Post 6: #Coronavirus and a global perspective

We are still trying to go global! A few friends and I are chronicling our experiences during the #COVID-19 lockdowns, quarantines, and other restrictions. Tonight we write from Fairfax, VA, USA; Beirut, Lebanon; and Malaga, Spain. Special credit to Mayya S. in Herndon, VA, who came up with the idea for us to share our experiences.

Care to join us? 

@rafifj in #Malaga, #Spain

Day 6 of #coronavirus lockdown. I’ve been alternating between upbeat (went out, felt the sunlight, bought groceries, heard from friends & family) and devastated (count in Spain is now 20,000 and rising about as fast as everywhere else in the world).

Happy to work productively; crushed to learn about Italy’s military deployment.

Up. Down. All freaking day.

What is going to happen to us? Adam and I play around with what-if scenarios over dinner as we try to address his anxieties over high school graduation, Fall semester, and the inevitability of a prolonged lockdown.

Despite being in near-constant touch with friends and family, we feel alone. 

Blog 6_rafifMeanwhile, #Trump’s press conferences continue to be shitshows as he dominates the stage and spews idiocy when he should let the experts do the talking. What’s up with the press corps? Why aren’t journalists walking out en masse?

Here I go on my downward spiral.

But wait! Let me think nice thoughts. Clapping Time is always the best part of the day for me. For tonight’s event I called family in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and McLean, VA, and kept them on speaker so they could hear and clap with us.

Solidarity from around the world. But we’re still on our own.


Tina F. in Fairfax, VA

After feeling down and rather stressed out yesterday, I decided to heed the advice of my fellow bloggers. Although my husband and I are under self-quarantine, the outdoors is not off-limits (yet). So we took a drive to the country and looked at nature. Walked in the fresh air and took pictures of how nature is metamorphosing into spring regardless of the stock market crashing and the shortage of toilet paper. The cows are all out in the pasture no social distancing enforced upon them, but it looks like they instinctively know.

Yes, my friends, I feel better today.

Later I will make a list of things to accomplish daily.

Tina_Blog_Day 6

Photos by Tina F.


RJD in Beirut, Lebanon

In Lebanon, we kiss three times when we see someone, even if we saw them yesterday!

We also hug a lot! And we double dip all our food!

This morning when I woke up, I couldn’t stop giggling: I am going to finally be liberated from all 3 of the above!!!! Thank you life-post-Corona.

We also tend to overreact and out-do one another. It’s just the way things are.

With life-post-Corona, we are all going to claim that we survived Corona. All 4 million of us! We will share stories of who got sicker, which hospital did a better job, the BEST doctor and nurse in the country, and who got more visitors while in the ICU.

What we don’t do well during the Corona lockdown is heed to the advice of the authorities. Not all of us anyhow; there was the Corniche incident on Sunday.

Yesterday, there was a spike in the numbers because some areas weren’t taking things seriously. Just like students on Spring Break in Miami. Except we don’t have Spring Break – what we have is “going for a coffee at the neighbors” or “I can withstand Corona, let’s go hang out.”

Today, my husband (who is 74) and I needed to go to a bank appointment to get money (that’s just how things work over here now – Blog 6_Ranaanother story for another day). Waiting in the lobby to get to the bank, there was no social distancing. The security guard handed out gloves with his bare hands.

The worst part was that the guard removed his mask so he could smoke, then blew smoke in all our faces. Then he took our temperatures.

HELLO? Anyone out there?

So I smile at what happens in life-post-Corona and get depressed at life during Corona. I think I will walk to the kitchen now…daily exercise…make a cup of Afghan Sweet tea and call it a day.


Care to be a guest contributor? Please send me your posts by email, WhatsApp, or text. 

Post 4: #Coronavirus and a Global Perspective

And now we’re three! A few friends and I have decided to chronicle our experiences during the lockdowns, quarantines, travel bans, and other restrictions during the #COVID-19 pandemic. Tonight we feature Beirut, Lebanon; Fairfax, VA, USA; and Malaga, Spain.

Want to join us? Please send me your posts!

From RJD in Beirut, Lebanon

When I moved to Beirut in the 1990s, it was because of romanticizing the Beirut that I left as a child. The sound of children kicking the football down the street, while my mother took a nap, the sound of the call to prayer at dusk, the sound of the rooster crowing at 5 AM, the sea view, the spirit of the people, the cars honking…

I have been living and working in a Beirut that was dirty, noisy, polluted, chaotic and annoying on many levels. I always wanted to hear the sounds of my childhood, but never found them.

Until #Coronavirus, the stillness in the air, the rooster crowing, the blue sky (except for today, it is cloudy and rainy), the whistling of the nightingales, are all frightening me and making me anxious. Where is the noise? Where is the traffic? Where is the pulse of Beirut? WHERE IS THAWRA? We are all sitting at home, waiting for the next 10 days to end and see the outcome.

I must say though, I am proud, I am proud that for once, the Lebanese heeded the call. Heeded the call to stay home. Protect one another. Clap together at 9 PM for all the health care workers putting their lives on the line.

When I think of how the Lebanese reacted to this call, I accept the rooster crowing, the nightingale whistling, the clean air, and the noiseless eeriness.

So give this a listen: Ya Beirut, Ya sitt el Dunia Ya Beirut (Oh Beirut, the lady of the world, oh Beirut).


From Tina F. in Fairfax, VA

A few weeks ago, as I was packing for my trip abroad, the last thing on my mind was going to the grocery store. As a matter of fact, I knew I would just hop in the car and get everything once we were back.

In anticipation of our return from our 2-week trip to what was starting to sound like a preparation for Armageddon, l would love to tell you that I remained calm. But no! I began to worry about all the groceries and household items we would need.

What if my husband and I were going into quarantine? Were my kids going to make it home from Florida and New York? Do I even have toilet paper at home? Oh my God, I have no food! What about the dog?!?

Clever me, I was going to order from Amazon. I could get everything on Amazon: tissues, hand soap, and fresh fruit. But all I got were the words “sorry but this item is not available” and “sorry but this item is sold out” and “sorry but we do not have any delivery slots available”!!!

That was enough to get me quite panicked. I started ordering everything that was “available” – I just placed things in my cart.

Yesterday, we all got back home in the USA. My husband and I, my son, my daughter, and my dog – all together.

Tina's Pineapple

Pineapple, anyone?

My daughter went out to run some errands so I asked her to get me pineapple as I didn’t remember if I had ordered any. Then my son, who is studying to be a chef, went to the store to buy a few things to make us French onion soup (which was so amazing!). I added to his list.

In the meantime, some of my Amazon orders and groceries, ordered 4 days earlier, started arriving. Well, now I was surrounded by so much food! Nothing to worry about, it seems. I must have fallen for the hype.



From @rafifj in Malaga, Spain

Day 4 of the coronavirus lockdown in Spain, where the police are enforcing the rules a little more strictly. The quiet is getting louder. We’re not used to this much silent time.

The quiet makes us reflect, pause, listen to the birds chirping, and realize how lucky we are. We could be living in Idlib; we could be dead. In Spain, the number of corona-sick jumped overnight. Yesterday it was just over 11,000. Today, we are pushing 13,000. What will tomorrow bring? #StaySafe and #StayHome are not being heard loudly enough.

We are slowly accepting that this lockdown may last far longer than 14 or 15 days.

I really want to write a list of suggested activities for those who are also struggling with the quiet. I would love to give sage advice to – well, anyone, really. I wish I could help those who have caught this awful virus.

I may be able to do all that eventually, but tonight I just want to focus on Clapping Time and what it means for us all. Please listen to tonight’s recording.