Saturday, May. 02, 2020 - 10:35 am.
Looks like I had another succesful week, it being a four-day week as the cherry on top. I got proper work done at my job. I supervised my two thesis groups. The last of my three scientific papers waiting for publication was finally published. So was my column about how my home country's government is contributing to a sort of moral distancing between its citizens
(i.e. people are being abused and beaten by the police; one man was even shot in the legs, plural; those with the virus or confined in "contagion centers" for over 40+ days(!) or who are not being allowed back into the country are told by fellow citizens to suck it up, they had it coming, and to stop being ungrateful. If you're suspected to have the virus, you're a criminal; if you can't stock up on groceries for a week and need to leave the house to keep earning money, per the president's words, you're just disobedient and conceited).
Ugh. I lost track of what I was saying due to that huge parenthesis, which doesn't even begin to cover how bad things are in my home country. I don't like to talk about my country here, but I'm angry and worried. The dictatorship is taking form, to the surprise of no one. There's a lot of people hating, and there's also a lot of people going hungry, and in between not the slightest sensible measure to contain the virus. I'm so terrified for my family and friends there. Luckily most of them are in a comfortable enough position to stay home for days, but stepping out is a risk to be taken to a "contagion center" or being bribed or abused by cops or soldiers who are guarding the streets.
I got some nice feedback on my column, which rarely happens. I mean, it was like three or four positive comments directly addressed to me, one even by a stranger, so that was nice. I know I'm just preaching to the choir with what I write, but I want to think that what I say supports the choir in their fight, even in some small way.
Also, I finally gave some tangible help: I bought groceries for sex workers in my home country. They have always struggled to feed their families but now even more so due to the pandemic. It took my friend Virginia and her contact a week to figure out how I could help them, because PayPal doesn't work in my home country to get money. In the end, I did the shopping online myself at a supermarket and my friend's contact will pick up the order (it should be ready tomorrow), and then deliver it to the workers and their families.
The lockdown was lifted in this city on Thursday night, tentatively for a week. Some measures remain in place, though. I'm not sure what to say about people, some will remain careful and others will just flock outside. Rich people are the worst, demanding that the malls reopen (they did) and then standing in line with children to get a haircut. It's difficult to make a generalized judgement about the people outside, so it's just best not to. Some need to make a living regardless of their fear of catching the virus, others are just selfish and spoiled and act like they're above getting ill.
Anyway, yesterday our friend R came over for a quick coffee. It was nice having someone over again. Even our ginger cat, the friendly one, seemed particularly delighted to see a giant monkey that wasn't Andrew or me. Also, R brought us cupcakes with weed. Weed from his brother, cupcakes from his girlfriend, A., who is one of my closest friends here.
She sometimes asks me to help her translating abstracts. Usually I don't charge her, though she asks me to. During the lockdown she sent me some tasks and I told her to pay me in sweets, and lastly, when the bill kept getting longer, I asked her to make a donation to the local animal rescue group (she, like me, pursues the cause of animal protection). They too are struggling to have an income to take on the high rates of animal abandoment and abuse in the city.
So anyway, I got paid in weed cupcakes! I was told to eat one fourth of the cupcake, and I did last night, but nothing happened. Maybe because I'd drank wine before that and I was just watching Grace & Frankie. Andrew started smoking weed since we returned from the UK, though just once every month or two. I don't smoke, hence the cupcake form. And I've never been high, so I'm a little scared about how that feels. But since nothing happened last night, I'll have half a cupcake today.
I've been feeling like my bisexual identity has a lot of salience lately. I suppose this is a weird thing to say, but that's identity salience for you. I don't know where it's coming from, but it feels nice. And speaking of which, one of my thesis groups requested that we have a meeting unrelated to the thesis to "get to know each other", and inside I was "bitch, I don't get paid for chitchat", but yeah, yeah, rapport with students and all that. I'm aware that students need extra support during lockdown.
I'm thinking that maybe they'll ask why I'm interested in studying LGBTI issues, and I haven't decided whether to come out to them. I'd like to, just not via videoconference. The other thesis group did some serious bi-erasure in their latest draft, and I was reminded that indeed it would have been nice to build rapport face-to-face, and maybe come out to them so they would not fucking forget that it's not a homo-straight binary.
Alright, this is me for now. At the moment, I have no writing assignments. Huh. I suppose I'll take it easy this weekend. I have lots of things to read, and a few books I ordered are on their way. They should arrive to Chile in a week or so, and then from the point of entry of this country to my city, they should take about six months *skull emoji*. I mean, hopefully less than that! But that's also likely.