I woke up in a cold sweat a few nights ago and jumped out of bed with a sudden and motivated call to action.

“Leg cramp?” my wife murmured.

“Go back to bed,” I told her. “I need to plug my camera batteries in.”

This year — which will probably be remembered as the Golden Age of COVID-19 — most of my commercial and creative video work dried up. Thankfully, it was not my only source of income, but at least as far as work goes, it was a major source of joy and satisfaction.

Working from home at a desk all day long, communicating through webcams and group messages and all this — this is not how human beings work. We didn’t build the pyramids remotely. We didn’t go to the moon by falling asleep in Zoom meetings with each other. Quarantine is absolutely necessary to public health during a pandemic, there’s no question about that. But, just what is it doing to our mental health? (Hint: It’s not good.)

Sometimes, I think about building stages and lighting grids and camera rigs and shooting big, corporate powerpoint presentations in big, beautiful hotel ballrooms.

This is what CoronaVirus2020 has done to me: instead of daydreaming about taking a few days off next month in order to work on a screenplay — now, I daydream about long days unloading trucks and connecting beams of truss together and running miles and miles of cables everywhere. What the hell is wrong with me?

Although I haven’t caught COVID-19 yet, I am obviously deeply infected with CoronaVirus2020 of the brain. One night, while dozing off, I realized that couldn’t remember how long it had been since I’d even tested my camera batteries, let alone charged them or discharged them.

And so, I jumped out of bed, startled my wife, and then went and plugged them in. One was completely drained and now it’s dead. The other three are just fine. Anyway, maybe it’s not the most interesting story in the world, but the point is this:

Don’t forget to take care of your camera during the down-times. You’ll be using it again soon enough.

Also, take care of yourself, while you’re at it. Same argument.

Jax Stafford
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