Post 16: #Coronavirus and a global perspective

Day 16. Still think it’s just a flu? As of this writing, Spain has recorded more than 85,000 cases; the U.S. is approaching 150,000. Imagine the numbers in refugee camps and other densely populated places where residents cannot socially distance or wash their hands. We’re still writing every day, though, as we get through this difficult time. Join us!

My Corona Blues

RafifJ in Malaga, Spain

Most days, I’m positive and grateful. Some days, like today, I’m not. On days like these, I pace around my apartment, feeling like a caged animal. Days like today don’t feel very productive even though I have work to do. My timing is off on everything, it seems, and I am irritable. I have nothing to say, nothing to write. Everything sucks. Do you ever feel that way? The thought of having another two weeks of lockdown fills me with despair.

Suddenly, my eerily-quiet street – the one where customers at Drunk-O-Rama & the Poke Bar & the disco & the Flamenco Museum used to keep the neighborhood awake and buzzing until the wee hours of the morning – wakes up. It’s Clapping Time.

With the very first clap, I remember who I’m clapping for and why. The neighbors are clapping too. My biggest issue? Not that I don’t have food or shelter; it’s that I miss my other child, the one in Virginia. But he’s alive, I’m alive, the webcam is alive. I also miss the sea, and it’s not going anywhere.

Clap Clap Clap for all those who are taking care of us – Clap even harder, because their smallest challenges are an entire universe bigger than my greatest irritation. With every clap, my mood improves. Too bad Clapping Time isn’t longer – I’d be freaking ecstatic.

I swing back to grateful me. And then:

I read Tina’s post (below) and it puts a smile on my face. I read RJD’s post, too, and realize that things will be all right, after all.

Thank you, ladies.


An Orange Man’s Fairytale

Tina F. in Fairfax, Virginia

The scene; an orange man steps up to the podium with his cronies on either side of him. They all wear arm bands emblazoned with the orange man’s face on their right arms. The orange man holds up his small hands with his fingers splayed out in salute. Everyone else does the same and they chant “We’ve Made America Great!”

The orange man speaks:

“I want to tell you a story. I’m a really good storyteller. Not too many people know that about me but I have an uncle who was a storyteller. I know everything about stories because they are directly related to the stomach…. When I was in my mother’s stomach I knew I would be a great storyteller. It’s a really great thing ..the stomach….

Well, here is my story:

The Chinese people, well you know they make things. They make cheap things that put our great American people out of work….but they make things – Well, they made this puny virus and they were showing it off to the world. They love to show off, but we can show off better than they can. No one else can show off like we can. So we let them have their time and now it’s our turn. We have the biggest virus now… it’s really a beautiful thing.

We have the most infected people in the world. Thanks to me. But no one ever says nice things about that! … but there you go…. people will thank me later.”

People in the audience cheer and cough.

“The lamestream media keeps getting in the way with a distorted version of my great story. If I were their boss I’d fire their ugly asses…unless they had nice boobs. I like boobs.

This virus is big. It’s the biggest virus I’ve seen….And I’ve seen a lot of viruses.

I built a wall around all of America. A big, beautiful, powerful wall. We will keep the virus to ourselves.

But our wall is unique….one of a kind…it makes the wall of China look like it was built a long time ago. Ours is so great…it has a door in it so we can sell our agricultural products to China. People think I don’t like China… I like China….. I like China so much I’m sending them the medical protective gear so they can see that we like them and so the world can see that America does not need protection.

And another wonderful thing…that door does not let people come in…no it is an exit door. I will be sending the Mexicans, Arabs, heck all brown people…maybe even Obama…I’ll send them out through that door. And anyone who is not nice to me too. So watch your back, you could be next through my door.”

The audience cheers and coughs and gasps for air…..

Tina F. bio: Tina graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and then received a Master of Arts degree from Drexel University in Philadelphia. In 2006, and after 17 years as an Interior Architect, Tina decided to re-focus her career on photography. She is the founder and owner of Depicting Life Photography, based in Fairfax, Virginia, and serving the DC Metro area. A lifelong learner, Tina loves to stay current with technology and new techniques.


Mindless Sunday; Many Thoughts

RJD in Beirut, Lebanon

So I took a break yesterday from Coronoia, from life, from the blog, from my work as my husband’s executive assistant. I pretended it was a normal Sunday.

On Sundays, I have a ritual. Coffee with the cats in the morning on our terrace watching the beautiful Lebanese mountains and sea (first thought, a sea contaminated by anything and everything. Second thought, how beautiful the mountains look without the pollution cloud!) Then, after breakfast and a nice jazz playlist curated by my husband, I go back to bed and catch up on my favorite series (haven’t done that since, well…) 

After a takeout lunch, I catch my husband up on the daily news and events (I didn’t have much to share because I didn’t read anything, so it was brief!) Then, I have my “self-care home spa;” a long bath with music and bubbles – no champagne! Followed by a body scrub, oils and moisturizers, a facial scrub, and masks. Clean PJs and back to watching series. 

In Corona times, I have had to add the manicure, pedicure and guess what? A haircut (thought: no not the bank haircut in our deposits!) I never thought I could do it but I did and it turned out just fine! According to my mother (thought: one remarkable lady I might add) after years of watching someone give me a mani/pedi and cutting my hair, I should have the basics down! 

Still not many more thoughts. Then, a dear friend called and we had a long catch-up conversation. She tickled my brain and thoughts started pouring out. At 8, Beirut clapped and cheered for all those amazing people in the medical, food and other sectors that are sustaining us during these difficult times. 

By 9, I fell asleep for 12 hours straight. Woke up ready to start the week with many projects on my mind. I am going to be busy planning for next month, April. That’s a thought! 

RJD Bio: From Beirut to London to Ithaca to Washington, DC, and back to Beirut, she has enjoyed a contented and grateful life adventure. RJD has had a full career spanning graduation at The George Washington University in 1985 to opening Beirut’s first personal training studio in 1997; in 2000, it became a full-fledged Pilates studio. Today, with Corona, she is a blogger/housewife who takes care of her husband and 5 cats. Down the road, she is hoping for more travel, writing, and possibly going back to school for a Master’s degree.


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