I wish I could say it’s getting easier but it’s not. I left home today by 1PM to go to the BU campus and see what I could capture. I wandered outside for a bit and was discouraged to see so many cars. Go home! And people, likely students, walking together in groups of two, three and four. Now perhaps they live together in which case, why not, but still.
I entered a large office inside the school of business and was very pleased to see two women, colleagues, sitting very far apart from each other. “We are practicing social distancing!” one said, suggesting I not come closer.
THESE are my people!
“Oh, I am on board and staying right here!” I told them. They were preparing for an online meeting using an app called Zoom (yet another thing I’d never heard of until last week and now it’s everywhere). I shot some photos of them sitting unnaturally far apart, and wandered to the next building. I got some leads on other places I could come back to tomorrow.
My discomfort was pretty high by the time I got to the office to file my photos. I feel safe filing at the office since so few people are coming and going and it’s still being cleaned frequently.
As I finished filing my photos for the day, I breathed a sigh of relief to be able to get in my car and go home and get in to my sweatpants which mean more than just comfort now – they are my armor. Safe clothes. In my safe space.
Just then, I got an email from a writer doing a story about the facilities crew at BU. It’s an important story as the facilities department is top-notch in everything they do. It had to be shot now! The writer is very concerned that we won’t be able to come to campus tomorrow. I’m not sure how they’d enforce that but anything is possible I guess.
But the next hour was hard. We started as a storage facility with tight quarters. I had to tell strangers that I was uncomfortable with how close they were to me, and ask them to back up (DID NO ONE GET THE MEMO?!). Everyone was understanding, but the situation left me in a low-grade panic. Especially considering they were not giving each other the same distancing from one another.
In the end I didn’t even get to photograph someone from the cleaning crew because their shift had ended. Tomorrow, my colleague will go in the morning to capture what the writer needs, but honestly, for my own “collection” I really want it too, so I may try and find someone else cleaning someplace else.
Anxiety-inducing, yes, but also, it’s what I do!