Normal shopping isn’t hoarding.
Hoarding is an obsessive compulsive behaviour and a response to anxiety. The best way to decide whether what you’re doing is hoarding or just routine, is to sit and imagine not buying those 10 loaves of bread you have in your trolley. If it causes you real distress (ie panic attack, crying, etc) it’s hoarding.
Thing is, in these times we’re all dealing with real anxiety, and most people don’t know how to manage it. The idea of buying and having lots of things is soothing for people trained to find pleasure in shopping. So it’s only to be expected. I imagine a lot people buying ‘extra’ plan to share it with family or legit keep it for an unpredictable emergency. They feel safer with a stockpile.
A lot of white m/c australians have never had to deal with real shortages, so they’re stocking up on the wrong things. Here in Ashfield where we’re from Nepal, China, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, Poland, etc, a lot of people know how to deal with scarcity, so they’re always stocked up, and with the right things. Rice, preserved food, spices to give flavour to plain food. And they don’t waste food.
Hoarding is not good, but i see it as a bellweather for community feeling.
Here our supermarkets (preserve of m/c people) are a mess, but our Asian grocers are not.
So, because you can’t do anything about other people, check yourself. Be mindful of your purchasing. One extra loaf is bread is fine (esp if you freeze any extra). But be aware: if you get to three or four, check your general anxiety and wellbeing. Buying excessive amounts will tell you how your anxiety levels are.
But don’t judge yourself harshly for being a sensible housekeeper.
Dance people! Argh! You’re home, you can’t dance or see your mates, you are going nuts. What can you do?
If only we had a pool of highly motivated, experienced volunteers and managerial types with time on their hands. If only we had an extensive network of local, national, and international people who liked doing community stuff. If only we had fb groups and email lists and instagram accounts! IF ONLY.
Wait. We DO.
The international lindy hop community is fully sick on the whole organisation thing.
Need a group of tired and confused people sorted into groups quickly and efficiently? Have I got the class-levels-audition judge or competitor marshall for YOU.
Need someone who can organise food and beds for hundreds of people? Have I got the housing coordinator or catering team for YOU.
Need someone who can balance a tight budget, weedle cash out of reluctant individuals, or write a shit-hot grant application? I have the event organisers for YOU.
I haven’t had a chance to think about this properly, yet, but I do know there are a lot of worried, disheartened people in my immediate community looking for something to _do_ to help. Why not put your big brains to work?
Here are a couple of things I’ve come up with:
Hassle our MPs:
– If the dole (newstart, pension, etc) is increased to a liveable wage, we’ll all be better off when we lose a lot more jobs. People with an income spend money, and that means they feed money into the economy. Which is good for all of us, not just those of us who sell bread or run restaurants.
-> So we want to hassle our members of parliament about this. Write letters. Send emails. Get tapping, folk.
Support our local charities:
– Local charities like The Exodus Foundation and Addison Road Community Centre have had a huge increase of people coming in for help in the past month. They need food, basic health stuff (TP, pads, etc), and they need volunteers.
– Lots of us are going to be needing these services soon.
-> So we need to take our extra groceries down there in person. This will give us a chance to scope out the place, and get familiar. Which will make it easier to…
-> Volunteer at places like Exodus or Addison Road. They always need people to do jobs like making food, cleaning up, driving cars, washing things, and so on.
It kind of sucks at the moment, but things will probably get worse. BUT there are things we can do. And the international dance community is kind of crazily competent. I mean, we operate huge cultural events with virtually no government funding. I’d like to see the Australian Ballet pull off the shit _we’re_ capable of!
Now you have all that free time on your hands ( :D ), have you considered mobilising to help local charities? It’ll help you feel less worried, and be a nice social connection to replace dancing <3 Places like the Addison Road Community Centre food bank and the Exodus foundation need food for people who are in dire straits.
So while you’re out for a bit of panic-buying, why not grab some ring pull cans, porridge sachets, all those foods you can eat if you’re homeless and only have access to boiling water?
