COVID19 and Taking Away My Third Place


Hey everyone! I hope you are all doing well and surviving this crazy situation in the best way you know how. COVID19  or The Coronavirus (not sure when you use which name tbh) has come upon us and not only made people sick but done a thrashing on our entire society. Nobody has been left unharmed. We now just have to wait and see how long it will last and how we will recover/regroup.

Honestly when this all began a few days ago I was a little over-confident in my coping abilities. I thought with what I joke as my hermit lifestyle this would be easy. I work from home, am well stocked with a pantry/freezer and don’t have any kids. I kind of already did an experience like this when I tore  my MCL in 2014 and had to be bedridden for 3 months. It was all going to be easy-peazy.

Well, I am here to tell you I was wrong. While I certainly don’t have it nearly as bad as most the whole experience has been surprisingly emotional. While I am more home-bound than most people it has been eye-opening to realize how much the social interactions I did have meant to me.

Obviously the biggest loss for me is the movie theater. It is not uncommon for me to see 4-5 movies a week, if not more. I frequently love to go down to the arthouse theater and make a whole day of seeing movies. Just last week I saw 3 movies in a day:  Emma with my Mom, an early screening of My Spy (our last screening for a while), and because I knew it would be the last chance A Portrait of a Lady on Fire at the Broadway.

I saw Emma again on Sunday night and as I left the theater I started to cry.  It might sound silly to some but not having the theater is a real loss for me. As I was crying I realized the movie theater is my ‘third place’.

Sociologist Ray Oldenburg came up with the idea of the ‘third place’. Every human he surmised has 3 places- home, work and a third place. Usually this place is some type of communal experience with both familiar and new acquaintances. It’s a chance to bond with others and feel a part of a team in a different way than work.

Sometimes I go to the movies alone but even then it’s still a communal experience where I can relax and participate with others in enjoying (or not enjoying) the film. In addition, I have my community of local critics and fellow movie buff friends like Jen who goes to most of the screenings with me. Now that experience has been taken away from me and it has felt like a real loss.

Like I said, obviously many are actually suffering with illness and even death so I don’t have much cause to complain but it is a loss nonetheless. In addition, I have the added stress of speculating what the fallout of all of this will be. I don’t see how it is not completely devastating to the arts and the longer it goes the worse it will be.

Fortunately I have my podcasting which I can do right from home and that is a tremendous blessing. It allows me to connect with my fellow collaborators and cohosts and keep some degree of normalcy for myself and hopefully for the listeners as well. I am beyond grateful for both of my podcasts and I hope they can be help provide some entertainment and relaxation for you during this intense time.

For Hallmarkies Podcast click here.

For Rachel’s Reviews click here.

I was also obviously very sad to lose weekly church services. To try and have some spirituality during this time I started a series on my channel where I give a little talk and chat  about a topic with a friend of mine. Here is the first one on the virtue of kindness.


One thought on “COVID19 and Taking Away My Third Place

  1. We are on weird and potentially mentally draining times. My thoughts are with you going forward.
    Let’s hope we’ll all be looking back on this in a couple of months, wondering why we were all so nervous.

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