Guest post by Jonna Huseman

What is your profession/involvement in the community?
Owner of Bump ‘n Grind, vice president of South Silver Spring Neighborhood Association, dad.

How has your life changed since the community has been impacted by Coronavirus?
I still wake up, go to the bathroom, make, and eat breakfast. The rest of it is completely up in the air and pretty different. Kids home, wife home, business shuttered, routines altered…

Are you working more or less?
During those first couple weeks, things were really hectic as we pivoted the business from retail to online/delivery…I can’t believe I just used that word, but that’s the best descriptor of what happened. We’ve gotten into a bit of a daily rhythm, which has helped create some routine to the day, but there are always things that need tending and doing, ideas that need fleshing out. That was the case pre-COVID as well. It’s honestly tough to say if I’m working more or less. I work a lot, but always have. Thankfully my work inspires me and I like it.
What are you most afraid of?
Outside of losing a loved one, and watching people suffer, personally, the main thing is my business’s landlord being unreasonable and forcing me to make a really tough decision. 

What are you most hopeful for?
I have a ton of hope. I hope that a lot of people realize that getting back to “normal” might not be the best objective, that we can and should do better for our collective selves and each other. This is an amazing time. It’s exhausting and exhilarating, draining and invigorating to watch people and society ask core questions, and have the space and time to digest those questions and get deep. That’s wonderful to watch, experience, be a part of, and I think we’re only now starting to have the space to get really philosophical. Now that we’re getting comfortable with Zoom classes, being in our underwear until 11 a.m., and forgetting what day of the week it is. Watching the planet breathe, seeing people walk with their heads up, smile. I know there’s a lot of anxiety out there, stress and fear, but I feel that holding all of those emotions is a layer of “everything’s going to be all right. We’re going to get through this, grow up and evolve.” That’s my hope at least—that we take a hard long look at the roots, what we’ve been up to recently, what’s important, and what we want to create. Hopefully we come out of this a more just, compassionate, and sustainable society. That’s what I’m going to be working towards. 
What has been the most challenging part of this experience for you? 
1. HOMESCHOOLING! Teachers are amazing. Schools are under appreciated. Having said that, I wish the schools interacted with my kids for more than an hour each day. It’s tough having to parent that much while trying to address the additional mayhem and responsibilities out there.
2. Frustrations with leadership and government.
3. No hugs, high fives, gatherings 🙁 
Is there anything—even a tiny thing—you enjoy or like about sheltering in place?
I like a lot of it, to be honest. Spending more time with the fam is cool, except when I want them to leave me alone 🙂 I like watching the planet breathe deep and cleanse. The pollution and fog that is leaving the skies, I feel, is also leaving our brains. I’m having some great, unrushed conversations with people. I like spending more time with my books and records. I banged out a Corona Funk mix in conjunction with a new coffee we released: 

​I’m liking the lessons of letting go and slowing down. I’ve connected with a lot of old friends and everyone is much more appreciative of the little things that make life amazing and special. 
What do you think society as a whole will learn from this experience?
I laid out my hope, above. It’s what I want and will work towards. The reality, in my opinion, is that there’s still a lot to unfold and I think we’re going to go through several additional societal shifts over the next year before a vaccine is made, allowing us to settle into a new reality. It’s way too early to tell and there is definitely the potential for things to go to hell in a hand basket. I’m down with, and enjoy, a bit of mayhem and chaos, but hopefully science, sanity, and humanity prevail. 

How are you coping with stress/taking care of yourself?
Eating, music, books, walks, exploring new areas of the neighborhood, riding my onewheel, and talking with friends and family.  Getting outside is crucial. Praise Jah that this is happening during spring!

When future generations ask, what will you tell them about this time in your life?
YOU SHOULDA BEEN THERE! IT WAS WILD, MAN! My friend wrote, “Amazing times: 7.6 billion people are locked inside because someone ate a bat. The person leading our nation through this crisis is a 5-year-old and you can get all the advice you need about the situation from the Twitter account of a company that sells frozen cheese steak meat.”

Amazing times! I’m truly thankful to be alive right now. It’s weird to say I’m enjoying it, but I find the unknown a bit exhilarating, I see a lot of opportunity and I believe in “us.” This is the biggest global event since WWII—something that everyone on this planet can and will relate to. It is hopefully the galvanizing moment that connects us. Unfortunately, we’ve got Trump instead of FDR, but this will outlast him. Real leadership is emerging. Humanism is emerging. I hope it continues to grow and guide us through these times and into the future.  

What would you like your friends and neighbors in Silver Spring/Montgomery County to know?
You all are amazing. Keep crushing it! I started a neighborhood business, in my neighborhood, built on three pillars: Coffee. Music. Community. The community is and has really come through. Ordering beans, records, swag has helped keep the wheels turning. They also came strong in our effort to provide coffee to the frontline workers and staff at Holy Cross. We’re currently working on doing the same for Shepherd’s Table, who take care of some of our most vulnerable neighbors and could use your support.

We got this. We will get through this, but we need to do what we can, be smart, considerate, and take care of each other. Please don’t get overwhelmed; so much is simply out of your control. You can control your attitude, your breath, and how you treat others. Focus on that, and every now and then, turn the volume up and have a little dance 🙂

Jonna Huseman is a family photographer who serves Silver Spring and beyond. During the COVID-19 crisis, she is using her free time to document the lives of friends and neighbors living through the pandemic.

Author’s note: Over the coming days and weeks I am documenting the lives of dozens of members of the Silver Spring and Takoma Park community. My goal is to talk to teachers and students, religious leaders, small business owners, frontline workers, parents, elected leaders, and private citizens. I want to learn about our collective hopes and dreams, our biggest challenges, and our greatest triumphs. Mostly, I want to build connection and create community at a time when we need it the most. If you live or work in Silver Spring or Takoma Park and are interested in having your life documented at this time—or know someone who has a unique experience and is willing to share—please contact me. To all those who have made this project possible, including Source of the Spring, I thank you for your time and generosity. To the neighbors who will respond in the future, I look forward to getting to know you. And to everyone reading—stay healthy and safe. We will make it through.

Mike Diegel