The COVIDiaries by Matt Loveland: #1

The COVIDiaries are a series of entries leading up to the COVID-19 quarantine, written from the perspective of Deitra Magazine's feature photographer, Matt Loveland. While Loveland frequently spends his days and nights capturing live music, fashion, art, comedy and other creative events going on in Springfield, Missouri, these outings — along with the entertainment and arts scene — came to a screeching halt. Following are the moments in time that he was able to capture, as well as his personal reflections of despair, loss, worry and ultimately of hope.

#1 – March 13, 2020

Ah Friday the 13th! Normally a day I get a kick out of considering there are some that still find it to be an unlucky day. However, as the Coronavirus epidemic was growing worse, this Friday the 13th would wind up kicking my ass… The day before, my dad texted me a photo of our two pairs of tickets to back-to-back Cardinal games in St. Louis for my birthday. By that afternoon, Major League Baseball decided to postpone the 2020 season. Needless to say, I was pretty pissed off about it, but not too surprised...

Friday came and I was pretty stoked for a busy weekend! My plan: grab the camera, get photos of Kinky Cabaret at the Outland Ballroom that night, then shoot another show Saturday night – El Monstero at the Gillioz Theatre. Throughout the day, my Facebook news feed was getting to be more and more of a drag as shows began to cancel left and right. Later that morning, Kinky announced that they were canceling their show… By that afternoon, it was announced that El Monstero was canceling their show as well… Well hell… There went ALL my weekend plans!

After I got off work at the normal job (Cox South. Yep, I said it… I work at a hospital), I had to swing by the Gillioz to change the marquee. It was the first time I ever had to leave the front blank. Those who know me know how much I love the Gillioz, and seeing my theatre being forced to postpone shows several shows, not to mention thinking of my friends about to lose work over it, definitely made this a tough pill to swallow. Luckily, I could still go back to my home bar, The Flea, lick my wounds and nap later.

Eventually, I was able to peel myself off the couch and went back downtown. Feeling the depression from everything made getting out of the house one hell of a feat. I went over to Patton Alley Pub and caught Joe Dillstrom playing with Mike Williamson on bass and Ryan Dunn on saxophone.

The bar had plenty of people there, mostly gathered at the bar, but nothing compared to a typical Friday night.

However, there was a bit of a romantic moment as there was one solitary couple dancing away to the music that evening.

I did take a moment to sit down and try chill out to the tunes of the evening. While it was pretty relaxing, I still had a feeling of melancholy… I felt fortunate I was able to continue being out and about. However, with event cancellations running rampant, not to mention the possibility of business closures, it was hard to tell how much longer I’d be able to enjoy my normal activities...   DM


Facebook & Spotify: Joe Dillstrom
Instagram: @joedillstrommusic


Facebook: Patton Alley Pub
Instagram: @pubpattonalley
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This is one in a series of diary entries written and photographed by Matt Loveland.

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