I’m going to see if they need things like basic clothes, as I’m going hard on the lockdown-sewing.
Time to cancel your partner dance classes, Sydney. Gotta flatten that curve.
I know. I’m usually all in favour of curves. The more the better. But not this time.
Our government is only enforcing a ban on gatherings of 500 or more people at the moment. But they’re normal people, not lindy hoppers or (god forbid) balboa and blues dancers. Who don’t seem to recognise personal space boundaries.
As partner dancers we touch a lot more than non-dancing crowds.
We are generally pretty good at sharing germs, but in this moment, we’re going to be too good. Let’s aim to be rubbish at sharing germs. Aim low, Sydney, aim low.
COVID-19 is spread through ‘respiratory droplets’ (drops of wet stuff from our mouths and noses), and through physical contact. When we dance, we often have our mouths open as we laugh and smile, we sweat a lot, we are constantly touching our faces, wiping off sweat, etc etc. Then we wipe those droplets into our orifices, and all over our environment. We blow them onto chairs and tables and sinks and phones and bags and dance shoes. And then it can live there for a few days.
Soz, but solo jazz will not stop us germing all over each other. Solo jazzers are epic respiratory droplet distributors.
Dancing one metre or even two metres apart isn’t going to cut it. Yes, that snot goob flew out of your nose and onto a chair or door handle or table. And someone else will touch it. Or that time you laughed, and threw your head back? You sprayed mouth goobs all over the room. And that sweaty towel you rubbed over your eyes and mouth and nose and face? You’ve just left it on the table. Or your bag. And now you’re touching someone’s hand. EEEEk. Even in a time of un-pandemic, that’s gross.
The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to avoid transmission through direct contact. No touchy.
And no blowing respiratory droplets onto other people.
Here are the important rules:
- Wash your hands a lot. With soap and water, for 20 seconds.
- Practice social distancing.
- If you’ve just come home from overseas, you have to quarantine yourself at home for 14 days.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and then wash your hand immediately. With soap and water
- Stay in contact with your dance buddies using the Internet.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing is an effective measure, but it is recognised that it cannot be practised in all situations and the aim is to generally reduce potential for transmission.
While practising social distancing, people can travel to work (including public transport). For non-essential activities outside the workplace or attendance at schools, universities and childcare – social distancing includes:
– avoiding crowds and mass gatherings where it is difficult to keep the appropriate distance away from others
THIS ONE: THIS IS US, DANCERS:
– avoiding small gatherings in enclosed spaces, for example family celebrations
> WE ARE GERMY. LIKE FAMILY IN AN ENCLOSED SPACE.
THIS IS ALSO US!
– attempting to keep a distance of 1.5 metres between themselves and other people where possible, for example when they are out and about in public place.
>GOOD LUCK KEEPING 1.5M BETWEEN YOU AND A BALBOA DANCER, FREND.
AND US AGAIN!!
– avoiding shaking hands, hugging, or kissing other people
> JUST TRY NOT TO SHAKE HANDS IWHT A LINDY HOPPER. I DARE YOU.
– avoiding visiting vulnerable people, such as those in aged care facilities or hospitals, infants, or people with compromised immune systems due to illness or medical treatment.
Don’t freak about losing your students or your venue or any of that stuff.
You will lose money. That’s going to happen.
You can keep in contact with your students using fb groups, and by starting a ‘community’ (discussion on your fb page).
Keep posting on your fb page, and engage people in conversation online.
Post little videos of yourself talking about dance (keep it short!) and your tips for practicing at home.
Prepare for your triumphant return by rebooting some aspects of your business (ever wanted to rejig your teaching strategies? Now’s the time). Rethink your business plan. Start developing a lovely new promotional strategy.
MOST OF ALL
Keep in contact with other teachers and organisers, and get some virtual hand holding and support. Sydney is a ridiculously friendly scene, considering how many different schools and businesses our dance community has. Heck, we’re pretty much the only city in the world that could develop a shared response to sexual assault and harassment. Remember that time in 2016 we ran a replacement exchange when SSF had a stumble? We put together an ENTIRE weekend of parties with a week’s notice. And it was GREAT.
