Hello book bees new and old. For those that may not be familiar with this segment, Coffee With Catherine is a monthly post on the last Sunday of the month. I touch less on my blogging–as I cover that pretty well in my monthly wrap ups–and more on my personal life, thoughts, and feelings.
And my god this month has been something.
I want to start by addressing the events of the past forty-eight hours. In response to the murder of a black man named George Floyd, there are have been protests sweeping large cities from Minneapolis where Floyd was tragically killed all the way to the city I reside in, Seattle. The policeman who killed Floyd is absolutely a murderer deserving of a higher degree of murder than third degree. The Black Lives Matter movement has been protesting the injustice of giving him a lower charge, and presumably a lower sentence. I stand with BLM and recommend donating to various funds supporting the protesters being detained and arrested across the country.
I am aware that my social media accounts associated with this blog have not been very active in the movement, and that’s largely because I also have personal accounts where I follow more activists and can see more information. I’ve been following the events from there, using what little platform I have to boost other more informed, more important voices from the movement. This is how I know best to be an ally, to not contribute negatively or performatively on a platform I have little ground to do good work on. My bookish accounts are not curated towards social activism, though I am glad to see many of my friends, followers, and mutuals are speaking out on these events.
Here is a thread of bail funds across the country. If you are able to donate financially to support protesters, please do.
It is also important to remember that these events are occurring during what is still a pandemic. Many protesters are wearing face masks, carrying sanitizer, and taking other precautions such as self isolation post-protest to keep one another safe.
It’s hard for me to believe that last month I was in lockdown and self isolation the entire month. As many of you may remember, I was laid off in mid-March when all restaurants in Seattle were ordered to close down. It was the right call but a hard one that left me without income for several weeks while the department of employment services denied my claims until emergency protocol was released to cover COVID-19 related loss of work. I was offered my position back starting in early May, when the small business loans allowed my employer to reopen for takeout and delivery. We are being incredibly careful, with masks and gloves, temperature screenings, and customers not permitted inside the building.
There is a lot of uncertainty in life, though. Washington employment services were scammed out of millions of dollars and are now investigating my claim as potentially fraudulent due to my initial rejection from claiming. I have sent them information to verify my identity and given a brief defense as to why it was not my fault I was overpaid in claims if they decide I was. Still, I’m afraid of having to repay all of the money I received in benefits. My husband and I are in a precarious situation as we push through with his immigration, a process that may look wildly different as the pandemic progresses.
This year has been….a lot. Overwhelming. I find it difficult at times to support myself, and desperate at other times to support those in greater need. I hope that every one of you is staying safe, whatever it is you are facing right now. If you are participating in the protests, I hope that you are able to avoid the violence of the police, the dangerous actions of ignorant white people, and the dangers of COVID-19 as well. If you are not able to participate in the protests, I urge you to donate to one or more of the funds I posted above, to continue to take precautions against the virus, and to support those that need us at this time.