This front porch picture was taken back in 2018.
A few weeks before we saw the COVID-19 pandemic hit North America, I had written a post on my Instagram about how overwhelmed and burnt-out I was feeling. I was practically begging for more balance in my life, but wasn't sure how to go about it. That being said, I've taken this opportunity to recharge, taking things slowly...making gnocchi from scratch, having long baths, journaling, dusting off my old film camera, and digitally reconnecting with friends & family I haven't spoken to in years. All the things I never had time for before.
But it comes at an expense, and everyday someone loses a grandparent, a parent, a child, a friend. Unable to console each other, hug their loved ones, or host a proper celebration of life.
I keep hearing "look at all of those who HAVE RECOVERED!" - which is a glimmer of hope, but quite frankly, 1 death is 1 too many if you ask me. So as I sit here, wondering if my business will ever be the same, wondering if I'll be able to pay my rent - I am grateful. Grateful for my health, and the ability to stay safe at home. Grateful for the front-line workers; whether it means nurses, transit drives, grocers, pet store clerks, delivery persons, or anyone in-between; who is helping us get through all of this.
Now amongst feeling trapped, and feeling the need to document what was happening, the "Porch Sessions" movement was born. It is quite literally how it sounds: photographers capturing families sitting on their front stoop, keeping a distance between the subject matter and the creator. Cute, right?
I've had a few family members and friends reach out to me and ask me my thoughts on the wildly popular front porch sessions, or if I was going to participate in it, and here is my opinion...
Now this isn't meant to shame anyone who is participating in the trend. I appreciate & understand that you want to dive in creatively, or give back to your community during this difficult time; but there's just too much at risk.
We don't know enough yet, COVID-19 has not even been around for a year. Despite all the research that's been done, we don't even know the long-term effects of the illness. New developments are being shared each day. We have now learnt that it can live on some surfaces for hours, or even DAYS. In fact, just last night I read that the '6 foot social distancing stance' may not be enough, and that there's new information that it could travel as much as 27 feet, and stay air born for lengthy periods of time. Social distancing protocols aren't put in place so that you can still hangout with your neighbours; it's put in place so that if we NEED to venture out to get groceries, or other necessities, we're lowering our risk of infection.
Can you stomach the thought of unknowingly carrying the virus from family to family, during porch sessions? Or bringing it home to your own family? Because I can't.
Now if that isn't enough to scare you, I've also heard rumours that your liability insurance will be void if you participate in these sessions, and you might be disqualified from receiving financial assitance during this time.
Lastly, as many people have stated, and I will shout this from the rooftop if I have to, the longer we don't comply, the longer this will go on - and I think we're all optimistically hoping this is over by the end of May, so we can go out and enjoy the summer, yes? We just need to put life on pause right now, because as scary as it is, there are worse thing that could happen then having your business closed for months.
So I hope everyone is doing their best to stay home, and staying safe. When all of this is over, I can't wait to hug each and every one of you.