The Third Something

064 / We're The Extras

I don’t know about you, but I feel insignificant in the face of extraordinary events.

A double page comic journal of the early pandemic in Adam Westbrook’s sketchbook

Do you feel it too? On top of everything else, I’m struggling right now with this sense of insignificance.

In the metaphorical apocalyptic disaster movie to which everyone is comparing the pandemic, I feel like one of the extras in the bottom of the frame fleeing from Godzilla’s mighty foot.

Life-changing decisions are being made by people with far more power than us; events unfold on a scale and at a speed we can barely comprehend…all caused by something too small to even see.

This feeling might explain why rumour and misinformation are spreading so fast. Sharing a piece of information no-one else knows helps you claw back some semblance of importance.

On Thursday morning I overheard lifeguards at my pool saying London was going to be in lockdown within hours. An hour later in my supermarket I heard two employees sharing the same rumour. It wasn’t true - and London is still not on lockdown - but the rumour had everyone spooked and almost all the shelves were stripped.

Be very skeptical of any rumours you hear through WhatsApp!

What we can do is think of those people who are not insignificant right now: the frontline health workers. My dad is one of them and they are about to carry out a great undertaking. If you know any doctors or nurses or live next door to one, ask if there is anything you can do to help in the weeks ahead.

I am extremely fortunate to still have work - many other freelancers or filmmakers cannot say the same.

I spent most of this week on a rather gruelling endeavour: watching all of Trump’s press conferences, speeches and addresses on the Coronavirus to compile this comprehensive collection of his lies and inconsistencies. He is an extraordinary public health risk.

A self portrait by Adam Westbrook in blue polychromes pencil

What hours I have had left I have spent in the sketchbook. This week I drew a self-portrait every morning while the caffeine kicked in. This one, somehow, captures me best.

I posted them all to Instagram on Friday and this feels like a good opportunity to say: follow me on Instagram!

I have largely held back from posting over the last few years as social media generally became a negative influence in my life.

But in these days of isolation, it matters to feel connected, to be seen.

I’m going to start sharing more from my sketchbook throughout the week, so if you enjoy these parts of the newsletter then you know where to find me.

Wherever you are in the world reading this letter, I am thinking of you all and wishing you good health.

Until another Sunday soon,

Adam's signature