Created with Sketch.
T.O.F.U. Talks: #OurNewNormal
11 minutes | Jun 18, 2020
#OurNewNormal | Ryan Patey of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Originally streamed live on Facebook on June 17, I decided to share my current experience in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) during the COVID-19 pandemic before wrapping-up the limited T.O.F.U. Talks series. Find out what life is now like in Vietnam and learn what’s coming next now that I’ve finished documenting the lives of vegans around the world in our new normal. Podcast Although the interview was originally done as a video chat, you can now listen to it in an audio-only format available on most podcast platforms, as well as below. Transcript Ryan: All right. Hi, everybody and welcome to what I guess will be the final episode of the #OurNewNormal series, a T.O.F.U. Talks limited series that I started what seems like a year ago to document the experiences of vegans and vegan businesses and vegan organizations around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Near the beginning, I jokingly did an interview with myself, which maybe some of you picked up on? I’m not sure if the podcast version made that clear, but, yes, episode three, I think, was me interviewing m. In this case right now. I’m not going to do that. I just wanted to have a quick little livestream here to maybe connect with some folks. If anyone had any questions or wanted to share their experiences, and to also kinda give a final update on what life is like here in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, and just say thanks to everybody who tuned into the #OurNewNormal series. Obviously, as I’ve mentioned in posting the last couple of episodes, things have kind of shifted. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has definitely not disappeared, in many places it’s gotten worse probably, the focus of the media and people in general has shifted to, I don’t wanna say more important things, but to definitely things that also need attention, and, partially in an effort to not sort of detract from that, I felt like continuing the series was, I don’t know, kind of not right. See? This lives stuff leads to just not sounding nearly as intelligent. It just seemed inappropriate to continue the series. Plus, in all honesty, I’ve done, well, this’ll be the fortieth, the thirtieth episode and that’s more than I thought I would get when I started, and, in fact, I actually turned down a few people because, like I said, I decided to end it. So, I think ending on thirty is okay. And, on that note, I guess, here’s a rough idea of what things are like in Saigon, Vietnam. I know I’ve touched on it in some of the episodes while talking with people, but I guess I haven’t done, I haven’t recorded another episode since, like, the end of May. So, not much really changed here in the last few weeks. Sometime in May, they lifted most restrictions, and that’s not just because the government got bored or the people got restless. It’s because the statistics basically support it. Right now, we haven’t had a community involved case in over two months, and, I believe, I’d say at least 90-95% of the cases that have been reported have now been cleared. So, pretty much, the only people that are testing positive at this point are quarantined and have been quarantined for a while. They’re mainly people that came in to repatriate to Vietnam, and there’s also a British airline pilot who has kind of been, like, I guess the biggest case. He was incredibly sick. Has been in the hospital for, I think, about two months now. Was expected to have to undergo a long transplant as kind of his only sort of option to possibly get better, and he actually ended up recovering significantly, and as of, I think, this morning, maybe yesterday, he was up and walking with the help of hospital staff. He’s been taken off of some pretty serious life support measures, and has recovered. I don’t know how much he has of his lung function, basically he’s doing really well, which is amazing to see and hopefully his recovery will happen in full. Vietnam still, as of right now, has recorded no deaths from COVID-19 and I think that’s it, but, needless to say, it feels very much like a different world here. It was, you know, kinda strange to talk with everybody around the world about their experiences. I know a lot of people I talked with, through various privileges similar to mine, were working from home. So, their life hadn’t been changed drastically, but I obviously did talk to some people who had some significant changes in the way they went about their daily routine, how they were able to do their work, how their kids were able to go about their lives. But for me, right now, I’ve been going to cafes. I’ve been looking at the movie listings to see if there’s anything interesting. Not surprisingly, there’s not really. Cinemas here, and in a few other countries, I guess are kinda bringing back some old blockbusters and showing maybe more Asian films which I’d be okay to go and check out some stuff, but a lot of my friends are not really interested. So, I guess that’s not really going to happen, but, yeah, anytime I go and check the news about back home or say in the States or other parts of the world, it’s kind of a reminder that things are not back to normal for everybody. And, I mean, when I started the series, I had kind of hoped that, maybe, you know, I’d be able to kind of document the end of it too for people, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. There unfortunately isn’t much of an end for a lot of my friends. I know restrictions have been eased. Hopefully, that’s not gonna lead to more serious spikes. Unfortunately, according to some statistics, it is. Despite, you know, suggestions by say the president of the United States that maybe they should just lower testing and then the numbers will just miraculously get better. You know, obviously, if you go back and listen to the series, you’ll know that pretty much everyone I talked to is not supportive of his ideas and various other policies of his. And that in itself is a whole other issue, which thankfully more attention is being paid to and obviously there’s protests going on in the States and other parts of the world that relate to so many other things that need to be addressed. So, I guess, in a way, this our new normal involves more than just life from COVID-19 pandemic, and I hope that involves a lot of positive change. I also touched on that with people during the series. About how the pandemic has led to some interesting changes. Obviously, not quite as drastic as some of the things that are being done through the Black Lives Matter protests, and I hope that, you know, this sort of stuff just continues to progress, and there is no regression like with some other measures that we’ve seen come into place because of the pandemic. And because of the protests. And I don’t know, I could continue on. I don’t think I’m going to because like I said I don’t want to take much more time. I want to thank everybody who was involved with the #OurNewNormal series and, you know, in terms of people who took the time to talk with