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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