And now we’re three! A few friends and I have decided to chronicle our experiences during the lockdowns, quarantines, travel bans, and other restrictions during the #COVID-19 pandemic. Tonight we feature Beirut, Lebanon; Fairfax, VA, USA; and Malaga, Spain.
Want to join us? Please send me your posts!
From RJD in Beirut, Lebanon
When I moved to Beirut in the 1990s, it was because of romanticizing the Beirut that I left as a child. The sound of children kicking the football down the street, while my mother took a nap, the sound of the call to prayer at dusk, the sound of the rooster crowing at 5 AM, the sea view, the spirit of the people, the cars honking…
I have been living and working in a Beirut that was dirty, noisy, polluted, chaotic and annoying on many levels. I always wanted to hear the sounds of my childhood, but never found them.
Until #Coronavirus, the stillness in the air, the rooster crowing, the blue sky (except for today, it is cloudy and rainy), the whistling of the nightingales, are all frightening me and making me anxious. Where is the noise? Where is the traffic? Where is the pulse of Beirut? WHERE IS THAWRA? We are all sitting at home, waiting for the next 10 days to end and see the outcome.
I must say though, I am proud, I am proud that for once, the Lebanese heeded the call. Heeded the call to stay home. Protect one another. Clap together at 9 PM for all the health care workers putting their lives on the line.
When I think of how the Lebanese reacted to this call, I accept the rooster crowing, the nightingale whistling, the clean air, and the noiseless eeriness.
So give this a listen: Ya Beirut, Ya sitt el Dunia Ya Beirut (Oh Beirut, the lady of the world, oh Beirut).
From Tina F. in Fairfax, VA
A few weeks ago, as I was packing for my trip abroad, the last thing on my mind was going to the grocery store. As a matter of fact, I knew I would just hop in the car and get everything once we were back.
In anticipation of our return from our 2-week trip to what was starting to sound like a preparation for Armageddon, l would love to tell you that I remained calm. But no! I began to worry about all the groceries and household items we would need.
What if my husband and I were going into quarantine? Were my kids going to make it home from Florida and New York? Do I even have toilet paper at home? Oh my God, I have no food! What about the dog?!?
Clever me, I was going to order from Amazon. I could get everything on Amazon: tissues, hand soap, and fresh fruit. But all I got were the words “sorry but this item is not available” and “sorry but this item is sold out” and “sorry but we do not have any delivery slots available”!!!
That was enough to get me quite panicked. I started ordering everything that was “available” – I just placed things in my cart.
Yesterday, we all got back home in the USA. My husband and I, my son, my daughter, and my dog – all together.
My daughter went out to run some errands so I asked her to get me pineapple as I didn’t remember if I had ordered any. Then my son, who is studying to be a chef, went to the store to buy a few things to make us French onion soup (which was so amazing!). I added to his list.
In the meantime, some of my Amazon orders and groceries, ordered 4 days earlier, started arriving. Well, now I was surrounded by so much food! Nothing to worry about, it seems. I must have fallen for the hype.
From @rafifj in Malaga, Spain
Day 4 of the coronavirus lockdown in Spain, where the police are enforcing the rules a little more strictly. The quiet is getting louder. We’re not used to this much silent time.
The quiet makes us reflect, pause, listen to the birds chirping, and realize how lucky we are. We could be living in Idlib; we could be dead. In Spain, the number of corona-sick jumped overnight. Yesterday it was just over 11,000. Today, we are pushing 13,000. What will tomorrow bring? #StaySafe and #StayHome are not being heard loudly enough.
We are slowly accepting that this lockdown may last far longer than 14 or 15 days.
I really want to write a list of suggested activities for those who are also struggling with the quiet. I would love to give sage advice to – well, anyone, really. I wish I could help those who have caught this awful virus.
I may be able to do all that eventually, but tonight I just want to focus on Clapping Time and what it means for us all. Please listen to tonight’s recording.