Post 74: #Coronavirus and a global perspective.

Today’s topic: If this were 2019…

We’re sharing our experiences, thoughts, and uncensored opinions during lockdown, quarantine, and self-isolation. For some of us, it’s DAY 74.

Head in the sand

RafifJ, #Malaga, #Spain

It’s May 2019, and I am weeping uncontrollably. My countries are a mess and there’s nothing I can do about it. The land of my parents is embroiled in a conflict that has killed at least hundreds of thousands of civilians, while the international community has watched, impotently, and clucked sympathetic yet meaningless drivel. The struggle for power in #Syria just fuels hatred and sows fear while civilians are literally dying to be free.

Meanwhile, the land of my birth, once (to me at least) the bastion of freedom, the land of equal opportunity, the upholder of human rights, is descending into authoritarianism, the kind we see in the land of my parents. The ongoing racism and increasingly blatant hatred in America have chipped away at any belief I once had that the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were sacred for all Americans, not just the White ones. Since January 2017, I have been watching a power grab that sows hatred and fear in America, while people of color are literally dying because they are not free.

It’s May 2019, and I cannot stomach the thought of another revolution. The one in Syria was already too much for me. I apply for a long-term visa to Spain. If I can’t be effective in either of my countries, at least I can figuratively stick my head in the beautiful, peaceful, soothing sand of the Costa del Sol.

Silver Lining in Every Cloud

Charlie, Metro #Washington, DC

What was I doing with my life this time last year? I was swigging Dr Pepper. Eating pre-digested, nutrient-free junk food, engorged with every petro-chemical-laden flavor enhancer. All this high living was topped off with me watching 24/7 news 24/7.

Today, in the time of corona, I haven’t had a Dr Pepper in three months. I only let homecooked, fresh foods pass my lips now, so my digestive system’s doing the happy dance 24/7. And 24/7 news binge watching? Off the menu. I refuse to let the words of another broadcast opinionist, who’s posing as a journalist, hit my eardrums ever again. And this is coming from someone who used to be a member of that tribe. It was once a semi-proud profession. Now the Founding Fathers are wondering about the wisdom of the First Amendment. They may be thinking someone should open a good old-fashioned can of Second Amendment whoop-ass on that tribe.

No longer watching the news has given me all the time I need to work with a business/publishing consultant to put the polishing touches on a book I’ve written. Comes out in a few weeks. The consultant’s also guiding me in retooling my business, which corona has taken its toll on. But that’s okay, because now I created a better…pandemic-proof…business.

So, even when the lockdown’s lifted, I’m staying in. Except for going to the hair salon. This time last year my hair looked pretty fetching. Not so much today.

May 27, 2019

Tina F., Fairfax, #Virginia

If this were May 27, 2019, it would be Memorial Day and my family and I would be gathering at my friend’s pool for the annual “official start of summer” party. There would be around 25 adults and teenagers for a special kefta BBQ. We would be eating, drinking, and swimming all day. Whilst a few brave souls attempt to sing karaoke.

But it’s May 27, 2020, and it is Day 74 since the Covid shutdowns began. I have been at home celebrating for the past 2.5 months, eating and drinking every day. The public pools will not open for the season this year and it looks like my friends pool will not be open to non family either. But don’t worry about me, after several cocktails I will shake the dust off my bikini and attempt to wear it on my overweight body. Then I’ll go running through the sprinklers in the front yard singing Shake that Money Maker at the top of my voice. That should spice up the neighborhood gossip.

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Italy, work, family, work

RJD, #Beirut, #Lebanon

Every summer, I visit my family in Virginia for a few weeks and then my husband and I go on a trip for a month. Usually, Italy is on the books for 10 days, somewhere during that month. 

Last year, we spent 3 weeks in Tuscany and Cinque Terre. Blissful, peaceful, quiet, beautiful. 

I always used to worry about my work back in Beirut, because during the summer the workload was lighter and we usually did some housekeeping. I had to stay on top of things and could not disconnect completely from Beirut. 