me and share their experience in the world, and in terms of people who decided to check it out. All the episodes are, well will be available through Youtube and Facebook, and as well there will be a podcast version. That was a whole learning experience. I’m glad that I did it with the series and, you know, obviously I kinda had to rush a lot of episodes out at once. That’s not really the way you normally would do podcasts, but these are all kind of time sensitive because the longer I wait in releasing them, the longer they’re kind of not really valid and sort of snapshots of the moment. However, I do hope to do a more general T.O.F.U. Talks podcast series, which I guess for those of you interested, if you found the #OurNewNormal podcast interesting, please keep an eye on the magazine’s social pages and website. Probably more the website because I’ve run into more issues with Facebook and I don’t know if that’s gonna continue. It lasted about three months last time, so we’ll see how long it goes this time. But the website is a great place to check that stuff out. Also Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr, and there’s other alternatives to Facebook, but whatever, either way, hopefully I’ll be doing the T.O.F.U. Talks podcasts in, I don’t know, maybe later this month, maybe the next month. That will probably first involve some past episodes that I have done because I have been doing a T.O.F.U. Talks series about general topics around veganism and other things, and then eventually I hope to do more interviews with people, and maybe I’ll do more conversations myself around certain topics. I have had, like I said, I turned down a few other people that I approached to interview about #OurNewNormal. Hopefully, I will be able to follow-up with them to do a T.O.F.U. Talks chat, and, like I said, that’ll be a podcast. I think I’ve got most of the kinks worked out from watching the #OurNewNormal podcast, maybe? I don’t know. But, yeah, I’m interested in the format, even though I don’t really partake in it myself to listen to things. I think it’s an interesting way to get information out to people and I will hopefully be continuing it. For now, though this is kind of it. It’s early in the morning here in Saigon. I thought maybe some people would be awake on the other side of the world where most of my audiences, and I figured I’d say: Alright. Gonna end the #OurNewNormal series here. Thank you for checking it out. Thank you to those who got involved. Above all else, please stay safe, wash your hands, whether or not your restrictions are being lifted, you should still wash your hands frequently, and, you know, maybe keep up with that twenty seconds thing because, if we learn anything from this, it’s the fact that most people were washing their hands in a fairly ineffective manner. Hopefully, we’ll learn more than that from this whole, pandemic, and, hopefully, we’re continuing to learn from things like Black Lives Matter protests. Please get involved. Like I said, stay safe, do whatever you can within your means, and I guess I will see you around in some other way. For now, that’s it for me. I’m gonna get out of the sunlight that I thought would provide good lighting, but maybe doesn’t quite do it. And maybe I’m gonna go get breakfast because the markets and everything are opened here. I know it might sound weird to you and it probably induces some anxiety, I apologize for that, but I assure you that what’s happening here is more based on statistics and reality than a desire to go back to the old ways. So I feel safe. I hope you do too and see you around.The post #OurNewNormal | Ryan Patey of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam first appeared on T.O.F.U. Magazine.
43 minutes | Jun 13, 2020
#OurNewNormal | The Raven Corps of Portland, Oregon
As I mentioned in the post for the last episode I shared, I’ve decided to wrap-up the #OurNewNormal series thanks in part to the shift in focus of much of the world to the need to address systematic racism, police violence, and other issues related to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Since I don’t want to detract from such discussions, but I also want to acknowledge the time people spent in talking with me, I decided to simply post the remaining sessions during this week and then wrap things up. So, with that in mind, here is the final episode I recorded late last month, and I hope you take the time to check it out and learn about the great work The Raven Corps is doing. Focusing again on a vegan organization, this time around I chat with Claire Howe and Cami Hoffman about The Raven Corps and how the group’s work and methods have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. From developing QuaranTEEN, a youth-led virtual community, to preparing to tackle toxic masculinity while addressing the needs of many in their communities, Claire and Cami showcase just how the organization has continued to be effective in their new normal. For more about The Raven Corps, please visit their website. The post #OurNewNormal | The Raven Corps of Portland, Oregon first appeared on T.O.F.U. Magazine.
43 minutes | Jun 9, 2020
#OurNewNormal | Nice Shoes of Vancouver, BC
When I first approached my vegan friends about my idea for a series to highlight the experiences of people, organizations, and businesses around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-April, I’m sure none of us could have predicted where things would be at this point almost two months later. Obviously, in many places the conversation has shifted to other serious issues such as racism and defunding the police, and I’m happy to see that folks on social media have been open to the content I’ve shared related to those topics. For those of us who are white, and even those of us who are not Black, a willingness to address these things within our communities and ourselves is an important step and it seems folks are finally taking it. Due in part to the need to encourage and have these conversations, I decided last week to no longer schedule any #OurNewNormal sessions. However, I did previously record two sessions before things shifted, and I feel it’s important to share them since the people involved were kind enough to take the time to talk with me. As well, since the pandemic is still ongoing (and may end up worsening as an unfortunate side-effect from the protests), I believe there’s still some value in learning how people are adapting. On that note, here’s one of the two sessions I recorded late last month. This time around, I chat with Glenn Gaetz, co-owner of Nice Shoes, about the experience of running a vegan shoe store in Vancouver, British Columbia during the COVID-19 pandemic. From balancing family life and the need to entertain a young child at home to trying to determine just what the best course of action is for their nine-year old company in the coming months, Glenn and I talk about plenty of the ins and outs of running a small business while dealing with a new normal. To find out more about Nice Shoes, and maybe order something, please visit their website. The post #OurNewNormal | Nice Shoes of Vancouver, BC first appeared on T.O.F.U. Magazine.