How to go about responding to COVID-19 in Australia?
A good starting point would be to collate:
- number of cases per state/australia
- sources for daily updates from gov
- legal recommendations from gov (eg we still allowed gathering in groups atm).
- I do my usual ‘hello, thanks for your email, i will reply by [DATE]’ (usually a week) reply to emails if I don’t have a comment ready.
- I am developing a task calendar of what we’ll do when
- I’m planning out what we’ll say in our public comments, and in our correspondence to various contractors, staff, and volunteers.
Then each organisation should develop a long term plan and a short term. Even if it’s as simple as ‘we won’t close anything now, but we will reassess in (x) days. When we get to (x) we will decide.’ Then make a rough outline of jobs to be done for either closing or not closing.
Another issue: is your insurance up to date, and does it cover loss profits, health care, etc etc?
I’d also have a look at finances: do you have any bills to pay, any money owed to you.
And just go over your refund policies for classes and events and things.
-> basically get your affairs in order, so you can make informed decisions.
I’m getting a few queries about our events this year, so you will soon, too, I guess.
I personally feel I have a responsibility to present and promote a sense of calm capable professionalism, so I’m planning my responses carefully:
Luckily, we have an extensive and useful safe space policy (more than just a code of conduct), and I’m just rolling our hygiene and response-to-pandemic issues into that. We already have a developed tone (a way of speaking to people about this stuff), and we have developed a good sense of mutual trust, so I feel local dancers trust us to make sensible decisions.
I don’t want to create a sense of panic, so I’m being very careful with tone (light, but also knowledgeable), I’m using solid resources (eg WHO, Dept of Health, etc, _not_ newspaper or mass media articles), and I’m planning ahead.
I’m also thinking long term. What will we need to do to redevelop our local scene _after_ this, what will we need to do to support local bands and DJs, and what can we do to support local venues (our scene is rooted in a few key commercial spaces: Ruby’s, a dancer-run dance hall, but also a lot of live music venues).
So I’m looking at what we might need to do to restart local parties, and how we might promote our events in a post-pandemic community where people are afraid of gathering in groups. I’ve learnt a lot from talking to Christchurch organisers about how they dealt with fear after the earthquakes.
This is changing so quickly, and the panicked tone of a lot of online talk from the US and European dance world is making me feel a bit antsy, and I can see it affecting the Australian dancers, too, so I’m also limiting what and how much I read online. Official, reliable sources only for me.
Whatever you plan to do, it’s worth planning those public responses before you have to give them, so you’re not emailing and FB commenting in real time (ie in stress time).
Sharon and I met last Wednesday (9 March) to discuss this issue. We decided to cancel Jazz BANG. We also discussed things we could do to foster the local scene.
Today I put our plan to cancel into motion, sending off emails, etc.
I noticed that some of the content in our email copy had to be rewritten because things had changed so much in the past week. Last week we thought we could continue to run local dances each week. This week we have no classes or parties running in our businesses for the foreseeable future.
To actually put the cancellation into action, we had quite a long to-do list. It’s taken us a week of hard work (including international phone calls with teachers) to get to this point. But so much has changed in a week, we’ve had to rework some of the plans we made a few days ago. And it has been stressful, miserable work. Sending out these emails today has made me cry. And I’m not a big cryer. All our hard work, all the things we had planned, all the new stuff we were going to do.
But then, the thought of contributing to the spread of the disease is what decided us: I can’t bear the thought of making this situation worse. Of sending friends and loved ones home sick, to spread the illness through their own families and communities.
So please start looking at your cancellation plans now. If the international example is anything to go by, we will be locked down for many months. China is still locked down after two months, and their response has been better than Australia’s.
I’m finding this stressful and just heart breaking. All that hard work gone. All those artists out of work. Our businesses imperilled. Please reach out to your friends for a bit of hand holding and affection before you think you need it.