But what I do, when on these trips, is spend time alone walking the streets of where we are for a few hours, go to a spa, and immerse myself in the culture. In Italy, cocktails before dinner is a tradition. Sitting at a bar in the local piazza with a glass of Prosecco and big giant green olives is heavenly.

During that time, I scan through my phone to locate the best way to walk to the restaurant, where we will have dinner, taking the longest way possible to enjoy the sounds of the town, look into the shops, and talk to the natives. 

I can just hear it now, the sound of people chit-chatting, walking their dogs on cobblestone streets, stopping by to say “ciao” and there is always the one guy who knows everyone and is the loudest! He also always has a dog!!!

Oh, how I miss Italy, my work worries, my family, and my life in 2019. And oh, how I look forward to visiting Italy and my family as soon as possible. Meantime, I do also miss my work and my ex-normal life. Yes, I am adjusting to 2020, and 2019 is nothing but a distant memory in my otherwise busy head. 

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Post 71: #Coronavirus and a global perspective.

Today we’re free-form writing.

We’re sharing our experiences, thoughts, and uncensored opinions during lockdown, quarantine, and self-isolation. For some of us, it’s DAY 71.

Day 71!

Photo by Bich Tran on

We have been blogging every day since March 15, one day after #Spain went into lockdown. Originally, RJD, Tina F., and I wanted to chronicle our quarantine experiences, but we had no idea they would extend over such a long period. Since we started blogging about our CoronaDays, we have added team members. I’m so happy that Charlie, Norma, and Wayne have become more or less regular contributors. The bigger the team, the more diverse the opinions! We don’t always agree politically, but I believe we have a common interest in humanity.

Today it’s free-form Sunday, and we have really interesting and controversial topics: #religion, #gratitude, #friendship, #humanity, #economics, and #justice.

I hope you enjoy the posts! I’ll be back tomorrow. In the meantime, #EidMubarak to all those who celebrate it!

RafifJ, #Malaga, Spain

Don’t bite

Wayne Wallace, McLean, #Virginia

I don’t understand. If God is everywhere and we can speak directly to Him, how can any government regulation stop anyone from worshiping? The latest round of insanity confuses me.

The current guidance is that people should not gather in large groups. That’s not limited to churches, synagogues, and mosques. It’s everywhere and applies to everyone. Not just Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Buddhists. Presidential rhetoric aside, nobody’s rights are being violated. Christians can still worship, just not in a large, dangerous group. Today is still Eid; it just needs to be celebrated responsibly. And for many, yesterday was the Sabbath, regardless of the locks on temple doors.

This is another quirk of the so-called right that I find irksome. The same group that says, “just because the government doesn’t pay for it doesn’t mean a right is being denied,” when it comes to healthcare or other entitlement is now screaming bloody murder that religious practice is somehow being infringed.

Color me cynical, but this is so clearly yet another example of #theRealDonaldTrump trying to divide the country in order to secure his reelection. That he has managed to somehow turn the science-based response to a major threat to the health, life, and safety of every American into a culture war is disgusting. We shouldn’t bite (and most right-thinking people will not). It’s not only ugly, it’s un-American.


Charlie, Metro #Washington, DC

Being in lockdown has nudged me to re-read Anne Frank, the Diary of a Young Girl. Now there was a lockdown. We’re free-range chickens compared to what Anne Frank and her family and friends endured in their close quarters. We’ve got wifi, the Internet, Zoom, FaceTime, our computers, iPads, and mobiles. And no one’s likely to take out firearms on us if we go for a walk or run outside.

Having a bad day dealing with the inconveniences of our lockdown? You can always turn to a tele-therapist to talk you off the ledge. Admittedly, the supermarket lines could be long, but we have Instacart to carter to our culinary necessities. And pizza is only a phone call away. Not sure the Franks had that option when they had a hankering for some fast food.

I’ve got a full freezer of food. Lots of friends to Zoom with. I’m using the lockdown time to finish a book and retool my business. And when I get peckish from being corralled inside for too long, I hop in my car and go to the C&O Canal to enjoy a stroll near the Potomac. This is hardly a hardship lockdown.

With a little help from my friends

Norma B. Wallace, Bend, #Oregon

It is difficult – there is no getting around that. 

