Post 21: #Coronavirus and a global perspective

We’re a group of friends and family in various parts of the world, and we’re sharing our experiences and thoughts during lockdown, quarantine, and self-isolation.

This is Graupel

Norma B. Wallace, Bend, Oregon

During a FaceTime with family, I mentioned that I didn’t go for a walk because of the graupel outside.  You may not have graupel in your area – I have never seen it anywhere but Oregon. 

This got me thinking: why not go for a walk in it?

So the next day, when the white little pellets were dropping from the sky, I put on my coat and hat and went out for a walk. It really was nicer than walking in the rain a few days ago.

I am a lucky one, I can and may go out as long as I have the right clothes and stay six feet away from anyone. I am fine. If the weather is too severe, I can stay inside and be comfortable inside by the fire. Yes, I am very fortunate and so grateful. Today it is cold and snow is predicted and I will be reading by my fire. I will be fine.

Now I am thinking more. We do have time to think these days, don’t we?

Last week, my emotions went up and down with the weather. This week I am in a very stable, even-keel state. What’s the difference?

I have interacted more with family – social distancing doesn’t mean we can’t interact – it means we can’t interact physically. I have FaceTimed, joined a Zoom exercise class, talked over the fence with neighbors, and written (yes, with an old-fashioned pen and paper), and tried other creative ways to connect. I even had a birthday party for a neighbor within the guidelines of social distancing. I baked brownies from a mix I had. (I haven’t made a cake from scratch in years). I put a brownie in a bag with a small birthday candle in it with instructions to light the candle, take a selfie with it, and send it to the neighbor whose birthday it was. I put the bag on their porch and rang the doorbell. Neighbors were creative with their selfies and it made all of us a little bit happier. I am so grateful for all of my family and all my friends.

Yesterday was National Rainbow Day. Since I tied my blog to the weather two weeks in a row, I will end with a 🌈. Instead of wishing for a pot of gold, I wish for a cure for the coronavirus. A vaccine to prevent it. Yes, we all are wishing that this will come to an end. In the meantime, I will wear a bandana when I go out and practice social distancing.

I hope you all stay safe.

An act of kindness

Tina F., Fairfax, Virginia

Life during lockdown is so discombobulated. Time usually flies, but now the days seem to drag. Was it only a month ago that everything was still operational? Before the stock markets crashed and toilet paper became such a hot commodity.

I saw a meme online where a guy pays for his cup of coffee with 5 squares of toilet paper and tips the guy an extra square. I laughed, because it was funny and ridiculous. It will never come to that….Will it?

In our household, we still have a few rolls of toilet paper. But I told my kids if they see any while out at the store, to just buy it. They returned home with many items but no toilet paper.

Three days ago my son went to the Asian market and called me on his way home. he sounded so excited! “Mom, they had toilet paper!! I picked up two packs but the guy yelled at me and said I was only allowed one.

I laughed and answered that we don’t need to hoard; one pack was better than nothing.

When my son got home, he handed me a small shopping bag. “Where’s the toilet paper?” I asked. “In the bag.” I look inside and I see the cutest little four pack of toilet paper that I had ever seen. It was a mini 4 pack. I was happy and distributed them to each of us.

Today my friend texts me and says that she is at the store and do I need anything. Jokingly I text back – Do they have TP? LOL.

A minute later I hear the phone ding.

She responds, “Yup! But I can only buy 2 packs of 12 I’ll take one and I’ll give you one.”

Alleluia!! We can all rest assured that our butts will be wiped the luxurious cotton rolls.

Within 30 minutes she was in my driveway. I ran out and stood 12 feet away and gave her an air hug. She placed the items halfway between us. “ I also brought you napkins, chlorine, and a pizza. Just wipe everything down before you take it inside.” I nod in amazement. What a good friend she is. But that was not all. She had also brought us 4 masks from her own stash because she knew we had none.

I was so happy! Wow, so touched. Another big air hug and she was off.

I walked up to collect my items feeling so grateful. Candace has always been one of the kindest and most generous people I know and today was no exception. Thank you, Candace!

