We’re sharing our experiences, thoughts, and uncensored opinions during lockdown, quarantine, and self-isolation. For some of us, it’s DAY 50.
Today is free-form writing.
Special needs and #Coronavirus
Myriam Ramadan, #Beirut
For me, the one person who helped me deal positively with this pandemic is my son, who has special needs. My eldest at 21, Karim was born with Cerebral Palsy. Since I am divorced, Karim and his brother Nadim get to visit me a few days a month. They are far from me, but since I am the type to look at the cup as half full, I came to realize that the boys’ visits make my confinement a little sunnier, happier, and brighter. As everyone probably knows, Lebanon is going through not one, but two crucial issues that are threatening its future: #Covid-19, in addition to a severe economic crisis.
Being confined, alone, without the constant presence of my boys, has been tough. So it is only natural that when they come to visit, spending time with them makes this “Stay at home” lockdown that much softer.
As a mom, caring for Karim is a whole different dimension. Aside from the strenuous physical needs, such as carrying and transferring Karim – mostly done by his male helper – I give him his meals and get to spend quality time with him. He loves good food and classical music. The tool that has benefitted me most in helping Karim and myself to accept his disability is humor. By no means does this imply that I am a clown on wheels (I wish I was)!
Back to confinement, having Karim restrained at home is no easy thing, as his level of frustration from being unable to go out is quite high, since outings are essential for him. The good part is that being confined together for a few days has allowed us to enjoy one another.
Now that all outside activities have been eliminated, I pick Karim’s brain about music, explaining to him about the pandemic, all the while using humor. So, whenever an advert about “staying home” comes up, we look at each other and we say laughingly, “We got it. What else is new?”
Karim, you are my sunshine.
My daughter on the front lines
Tina F., Fairfax, #Virginia
Medical personnel are getting such praise for their heroic work during the #coronavirus crisis. My 21-year-old daughter is a clinical technician at Fairfax Hospital. She is anticipating finishing nursing school to receive her RN (registered nurse) position. However, she is not immune to the hardships and sacrifices all healthcare professionals are experiencing during the coronavirus.
Her shift begins at 7 pm and ends at 7 am. By the time she gets home, I am awake and I hear her come through the laundry room. She places placing her scrubs and hospital items in the washer on a sanitize cycle. We don’t exchange much conversation as she heads down to the basement, where she is living. She takes a very long shower, unwinds, and goes to bed for several hours.
She does not feel like a hero. She is only doing her job.
My daughter was scared at the beginning, not knowing what to expect. She was asking me if she should quit.
“OMG!” I said “You are so lucky to have a job! You cannot bail out because you are afraid. This is a test and you are to answer the call.”
That was the last time I heard anything from her. She does what she is asked at the hospital. She goes into COVID-19 patients’ rooms when she is needed. She trusts hospital protocols and her PPE to keep her safe.
She has kept her stamina and continued to do what is asked of her without complaining. One thing that resonates so much with me is when she described how much some of these COVID-19 patients suffer. This is different than anything she’s ever seen. She explains how unpredictable it is from day to day. This virus is debilitating.
At the moment, they are extremely busy at the hospital, and the staff does not have time to rest. She told me the other day, ”Everyone should be very diligent. This is very serious.”
I am so proud of her! I pray that she stays safe.
RafifJ, #Malaga, #Spain
Forget social distancing; forget quarantine! Today we’re enjoying Day 2 of relative freedom: we are allowed to go for walks. Our walks may be for 1 hour. If we’re older than 14, we may walk between 7 am and 11 am, and between 8 pm and 11 pm.
This may possibly be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Who is going to observe this? Not the people I saw yesterday. Who will enforce these rules? The officers on patrol seem to be just as relieved about this wind-down as the civilians.
I went for a morning walk at 7:30. I figured few people would up and moving about that early in laid-back Malaga. I was so wrong! There were a gazillion people out – some walking, some biking, but most pretending to jog. The higher up the mountain – the more challenging the climb – the fewer the new athletes. I am not implying by ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION that I am an athlete, but reaching the point I did was quite an achievement after 50 days of lockdown.
Heading back down, past the port, to the beach, and then back through town, I saw new “joggers” in really colorful and matching activewear. Some were fully made up, hair carefully done. In the athletics-versus-fashion challenge, there emerged a clear victor.
During my evening walk along the beach, I noticed families going for a leisurely outing. Couples were holding hands and strolling along the boardwalk. Groups of people were hanging out on the beach. I was almost expecting street performers to show up on the main avenue.
Virus? What virus? The lockdown mentality in Malaga seems to have disappeared overnight. Spring is crossing into summer here, and the we’ve been locked up for too long.
But…If we’re not careful, we’ll have to reset the clock…we’ll have to start at Day 1 again…there will be a second wave…and this blog will never end…
I think I’ll stick to 7:30 am at the top of the mountain.
Women and perspectives
RJD, #Beirut, #Lebanon
Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it. – Arundhati Roy
There is nothing fair or healthy about patriarchal norms and the expectations they generate, so why perpetuate them in our families? This is a stressful time for absolutely everyone and there is little that we can control about the circumstances that we are now living in. – Soraya Chemali on Think.
If I had one message for all children in the world, it would be this – be bold, dream big and most importantly, be the change you imagine for yourself! – Hartini Zainudin
We live in an interconnected world, in an interconnected time, and we need holistic solutions. – Naomi Klein
While we all go through this we will also hear of so many acts of kindness and caring, because Good has always had that extraordinary will to outdo Evil. – Hala Deeb Jabbour on My SeventyYear Old Eyes.
Humans are very adaptable: we can still fix this. But the opportunity to do so will not last for long. We must start today. We have no more excuses. – Greta Thunberg
We find that marginalized girls are more at risk than boys of dropping out of school altogether following school closures and that women and girls are more vulnerable to the worst effects of the current pandemic. – Malala Yousafzai
I’ve got some bad news and I’ve got some good news. Nothing lasts forever. – Kate McGahan
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