July 10, 2020

Today I took a leave from work to not only catch up with deadlines that have piled up, but to create space to deal with the reason why they did. "I have not been mentally there the past days", I told our editorial head. Last night I stayed up until past 1 am trying to work. Yet, despite how easy (though tedious) it is to read through submissions, edit them, and send out approval or rejection letters, the cursor just kept blinking. And I just kept staring.

It's easier for me, because I didn't lose my job. I am still earning like I used to. I live somewhere where I am allowed to go outside for errands. But still, four months in, with nearly 53,000 COVID-19 cases - some of which are starting to spill to the once COVID-free town I live in - and a very bleak future led by an inept and apathetic government, I can feel hopelessness and intense anxiety creeping in slowly from fringes to center.

I wish I could live not caring about what's happening. I wish I could remain apolitical the way I did the first two decades of my life. But the fact is I can't. #empathproblems

I care first and foremost because I am a mother. My kid deserves better. I decided to have her and that makes me responsible, in part, for the world I brought her into. I care because I feel, and it's natural for humans to empathize. I care because I believe that in the end, it is collective caring that breaks the wheel created by the powerful and corrupt. A tad idealist, I agree. But in a world that is the very opposite of ideal for living, I don't think it's too much to ask for some.

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