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

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 41: #Coronavirus and a global perspective on the first thing(s) we’ll do when it’s over.

We’re sharing our experiences, thoughts, and uncensored opinions during lockdown, quarantine, and self-isolation. For some of us, it’s DAY 41. 

All you need is sleep

RafifJ, #Malaga, #Spain

Here we are, Day 41. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to understand reality, virtual or otherwise, and time is becoming much more fluid as the lockdown rules eat away at my psyche. The current (Spanish) government guidance is that children 14 years old and younger can play outside for 1 hour, starting April 26. [There is no way, right, that I can get away with saying I also need to play? And I need sunshine, and a walk along the beach?] But hopefully this is just the beginning of a slow and gradual easing of restrictions for the rest of us.

What will the words “lockdown over” mean for us? Will we quickly jump back into our BC patterns? What are the first things we’ll do AC? I don’t know if we can ever go back to our old reality, and I’m sure we will engage in what used to be “normal” social behavior (like hug loved ones, go out to dinner, hang out at the beach) with more gratitude, now that we know what it’s like to be deprived of our people, our habits, our “normal.”

I know the list of first things to do is a long one….so I will keep mine short:


Yes, sleep. You know how dogs sleep on their backs when they’re super comfortable? Belly exposed, not a care in the world, trusting that all is right in their universe. That’s how I’m going to sleep. When the pandemic has been declared over, I will finally sleep, deeply – the kind of sleep that isn’t elusive because of insomnia, or interrupted by anxiety. I’ll probably do that for a couple of days. And then…and then, I will head to the beach for a quick walk in the sea, under the sun, on my way to the airport.

First things first

RJD, #Beirut, #Lebanon

I asked a few people around me about their ideas of what they will do when the lockdowns are lifted: “Go to the beach,” “Open my business,” “Travel on holiday,” “Go to a restaurant,” were a few of the answers I received.

…not go back to normal. That is my take on it right now. I am gearing up, for when the lockdowns ease, to change many things in my life.

First and foremost, hygiene. The diligence we have had to adhere to the past few months is going to be the way to go from here on out. However, I will use a lot more white vinegar to clean things than cleaning products. White vinegar comes in glass bottles, which are recyclable, as opposed to cleaning products, which are mainly in plastic containers.

Second, this lockdown taught me more of my priorities in my life going forward. Materialistic needs are gone forever. My needs are now to take care of my family, pets, garden, and self. I don’t need clothes, gadgets, and junk, things…I need to show care.

Family and friends. I will see my family and friends and cherish every moment with them. I miss being with them terribly, be it here in Beirut, or in Dubai, England, Spain, and the US.

Activism. I plan on being much more of an activist for many rights that a lot of us take for granted. The kafala system in Lebanon is one of them. Children trafficking. Recycling. Environment. I am going to have to find my niche and get going on it immediately.

Charity. I have always been charitable. But I am going to spend a lot more time doing more meaningful work that is direct and not through organizations. Boots on the ground.

And finally, give love. Remember, I am a bleeding heart and I want to be able to give love to every living being. I want to hug people and animals. I want to smile at every person I pass by on the street and say hello.

I also want to celebrate life and hope and gratitude.

What is the first thing you will do after lockdown?

Tina F., Fairfax, Virginia

Ahhhh!!! I dream about the end of this coronavirus a lot. But what is the first thing I will do? The list is long and includes the obvious like visiting family and friends, taking short trips, and vacationing around the world. However, before I can go back into “normal” life I need a personal reboot. I would love to go to back a place where I feel physically and mentally at peace. To a place surrounded by wonderful people and warm weather.

For the past three years, I have travelled with Studio Be retreats to Casa Om, a lovely boutique villa 2 minutes from the beach in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. We are there for one week of yoga, Pilates, meditation, food, sun, and camaraderie. For one week, I am surrounded by a group of mostly women who have travelled from around the nation to meet at Casa Om in Mexico. All with one intention: to give ourselves time for reflection and personal growth.

I am not an early riser, but when I’m at Casa Om I get up early. There is something rejuvenating about waking up before sunrise and walking to the beach for a sunrise meditation. The sand is still cool as you sink your toes in it. All you can hear are the rippling waves and chirping birds.

Every day there are a couple of yoga or pilates classes. The rest of the time you can sign up for massages, sound healing, participate in local adventure, or lay on the beach.

The first time I went there I was skeptical. I do not do yoga or meditate or eat vegan food. I did not let that get in the way and I participated in everything, even took part in a temazcal (a sweat lodge). By the end of the week my mind was calm, my body was relaxed, and I felt great.

The day after I arrived back in the USA I was in a restaurant picking up my food order, when the guy behind the counter said “you look so relaxed like you are glowing” …. I looked around to see if someone had set him up or if there was a hidden camera. Who says that stuff? Had he just come back from a retreat? I must have had an aura around me. I took it as a huge compliment and left smiling even bigger.

So my post-coronavirus dream is not only to physically go back to that place in Mexico, but to have everyone open their minds just enough to let in the spiritual peace that surrounds all of us, no matter where we are. I know traveling to a place like Casa Om is a luxury that is not available to most people, but it is the thought that we can all work on our inner peace right here at home that inspires me. This lockdown has brought so many virtual resources to our homes. We are learning new ways to do almost everything. Maybe we can learn new ways to invite self-awareness so we can accept others and situations that are out of our control.

However, one thing I have come to value as irreplaceable is human interaction. That will never be replaced by virtual reality.

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

We use photos from Internet searches. No copyright infringement intended.

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.