In the past few weeks, it seems everything has changed dramatically.
I feel like I was just at CookieCon in Louisville, Kentucky working for Icing Images with some of my fellow industry cakers (photo above). People were discussing the next shows they would be at- the next classes they would be teaching- and now we are all but quarantined to our homes for the foreseeable future. Throughout the country, more and more cities are shutting down.
All Illinois schools are closed through March 30th.
All Illinois restaurants and bars are closed for dining in for the next two weeks.
All gatherings over 1000 people are literally illegal though the end of April and gatherings of more than 250 people are "highly discouraged".
Weddings and big events are being cancelled and postponed.
Grocery store shelves are decimated. Produce, meat, dairy, canned goods, bread, and paper products are scarce. The produce section in my local Jewel in Chicago is scary-empty. (photo to the right)
My condo building in Chicago has enacted COVID-19 precautionary measures and what was once a bustling hub of people and dogs is a quiet and desolate building with almost no one around. Looking outside, there are still some people not taking it seriously. Playing basketball, going out running. Some people out walking their dogs (you have to do that at least). But to be safe, we are self isolating as much as we can.
The food service industry is all but shutting down, and I am really feeling it.
But I'm lucky.
Being a baker, I always have a stash of baking supplies that most would not. We will be able to make bread for a long, long time if we need to. We have a good supply and variety of food to last probably a month if we really have to stay in our apartment and not leave to go anywhere.
While my Etsy shop is still open, it is only stocked with stickers, pins, molds, and stencils until I feel comfortable adding the toppers and sprinkles back in the shop. Orders through ECBG Cake + Pastry studio have all been postponed and/or cancelled.
I'm lucky that Bob can still work from home and earn money while I'm not.
Lucky that I have a lot of art supplies and cake supplies in my apartment to keep myself occupied for a good long while.
Lucky that my parents were able to head out to their more secluded Wisconsin house for quarantine further away from a big city like Chicago (although I'm not thrilled about the prospect of not seeing my dogs Dave and Pepper for a few weeks).
Did I buy enough wine to last me through the quarantine? Hell no. (Is that a thing? "Enough wine"? I don't think so).
These next few weeks will be interesting, people. Stay inside, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and be mindful of others who may be immunocompromised. And please, PLEASE, for the sake of every ones sanity, don't hoard the toilet paper.
*On a side note, if you'd like to support me and my artistry in these next few weeks, you can take some time to watch one (or a few) of my YouTube videos! I actually do make money from ad revenue! If you can afford to, I also have a Patreon channel with different subscription tiers so you can choose how much you'd like to give per month! I usually put up 1 or two videos per month, but you can expect a few more to be happening in the next few weeks with the current quarantine situation.
You can also donate through my Paypal or Venmo by scanning the codes below. Any and all donations will be used towards food and rent money while I am unable to work at the bakery, and are highly appreciated!