To make a long story short, you know how turbulent the United States of America is right now. For the most part, I’ve been in my tiny space in my house working. I thought about posting the text of my semiweekly newsletters, but I never got around to it because I’ve been exhausted. I mean, I’ve been going nonstop since March, I moved in May and I’ve had to deal with other stuff along with that.
Because of everything going on, there isn’t a good time to take vacation. So I just went on vacation.
Also, it’s my birthday.
Tomorrow’s my last day off after taking a week off. I’ve done a lot of nothing, and it feels great. I could have worked on some writing. I could have edited two things. I haven’t slept this long since sophomore year, when I worked out my schedule perfectly and didn’t have any classes before noon. I binged the first season of Head of the Class, both seasons of The Politician, got through nearly all of season three of Hill Street Blues and started rewatching Taxi and The Bob Newhart Show. I’ve eaten an entire apple pie. I’ve only somewhat paid attention to the news. I only kinda know what’s going on at work.
Although being off has been great, I can only think about my fellow journalists who have been furloughed and laid off. It’s awful that at a time like this, newsrooms are cutting staffs and making people take unpaid time off. No one is to blame except for corporate leaders who didn’t see this coming all the way back at the time of America Online and the early days of Craigslist and apartment search websites. And the venture capitalists who came in saying they’re going to save newspapers but instead are trying to squeeze out every penny. I could go on, but I won’t.
There’s a Virginia Is For Journalists Relief Fund. It’s had several stretch goals since it began and is now seeking $25,000. If you’re able, send them a few dollars. I’ve donated. Less than two years ago, hell, even now, a furlough would kill me. My profession is in crisis for many reasons, but a lot of the problems don’t lie with the people getting affected the most.