Here’s our installment for Day 9. We’re chronicling our experiences during the #COVID-19 lockdowns, quarantines, and other restrictions. Mayya S. in Herndon, VA, came up with the idea for us to share our experiences.
Care to join us?
A mother’s dilemma
Tina F. in Fairfax, VA
I have two children. My 21-year-old daughter is in college and works as a nurse technician in the coronary unit at INOVA hospital. She already lives at home. Her college will begin online classes and her job is obviously secure. She has not really had to modify her work life because of the #Coronavirus. But after her 12-hour night shift at the hospital I greeted her and asked about the state of the hospital and she said, “the shit is going to hit the fan in a couple of weeks, Mom” and disappeared to shower off her hospital germs and sleep.
My son is 18 and is attending culinary school in New York. Last week his university moved up Spring Break and sent the students home for an extended 3-week break. Since they are on a year-round school, that meant they were utilizing the 2 weeks of summer break too.
He has been home for a week and yesterday he was told that the university will be closed until at least May 11. They are going online with classes, but as a hands on learning school this will be a challenge.
We gave my son a well-deserved several days off; he is on break after all. As a matter of fact, we have all been watching more TV and binge eating. But his isolation has become a concern for this Mama.
At 11:00 am I knock on his door.
“Sweetheart, don’t you think its time to get out of bed? “
“Well, so you can get things done and give yourself a sense of accomplishment?”
“Like get what done?”
If it were a normal day I would have yelled GET A JOB! But I said, “I don’t know like….”
“EXACTLY! There’s nothing to do!”
Well, that’s not exactly true. My husband and I have given him household chores like taking out the trash, changing light bulbs, etc. And most importantly, going to pick up food for everyone. He accomplishes these tasks in record speed, then retreats to his cocoon with his PS4 and online streaming.
At dinner, I told him that I would like to spend some time together and asked him if he had any ideas about what we could do. His answer was vague and evasive. My suggestion of ping-pong was scoffed at. Then he said, “We could play Monopoly!” A glimmer of hope washed over me. “Sure, honey, that’s a great idea!”
“Ok, maybe tomorrow” and returned to his room.
My question to you all is, how do you get through to your adult children who are stuck in this unprecedented limbo? Especially college-age kids, who have discovered their independence and think any time spent with their parents is being a loser.
Tomorrow after Monopoly I will start a new strategy. I just have to think of one.
Time to Stop Brawlin’
and Start Compromisin’
Sunny, a Global Cowgirl® in Frederick, Maryland
Life in the time of Corona is chock full of dire messages from the Dark Side, but what about a message from the Light? Of course, today’s medical town criers obsessively tell me in this time of Corona there’s just one degree of separation between me and the Grim Reaper. But I’ve been to the near-death rodeo a few times before and no horse has bucked me off yet. So, I’ll just do what I’ve always done—saddle up, shove my boots in the stirrups, and show this latest horse the meaning of true grit. And if I get bucked off? Well, everyone gets bucked out of Life eventually.
What fascinates me more than getting thrown by Corona, is the valuable lesson it’s sending me. Compromise. We need to stop our brawlin’ and start compromisin’.
Politicians and government officials may talk compromise, but, if the proof is the pudding, then the pudding they’re serving us is rancid. The willingness to compromise in this time of Corona—and after—rests with us, we the people. Right now, the US, and the world, is on a train headed toward a mountain where no one’s dug a tunnel. I think Corona is gonna kick our petards into the next life if we don’t put down our dukes and come together to send Corona packing.
Is compromise and peace between the human species possible? When I get discouraged, I reread a message I wrote to myself after going to Antietam Battlefield. It is a reminder from the Light that compromise is possible…
Battlefield of Peace
Peace. Countries around the world search for peace with guns and megaweapons drawn. We’ve even got war colleges dedicated to developing new ways to fight for peace. All of this done in the hope of achieving this elusive human yearning.
While my own life is full of vexations, frustrations, and anything but peace, I’ve found a place where I can feel and even “see” the peace I ache to experience all the time.
Ironically, the spot is on a battlefield where the bloodiest single day of fighting in American history took place. September 17, 1862. The Civil War’s Battle of Antietam, near Sharpsburg, Maryland.
Antietam Creek ran red with the blood of Union and Confederate soldiers. Over twenty-three thousand were killed, wounded, or missing.
There is a bridge that runs over Antietam Creek—Burnside Bridge. When I stand in the center of the bridge, I see a delicate cloud coming up from the earth, blanketing battlefield and creek. Within the cloud’s mist swirls a Light not of this world. Looking into the mist, my mind and body go calm. All worries evaporate. The air is pure, and with each breath, I’m filled with the cloud’s peace. I can see the misty cloud and feel its serenity every time I stand on Burnside Bridge.
There is something else. I sense the presence of the soldiers who died there, Union and Confederate. There is no rancor between them. Each body released its soul, and these thousands of souls made a peace among themselves that is beyond our understanding here on earth. They rest in harmony at Antietam.
I return again and again to Burnside Bridge to feel the unfettered peace that stretches out to enfold and caress its visitors, no matter the horror of our personal or political battlefields.(from A Global Cowgirl Takes Stock of Life’s Lessons, being released in Spring 2020)
In our battle with Corona, I hope I’m able to lay down my discouragements, frustrations, and anger around the battle and use this time to see the Light in every person. To open myself to the compromises we’re all going to have to make to stop that train from running into the side of the mountain where no one’s dug a tunnel…at least not yet.
RJD in Beirut, Lebanon
Today is another Sunday in Beirut. Oh no sorry, it’s Monday, Tuesday? Not sure anymore. Reminds me of an old movie called “If it’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium” https://youtu.be/n2lEC58jtMI (for those who need an oldie but goodie to watch!)
So on this Monday, it is the beginning of our second week in quarantine. Realistically though, for me, it started yesterday when the military actually stopped people moving and gathering. Essentially, that prolongs our 2-week quarantine.
Most friends I am connecting with are starting to feel the worry and anxiety. Boredom, fear, loneliness are setting in. To stay busy, I cleaned out our pool room and opened pool season early (it’s okay to do that when days and weeks seem endlessly intertwined.)
In the process, I blasted the speakers with Lebanese Revolution songs and danced and sang as I cleaned. It was quite an outlet.
Tomorrow, Thursday, I mean Tuesday, it’s going to be planting day in hopes of seeds bringing new life which will help us see the light at the end of our tunnel. I am sure there is one…I want you, all my friends out there, to not despair and stay with me to see the light. We shall overcome.
RafifJ in Malaga, Spain
Day 9. Cold and rainy in Malaga. The wet streets are oddly beautiful. The rain makes the only sound that breaks the silence in this city that used to be so full of joy and merriment.
The news is more disheartening than the cold rain. More than 33,000 cases reported, including nearly 4,000 health workers. Lockdown extended to April 11. No flattening of curves in sight.
Being on lockdown teaches you to be thankful. Maybe guilty, too, because there are so many who are sick or suffering, and you’re thankful for not being one of them.
Going to the supermarket becomes an exercise in introspection. You appreciate being outdoors. You become grateful for the legs that take you to the market; the arms that carry back your purchases; the money that made the purchase possible. We’ll get through this somehow.
Clapping Time, even though short, makes you realize that you are applauding someone who may soon be your doctor, your nurse, your caregiver. This virus knows no race, religion, nationality, or income level. Let’s get through this, somehow. #StayHome. #StaySafe.