The world is opening up in different ways around the world, but getting through this time is still difficult. More for others, I know. It’s strange to go to a store and have people in masks behind a shield. It’s difficult to not hug the person you haven’t seen for awhile. Even more so, it’s tough to not hug a person who has experienced a loss. There are no words that can help – a hug does, but we can’t give it. Virtual hugs only go so far. We have to figure out what we can do so that that person doesn’t feel alone. 

Isn’t that true of all of us, we don’t want to feel alone? 

How can we not feel alone when we can’t be physically together? This blog is helping me. FaceTime and Zoom help me. Today I went to church via the Internet. I know, churches are allowed, even mandated by our president. I am glad my church is going to continue having services via the Internet until it is safe to be physically together. The doors of our church may be closed but the hearts are always open. I want to feel that my home is the same. I haven’t had anyone in my home in over two months – my heart has always been open. So have those of my neighbors and friends. 

Yesterday, a friend came over and power-washed my fence. Another neighbor is going to stain it. They can do these things for me and maintain their 6-foot distancing. Still another friend is coming over to help with putting flowers around my fence after it is painted, and they’ll do the heavy trimming. I am definitely on the receiving end of all this help, and I am so grateful. I try to be helpful and do what I can. I may not be able to dig out a big bush, but I did plant the herbs I wrote about the other day.

The feeling of accomplishment when I did what I could, helps me get through the day.  Even if it is a little accomplishment, it feels good.

I have received a lot of help and I like to be able to help others; that’s also good for me.

I must tell how I helped someone this morning and they were so grateful. My family will not believe this – but it is true. A friend called, I helped them with a computer problem. Since I am technically challenged and call my son for IT support, neither he nor anyone else in the family will believe me.  However, it’s true. I helped someone and it made me feel good. 

Keeping my heart open is what keeps me going through the pandemic.

Enough is enough

RJD, #Beirut, #Lebanon

This past Easter, church bells rang but no one was in church. No happiness, joy, pastel colors, spring or Easter egg hunts. Ramadan passed in a somber mood worldwide. And Eid El Fitr is here, quietly trying to emerge between all the lockdowns and restrictions.

To those celebrating today, I hope we never have another holiday, ever, that is this painful. To those who feel that they have a right to go celebrate en masse and with no social distancing, please be wary.

Not because I care what you personally do, but in Lebanon today more than 80 Bangladeshi workers have been put in isolation due to a high infection rate of Covid-19 and because of lack of adherence to lockdowns/social distancing and so on.

These Bangladeshi workers left their country and their families to come to Lebanon to work as trash collectors and street sweepers. They left their home country to earn not more than $200 per month. They are living in old buildings that need renovations badly, that have no heating/cooling, no plumbing, no real beds or kitchens, and no proper ventilation. They are living 15 people to a room. And we wonder why their residential complex became a corona cesspool?

Moreover, they are no longer collecting their salaries because they need their money in greenbacks, which we do have access to, in order to transfer to their families. The companies they work for cannot pay them except in Lebanese Pounds, and not at the market rate but at the official rate. Meaning their salaries are now worth about $50 per month.

How can we strive to make their lives any more miserable than this?

Here I am, speaking on behalf of the Bangladeshi community. What about the Filipino community, Ethiopian, Sri Lankan, Eritrean, Malagasy, Ghanaian or Togolese? We have more than 250,000 foreign workers in Lebanon (under the Kafala system – which sucks) that are either under paid, not paid, abused or victimized and we have more than 60% unemployment in our own population.

I can’t say more today…Happy Eid.

Excited for sports?

Tina F., Fairfax, Virginia

As we wind down from the #coronavirus, it’s time to open up all aspects of life again.

Especially missed are the sporting events. They are negotiating how to safely open up stadiums and addressing the logistics of how to quarantine if a player experiences an outbreak during the season.

I saw the Premiere League (UK’s top tier soccer teams) had announced to play televised games without any spectators in an attempt to finish their season. I watched part of a game with my son and it was rather dull. Fans screaming and cheering in the stands provide a totally different atmosphere. It elevates the excitement of the game. So it’s no wonder that the players themselves are refusing to play in empty stadiums. There is no such thing as home team advantage anymore.

