Day 13. Time is not flying, and it looks like lockdowns, quarantines, and self-isolations will need to be extended. Regardless of the dates, we’re chronicling our experiences during the #COVID-19 crisis. Join us!
Tina F. in Fairfax, Virginia
No, the title of my blog today has nothing to do with the shortage of toilet paper. It is an acronym that I have created for a new disorder called “Brain Unable To Settle in 2020.”
It is a condition that has been ailing many of us in the past few weeks. We are programmed to have a reason to get up in the morning, go to work, and accomplish tasks. We are consumed with a hefty TO-DO list even as we make small talk around the coffee machine. Most people long for time off in order to get to their other chores that usually take the back burner. Some examples are gardening, reading, sewing, or even writing that novel that’s been looming in your brain. So now we have been handed this “time off” and there is a problem: The brain cannot stop long enough to settle down and focus on the task at hand.
I have the BUTS-20 infliction. These are my symptoms:
I get up in the morning and make my tea, catch up with my text messages, laugh at all the #Coronavirus jokes. Then I feel sad so I make a cup of tea…wait, did I make one already? HANG ON is this a new email? I read the email from the stores offering huge savings on dust busters and the like. (Yes, I’m actually reading marketing emails). Eventually, I have breakfast and pick up my novel just to give up after reading 2 sentences.
Maybe I’ll get dressed now….No, it’s time to scan the news again. It’s all about #Coronavirus. I go to the pantry and look for the chocolates I’ve been hiding from my family…. shit I’m running low… Get on Amazon and order my next shipment of whatever will get here the fastest. I’m so tired. I need a nap.
COVID-19 or BUTS-20 ?? I’ll take the BUTS-20 please.
Sunny, a Global Cowgirl® in Frederick, Maryland
This is my Texas Longhorn, Moz. He’s my “Wilson” during the Corona lockdown. Wilson, BTW, was the volleyball in the movie Castaway that became Tom Hanks’ best friend when he was stranded on a desert island alone. Moz hangs on my wall in my home/office where I’m stranded alone.
Moz got his name from an old boyfriend who later ghosted me. I tell Moz (the Longhorn) I don’t hold that against him. Moz and I have long chats about the state of the world. He patiently listens to my woes about being isolated during the Corona scare.
For his part, Moz tells me what it’s like to be at home on his pasture. Tall grass, fresh air. No mad cow disease lurking about. He’s free to roam his range, but he doesn’t really wander from his spot on my wall.
Longhorns have “long” mesmerized me. I have this fantasy of living in an Airstream trailer with a deck, a hammock, and an outdoor shower. And grazing nearby are a couple of Longhorns. They look fierce with their massive horn span –up to seven feet, — but they’re actually quite mellow. Some people even ride them like horses I’m told. Despite often weighing more than a ton, when a drought comes to the prairie all they need is little dry scrub to munch on and they do just fine.
Looking at Moz looking at me from his open pasture helps me not feel so claustrophobic in my house. A nice house, but I think when this Cornona business is behind us, I’m gonna move into an Airstream out on the range and lie in the hammock at night looking at the prairie stars. And nearby are gonna be a couple of Moz’ brethren keeping me company.
RJD in Beirut, Lebanon
Dear world citizen,
Lebanon has been called one of the best places to visit in recent times (https://www.cntraveller.com/gallery/best-holiday-destinations-2020), did you know?
To me, it’s bewildering, having lived here for more than 25 years. When I first moved here, after a 15-year brutally ugly civil war, there were no telephone landlines, no electricity, no hygiene, rubble on the streets from massive bombings, and many more “third world problems.”
With time, with perseverance, with the return of many expats, a semblance of a very fragile nation was built.
But the house of cards brutally crashed in October 2019 when we, the people – the remaining few, got up and said “enough” to our decayed ruling class who have looted us of every dignity there ever was for a hard-working citizen.
Yet, today with the Corona world pandemic on top of all our problems, we are united and have somehow managed to keep the number of fatalities down (https://ncov2019.live/#lebanon.) Despite the lack of adherence to lockdown instructions, lack of following curfews, and a major hygiene problem in many areas, we are definitely in a better place than many “first-world nations.” Hint hint!
So my words of wisdom for today are, why not move to Lebanon and rebuild with us, or visit us when this is over to help our economy? Why ever not? I did.
Death of an Illusion
RafifJ in Malaga, Spain
Most days I watch a little bit of the White House #coronavirus updates. I generally can’t spend too much time on them because I’m afraid of throwing my laptop across the room, and hey, the apartment is a rental and I need the laptop so I can make money.
But today I happened to catch my New Hero, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York. And I was a spellbound. You know why?
Because I witnessed leadership. And I had not seen that in America in a long time.
The governor was acting presidential. Actually, he was behaving like any normal leader would: he thanked medical professionals and all the other people who work tirelessly to keep the rest of us safe and healthy. He deferred to experts, applauding their service and never once taking credit for their accomplishments. He only insulted the virus (“let’s go kick some coronavirus ass”) and he didn’t have a tantrum when asked uncomfortable questions.
Ah, leadership. We don’t have much of that in our nation’s capital. And Americans apparently don’t care: Trump’s approval ratings are the highest they’ve been. There is a perception – incredibly – that he is handling things well. How is that even possible?
I don’t understand how this corrupt and rotten-to-the-core, pussy-grabbing megalomaniac, who has basically said our elderly are expendable during this crisis, is rising in popularity. He wants to open the economy, against all medical and scientific guidance, and doesn’t care that he will be endangering hundreds of thousands – millions even – of his own people. Is he blind to what he’s happening around the world? Has he not seen what this virus is capable of in China, Italy, or Spain? Has he not spoken with Boris Johnson or Prince Charles?
What saddens me is not that America has transformed. It hasn’t. But I do miss the illusion that human rights are sacred, and that the rule of law prevails. I’m not so naïve (anymore) to think it’s love – rather than white privilege and money – that make America go ’round. What saddens me is the blatancy of Trump’s hypocrisy, the depravity of Trump’s America, and how the so-called leader of the so-called free world is popular while jeopardizing an entire population for what??? Ratings and an election. And now, apparently, more and more of America believes that people are expendable. Life should be more precious.
Meanwhile, #Spain continues its lockdown. People are scared and the economy is tanking. But we’re in it for the long haul. You know why?
Because life here IS more precious.
#StayHome and #StaySafe