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  • Writer's pictureMargaret Shipman

Covid Continues to Deliver Dissapointment

Many people suffer from Covid, the actual virus and its effects on our economics and society --- a lot more than me. I get it. But this is my blog and I'm talking about my experience, this is the online Studio Journal of one little artist. When the pandemic started I was two months away from doing my first artist residency since 2005. I was following the advice of the wonderful Lyedie Geer of The Longings Project (who I recommend to anyone needing help along their creative path). She said that I should at least apply to a few artist residency programs every year, now that my son, Lewis, is older (8 at the time- the fall of 2019) and easier to take care of on the daily for one parent. Lyedie advised I should attend one or two of these residencies to have some uninterrupted time with my work, to travel, and to make connections with other artists.

I was scheduled to go to the Lacawac Artist Residency program in the Poconos in May of 2020. I would be there with scientists working at a Biological Field Station and Nature Preserve. It was perfect! So that was cancelled, and I tried to just be grateful that I had been accepted and could reschedule. Rescheduling hasn't been successful so far. Maybe it will happen in the future maybe not.

Then this past spring my partner in creating the Wayfarer Tarot, Stacy Salpietro-Babb,

suggested we pick back up on the second Tarot deck we had dropped work on a couple of years ago. So we started planning adventures to the beach where we would enjoy the day and discuss our new deck. (This is a picture of us at the beach one windy day. I'm the crazy-haired one.) Work became serious in August when we booked a long weekend at a local artist residency program, Welcome Hill Studios. We developed a plan for every card in the deck at the residency! It was a hugely productive time.

This weekend we had booked a second long weekend at the same program to start the actual art and writing. Then, an email from my son's school put a stop to that. He is listed as being a close contact with someone diagnosed with Covid. Apparently it happened last Friday and the school needs a negative PCR test (which has to be administered 7 days after contact) or 14 days of quarantine to let him back in. My husband takes one weekend every year to go deer hunting - that is the weekend. The sleepover with a friend for Lewis had to be cancelled. So, I'm missing another residency. We have a negative rapid test result from a couple of days ago and a healthy kiddo with no symptoms. I have doubts about the school's contact tracing after two previous false alarms, where we got a message that he was a close contact, but it turned out not to be true. But there is nothing we can do. We can't take the risk of Lewis passing on the virus to unvaccinated friends and it is the one weekend a year that my husband takes time just for himself.

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