Post 43: #Coronavirus and a global perspective.

We’re sharing our experiences, thoughts, and uncensored opinions during lockdown, quarantine, and self-isolation. For some of us, it’s DAY 43. 

Today: free-form writing.


Charlie, Metro #Washington, DC

I’ve decided I want to wear a burqa when I go out now in this time of the #Coronavirus. Actually, I’ve always wanted to wear one. When I lived in London, many of the women in my apartment building wore them. They looked so elegant as they headed over to Selfridge’s in their Jimmy Choo shoes. You could see a sliver of their high-end jeans. And their eye makeup was spectacular.

I’m thinking wearing a burqa now when I leave the house would be the perfect way to face this insane world we’re living in. First, it would cover up the goofy state of my hair. It would give me an excuse to gussie up my face with great, colorful, and cheerful eye makeup. That would lift my spirits. It would be the perfect excuse to go online and buy some fetching shoes. And there would be no need to wear a crumpled up medical mask anymore.

I’m going to hop online now and start looking for some of those fetching shoes.

Feeling Like the Last Person on Earth

Norma B. Wallace, Bend, #Oregon

Today I felt like I had to go someplace. I have stayed home and have not driven in a month, would I know how? I decided to go up to the ski resort, as I didn’t want to be around people. I am doing the best I can at social distancing. I didn’t know it would be as isolated as it turned out to be. The ski resort is only 17 miles from my house. After 7 miles, there were no other cars. Then it started raining. The road was blocked into the lodge; I could see the ski lift but not the mountains because of the clouds. It was so eerie! I felt like I was the last person on Earth. There have been many movies and books with this theme – I felt like I was living in one of them. Perhaps, if I really wasn’t the last person – if I could find a few others in other isolated areas.  Could we learn from this and start living together and create a better world?  I hope so. 

Then I drove back home and to reality.  I still have hope though.

“We are (not) all in this together”

Tina F., Fairfax, #Virginia

Listening to the radio while in my car, I hear musicians talking about the #Coronavirus and pontificating about our need to stay home and stay safe, followed by “We are all in this together.” This is now the new catchphrase to make the general public feel better about their situation. It is used in public service announcements and commercials, and by celebrities reaching out to reassure the public: “we feel your pain. Don’t worry, we are all in this together.” But clearly, we are not all in it together. The celebrities, politicians, and musicians are not in the same fight as the middle class and they are even more detached from the millions of the underserved, low- income people in this country.

How does the celebrity shut down in their mansion with a fully stocked pantry and sipping margaritas by their beautiful pool think they are in it together with middle-class America? And how does middle-class America sitting in their comfortable homes, lucky enough to have a little nest egg saved for a rainy day, think they are in it together with the impoverished? And how are the impoverished in it with the homeless? Whoever initiated the slogan may have intended to create a sense of solidarity among Americans, but instead has accentuated the real “social distancing” present in this country.

No, Bruce Springsteen (whom I absolutely adore), you are not making us feel better discussing how you and Patti are coping with the shutdown, passing the time riding your horses. No, Nancy Pelosi, we do not need to see your freezer with your overindulgent stash of ice cream.

I know that action is being taken by some businesses to help. For example, several credit card companies are waiving their fees and deferring due dates. And nonprofit organizations proactively raising money to help different sectors of the population. One of those is José Andrés, a world-renowned Chef and founder of World Central Kitchen, an organization that helps feed people during natural disasters. A commendable way to give back to your community.

However, the longer the economy remains closed, the more desperate the situation will become. The other day I read someone’s brilliant opinion on how the government should stop getting paid and live on $1,200 for 10 weeks. Maybe then, more of us can be in this together.

How I see Lebanon lockdown easing…

RJD, #Beirut, #Lebanon

In the state of Georgia, some residents’ main relief is that they can now go bowling. Oh, I am so happy for them…

On the other hand, we in Lebanon are spending the day anticipating what our future will hold, as of tomorrow, when the easing of lockdown begins. Will we be able to afford food and staples with the continuous rise of the Lebanese Pound against the greenback when the government declared war on the Central Bank on Friday night? Will we be able to afford to pay our insurance, car repair, double electricity bills? Bowling is not on our minds…

The government declared a five-phase easing of lockdowns with weekly assessments. This comes after a week of fewer coronavirus victims, but we spiked yesterday with 8 new cases and 2 deaths.

No, we shouldn’t be loosening the restrictions. Not because I am enjoying being cooped up, not because people are not starving because of the lockdowns, not because of anything. But during this holy month of #Ramadan, with the daily iftars and souhours (meal before dawn), people are going to head out, either to socialize or to buy food or to demonstrate against the spike in prices and the flailing greenback.

This, in a country where only last week, demonstrations picked up and protesters wore no masks, no gloves, and observed no distancing in many poorer regions of the country. This, in a country where more than 4,000 expats will be coming back in 2 weeks from all over the world. All this, when ignorance and hunger precede lockdown restrictions.

As I am writing, I can hear the police sirens on the Beirut Corniche warning people to go home. The lockdowns are broken already! We live in a mayhem society, and teaching the public how things will proceed is as essential, if not more essential, than lifting restrictions and easing lockdowns.

Unless we can educate, monitor our phase ins and outs, we will be heading into a worse disaster than the greenback and the Lebanese Lira.

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