down, and then a second wave hits (often times much worse than the first wave) before it finally subsides and goes away. The problem is, humans are not clean creatures.

We really are walking, talking petri dishes. Most of humanity has awful hygiene habits. They don’t cover their faces properly (if at all) when coughing or sneezing. They don’t wash their hands properly (if at all) and not nearly long enough to be effective. And there’s this bad habit of touching our faces…UP TO 25 TIMES PER HOUR!! coronavirus and artists

Most of this could be avoided if common sense were still common. The sad thing is, by the time we have a viable vaccine, COVID-19 will have died out. The vaccination will become part of the flu vaccines in years to come. Within a few months, people will forget about how clean they were trying to be to avoid infection and go right back to their usual dirty bad habits. Think about it…if they had clean habits all the time, they wouldn’t be panicking right now, would they?

Or an artist in your comfy, cozy studio without masses of people around you on a daily basis. Lucky!

Corona Virus and Artists Update…

As of a few days ago, we were given the all clear to work from home until further notice. Be safe everyone!

Freelance copywriter who is passionate about art and fitness. Check out my art blog at mnatiodesigns.com/blog/ or follow me @mnaito_fineart .