Strange days are upon us. As ancient as I am, I cannot recall ever having lived through anything like the past few weeks.
We’re taking steps here in New Mexico, like everywhere else.
Meow Wolf is closed. A wise precaution, given the huge size of the crowds that customarily gather daily to see the House of Eternal Return. MW draws people from all over the country, indeed all over the world, and it is very much a hands-on exhibit where visitors are encouraged to touch everything and go everywhere. Shutting it down promptly was a good move.
As of today, I am also closing the Jean Cocteau Cinema. The JCC only has a seating capacity of 130, and we achieve that no more than three or four times a year; attendance at the theatre and the bar is usually well below the state-mandated cap of 50. Even so, why take chances? I prefer to err on the side of caution, so we’re shutting down the theatre until April 15, at which time we will take stock and re-evaluate. Honestly, I have no idea where things will stand in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the US, or the world in a month’s time. Things have been changing so fast. But our intent is to keep the theatre closed until the relevant authorities tell us that it is safe to reopen.
I am also shutting down my non-profit, the Stagecoach Foundation, for the duration. Stagecoach customarily holds classes and workshops in various aspects of film and television production, for kids aspiring to have careers in the entertainment industry, but we won’t be having any while the coronavirus is still raging.
Despite the shutdowns, we will continue to pay our employees at Stagecoach and the Jean Cocteau, for the foreseeable future.
We are keeping our bookstore, Beastly Books, open for the time being. The bookstore never has more than a handful of customers at any one time, except for author events — and we’re cancelling or postponing all of the signings and readings we had scheduled. We have stocked the store with disinfectants and sanitizers, and we will be carefully monitoring the situation going forward. If it seems best to shut the bookstore too, we will do that.
Meanwhile, however, our mail order service will also remain open. With quarantines, lockdowns, and social isolation on the menu everywhere, and all the usual entertainment venues closing their doors, reading is the best way to pass the empty hours. If you need a few books to get you through the next month or so and distract you from all that is going on in the world, we have some great reads on offer, and ALL our books are autographed. Have a browse at https://jeancocteaucinema.com/product-category/signed-books/
For those of you who may be concerned for me personally… yes, I am aware that I am very much in the most vulnerable population, given my age and physical condition. But I feel fine at the moment, and we are taking all sensible precautions. I am off by myself in a remote isolated location, attended by one of my staff, and I’m not going in to town or seeing anyone. Truth be told, I am spending more time in Westeros than in the real world, writing every day. Things are pretty grim in the Seven Kingdoms… but maybe not as grim as they may become here.
Some days, watching the news, I cannot help feeling as if we are all now living in a science fiction novel. But not, alas, the sort of science fiction novel that I dreamed of living in when I was a kid, the one with the cities on the Moon, colonies on Mars, household robots programmed with the Three Laws, and flying cars. I never liked the pandemic stories half so well…
Let us hope we all come through this safe and sound. Stay well, my friends. Better to be safe than sorry.
Current Mood: stressed