Post 36: #Coronavirus and a global perspective on… anything, again.

Weekends are free-for-all for our little group. In case you’re new here, we’re sharing our uncensored experiences, thoughts, and opinions during lockdown, quarantine, and self-isolation. For some of us, it’s DAY 36. 


Living in a bucket of noise

Charlie, Washington, DC Metropolitan Area

My neighbors are oblivious to the fact they have neighbors who can hear every friggin’ stomp, jump, and bash they make. I am held captive in a bucket of noise. I learn too late that the condo I recently bought, where I was assured there was state-of-art soundproofing between floors, is just another contractor lie.

I’m learning many things in the Time of Corona. Like, I want to live someplace without neighbors above, below, or around me. I want trees to be my new best friends. Now, this is a major shift for me. Before ToC, I migrated to metropolises known for their hustle and bustle. Lots of elbowing down crowded sidewalks. Jostling in lines to go to the movies. Bruising battles for a taxi. (In the days before Lyft.) And retail therapy that can save you from rolling off your nut when the stress of whatever professional rodeo you’re competing in becomes too much.

No more. I want to form a life partnership with someone who wants to live in the woods, where walking in nature is our pastime. I figure this change of domicile heart is a tender mercy, because I suspect if it’s not #Covid-19 that puts us in quarantine, there will be another bug come along. One that sets every hair follicle on Dr. Anthony Fauci’s head on fire and has him yelling for me to hot-foot it to the nearest quarantine bunker immediately. I now accept that the only entertainment and human contact in heavily populated areas will be standing in line at Costco or Trader Joe’s, waiting to buy the few grocery items left available because our food supply chains have snapped.

Of course, there is a challenge in my day and night dream of spending my last days with a new-found love who also wants to escape to the woods. How am I going to meet someone in the ToC, because social distancing has put the kibosh on human intermingling? Of course, there’s always the Costco line. Bound to find a disgruntled geezer there who doesn’t want to spend life’s last days in a bucket of noise and social distancing.


Every cloud has a…

RafifJ, #Malaga, #Spain

Up and down, up and down, that’s how we roll. I know I’m not the only one on the CoronaDays rollercoaster, where we’re all doomsday and negativity one day, and trying to find that silver lining the next.

Today has been a silver lining day for me. Maybe it’s because yesterday I got a long look at the sea. The sea always lifts my spirits and reminds me that nothing is permanent.

Today, was super-productive. I spoke with friends I hadn’t been in touch with for awhile, got caught up on emails, and figured out a good work schedule for next week. I also scrolled through my social media feeds and saw a post that intrigued me.

The author asked members of an expat group if we would make the move to Spain all over again. Beyond the move, would we move to a city, sight unseen?

I thought about the question for a long time. To me, the question went far beyond the immediate “yes” or “no” answer. It wasn’t just about traveling or making a bold (or crazy) residential move. In my silver lining state, I interpreted the question to be more about our willingness to take giant leaps of faith now and then. About our ability to trust the universe. Faith that all would be right with the world, even if takes longer than we think is reasonable.

Finally, I answered: a resounding YES!

Yes, because despite all the uncertainty we’re experiencing, I can see a day After Corona when we create our new “normal.”

Yes, because my silver lining day tells me that we’ve been given time to reflect and renew. It’s up to us to use it.

Maybe it was the sea yesterday. Maybe I’m having a silver lining day because the sun was shining and I could hear birds chirping outside. Whatever the reason, I’m feeling positive. I’m thinking I will only live once, as far as I know, and I should live it to the fullest.

So! At least today, no moping. No irritation at being in lockdown (extended to May 9 in Spain). Today, I’m thinking ahead. Daydreaming about the people I’ll see and the places I’ll visit. The new business ventures I’ll launch. Today, I know that post-corona, anything is possible. Today is my silver lining day.


Coming to terms with my procrastination

Tina F., Fairfax, Virginia

My husband and I were planning to move out of our home this spring. But the #coronavirus has delayed everything. This was a blessing in disguise because I was happy to have more time to get my house organized and ready to sell.