52 minutes | Jun 2, 2020
#OurNewNormal | Chilis On Wheels in New York, New York
In the first episode to involve a vegan organization, I chat with Eloisa T. from Chilis On Wheels to find out what sort of impact the organization has experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. From the disproportionate ways in which the restrictions affect communities in New York City (and even the rest of the United States) to her personal disconnect from friends and family as she continues to work outside of her home, Eloisa helps to show the importance of compassion and community within our new normal. The Medium article I mentioned can be found here. To learn more about Chilis On Wheels, please check out their website. To connect with Eloisa, please follow her Instagram accounts: @veganactivistsalliance | @elogata The post #OurNewNormal | Chilis On Wheels in New York, New York first appeared on T.O.F.U. Magazine.
34 minutes | May 30, 2020
#OurNewNormal | V Marks The Shop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Shifting the focus to vegan businesses, I connect with my friends, Carmella Lanni & Carlo Giardina, in Philly to talk about their experience running their vegan grocery and convenience store, V Marks The Shop, during the COVID-19 pandemic. From adapting quickly as a two-person team determined to maintain safety for themselves, their customers, and the suppliers they work with to trying to find the balance between their business and personal well-being, Carmella and Carlo help to shed some light on how vegan businesses are operating in their new normal. To support V Marks the Shop, please visit: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram The post #OurNewNormal | V Marks The Shop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania first appeared on T.O.F.U. Magazine.
53 minutes | May 28, 2020
#OurNewNormal | Chelsea Lincoln of Hillsboro, Oregon
Heading back to Oregon again, I chat with Chelsea Lincoln in Hillsboro about her personal experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. From changing her wedding plans to facing the implications of working from home long-term, Chelsea provides an idea of what’s involved in her new normal. To find out more about Chelsea, please visit her website. The post #OurNewNormal | Chelsea Lincoln of Hillsboro, Oregon first appeared on T.O.F.U. Magazine.
59 minutes | May 26, 2020
#OurNewNormal | Jenny Marie of Manchester, United Kingdom
Heading back to the UK for the second time this season, I chat with Jenny Marie about her life in Manchester during the COVID-19 pandemic. From realizing a dinner with her stepfather might be the last time she saw him for a long time to putting her mother’s sewing machine to good use while at home, Jenny offers tips for others while also sharing how she’s coping with her new normal. Articles Mentioned During the Session Covid-19 masterpost â€“ mental health, education & learning, community, etc. – jenny-marie.co.uk Quarantine diary / iSewlation / food / April-May 2020 – jenny-marie.co.uk To find out more about Jenny, please check out her Instagram. Recording Date: May 21, 2020 The post #OurNewNormal | Jenny Marie of Manchester, United Kingdom first appeared on T.O.F.U. Magazine.
48 minutes | May 24, 2020
#OuNewNormal | LP Penner of Winnipeg, Manitoba
In the third episode of the third season of the #OurNewNormal sessions, I chat with another friend in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to find out how their life has been during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it’s the concerns around continuing to work due to being a healthcare worker or considering the mental health implications brought about by a global disaster, LP and I cover plenty of ground involving their new normal. To find out more about LP, please visit their website. Recording Date: April 28, 2020 The post #OuNewNormal | LP Penner of Winnipeg, Manitoba first appeared on T.O.F.U. Magazine.
80 minutes | May 23, 2020
#OurNewNormal | Michele Truty of Chicago, Illinois
Originally streamed live on Facebook on April 27, the second episode in the third season of #OurNewNormal, a T.O.F.U. Talks limited series, involves long-time friend, Michele Truty, sharing her experience living in Chicago, Illinois during the COVID-19 pandemic. From moving while the city shelters in place to dealing with being in a higher risk category, Michele and I chat and engage with the audience to learn about her new normal. Recording Date: April 27, 2020 The post #OurNewNormal | Michele Truty of Chicago, Illinois first appeared on T.O.F.U. Magazine.
44 minutes | May 22, 2020
#OurNewNormal | Charlotte Hubbard of Leeds, United Kingdom
Starting the new season of #OurNewNormal, a T.O.F.U. Talks limited series, I chat with Charlotte Hubbard from the United Kingdom about her personal experience in Leeds during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether she’s dealing with the shift from office work to a kitchen office, or learning to slow down and take things as they come, Charlotte sheds some light on what’s involved with her new normal. For more on Charlotte, please check out her Instagram. Recording Date: April 25, 2020 Note: technical difficulties led to the last 4-5mins being difficult to understand. Sorry. The post #OurNewNormal | Charlotte Hubbard of Leeds, United Kingdom first appeared on T.O.F.U. Magazine.
