Day 11. We’re chronicling our experiences during the #COVID-19 lockdowns, quarantines, and other restrictions. Join us!
The Upside of COVID-19
Cindy Castellana, Falls Church, VA
I believe we would all agree (at least those of us who do not live on Pennsylvania Avenue) that this whole #COVID-19 thing is pretty serious – and not in a good way. Recently we have heard about the true nature of the human spirit rising up.
There have been countless stories of people taking care of their neighbors and thinking of those less fortunate. Then there is the seemingly worldwide outpouring of thanks to medical professionals who are stepping up, often at their own risk, to take care of the rest of us.
But how about those who, in the process of going about their everyday jobs, find a way to provide us with a little bit of joy and just put a smile on our faces? For example, there is Adam the Zookeeper at the Melbourne Zoo who used the Giraffe Cam to show us how to bust a move.
There are those Policia in Spain doing what they can to keep their communities calm and safe. And today I heard that Starbucks is promising to pay their employees for the next 30 days, whether or not they are able to work.
We need these stories to counter the unbelievable things we hear that just make us sit up and say…WOW.
For example, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is willing to risk his own life to get the economy moving. He feels that if he is willing to be out amongst his peeps, so should the rest of us.
I don’t think so.
Then there is the woman who licked a public toilet seat, hoping to get the Coronavirus so she could build up antibodies and then go on about her life. I guess she isn’t thinking about the whole I could die from this thing. And, of course there are those folks who partied hardy on the beaches during Spring Break, who are now surprised that they are getting sick with the virus.
Maybe these are just examples of the natural order of things helping to thin the herd.
Fiction vs Reality
RJD in Beirut, Lebanon
Collecting thoughts these days is tough. Only a month ago, I thought of a dear friend who lives in Milan and it took me a whole month to get in touch and check in on her and her husband.
Upon updating her on life in Lebanon, I came into a realization that was both frightening and surreal. Inasmuch as I was in the act, I was emotionless. Now the deluge of emotions is finally hitting me hard.
After the October Lebanese Revolution, my business suffered. This month, I had to close it down. The week I was calling the finale after 23 years, we were ordered as Lebanese to go into lockdown. Even though I couldn’t say goodbye to my team and clients, the emotional closure, grief, anger, frustration, and helplessness are taking their grip on me and making me feel more down than I ever imagined.
I spent the last few days weeding through paperwork, small items that made my business experience special, packing, discarding and donating…and I stopped a few times in tears. You can’t discard 23 years, a whole career, an identity into boxes and trash piles. I can’t. I wanted to celebrate and embrace the end. The age of Corona has robbed me of that…the Lebanese politics, economy and corruption took that away from me.
True, my anguish is nothing compared to the poor(er) people looking for a piece of bread…nothing considering the people being buried with no one to say goodbye…nothing if you think of war victims…refugees…nothing in light of the world gone amok I say to myself. But it was my world and I need to take a few days to mourn it, I say to myself, I am allowed to grieve.
I am trying to remain real and not imagine that I am living a fiction movie right now. I must hold on. My friend’s words, from Milan, resonated with me all day:
“I’m so sorry my darling …your place will always be the best there ever was! But an end is inevitably a beginning. Beirut….akh! But we must look ahead. Which gets harder as we age. Fail we may, but sail we must! Bhibbek kteeer. Lots of love from your Italia! 😘.”From Milan
I love you too, ragazza 💜💜💜💜 and I shall sail…
Shut Down by Coronavirus
Tina F. in Fairfax, VA
As the time passes, I forget what day of the week we’re on and the news sounds a bit repetitive.
I think it was a few days ago that our Governor of Virginia gave us all new directive and instructions to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus. It included the usual list of closures and listed essential establishments to stay open. GUESS WHAT?? Turns out that liquor stores are essential and will remain open. Hallelujah!!!
But that’s not what got me thinking. It was the announcement that all schools in Virginia will remain closed at least until the end of the school year. Within a few minutes parents were posting about how sad it was that their high school seniors’ school year is over. They will not get to experience the right of passage that every privileged high school senior experiences. No Prom, no photos, and no walking across the stage to receive their diploma.
I get it!!! It is a blow. But honestly, I was secretly thinking that this maybe what is needed to curtail all the unnecessary and extravagant rituals that have developed over the years. Those elaborate “Promposals” for a start. They were really getting out of control. Teachers would allow students to “Prompose” during class. The media was plastered with clever ways to get someone to go on a date with you. All this was the beginning of hundreds of dollars’ worth of expenses. There were the tickets, attire, dinners, limousine hires, and photographers. Not to mention the announcement and the block parties and all those monetary gifts. So look on the bright side, think of all the money you will save!
We are facing an unprecedented time of disappointing firsts for most of us. But I think I can help.
I offer my Photoshop expertise. Send me a photo of your high school senior’s face and I will send you a series of photos of them in graduation gowns and prom dresses. ALL THIS FOR $100!
Even a simple delivery can kill you
RafifJ in Malaga, Spain
Every day of our extended lockdown I learn new realities associated with coronavirus. Today I realized that anything I order for delivery must be sanitized before it enters my home. After I bring it in, I have to sanitize my home all over again. I should probably even take a shower and wash the clothes I was wearing.
You think I’m overreacting? Well, I take precautions – not because I’m paranoid or a hypochondriac – but because my 17-year-old son lives with me. Anything I drag in, he gets.
The sad reality is that we can no longer take for granted our daily routines. Think about the steps you take in performing the simplest of functions – all the things or people you touch, what you eat or drink, how many times you touch your face in between these activities. Try counting them and the numbers might surprise you. In short, every thing or person you touch is potentially going to kill you. A lockdown and proper care can save lives.
A lot of people still think nations and local governments are overreacting. There’s a particular so-called leader (and his sycophants) who wants to save the economy instead of saving lives, and I’m delighted that #NotDying4WallStreet was trending yesterday. Maybe People Power and Twitter Power will turn the tide against the insidious incompetence in the White House.
With the number of cases exceeding 47,000 in Spain (and rising fast), it’s obvious that we can’t be too careful. As numbers rise exponentially in the United States, more people realize now that the problem is not just the economy vs the people; the fundamental problem is the utter lack of leadership in the face of this deadly virus, which claims people of any age, any race, any belief.
COVID-19 is forcing humans to change a lot more than our processes. We’re re-examining our values. Some communities are doing what they can to help one another, learning along the way how to deal with new rules in an increasingly virtual world. Other groups – well, let’s just say that this deadly pandemic is exposing more than just our immune systems – it’s highlighting the greed and corruption at some of the highest levels of the very governments elected to protect us.
So I’m #NotDying4WallStreet; neither should you.
#StayHome #StaySafe and #WashYourDamnHands.
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