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Joy for the Week Ahead 25 May 2020


We're entering a whole new phase.

When I heard about John Krasinski ending his “Some Good News” pandemic-lockdown-show on YouTube after eight episodes, I looked at the calendar and realized that I have already sent out nine versions of this newsletter. And who am I to surpass John Krasinski!

But seriously, my Monday newsletters were meant to buoy our spirits at a time when many of us were stuck inside, reading scary news coming out of Italy and New York City, and without any sense of when this would end and where we would end up. And now that we are on the other side of national and international lockdown, we have other things to contemplate. As I went about trying to collect links for you, I've seen this all over the ‘net. It's become more difficult to find pure expressions of support and common humanity, because what we all want right now is a strategy to cope with the new world out there. We're in the next phase. We're no longer hunkering down. We're trying to figure out next steps. We're all in different places, physically and mentally and emotionally, but the common thread is: what next?

So this will be the last Monday “Joy” newsletter. Please have fun with the links below, and stay tuned for my usual Friday newsletter!

  • Erin Bromage's “viral” blog post. Dr. Erin Bromage is a comparative immunologist at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. He's written a comprehensive blog post on how the COVID19 virus spreads. The visuals are gripping. I thought I understood how viruses spread before. After all, I've got four kids! And wash your hands, etc. is the mom's mantra, right? But no, this really hit home for me. Go read this post as you make your decisions on how to live your life this summer and beyond, until a vaccine is available.
  • Living in “the new normal.” In this New York Times-sponsored YouTube video, Dr. Shan Soe-Lin from the Jackson Institute of Global Affairs at Yale tells us how to live safely as we reopen our doors and go out into the community.
  • Remember the “BBC Dad? Back in 2017, this video clip of Professor Robert Kelly being interviewed from his home via live feed went viral as his two cute children burst into his study in order to interrupt his Very Serious Political Assessment of something-or-other. I think it's now been officially replaced by this video clip of Ayala Land Malls, Inc. CEO Janylle Tupaz being interviewed by TeleRadyo while chaos breaks out behind her.
  • Roald Dahl's James and the Giant PeachJoin Taika Waititi and a LOT of famous friends in reading Roald Dahl's wonderful novel, James and the Giant Peach. This is a fundraiser for Partners in Health, a global healthcare organization. If you love Meryl Streep, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Chris and Liam Hemsworth, don't miss it!
  • What performing artists do. I somehow missed this back at the end of April, and here it is, the end of May! But better late than never. Here is “Bolero Juilliard,” a rendering of Maurice Ravel's Bolero by students and alumni of The Juilliard School in New York City. I was struck by both the generosity of the famous alumni in support of their younger colleagues, and the notion of being an artist during this pandemic. What would we do without art? When we are left with ourselves, we need art. Kudos to the artists who keep working even when they can't see the audience or hear the applause.
  • Last but not least. Recreating that epic final dance from “Dirty Dancing.” Dancer and photographer Quinn Wharton did all of this by himself, and every shot from the movie is recreated! Human creativity always wins, no matter what hardship you impose on it.

Please stick around for the Friday newsletter, which isn't a list of joy, but it's on point with what I do…write stories! I do try to include joyous writing-related tidbits, like this one (I saved it for the end of this newsletter because it had me rolling on the floor laughing…and if you love it like I do, you DEFINITELY need to stay on for the Friday books newsletter! Please tell me you think this is funny! (shout-out to Teri Case, whose sense of humor has kept me giggling!)

Have a good week!

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