The funniest excuse for refusing to play came from the team playing Manchester City claiming that MC would have an advantage because they are used to playing in empty stadiums.

While the world is negotiating the start of all sports, the fans are excited for a return to normal.

Teams, managers, and players are still working in the background, trading players and signing on new ones for millions of dollars. That’s unbelievable! A quarterback received $60,000,000 at signing and a $34,000,000 salary. And the fans – such as my son – applaud this because they want their teams to win.

Wait, did you count those zeros? Do you realize this is an obscene amount of money? My son was justifying their salary based on how hard they work behind the scenes in order to perform so well. “They get up early and train. They don’t have any days off. They have to watch their weight and their diet. It’s hard, Mom!!!”

Hmmm, yes…and what about the trash worker who picks up your garbage? He has to get up early and be fit enough to haul heavy, stinky trash in order to provide food for his family. He makes $34,000.

Do you notice the three missing zeros?

OK, I’m not becoming a Communist or trying to take from the rich to give to the poor (although that would be an honorable thing to do). I am just saying that making obscene amounts of money for playing with a ball is despicable.

I get that this is the country of free enterprise. But after 2 months of watching “front line” workers, trash collectors among them, going to work and doing a great job for $12 and hour, I can’t help but ask the question:

How the heck did we get here?

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If you’d like to contribute a post, please get in touch! Send me an email, contact me on Twitter, or leave a comment here.

Post 70: #Coronavirus and a global perspective.

Today we’re free-form writing.

We’re sharing our experiences, thoughts, and uncensored opinions during lockdown, quarantine, and self-isolation. For some of us, it’s DAY 70.

Do People Ever Really Change?

Charlie, Metro #Washington, DC

I held on to the notion that the lockdown would alter some of our less attractive behaviors. Oh, how naive I was!

This week I ventured out to go to a doctor’s appointment. It’s not the first such trip I’ve made during lockdown. Typically, the highways have been pretty abandoned. But on this day, it was almost traffic as usual for 10 AM on a weekday. However, it wasn’t driving as usual. The folks on the road were INSANE!! More than they ever were before lockdown. Driving like they were competing in NASCAR. Swooping in and out between small spaces, between other cars, where tailgating was being observed. There were at least 10 near-collisions. It was as though everyone thought any minor lifting of the lockdown entitled them to revert to the behaviors of 2-year-olds.

I dropped in at a Trader Joe’s on the way home and the shoppers acted like they were members of some exalted royal family. It was a scene of entitlement on steroids.

Apparently, at least in DC, the lockdown hasn’t humbled or changed the population at all. In fact, it’s ramped up their hubris quotient.

Was there color when you were little?

RafifJ, #Malaga, #Spain

One day, years ago, my kids ran up to me, wanting to discuss something. They were about 4 and 6 years old at the time, and they had clearly been discussing something serious among themselves.

“Mommy, was there color when you were little?”

Photo by Kaboompics .com on

At the time, I *think* I resisted the urge to laugh. I gathered them close and we talked about how blue skies, green grass, and bright flowers had been around forever. We talked about crayons and black-and-white versus color TV. We talked about how the world had changed since I was a little girl growing up in New York City. We talked about pizza and mac & cheese and ice cream. We talked about getting sick and going to the doctor and eventually being all right. We talked about how the universe took care of us and how everything always worked out the way it was meant to work out.

My kids were eventually satisfied my answers and ran off to play a new game. Every time I remember this conversation, I smile at their innocence but worry about how the world has changed for us all.

What questions will future generations will ask? Will history be kind to us?

Jeff and I are like Trump and Xi

RJD, #Beirut, #Lebanon

I buy almost everything I need from Jeff’s Amazon. This has been the norm for more than 15 years because in Beirut, I can’t find everything I need. I used to be in love with Jeff’s Amazon. Select, add to cart, checkout, two weeks later I receive my order.

It was an amorous relationship full of flirting, romance, jealousy, and sometimes arguments (when items were not available on Prime!)

