#WFH Diaries: Jonathan Cude of McKinney

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt everyday life in unprecedented ways, we're checking in with folks in the creative industry to see how they're faring. Here, we chat with McKinney creative chief Jonathan Cude.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself. 

Chief creative officer McKinney, semi-professional self-isolator. 

Where are you living right now, and who's with you? 

Durham, North Carolina. My wife and daughter. And cat.

What's your work situation like at the moment? 

My work situation: teaching my daughter how to read, Zoom calls, story time, emails, number games like "Race to 15 cents," intense Slack messaging, the occasional client call, nature scavenger hunts to fill out worksheets, and arguing with my full time working wife.

Describe your socializing strategy. 

I try to stay away from people. I will say, crowded grocery stores are not the best for social distancing.

How are you dealing with childcare? 

See work situation above. We have a daily babysitter during normal times, but her husband is 70 and has underlying health issues so we haven't seen her in a few weeks. We are climbing this mountain on our own. Can't imagine trying to do it as a single parent. However, as an agency we have a Zoom story time at 1:30 every day for all the kids. Different people from the agency or their partners take turns reading stories to the kids.

What are you reading? 

Nothing, really. But I have started meditating. I had started before this but have had the chance to finish the online course I was taking. I recommend it. Flow Meditation (Vedic meditation). Taught by a guy named James Brown, a former ad guy in San Francisco. Seemed like a good time to dive in.

What are you watching?

Generally I only watch sports and news. So that balance has gotten WAY out of balance. But I have been watching a series on Netflix called Dirty Money. Not exactly an escape from the real world but interesting. I am all caught up on Billions, etc.

What are you listening to? 

Western Stars by Bruce Springsteen.

How are you staying fit?

I am walking and doing FaceTime workout sessions with my trainer at the gym.

Have you taken up a hobby? 

Yes, I am an unqualified part-time kindergarten teacher.

Any tips for getting necessities?

Get in the car and go get them? If you want to see a video, which is a bit daunting and scary, about how to buy groceries and takeout, I recommend this one.

An awkward moment since all this started.

This is all awkward. 

Best work email you got since all this started.

A note from a client saying they fully supported us and had no intention of changing any of their plans going forward.

An aha! moment since all this started.

Not sure there's been an a-ha moment. This has been like a slow-motion train derailment for a while. But I will say that when I see people out in public, over the last 10 days or so, the mood has changed. People were not taking this as seriously as they should have. That's changed, from what I can tell. When people look back on this in history, they will have Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA, to thank for helping to truly wake up the country. Canceling the NBA season was the shock a lot of people needed.

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

I think it will last a lot longer than people want it to. I think it will come back next year (without ever fully going away) and I hope there is a vaccine by that point. This will be harder to come back from than 9/11 and 2008. It will more profoundly affect our sense of who we are and how life is lived going forward in big ways and small. Will we go back to shaking hands? Will we travel as much? 

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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