I’m a bit of a procrastinator when it comes to doing things I don’t want to do. The current coronavirus “stay home” order has highlighted this slight flaw in my personality. It really doesn’t matter how much time I have; I will avoid doing certain things.

Organizing my personal items has never been my forte. I have a friend who thrives on organization and even started a business to help others like me get organized. It must be a personality trait that she was born with because she has tried to “help” me without much success.

Now I have been home for four weeks and I think I am still deliberately putting off clearing my clutter and packing. I know I am struggling with the same emotions and anxieties many of you are experiencing in the current state of affairs. I’ve heard from several friends that these uncertain times are rather overwhelming and at times crippling. Some experts equate the current Corona Blues to the feelings associated with grief.

After much analysis of my own, I have come to understand the reason for my current procrastination. Packing and moving means that I will be saying goodbye to the past 16 years of my life. 16 years of living in one place and raising my kids. This is the longest I have lived in the same house. I don’t think I’m mentally ready to make the move.

So is procrastination a crippling anxiety and a way of avoiding the truth? Is it the fear of the unknown? Or is it a hope that somehow it will take care of itself?

As Norma wrote in her blog on Saturday we will move forward after a life-changing event, but to do that, we must go through the present. This present is a double whammy for me. I feel the loss of my old life and the loss associated with an unknown future due to the Corona Blues. I need to get to the other side to be reassured that it will be OK.


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Post 8: #Coronavirus and a global perspective

Growing in both numbers AND size! We’re chronicling our experiences during the #COVID-19 lockdowns, quarantines, and other restrictions. 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: Still Percolating

I’m having a hard time articulating my thoughts, so I will simply put this out there: I’m really pissed off. Sometimes we need to let thoughts percolate a little before we can articulate them, and that’s what I’m doing – percolating. Like coffee. Yum. Coffee and…a cookie. Oh wait, I ate them all.

Rana-Nature pic

RJD let me use this screenshot. No idea where it originated. No copyright infringement intended.

Seriously. I usually use (silly) humor to deal with painful subjects, but I’m running out of humor. The more news I read and watch, the angrier I get. About how so many people put money over basic human decency. About how corruption and greed are destroying the planet. About the injustices of the world, like war and refugees and homelessness. Maybe, just maybe, this global pandemic will teach us that all these evils and injustices are really unnecessary. 

Like I said, I need my thoughts to percolate a little more. In the meantime, we have some nice posts below and I hope you enjoy them!

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Sunny in Frederick, Maryland: The Universe Throws Me a Bone

The TP gods smiled on me today.

Went to Costco to pick up a prescription. There, in the middle of the store was a lone package of 30 rolls. No one was in sight around it.

charlotte tpI sidled over and gingerly picked it up, expecting someone to jump out and yell, “THAT’S MINE!” But all was silent. I scurried over to self-checkout and then made my escape.

For three days I’d been stalking Costco for TP to no good end. Some days the universe just throws you a bone.

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From RJD in Beirut, Lebanon: Quarantined Introspection

In moments between waking and naps, between meals and keeping busy, I reflect and introspect about life and beings and earth and spirituality. So interesting to note that many cultures do not wear shoes inside their homes. With the age of Corona, no one should. Even without Corona, no one should. Especially in a dirty city like Beirut.

Other cultures greet one another with palms together and a bow. Namaste. Obviously, they are the smart ones, no? They don’t spread as many germs that way…me thinks…In the U.S., my sister and mother practically used to disinfect their eyelashes until they figured out that sterilization reduces immunity. In the age of Corona, we are disinfecting and sterilizing but I worry about our immunity. My hands definitely are not happy! Don’t forget to moisturize after washing.

socially distant hug ranaThoughts keep going through my head…more positive some negative. Today, I came to the conclusion that our quarantine in Lebanon needs to be extended (like Spain) for another few weeks, especially given the numbers of people gathering in various areas. The military and the police are holding down the fort today. For me, the quarantine really began today, now that people are getting tickets for being outside, or are being taken to jail for violating the lockdown. Definitely another two or three weeks more.