49 minutes | May 21, 2020
#OurNewNormal | Sarah Rice of HonomÅ«, Hawaiâ€™i
In the tenth episode of the second season of #OurNewNormal, a T.O.F.U. Talks limited series, I catch-up with Sarah Rice to talk about her family’s life on the big island of Hawaiâ€i during the COVID-19 pandemic. From small town jungle living with several foster children and a biological child to the slower pace of island life, Sarah shares just how much has changed over the last few months to shape her new normal. Recording Date: April 25, 2020 The post #OurNewNormal | Sarah Rice of HonomÅ«, Hawaiâ€™i first appeared on T.O.F.U. Magazine.
49 minutes | May 19, 2020
#OurNewNormal | Kristin Lajeunesse of Las Vegas, Nevada
Originally streamed live on Facebook on April 25th, this episode sees me catching-up with fellow vegan traveller, Kristin Lajeunesse of Will Travel For Vegan Food, to see what life has been like in Las Vegas during the COVID-19 pandemic. From the strip shutting down to living life in one spot for awhile, Kristin shares plenty to illustrate her new normal. For more on Kristin, please visit her website. The post #OurNewNormal | Kristin Lajeunesse of Las Vegas, Nevada first appeared on T.O.F.U. Magazine.
34 minutes | May 17, 2020
#OurNewNormal | Cinthia Tiberi Ljungqvist of NykÃ¶ping, Sweden
In the eighth episode of the second season of #OurNewNormal, a T.O.F.U. Talks limited series, I get to connect with a long-term friend, Cinthia, to talk about her life in Sweden during the COVID-19 pandemic. With international media focused on the Swedish government’s relaxed approach to the threat and the majority of Swedes trusting their government’s advice, I was excited to get the chance to find out just what these unique conditions meant for my friend’s new normal. Recording Date: April 24, 2020 The post #OurNewNormal | Cinthia Tiberi Ljungqvist of NykÃ¶ping, Sweden first appeared on T.O.F.U. Magazine.
64 minutes | May 8, 2020
#OurNewNormal | Alternative Travelers of Salt Lake City, Utah
Originally streamed live on Facebook on April 24th, the seventh episode of the second season of #OurNewNormal, a T.O.F.U. Talks limited series, sees me talking with Sam and Veren of Alternative Travelers about their experience in Salt Lake City, Utah during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a couple that house sits full-time, we talk plenty about just how their lives have changed, the health scares they’ve had with friends and themselves, and dealing with being stuck in a place that is now a big part of their new normal. To find out more about how the pandemic has impacted the couple, please listen to their mini podcast episode on the topic here. Also, you can find out more about their past adventures and house sitting here. The post #OurNewNormal | Alternative Travelers of Salt Lake City, Utah first appeared on T.O.F.U. Magazine.
48 minutes | May 7, 2020
#OurNewNormal | Jacqueline Adamescu of Los Angeles, California
Originally streamed live on Facebook on April 24th, the sixth episode of the second season of #OurNewNormal, a T.O.F.U. Talks limited series, involves a conversation with Jacqueline Adamescu about her life in LA during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a public school teacher, union representative, and fellow independent activist publisher, the talk gets political pretty quick, but plenty is covered to give you an idea of Jacqueline’s new normal. To learn more about Jacqueline, please follow her Instagram. The post #OurNewNormal | Jacqueline Adamescu of Los Angeles, California first appeared on T.O.F.U. Magazine.
43 minutes | May 5, 2020
#OurNewNormal | Jessica Freedman of Phuket, Thailand
In the fifth episode of the second season of #OurNewNormal, I hop back to this side of the world to chat with Jessica Freedman on the island of Phuket in Thailand to see what life has been like for her fuzzy family and her during the COVID-19 pandemic. From the decision to stay put instead of going back to Canada (and the complications that would have entailed with seven animals in tow) to having to put their future moving plans on hold until things calm down, Jess gives me an idea of just how they’re coping with their new normal. As for the Justin Trudeau memes, visit this site to learn more: Recording Date: April 23, 2020 The post #OurNewNormal | Jessica Freedman of Phuket, Thailand first appeared on T.O.F.U. Magazine.
37 minutes | May 4, 2020
#OurNewNormal | Ashley Fineberg of Victoria, British Columbia
In the fourth episode of the new season of #OurNewNormal, a T.O.F.U. Talks limited series, I head further north along the Pacific Coast of North America to talk with Ashley Fineberg in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada about life on the island during the COVID-19 pandemic. We touch on everything from her life as a new teacher to the problems of seemingly great vegan or local companies not protecting their employees and how it all plays a part in the ups and downs of her new normal. Recording Date: April 22, 2020 The post #OurNewNormal | Ashley Fineberg of Victoria, British Columbia first appeared on T.O.F.U. Magazine.
48 minutes | May 3, 2020
#OurNewNormal | Janessa Philemon-Kerp of Portland, Oregon
In the third episode of the new season of #OurNewNormal, a T.O.F.U. Talks limited series, we travel north from the focus of the last episode to talk with Janessa Philemon-Kerp in Portland, Oregon about her experience both there and in Europe during the COVID-19 pandemic. From the most Portland statement ever about strip club mac and cheese to dealing with pulling the plug on a long-term adventure in Europe to head back home, Janessa offers a glimpse into how much has changed in her new normal. To follow Janessa’s adventures, check out her Instagram accounts here: @janessapk | @wanderfulwanderings Recording Date: April 21, 2020 The post #OurNewNormal | Janessa Philemon-Kerp of Portland, Oregon first appeared on T.O.F.U. Magazine.
