We all have our story to tell

We all have our story to tell about how we see the current situation with the Corona virus. I will share some of mine in a moment, but want to begin with telling you my decision for the immediate future. I would like to have my monthly dues continue to be charged as an automatic payment during this closure period. I hope other senior students will also continue to pay dues, if they are able to at this time. Ben and I will also be sending a donation to TCI in hopes it will help Two Cranes weather this major financial set back. I look forward to participating in some stick and tai chi in the park, as the weather improves.

I appreciate the magnitude of the difficult decisions Two Cranes is having to make at this time. For me, like for so many of us in the community, Aikido is a source of joy and deep centering. Sunday nights have always been such a laboratory of group experimentation, trying new things, stealing/sharing ideas and taking the inspirations from the evening into the coming week. Wednesday noon class has been a longstanding gift to see what you are studying and bringing back to the community from your travels. I am so grateful to have had the flexibility to train in the Monday noon class with Dan McAbee, where a small loyal group of us reap the benefits of his wonderful teaching and laser eye for detail. I am already missing the Monday afternoon kids' classes and the rich experience of watching them grow and connect with Aikido. My passion for Aikido runs deeps and I hold the Two Cranes dojo close to my heart.

I agree with the decision to close the dojo for this period of time. To be clear, I am not panicking or anxious. Perhaps because I have a Master's in Public Administration and worked in healthcare and in public health for ~20 years, it seems important for the greater good and is the socially responsible action.

Around March 1st Ben and I watched some late-night comedy when I noticed a suggested video on the side panel. It appeared to be informational, not comedy, but I was curious. The piece turned out to be about the Wuhan, China mandatory quarantine implementation produced by the Australian National Broadcast System. This was a wakeup call. After we watched this, we stared at each other in disbelief. China's response, like ours, was slow. Precious time was lost. They tried to silence the scientists who raised concerns. Then when that failed the actions were draconian. Here is the link to the program:    

https://www.abc.net.au/4corners/coronavirus/11996398  

A day later my close friend Bonnie in Australia sent me a link to the program and was stunned to hear we'd already seen it. Some of the people in the program are colleagues of her husband John who is an applied mathematics professor at University of New South Wales in Sydney. The show got my attention, I did not panic or become hysterical, but I was both grateful that we do not live in a country that has such controls and can exert such a crackdown on the populace. However, I was suddenly very concerned that we were similarly slow to react and the cat was already out of the bag, so to speak.

I was struggling with this information and feeling like most people around me did not feel the same level of concern. I decided to go watch John Bryant's test on Saturday 3/8, showing up just in time and leaving shortly afterwards. There were about 20-25 people on the mat. I left feeling like I was being overcautious compared to people around me. I took the long way home, taking the opportunity to get in a long walk and consider the situation we were in, being at the epicenter of the US COVID-19 outbreak. A few minutes into the walk I got a call from our oldest daughter Allison, who was on a run in Bellingham and wanted to connect me with her friend Anna who is working on a PhD in Genome Sciences at the UW. I am walking in Maple Leaf, talking with Allison who is running in Bellingham and Anna who is running in Wallingford. Allison says she wants Anna to tell me about her work and to let me know I am not over-reacting or being over cautious. It turns out Anna is working in the Shendure Lab at the UW led by a woman named Lea Starita, who is one of the people I ran across in a NYT article a couple days later which shed light on Anna's work and perspective. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/10/us/coronavirus-testing-delays.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article   

On Monday March 9th I decided the adult noon class seemed reasonable to attend, since it is always a small class. Nor was I ready to let go of my kids' class commitment that afternoon. Besides the class would likely be less than 10 kids. Wednesday, I decided not to go to class since it is usually over ten people, which was the rule of thumb I was aspiring to follow. Then I realized I had committed to be at Mary Child's mock test, so headed off, the whole time trying to compose a message in my mind to tell Sara I needed to take a break, as I was increasingly feeling that we needed to stop training. Then after class, came the announcement about closing the kid's program until the end of the month. Then a later announcement followed, extending the time and including the adult program.

My college roommate ended up cancelling her annual St. Patrick's Day Party and sent this link that guided her decision: https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca.

We will get through this. It will be interesting to see how we look back on it a year from now.

Nancy Maranville has trained at Two Cranes Aikido for twenty years and has a third-degree black belt (Sandan). Nancy found Aikido initially as an activity with her children, never expecting such a profound addition to her life and a deep passion. She teaches in the children’s program, and occasionally in adult classes. She takes great delight in watching young people explore and develop self-awareness through their training. Nancy has a Masters in Public Administration and worked in quality improvement in healthcare and in public health for twenty years.

Nancy Maranville