We had almost sold out of passes. We had some truly epic things planned with live music and performances. We had wonderful teachers booked. The band and DJ line up was fresh and exciting. We’d spend thousands of dollars already. But the thought of sending our friends home with an infection is even worse.
Hello dear friends,
We’re very sorry to have to write this to you, but we (Sharon and Sam) have decided to cancel Jazz BANG this year, due to the health crisis presented by the COVID-19 virus.
While the Australian government has not banned public gatherings yet, we cannot be sure of the situation in May. We don’t want to risk the health of our volunteers, bands, and guests – our _friends and families_. So we have decided now to protect the health and safety of the people we care about.
What’s been happening behind the scenes?
– It’s become harder to guarantee our international teachers’ access to Australia, as the government restricts entrance to the country and enforce 14 day quarantines.
– We know that transmission of COVID-19 is facilitated by lots of people coming together in big groups and touching each other. We hate the thought of spreading illness ourselves.
– We are concerned that international and interstate guests won’t be able to return home after the event, or will be quarantined when they return. Or even worse, that they will take infection home with them.
– We have already committed a certain amount of our own money to Jazz BANG, but we are at a pivotal point. Cancelling now, we reduce our potential losses. A huge loss in May would make it very difficult to run local parties and classes in the future. So we have decided to focus on protecting the economic sustainability of our local community now.
What does this mean for you?
If you have already registered for a Jazz BANG pass (and we have almost sold out of all passes, even at this early stage), we will begin refunding through Trybooking from Monday 23rd March.
Why the delay? Cancelling a big event takes almost as much work as planning one, and we have a loooong to-do list.
We are bitterly disappointed that we won’t be able to work with you, or to show you off to the dancing world. If you have recordings available for sale, please do send us the details and we will go hard on promoting them.
We were looking forward to working with new friends and old. Please keep us in mind for the future when you are planning your calendar. We would love to have you back in Sydney.
Volunteers and staff:
We have been overwhelmed (again) by Sydney dancers’ enthusiasm and determination to be a part of running a big party. We were also looking forward to working with you, and seeing just how epic your work can be. Thank you for your generosity. You humble us.
Again, we are writing with heavy hearts, but with the belief that we are making the right decision.
Sam Carroll and Sharon Hanley.
I’ve decided to be responsible and cancel the party on the 21st March:
I’m very sorry to have to write this to you, but I have decided to cancel this party on the 21st of March.
As we all know, the COVID-19 virus is moving into our communities. It is spread through ‘respiratory droplets’* (drops of wet stuff from our mouths and noses), and through physical contact. The best way to prevent its spread is to avoid transmission through direct contact.
That means: not touching lots of people or blowing respiratory droplets onto them.
While our government have not yet asked us to stop gathering in large groups, it would be responsible to remove another opportunity for us to germ on each other :D
It’s a very great shame, and I was looking forward to hearing the band, seeing you all, and dancing like a fool. But I think – this time at least – it’s best to be sensible.
*I know it sounds like a great name for a dance troupe, but: too soon.
So many event organisers, musicians, dance teachers, sound engineers losing thousands of dollars canceling events in the dance world. People in this industry really do live gig to gig.
I had thought it was a bit on the nose for organisers to ask before, but if an event you’re registered for is cancelled, please consider not accepting a refund.
Your couple of hundred dollars is a drop in the bucket for events that have already paid for flights, accommodation, visas, venue hire… not to mention still having to pay teachers a cancellation fee. A small Australian event has a budget of about $20 000, and most organisers are paying the bills from their own savings, before the registrations come in.
If you can, please do consider giving what you can from your registration refund.
My doods, i used like ten metres of paper today. But first i drew this perfect half circle with a piece of string, a pencil (H), and an awl.
Then I drew another, off-centre half circle inside it, for which i calculated the radius using MATHS.
It took me nearly thirty years, but i totally USED that high school education.