29 minutes | May 2, 2020
#OurNewNormal | Stacy Owens of Half Moon Bay, California
In the second episode of the new season of #OurNewNormal, a T.O.F.U. Talks limited series, Stacy Owens shares what life has been like in Half Moon Bay (part of the San Francisco Bay area), California during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether she’s running her small business or helping one of her kids with school, Stacy explains the complications of finding balance in her new normal. Recording Date: April 20, 2020 Podcast Although the interview was originally done as a video chat, you can now listen to it in an audio-only format available on most podcast platforms, as well as below. Transcript Ryan: Thank you everybody for joining us today. Or tonight. Whatever it is where you’re watching this, and welcome to another of the T.O.F.U. Talk sessions around basically our new normal and dealing with this pandemic in everybody’s little pocket of the world. And so, I wanna thank you for joining me as well. This is the first time we’ve talked. I’ve known you off, or online, for a little bit, but, for everybody else, could you maybe introduce yourself? Stacy: My name is Stacey Owens, and I live in the San Francisco Bay area. Ryan: My next question was going to be “where are you now?” and I guess that was it. I think you’re the first person so far I’ve talked to in the Bay area. Funny enough, my partner did a piece recently. She writes for one of the national papers here in Vietnam, and she did a piece about, there were two women that own, I think it’s “Pho Hanoi” or “Hanoi Pho” or something, like, these two restaurants in, where was it? Maybe it was the San Jose Bay Area. Stacy: Okay, yeah. The South Bay? Ryan: Yeah, and so I, she was wondering, like, because I was thinking “oh, I think people just call it the Bay area” and I had to look up, like “what exactly is the Bay area?” ‘cuz I wasn’t sure if, like, San Jose was in it. Stacy: It’s seven counties, and San Francisco is sort of our worldwide city here. Oakland and San Jose are our other major cities. Around here it’s all “the Bay area”, but we call San Francisco “the City” and then Oakland and that area around there “the East Bay” and San Jose and the area around there are “the South Bay”, and where I am, I’m next to the ocean, just about twenty minutes south of San Francisco and this is called “the Peninsula”. Ryan: Okay, but it was, I mean, obviously, there’s a lot of great stories coming out from this and people being creative and wanting to help and everything. And so this woman basically decided that, like, since she had to shut her restaurant down, she thought “okay, well I canâ€¦” instead of donating some money to the hospital and whatever she said I can just make meals and my employees will be able to, you know, to work and everything. I guess people heard about it, and the neighbours and stuff, so like her distributors and suppliers are donating and so I think she’s done like three thousand or four thousand meals so far, like, and a lot of the hospital workers had never had Vietnamese food. So, now they’re kind of, like, when things go back to normal, they’re like “well. we’re totally going to go and check out your restaurant and everything”. So, it was a really cool story, but that was, like, I remember having to look up “okay, is San Jose in the Bay area?” and, you know, so I got a better picture now. Stacy: Yeah, yeah, exactly. A lot of our, sort of, mutual aid groups are doing a bunch too. Food Not Bombs is sort of organizing in their different chapters around The Bay, and doing a great job of getting food and supplies out to people as well. ‘Cause, like anywhere else, we have a huge problem of people without houses. And that’s probably been the scariest part of all this. Ryan: I think when I hear about The Bay area, that would be another thing I hear about is housing prices and all that because, there’s a bit of the tech industry thing is going on there, right? If I’m not mistaken? Stacy: Like crazy. Yeah, and it means that, I mean, you know, my little teeny house that I live in, if you Zillow it before this, who knows now, but it, you know, they were saying this is about two thousand square feet, you know, built in the nineteen seventies. Granted, we’re near the ocean, but last time I Zillowed it, it was worth over $1.2 million, according to Zillow. So, that just is obscene, and it tells you how completely out of range. Ryan: Yeah. Stacy: It’s gotten for anybody, and that’s, you know, about six times what my husband paid for it in the nineties. So, not only is it completely out of range, but it’s happened very fast. In, you know, relatively speaking, in twenty years. Ryan: Yeah. Stacy: It’s gone up extremely, so yeah. Ryan: And, I mean, obviously with this sort of thing happening in the world, that kind of just makes it even more of a concern ’cause this concept of “well, stay home and shelter in place” is like “well, what do I do if I don’t have a home?” Stacy: Yeah, or somewhere to shelter. And, you know, right now, I live near the ocean, so we’ve been having a lot of people from out of town who think that “shelter in place” means “drive to Half Moon Bay and go to the beach”. So, there’s been some, you know, increasingly over the month, there’s been a lot of efforts to curb that. But the latest one, which I have very mixed feelings about, is that the police are now pulling people over and looking at driver’s licenses to see if you live in this area. Ryan: Oh, wow. Stacy: You know, which, the part of me that’s terrified when I go to take my exercise and there’s, you know, fifty people on the beach trail is, you know, kind of relieved that we’re trying to get rid of that. But from a social justice point and for people who don’t have houses, you know, where are they gonna be? If every community keeps saying “oh, you can’t be here, and you can’t be here, and you can’t be here”. This is not a solution, and it is not sustainable, and beyond the fact that it’s quite scary that we’re now being told that people can be fined or even arrested for being in the wrong place. Ryan: Yeah, and I think, I mean here in Vietnam, obviously, I technically shouldn’t even be critical of the government because… Stacy: Yeah, careful. Ryan: There are consequences. But it has been interesting to see, I mean, in the neighbourhood, I feel like a lot of people are not complying, but there hasn’t been, like, this mass uprising of protests and everything because it’s, you know, protesting isn’t really a big thing here because there’s