And on the seventh month…we couldn’t rest easy, because the COVID-19 pandemic’s still going on – but, I think, we have managed to carry on, now, haven’t we.
I mean, yeah, everywhere around the world there is some sort of conflict as I type, but the planet’s filled with people who simply shine. That’s my friend Liz Newman.
Liz and I met in Miami, at some fancy event, when we were both working for some of the outlets out there. Such a good, collaborative time with her, always, from the get-go. I was pretty, pretty sure we met late into my Miami years, early in 2012, but then I remembered we saw Maroon 5 and Flo Rida at the iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach the previous summer. Aurora Dominguez was there! Good times, indeed.
This many years later, with me on the move at first and then landing on the West Coast and with her relocating as well, to Tampa, Fla., I’ve kept up with Liz via the socials, because she’s an excellent writer and content creator and such a kind and willing sounding board whenever I’ve needed her wisdom as a freelancer. We caught up recently.
King of Cups: How have you been doing this season of self-isolation?
Liz Newman: Is it OK to say terrible? Kidding, I mean, it’s just an all-over-the-place time emotionally. And I think everyone is experiencing quarantine in phases. Phase one was the “OK, this isn’t so bad” phase – more Netflix without the guilt, upping my baking game – and ALWAYS having an excuse to flake on any plans. (Sorry, I have a cough!) But then, the isolation kicks in. And so does the excess banana bread consumption; it hits you how long it’s been since you’ve been to happy hour with your friends. Or even seen them. Your routine feels off; you can’t go to your normal workout classes, and start feeling trapped in your house. And before you know it you’re picking fights with your significant other because you’re losing your mind.
King of Cups: How are things with the family and/or work?
Liz Newman: Well my work is rooted heavily in lifestyle and hospitality content – i.e., restaurants and travel – so yeah, not great. I’ve kept the majority of my clients and writing gigs, but most have just slowed down, because, when you write about where to travel, eat – and do social media/digital content for restaurants that are facing closures – how can they not?
King of Cups: Looking within, what trait do you feel has helped you carry on the most?
Liz Newman: My need for order and routine has been huge when it comes to me not completely losing it. Luckily, I’ve worked from home the majority of my career, so I’m used to doing this for myself, but this has presented a new level of challenges. I keep a calendar and schedule things every week, no matter how small, without some semblance of a routine, everything will blend together more than it already is.
King of Cups: What have you noticed is most needed in your community?
Liz Newman: Support. It may sound trite, but now more than ever, you don’t know how someone is coping with all this – or how much they’re putting on a brave face. It’s safer to assume everyone is on the brink right now, and it’s probably pretty accurate. So keep that in mind before you give anyone a hard time.
King of Cups: What do you hope will be the takeaway from this moment?
Liz Newman: That health and common decency shouldn’t be political issues. Park your own agenda and think of the common good. It’s been very disheartening to see people go to war over masks, making them a “human rights” issue. If I hear someone else tell me, “Well if I get it, it’s not a big deal because I’m healthy.” If COVID had a theme, it should be,” This isn’t about you, dammit!” Your decisions affect everyone; you aren’t just wearing a mask to protect you – it’s to protect everyone.