And then the Lebanese financial crisis began. Banks closed, more and more items disappeared off our grocery store shelves…then came Covid-19 and lockdowns and supplies dwindled in Beirut, in the US, and worldwide.

What to do? Our spoilt lifestyle came to a halt. Going to a Dean and Delucca-style store became a thing of the past; buying organic Scottish smoked salmon became a memory; finding gluten-free baking flour became a major search on all the local store sites. Yes, serious first-world problems. Luckily, I had loads of toilet paper! So, I order much of what we are missing from Jeff’s Amazon.

That brings me why I am finally falling out of love with Jeff’s Amazon. Just like the Idiot in Chief (INC) was in love with Xi Jinping when he invited him to Mar-A-Lago at the beginning of his doomed presidency, he also fell out of love…but he tends to do that way more than I do.

I am having a love-hate relationship with Jeff’s Amazon (the one with the INC is a permanent hate-hate relationship) because of how Jeff treats his employees, especially when it came to precautions during the pandemic. The way he feels it’s his right to not provide them with a good working environment, doesn’t pay them if they call in sick because they contract Corona, lack of job security/protection from Corona, healthcare benefits, and decent pay among many of their grievances.

To put it in numbers:

  • Jeff Bezos is worth $147.3 billion.
  • The US Government is worth $123 trillion.
  • The Chinese Government is worth $63.8 billion.
  • Xi Jinping is worth $12.5 billion.
  • Donald Trump is worth $2.1 billion.

Jeff commissions Chinese products made by Chinese sweatshop workers who get an average of $3.37/day; the products are shipped to the US for Jeff’s warehouse workers to pack them for us at $15/hour. Then Jeff gets tax breaks (up until 2019), so that leaves the majority of what I pay going to Jeff.

In any idiot’s mind, the numbers are outlandish.

In a smart person’s mind, I buy from Jeff, who buys from China, who now pays taxes to the US and Chinese governments, and the two presidents fight with one another over COVID-19 among many other issues. Five entities gain, the other 2 get paid pennies. So just like Trump and Xi are having a trade war, I am going to declare my personal war with Jeff.

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If you’d like to contribute a post, please get in touch! Send me an email, contact me on Twitter, or leave a comment here.

Post 68: #Coronavirus and a global perspective…

…on staycation versus quarantine.

We’re sharing our experiences, thoughts, and uncensored opinions during lockdown, quarantine, and self-isolation. For some of us, it’s DAY 68.

Staycation, quarentincation! What’s the difference.

Tina F., Fairfax, #Virginia

In the late 1970s, early 1980s, my parents lived in England. My youngest brother was still living at home and my older brother and I were teenagers attending separate boarding schools a few hours away. We only went home on school breaks. I looked forward to the Christmas holiday, when my brothers and I would reunite and spend a few weeks at home. We literally stayed home for 2 of those weeks. All the shops and restaurants were closed and there was nowhere to go, so we made the most of our time at home.

My mom would help us stock up on all our snacks and goodies. We took time going through the special 2-week edition of the TV Guide, circling every program, show, or movie we wanted to watch during the holiday break. The broadcasting companies made an effort to bring home new and exciting programs for Christmas, and with four channels on TV to choose from, we didn’t want to miss anything. We spent several of those days in our PJs well into the afternoon, watching TV, snacking, and playing board games.

I know it sounds very similar to the current situation we all find ourselves in due to the #coronavirus. But back in those days, the shutdown was self-inflicted. It was Christmas and the tradition in England was that everything would close for at least 10 days to 2 weeks. Also the dates of the closures were defined. From December 23-January 3, the country was pretty much closed for Christmas holiday. Then by the time everything reopened, we were ecstatic about going out again and shopping. Those are some of the fondest memories of my youth.

Fast-forward to March 2020, and I find myself in a similar situation with my family. Everything is closed. I’m in my PJs till the afternoon, I have stocked up on everyone’s favorite snacks, and we all watch a lot of TV.

I secretly had a romanticized view about being shut off at home, but now 2 months later, we are still here at home trying to wrap our heads around our changing world. Is this a quarantine or a staycation? Who cares? Some days it feels like a fun vacation from the real world, but most days it is very painful because it is endless. The end is not designated on a specific date so we cannot prepare for it to be over and move on.