repercussions that are pretty serious. But I feel like in some ways, and depending on if you believe the numbers in China are whatnot, like, that sort of one-state party thing led to maybe some of these regulations and everything being listened to a little better. Stacy: Yeah. Ryan: We’re just kind of like “okay, we’ll do that” whereas when it went over to the West, you know, people were, like, within a week, everyone’s like “this has to end now! You can’t tell me what to do! I have my freedoms!” Yeah, I mean it was the same thing in the West Coast of Canada and, like, Easter break came around and people are going to their cottage or cabin or whatever and it’s like “no, you’re supposed to stay home” but I’ve also read that, like here in Vietnam, and obviously in China too, SARS and H1N1 hit pretty hard here, so I think people also, you know, have that in their memory and their just like “alright, we’ve kind of done this before. Let’s do what we need to do and figure it out” and so, I don’t know, it’s a whole mix, but I was gonna ask you, like, how, you know, what sort of measures are in place, like, in the area that you’re in and are people listening to them? And we kind of touched on that already. Stacy: Yeah, you know, the entire Bay Area was pretty early, and has been pretty good about trying to put measures in place. So they’ve been increasing as you go along, and as people aren’t following the rules, then they put more in. So, we’ve all been home for about a month. I think it might be exactly a month. The schools are closed until next year. So, school around here starts late August, so, as far as we know, kids are going back to school mid late August, but we don’t really know. You know, it just sort of week by week. They were allowed to go out only for exercise and essential tasks. I feel like that people are probably pushing it with the exercise thing as we discussed a minute ago, but, you know, I get it. I am critical, but also I get to live next to the beach, so exercise for me means I go to the beach. For somebody else, exercise means walking around a city block. That’s not so fun. Yeah, you know, and then, with the essential activities, if you go to the grocery store or hardware store or anywhere that’s allowed to be open, you have, you’re required to wear a mask and gloves. And we got emails this morning saying that they were going to start enforcing, that this is our grace period, and they’re gonna start enforcing that with fines and possible arrest on the 22nd. Tuesday or Wednesday. Ryan: Yeah. Stacy: That’s, you know, and I feel like that’s pretty typical, but I know that there is other states in the country, and other areas out of the country where they stopped, where they didn’t do the social distancing until much later, and I’m not sure every state even is right now. Question mark. Question mark. I think it might have been either a red state or a blue state, right? Ryan: Yeah, I’ve definitely, I mean I haven’t been keeping, like, total track of all the states, but the overall news I’ve been getting from the States is that it’s kind of a mix, you know, some places are already now talking about “alright, we’re gonna open up and start-up the economy again” and other places just say, you know, I mean California in general I think has been pretty tight and obviously, like, New York state is going through kind of the worst of it, from what I known, so they’re not in any way being like “alright, next week, we’re gonna be opened” But yeah, it definitely seems like it’s a bit of a mix. So, in terms of, I know you have one kid, right? Stacy: I’ve got one. Well, I’ve got three kids, but I’ve got one kid who is of school age. Lives here, with me, and I’ve got an older one who, as I mentioned, who’s in Seattle. He’s thirty. And I have a college age son, who is home, sheltering in place with us. So yeah, you know, so we were sort of running the gamut. My thirty-year old is the director of volunteers at a homeless youth shelter in Seattle. So, some stuff that’s coming out of there, they’re having a hard time making some decisions and figuring out how they’re going to serve everybody. Ryan: Yeah. Stacy: And then, my middle son, my twenty three-year old. We really don’t know day-to-day if he’s going to be going to college again in the fall. You know it’s senior year, so this is going to, in some way, affect his studies, you know. And then, my little one, they’re calling it “remote learning”. I understand that different schools are doing it different ways. His class, in particular, and I think it may be our district, there are occasional online Zoom meetings. But, it’s really just sort of a check-in, and the teaching is all happening. There’s work being sent home. Well, not sent home. There’s a Google classroom, and so you log in there and all the work is there. But the actual teaching has been a combination of me and my husband and my twenty three-year old, who also, thank god, is a math and science teacher for his profession. I’ve been able to, you know, put some of this on him, but that has been really difficult. I’m at the point where I feel like I need to say like either “do some remote teaching, or just, you know, let us a little off the hook with the volume of the assignments”. It’s stressful to be trying to get all these pieces of paper done every day, and I don’t think it’s serving anybody. I don’t think he’s really “learning” in the way that he would be, if there were some online classes, which it’s a privilege and I know everybody can’t get that, but since we do have it, can we utilize it in a way that means that I can actually do my job? Ryan: Yeah, the in-between definitely would make things complicated. I know here, like, in the international schools, obviously, they were like “alright, online learning. Let’s do it” because there’s way more funding and, like, I think part of the infrastructure was already in place. So, I’ve talked to, like, ’cause I’ve been writing for the paper as well, and I’ve talked to some of the parents, like, foreigners with their kids and the snapshot of, you know, how people were doing here with foreigners is “no big deal”, you know, half of them were teachers themselves, so they’re just teaching their kids in the day and then doing, you know, online classes to make a little bit of money. I mean, obviously, people have been affected in terms of their income because schools here have been closed since, like, January. So, there are some teachers that haven’t really had you know, ’cause depending on the school you went with