Cupid, Mars and Venus

RJD, Beirut, Lebanon

There is something to be said about the universe skies during Corona. I woke up at 3 am and for loss of what to do, not wanting to watch TV or listen to music, I went out on our terrace with my binoculars. 

Lo and behold, the beautiful sky! The beautiful, beautiful star-filled sky. No smog, no clouds, nothing. Just me and the sky. I took out my binoculars and began star-gazing. 

Orion’s Nebula was so clearly visible, giving birth to new stars. Venus was out there calmly in the Western sky and quietly yelling at Mars on the Eastern side. Spica was blossoming. Ursa Major was like a portrait. 

My thoughts as I gazed up went to a philosophical and existential place (again.)

We, as human beings and all life on earth, are but specs of dust in this whole big universe. But so many specs of dust that we have managed to make a sandstorm against the universe, not just Mother Earth. We have invaded space with our satellites, we have mutilated every aspect of this earth, and yet the stars are out there dancing every single night as if we don’t exist. 

Corona has taught us so many lessons that we needed to learn, and no, life will never be the same. Will we all be more mindful, less materialistic, more giving, less self-centered? Mars and Venus’s son, Cupid, will always be the god of war. We just need to learn which war we want to deal with. 

Speaking of wars: Syria, Iraq, and Yemen don’t have war anymore? Israel’s bombing of Gaza is agogo now? Venzuela and Lebanon’s poor getting poorer is not a war by the rich? Rohingyas, Kashmiris, innocent children and women being trafficked and abused are of no one’s concern?

I understand that the media is totally pre-occupied with five letters: N-A-O-O-R-C…but is the media so self-serving that our governments are passing laws right under our own noses that affect us all and media is not telling us about it?

Thank goodness, we are not remaining quiet this weekend in Lebanon about the Bissri Valley dam. Activists are making a massive ruckus about the government’s decision to go ahead with a dam that will kill the agriculture and forests, will not fulfill our water needs, and will be lying on a major fault line, possibly causing serious earthquakes. I will not even explain that the World Bank is involved… 

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Venus, Mars, send your son to fight for us all…we, specs of dust, need your help! 

This is a time when…

RafifJ, Malaga, Spain

Lockdown in #Spain extended until April 26. I just want to scream, and this is my rant.

Sorry, folks, I’m not upbeat tonight.

No, tonight I’m thinking about how this virus is continuing to spread despite extreme measures to contain it. I’m thinking about my family and friends, at least one of whom has already contracted coronavirus but cannot go to the hospital because he’s not sick enough. I’m thinking about the news I just read on MSN: “in New York City, crematoriums are now running 24 hours a day…” Another article tells me that in Ecuador, “bodies are being left in the streets.

Tonight the number of confirmed coronavirus cases is close to 1.2 million around the world. Remember when the total number around the world was just over 47,000? That was in mid-February, just a few short socially distanced weeks ago.

Here’s the statistical significance of this virus: it spreads fast.

This is a scary-as-shit time. This is a time when families are starting to bicker as they grow increasingly claustrophobic. This is a time when domestic violence is spiking and the coronavirus is not.

This is a time when governments are locking us down or locking us up. This is a time when governments are revealing their true authoritarian faces. Note the narrative emerging from Hungary.

This is a time when governments are abandoning the fairytale of the collective, or the pretense of working toward the common good. Instead, they are bickering over who ordered how many masks, who stole what from which country, and who is the biggest hijacker. Note today’s international news.

This is a time when leaders around the world are increasingly adopting the war narrative – we are at war, we defend our sovereignty, we are patriots, salute the flag…blah, blah, blah. We are so, so mighty in our war…against…an invisible virus. Again, 1.2 million today. What does next week bring?

This is a time when we need cool-headed leaders. This is a time when leaders need to step up to the plate to which they were elected. This is a time when governments need to collaborate, share data, and protect humanity.

This is a time when we need leaders to demonstrate some goddam leadership. Unfortunately, like face masks and hand sanitizer, there seems to be critical shortage around the globe.

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