With that being said, I would love to go back to the days when holidays were sacred and everyone took time off. In this country, we set the standards for opening late or even 24/7, and the UK has slowly been following in the US’s greedy consumeristic footsteps. They even have a Black Friday sale! And they do not celebrate Thanksgiving, for heavens sake!

Unfortunately, our society has become so used to working ridiculous hours and receiving instant gratification for all our needs. When we were asked to stop and slow down, we ran around like chickens with our heads cut off. I agree this is too long, but from now on, let’s all fight to get more time off in our lives and take time to stop and relax – not just from pure exhaustion, but because we want to.

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The difference is choice

Norma B. Wallace, Bend, #Oregon

I have always looked forward to a Staycation as an opportunity.  It was an opportunity to do those things in an area that I lived in that usually only tourists do. So many times, we would get bogged down with work, housework, and schoolwork, and not enjoy where we lived. Right now I live where outdoor activities are boundless, there are usually plenty of outdoor concerts in the summer featuring both local and more famous people. There are spectator sports, as well as many sports to participate in.  Actually, I have been fortunate and have lived in 10 states around the country. All of them have most of these activities in different forms. It was always nice to take a day or week, and just enjoy and not do any work at home. 

The difference between a stay-at-home order, lockdown, or quarantine and a staycation is that the first is mandatory.  Just the fact that I am required to stay in makes it difficult. The expression, “we are all in this together” isn’t true. During this time, I could go out for a walk while others could not.   Whatever individual restrictions were—they were restrictions. Who wouldn’t have enjoyed a day by the fire with nothing to do as a rest from the rat race, before the shut down? In quarantine that day inside is mandatory and all that can be thought of, especially at first, was what we needed to be doing. Now all that can be thought of is, “what’s next?”

Is it possible to try and trick our minds into enjoying our time in quarantine? Can we treat it as a staycation? Probably not all the time, but try some of the time. I have seen lots of videos in which people are doing inventive, fun activities. I have seen lots of family time enjoyed. 

Let’s try to remember the good times of being together (forget the annoyances of being too close 24/7 or learn from them).

Good day, sunshine

RafifJ, #Malaga, #Spain

I think back to the “early days,” when we thought lockdowns and states of emergency and panic and crippling anxiety would only last a couple of weeks. But today, Day 68, I can say, with certainty, two things:

  1. I can’t believe it’s been 68 days.
  2. Quarantine is no staycation.

Remember when we would stay up half the night to watch news, and sleep most of the day? Remember when we panicked because the rapid spread of Covid-19 surely meant the end of the world? Remember when it was cold and rainy and the weather was lousy and everything was miserable?

Yeah, all that anxiety seemed to evaporate as soon as the restrictions were eased here. It’s finally a staycation! The sun is out! The sky is blue! The remaining days of lockdown are hopefully few, and will seem like a distant memory soon.

Now that everyone can go outdoors [almost] at will, the smiles have returned to the faces of passersby. The pigeons aren’t so hungry, and I swear the bugs are acting all friendly. We’re in that honeymoon phase, reacquainting ourselves with charming neighborhoods, reliving nice memories, hanging out at the beach. The street musicians are slowly making their way back to the plazas and the pier. Outdoor restaurants are starting to fill up. Living in a place as happy as Malaga definitely makes for an awesome staycation. Life is good again.

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Thank you for reading our blog! We welcome all feedback.

If you’d like to contribute a post, please get in touch! Send me an email, contact me on Twitter, or leave a comment here.

Post 66: #Coronavirus and a global perspective…

…on how to get along with your spouse during lockdown.

We’re sharing our experiences, thoughts, and uncensored opinions during lockdown, quarantine, and self-isolation. For some of us, it’s DAY 66.

Meditating through marriage in lockdown

Tokyo Boom Boom Ciao*, #Beirut, #Lebanon

Really, meditation and yoga have been my one and only saviors during the lockdown here in Lebanon.