they either we’re like “alright, we’re closed” or some moved to online learning or whatever. So, it’s been like a mixed bag. The people I talked to were all doing pretty well. But that’s, like, very much a different world compared to say, like, what I understand of the public school system here and obviously people in small towns and, like, remote villages and everything. I’ve heard some stories of, like, very determined students, like, sitting on a hilltop with, like, a cellphone signal to be able to get online classes. And then working in the firm for a day, so they can go and buy more data on their cellphone. So it’s, again you know it’s people just trying to do the best they can with what they have, but yeah, you would thinkâ€¦ Stacy: It reminds us of our privilege though. Ryan: Yeah, but I mean. You know, in that sense too, it’s like “okay, if the school system within say a Western countries is gonna do it, like, do it” and I mean, you know, but obviously and like everything’s kinda touch and go. It’s not like there’s a manual for most of this, right? I know, like, SARS and H1N1 did kind of hit the West, but, like, I mean, I know in Canada, Toronto kinda had to deal with SARS a bit, but it wasn’t like this nationwide disturbedâ€¦ Stacy: I remember talking about it, right, but it wasn’t like anybody thought they were. gonna get it. Just, yeah, this is really unprecedented. Ryan: Yeah, I mean this concept of having like everything shut down. You know, is not, I mean I feel like I’m a little old, but I definitely haven’t lived long enough to have anything to compare this to, right? Stacy: Not unless you’ve lived since 1918 or something. Ryan: Yeah, right? Like, you gotta go back aways. So, I mean, like, obviously, so it’s impacting your family in different ways. How, like, altogether, how are you coping with it? Do you have any secrets to what’s keeping you all going? Stacy: I think overall, we’re doing pretty well, and, unfortunately, the secret is that, you know, I have all kinds of luxuries that most people don’t have. I have a house that I live in. I’m not worried that I’m gonna get kicked out by a landlord or any of this type of thing. I own my own business. So, you know, whether business is up or down a little bit, we all have certainly instituted that, for me and all of the employees that our hours are just catch as catch can, right? We’re doing what we can. And, you know, we just have a relatively comfortable life, and so there’s certainly some awareness and guilt that is involved with it, but I don’t have, you know, tons of great tips for people who are in an unstable situation. I mean, you know, how we’re dealing with it is family games every night. One thing that we are doing with my son’s school that I feel blessed about is that his teacher instituted something called “Genius Hour”, which is just being able to research and spend an hour each day doing whatever it is that you want to do and learning, whatever it is that you wanna learn. So we have been going through the history of liberation movements and, different, looking at different protests, looking at different protesters, certain figures throughout history, and seeing what was effective and what wasn’t. Really trying to make this a teachable activists moment for him. He’s always been interested in activism. So, you know, I feel like that sort of passing on knowledge and having fun as a family and the ability to think about, you know, what do things look like when we get out of here, and what kind of steps can we take to make sure that things are more fair going forward is the best that we can do and is helping us all feel like there’s some purpose to being locked up in our house, right? Ryan: I have a friend who I think, I mean, from what I know about her through social media with her child, like, they’re fairly young. I think maybe she’d be doing this anyway. I’m not even sure if the kid’s ready for school yet, but she’s been doing, like, kind of going through the alphabet and, like, each day’s a different letter and so then she’s going over, like, different musicians with that, you know, that start with that letter and different books that start with that and certain topics around, like, you know, activism and sort of historical figures that all start with “g” or “f” or whatever. And so she’s been posting kind of, like, the collection on the table and being like “today, we learned about”, like, you know, I’m totally blanking on it, but just, like “in terms of these historical people and we listened to this kind of music and these bands” and I was like “well, that’s cool”, so it’s, like, I feel, like, everyone I’ve talked to has talked about, like, the importance of, like, maintaining a routine, and you know just kind of knowing “okay, today we’re gonna maybe, like, have classes” and that sort of thing. I mean, while also being aware that if you have a bad day, like, that’s fine because this is a messed-up situation. Stacy: Yes. Ryan: That you need to be able to, you know, process. So, in terms of your kid, like, how have you explained it to them? Have you kind of totally put it all out there, or is it like sort of layered? Stacy: We try to always be completely upfront and honest in a very age appropriate way with everything. I mean he’s been a vegan since birth. We talked to him about, you know, racial justice issues, you know, Lgbtqia, so everything. So we make sure that he really understands the real information, but in a way that’s not scary and anxiety producing. So, what he knows is that, kind of as much as I know, right? Which is that there’s this virus and, you know, you’re more able to catch it than the regular flu and the the hospitals could get overwhelmed. So, to be a good community member, we have to do our part and shelter in place, and that we don’t really know when this is gonna end, but, you know, we have some guesses. We think that it might be a few months, but we’ll just have to do our best and we still can, you know, take the dogs for a walk and cook with Mommy and, you know, all the normal stuff that we do. We’re all just waiting to hear what’s going to happen. Because I am very political and I, you know, run a political firm and, you know, my whole family’s very political, I’ve been, you know, mostly talking him off a ledge about Trump and what is this, you know, if like he’s completely determined that this means that trump’s not gonna win. So the most anxiety has been aroundâ€¦ right? And I’m just, you know, so the most anxiety has really been around “what’s going to happen