Office of the VP for Communications – Keeping alumni and friends connected to U-M

Cancel culture sucks

Bonbons and soap operas

Wikipedia tells us that cancel culture describes a form of boycott in which someone (usually a celebrity) who has shared a questionable or unpopular opinion, or has had behavior that is perceived to be either offensive or problematic is “canceled.” They are completely boycotted by many of their followers or supporters.

Well, it seems COVID-19, that evil bug that brought us coronavirus, has taken it one step further, literally canceling our culture as we ride out this global pandemic.

Michigan News staff

The Michigan News weekly staff meeting, via video, was the highlight of my week. Babies! (Image: Laura Lessnau, bottom right corner.)

It’s only been a few weeks, but coronavirus has shut down virtually every activity that once brought us joy: sports, happy hour, graduation, dinner parties, prom, hugs, and yes, even work.

This past week was my first experience working from home for an extended period. It’s never been an ideal scenario for me so I choose not to do it, even when the boss offers it as an option. I am a social person, chattier than most. I love to laugh in the stairwell, discuss brain-melting reality TV with coworkers, and dine out in Ann Arbor. I like the structure of the office and the rhythm of the workday. I need a boss checking up on me.

I am so fortunate to remain healthy and employed, working with and for people I respect and admire. But that also means I miss them terribly. The chipmunk on my deck is a welcome daily visitor as my husband and I strive not to “disturb” one another during working hours.

I used to say I couldn’t work from home because I had no self-discipline. I was sure I would devolve into a couch potato who ate bonbons and watched soap operas. This week, I surprised myself and discovered I can be productive, even working solo.

Fortunately for me, I have no access to bonbons, nor do I even understand what they are. And, as it turns out, most soap operas have long since been canceled. At least I have that going for me.

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