You realize things during quarantine about your husband. Sure, you marry for love and it’s romantic and you actually love your companion, but we were all used to spending a small amount of time together in those old days before Corona.

But in no one’s life are you with your husband every day, every minute, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week! You leave for work, he leaves for work, you are out of each others’ lives and whatnot from 6 pm until 10 pm, you have dinner, bath time, and homework if you have kids, watch a Netflix movie together…literally, it’s absurd to spend this much time with anyone.

And one other thing I am going to rant about: you guys are dirty. I never realized how you manage until now. You burp, and you think we don’t hear it? Your butt crack hangs out of your pants and you think we don’t see it? You lay all over furniture with your sweat, you think we don’t smell it and deodorize it when you are not around? You don’t wash your hands after you eat and you eat all day! I didn’t know that until we started living quarantine lives. And you go to the toilet with the door open, who does that?

I am not living with my husband anymore; I am living with a college roommate all over again!

Alright, I am exhausted from this quarantine and have no solutions except the need to go back to work regularly and not live with my husband all day long for the rest of my life. Until then, ughhhhhh…..I will go meditate and practice yoga again.

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* Pseudonym to protect the innocent

Co-existence for dummies

RJD, Beirut, Lebanon

When I speak to my friends locally and internationally, I hear the same about coexistence: I am going to kill my partner if these lockdowns continue!

Yes, we are all under duress, we are all anxious and worried, and we are all getting on each others’ nerves. Thirty to forty percent of the world population will go through a depression or anxiety-related issues in the coming few months.

So how do we coexist? Here is my list:

  1. Socially distance yourself. Bathrooms are great places for that. Wait for your partner to finish daily bathroom needs and spend as much time in the bathroom as you can. You can do a self-care ritual, you can sit and read, listen to music, message and talk to friends in private and complain about your partner!
  2. Create time zones. Take a fake nap in the afternoon, watch a movie or series alone, or just meditate more often! Transport yourself to a different time zone for an hour or two each day while your partner is awake.
  3. Sing. Sing badly in a loud voice around your home, hum or whistle. Usually, your partner will get fed up and move to a different space!
  4. Consider the best-case scenario.  What would you love to do on your own right now? Travel? Watch a YouTube trip to somewhere you love, pretend you are there. Get drunk with your friends, host a party (in the bathroom), make a drink, and cheer each other.
  5. Encourage your partners’ friends to stay more in touch.
  6. Create a man/woman cave for them.
  7. If all else fails, have a fake fit! It does calm things down!!!!

The lockdowns will end one day, but you don’t want to end up in a situation where you are permanently alone (or do ya?!), so make the effort and apply co-existence for dummies ideas to get by for a few more days…weeks… months…it will end one day.

Found during an extensive Internet search.
No copyright infringement intended.

Knickers in a twist

Tina F., Fairfax, #Virginia

There is a saying in Arabic for when two people have been spending a lot of time together. We say “tizein bil bas.” Translated it means “two asses in an underwear.”

Usually the saying is used when the two are getting along with one another. But after spending so much time together in such close proximity, it’s inevitable that the underwear becomes way too tight and nerves/threads start to fray. And they basically can get their knickers in a twist.

I must admit that my husband and I are finally dealing with this constant oneness quite well. We have decided that we are each entitled to feel the way we want. We are also allowing each other to be as productive or as lazy as we want.

Do you see the common thread? Allowing the other person to live as an individual is key to a lasting relationship.

Don’t get me wrong, we still have our moments. For instance, I dread hearing him call my name when he is sitting in his home office at his computer. A sure sign that he has a technical questions. It maybe the fifth time he has asked about this issue and this is the fifth time I give him the solution. I take a deep breath and bite my tongue… haha, anyone who knows me knows I would never bite my tongue, but rather I bite his head off!

Sometimes I feel especially angry and want to go and lock all the controls on electrical appliances and watch his baffled face as he tries to warm something in the microwave.

What? I’ve never done that! I was just thinking about it…

Anyway, back to the positive interactions. We go on walks together a lot, we eat and drink together a lot too. But if I am truly honest, the key to success is this: Live independently but not selfishly. Share in the chores and never expect things to get done without asking for them first.

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