in the future because of this?” Ryan: Yeah Stacy: Which we’re all experiencing and we just talk about it as honestly as we can, and talk about “well, if he does, then we’re going to organize” and it’s just all we can do. Ryan: I mean, on that note, actually that leads into pretty well to the last question or I guess sort of group of questions. I mean are there, like, you kind of touched on, you know, certain outcomes, but are there any sort of lessons that you think your family is gonna take from this experience, like, anything that’s gonna kinda change the way you’ve been living or, like, things you focus on or anything like that? Stacy: Yeah, I think that, that as much as I’ve always talk to everybody about being an activist and how it’s important to support, you know, different movements and we’ve done so all along, I think that this is showing us that paying more attention is going to be important going forward. And maybe mixing in more direct work, not getting so sidetracked by, you know, “I’m tired from work”, “I’m tired from school”, you know, just trying to really better use the privileges that we have, you know, financial, and with time and class and everything else to be able to systematically chip away at this better. You know, and I’m in a unique position again with working in politics and my hope is that that peer group that I work with on the political side that this really motivates that peer group because, you know, it’s really the people in power who need to be looking at universal basic income, and, you know, how is it that they’re saying that they can find places for people without a house to be now, but they couldn’t have all long? How is it that we can feed people now, but we couldn’t all along, right? Healthcare, how is it that that they’re saying “oh, yeah, you know, anybody can go in and get a test”. Well, that was never true before. So, you know, I’m starting to see, certainly here in the Bay area, which is, you know, a lot of the people I work with are Bay area or certainly California campaigns. I also have some North Carolina campaigns, so it’s two different worlds, but certainly the Bay area I’m seeing that the people who have the power are more on that progressive side and more able to start to look at how we’re going to make these things systematically better for people going forward. But this has definitely, I think, re-energized me and my children to really look at keeping on the course with trying to make things better and escalating it. Ryan: I think that’s something that I noticed too is that all these things that, I mean, especially in the States, you know, and in Canada as well all these things that everyone was like “look, we need to do this” and everyone was like “no, we can’t. Everything will fall apart and whatever, you know. We’ll just be a communist state or whatever”. Stacy: “It’ll be anarchy” like that’s a bad thing! Ryan: Yeah! The thread of the country will tatter and bla bla bla. And then this comes around and starts, you know, finally like the majority’s facing it and it’s like “alright!” Okay, you know, in Canada, they were like “student loan payments are being forgiven or, like, pushed ahead” and now there’s what is sort of a version of basic income. I mean they were doing, I think they started doing a testing population about it, but it’s not exactly, like, on a bill yet to be passed. Now, the government’s like “alright, we’re going to give”, you know, I mean people are falling through the cracks like freelancers and everything, but it’s sort of talked about, right? I mean obviously the healthcare thing in the States is one of the big issues. As, you know, as much as Canada, like, there are issues with our healthcare system at least, if people wanna go get a test or they get sick, they’re not, like, $10,000 in debt just because they got an incredibly infectious disease. Stacy: Right, right. Ryan: So, again, that’s something that I’ve been kind of focusing on too is that I hope, you know, out of this people be like “you know what? maybe those weird lefties had a good idea there that this safety net isn’t necessarily gonna lead to like the collapse of our country”. Stacy: It does does seem like it’s just a sort of very basic idea, and for me it’s frustrating. I come from a family of, a long line, my great grandfather was a union organizer back in the 1910s and 20s when it was dangerous, right? And I was born in Berkeley in 1970. It always felt to me like that it seemed like grown-ups were trying to handle this, and so how do we find ourselves here now? And we are the grown-ups, so we’ve really got to, we’ve got to do something here. Ryan: So, I mean, I think we kind of touched on it, but, like, what do you hope the world learns from this tragedy? Stacy: I hope the world learns to act more communally, to think more about, you know, your neighbours, and that maybe you don’t need three cars, if your neighbour is starving to death. I mean just, you know, just I hope that there are both people’s individual attitudes and also some of our systems are changed in a way that more people have more and fewer people have too much. Ryan: Yeah. Yeah, I can agree with that. It definitely sounds like a good goal. I wanna thank you for sort of sharing this little window into your part of the world because I definitely wasn’t reading in the media about the Bay area except for the story my partner did. So, thank you so much and I’m sure we’ll be talking again like we have been off and on in various ways, and, yeah, I hope you have a, wait, no. It’s night there, right? Sort of? Stacy: Not quite. It’s 4:30. Ryan: Okay. Well I hope the rest of your evening goes well, and I will talk to you again in some form. Stacy: Bye.The post #OurNewNormal | Stacy Owens of Half Moon Bay, California first appeared on T.O.F.U. Magazine.
79 minutes | May 1, 2020
#OurNewNormal | Michael Harren of New York, New York
Originally streamed live on Facebook on April 21, 2020, the next episode in the #OurNewNormal series (and the first episode of the new season) involves Michael Harren sharing a bit of what his life is like in New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic. From shifting his music lessons online to realizing just how much has become routine already, Michael and I touch on plenty of things that make up his new normal. To find out more about Michael, please visit his website here. The post #OurNewNormal | Michael Harren of New York, New York first appeared on T.O.F.U. Magazine.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2022