Where I Go: Stress Baking

It’s July 2020, and San Diego is in a heat wave, but I don’t care; I’m baking bread. I can’t force fools on the street to wear masks, or stop the president from calling COVID-19 the “kung flu,” or protect Asian Americans from being assaulted for bringing in the “China virus,” but in my kitchen, I call the shots. As I punch the risen dough, the phone rings. I turn my headset volume up, toss the dough on the counter, and answer. In my nearly two decades as a telephonic Tagalog interpreter, I’ve learned to foresee a looming crisis just by tracking the frequency of certain calls. A flurry of bankruptcy cases preceded the great recession of 2008. That March, an uptick in COVID-related calls signaled that despite the naysayer in the White House, the pandemic was well underway. Because I work from home, I can do chores while taking calls on my headset—although baking is really less a chore than a grounding … Continue reading Where I Go: Stress Baking