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.

Retrieved from pinterest.com

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 10: #Coronavirus and a global perspective

Here’s our installment for Day 10. We’re chronicling our experiences during the #COVID-19 lockdowns, quarantines, and other restrictions.

This too shall pass

RafifJ in #Malaga

Retrieved from tinybuddha.com
No copyright infringement intended.

Seriously, though. Last night a friend sent me a meaningful message, one that I’ve been tossing around in my head and my heart all day today. With his permission, I am sharing what he feels #coronavirus is really doing to the world.

I’d love to get your thoughts on this.


Coronavirus is reminding us…

  1. …that we are all equal, regardless of our culture, religion, occupation, financial situation, or how famous we are. This disease treats us all equally – perhaps we should too. If you don’t believe me, just ask Tom Hanks.
  2. …that we are all connected and something that affects one person has an effect on another. It is reminding us that the false borders that we have put up have little value as this virus does not need a passport. By oppressing us for a short time, it reminds us of those in this world whose whole life is spent in oppression. It reminds us of Children of Adam, inscribed at the entrance of the United Nations’ entrance in New York.
  3. …how precious our health is and how we have neglected it by eating nutrient poor manufactured food and drinking water that is contaminated with chemicals upon chemicals. If we don’t look after our health, we will, of course, get sick.
  4. …of the shortness of life and what is most important for us to do, which is to help each other, especially those who are old or sick. Our purpose is not to buy toilet paper.
  5. …how materialistic our society has become and how, when in times of difficulty, we remember that it’s the essentials that we need (food, water, medicine) as opposed to the luxuries that we sometimes unnecessarily give value to.
  6. …how important our family and home life is and how much we have neglected this. It is forcing us back into our houses so we can rebuild our home and strengthen our family unit.
  7. …our true work is not our job – that is what we do, not what we were created to do. Our true work is to look after each other, protect each other, and be of benefit to one another.
  8. …to keep our egos in check. No matter how great we think we are or how great others think we are, a virus can bring our world to a standstill.
  9. …the power of free will is in our hands. We can choose to cooperate and help each other, to share, to give, to help and to support each other or we can choose to be selfish, to hoard, to look after only our self. Indeed, it is difficulties that bring out our true colors.
  10. …We can be patient, or we can panic. We can understand that this type of situation has happened many times in history and will pass. Or we can panic and see it as the end of the world and, consequently, cause ourselves more harm than good.
  11. ..This can either be an end or a new beginning. This can be a time of reflection and understanding, where we learn from our mistakes. Or it can be the start of a cycle that will continue until we finally learn the lesson we are meant to learn.
  12. …that this Earth is sick. It is reminding us that we need to look at the rate of deforestation just as urgently as we look at the speed at which toilet rolls disappear off shelves. We are sick because our home is sick.
  13. …that after every difficulty, there is always ease. Life is cyclical, and this is just a phase in this great cycle. We do not need to panic; this too shall pass.

Children of Adam
Human beings are members of one another,
since in their creation they are of one essence.
When the conditions of the time brings a member (limb) to pain,
the other members (limbs) will suffer from discomfort.”

Sadi of Shiraz, 13th century Persian poet
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Corona etiquette during lockdown

RJD in Beirut

So we’ve all stopped shaking hands, kissing each other when we run into each other, and are wearing gloves and masks. That’s our external new etiquette.

What about personal etiquette?

Retrieved from aljazeera.com
No copyright infringement intended

Today, I noticed that I am starting to cut corners on some things and I reprimanded myself. From now on, if I don’t stick to my new routine and follow up on my To-Dos, I will have to “punish” myself. No Digestives with tea at 5 pm, or I will have to do one more set of push ups…that is my way of keeping tabs and ensuring I don’t fall into a “depression” or “rut.”

No, you can’t not brush and floss your teeth after every meal. No, you can’t stay in your pajamas all day. No, you can’t not brush your hair. No, you can’t not shower daily. No, you can’t grow your eyebrow hairs and chin hairs. No, you can’t grow your armpit and leg hair. No, you can’t watch series all day. No, you can’t eat at midnight. No, you can’t not exercise or be active. No, you can’t procrastinate.

No.

We must have a semblance of a normal routine. Otherwise we will allow ourselves to go into a depression and become socially introverted. What will happen when the day comes to be released back into the “animal farm!”

What are your plans? Share your thoughts so we can all support one another in keeping up with a semblance of normalcy.

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I say a little prayer for you

Tina F. in Fairfax, VA

Today I’m thinking about all the people separated from their families by this pandemic.

I think of my parents in the United Kingdom who have been ordered to stay home for 4 months. They really weren’t going anywhere because my father is 88 and unable to walk. He has been housebound for months anyway. My 83-year-old mother has been caring for him along with caregivers who come to the house.

I was lucky to have visited them in the UK just in the knick of time. I’ve been back only 1 week and so much has changed in that time.  I keep hearing that this is only a fraction of what is to happen. Doomsday is still coming.

Enjoying “upper” facetime with Dad!

I don’t care about myself really. I care about the elderly, the lonely, the sick, and especially those who are separated from loved ones.

My saving grace is the FaceTime app on the iPhone. I can see my parents and tell them I love them.

Today I say a special prayer to families around the globe who are unable to get together to celebrate weddings, birthdays, or family reunions, to name a few. 

I pray for this to be over and that you are able to hug one another soon.

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Grrr!

Sunny, Global Cowgirl®, in Frederick, MD

I’m miffed. Enough is enough with lockdowns and fear-mongering about the virus.

Looking at the beaches in California over the weekend made me mad. Why do they get to run around like free-range chickens, and I can’t go to my hairstylist for color? How can any government official think a woman getting her hair cut and colored isn’t an essential service?

clipground.com
No copyright infringement intended.

Do officials have any idea what the state of our nation will be in if 50% of our population is forced to wear baseball caps because of the state of our hair??! Men, do you really want to be sequestered with a woman who can’t get her hair done and is forced to walk around looking like the dog’s breakfast? Every time she looks in mirror, get ready for her wrath, because someone’s gotta be the kicking post for her misery.

And let’s just look at the “science” in this. Where would a woman be safer than at her hair stylist’s, where the hair dye chemicals being used on our hair would cause any virus to choke and immediately croak?

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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.