Sheltering in place during the coronavirus pandemic, I’m tucked away into my bedroom, where my time is defined by solitude and screens as I move between projects. Right now, I am working at my desk on various tasks: responding to emails, returning phone calls, setting up meetings. In the background, my radio hums quietly, the dial turned to the local public radio channel.
At the turn of the hour, the programming shifts to the sounds of a news conference. I am hearing a report from the state about the novel coronavirus pandemic situation. Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, is speaking. Her tone is serious. I am half-listening, while my gaze moves from my laptop screen to the paper on my desk and I work to check tasks off my to-do list for the day — May 5, 2020.