That brings me to how I am going to fill my time. After the jokes and making fun of ourselves (today’s best is: “My family and I are going for a picnic today, we are heading to our balcony!”), I think it is time to become more productive. Tomorrow, I am going to start a new regime…will tell you about it when I implement. For now, Beirut time, 5 pm, clapping time is here…

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Norma B. Wallace in Bend, Oregon: Acts of Kindness

In the middle of this chaos and craziness, simple acts of kindness are appreciated. Yesterday on a hike, I had to go over a high ridge to get to the River that was my goal. The rocks I had to climb over were wet and muddy.

A young woman with her two dogs first asked if I was okay with the dogs passing me. I was. She then said to be careful; she had already fallen twice. I wondered if I should continue. I started to crawl.

Norma and Puffin

By way of introduction, this is Puffin.

She encouraged me to go on—over the ridge it was fine. She showed me a better way, then waited below until I was on top of the ridge and okay. I thanked her and she just said, “Of course.”

It was so beautiful on top to see the mountains. Then I walked down to the River and relaxed. Soaking in the sun and listening to the sounds of the water. I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy those moments if that woman hadn’t encouraged me.

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Tina F. in Fairfax, Virginia: Sunday Bloody Sunday

Today I joined the ranks of all the morons who think they are smart.

Yes, my friends, I had the brilliant idea to wake up at 6 am and head over to our nation’s capital, Washington DC. My husband and I were being so clever….Since everyone was staying home, the plan would be simple: we drive in and get a few photos of the cherry blossoms near the famous Tidal Basin (a place we have avoided for years because of crowds) and drive right back.

You see, I’m a photographer. My husband has become my driver so I can pop out of the car and photograph with no need to park.

Tina blogWell SURPRISE, SURPRISE!! We ain’t so clever after all!! So many people had the same idea. Apparently, there was such a large crowd there yesterday that starting today, the park police decided to close the roads and parking lots surrounding the Tidal Basin. Do you think that stopped the diehard cherry blossom seekers? Of course not! People were out en masse.

Can’t drive to it? No problem, we will walk. WTF?? Entire families were out for a stroll, not worrying about keeping their distances. I had my mouth and nose covered and kept a hefty distance from anyone I saw. I walked in the middle of the closed roads while others strolled on the crowded sidewalk. I managed to snap my shots and got the heck out of there.

Homeless-TinaToday I understood why we have to implement total lockdowns. In Washington, D.C., we should be next because this lack of judgment is disconcerting. We are all morons. Myself included.

But on an even more important note, as I walked back to the car I saw something that hit me hard.

Do you think a lockdown will help get these people indoors?

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Roula B. in Falls Church, Virginia: Hunger Games

I woke up this morning feeling like a million bucks, except that I woke up a much fatter version of me of a month ago, so add $50. Yep, the pounds are creeping on as an added ‘benefit’ of this lockdown/social distancing thing. Frankly, I don’t even know where my town falls on the hunker-down scale anymore. There are lots of rumors but also a kind of hush around the DC area with all the closings. The roads and highways continue to be quiet, but we’re still allowed to shop for food and essentials with ease. Most restaurants and cafes are operating on take-out basis only, so food is one of the few things widely available and accessible. It’s a double-edged sword. Stay home, you eat; go out, not much to do but buy food or eat it. Well, now that I’m aware of the problem, I can tackle it…. after I finish this last bag of avocado oil chips.

So I woke up feeling great because before I went to bed last night, I got a message from a yoga friend asking if I was willing to participate in a taping of a Kundalini yoga class (a trio really) given by my favorite teacher guru. She and I would be the only students while the teacher taught us and the camera. A rare opportunity to get out and do something half-normal with real people who I know and love. How could I pass it up?

You see, in an effort to serve the community and to survive, many of the yoga studios in the area have gone live online and/or relied on studio recordings. I’ve tried and enjoyed some of those classes, but there’s nothing like the energy and vibration one gets from practicing with a group of people in the same room. We’re all breathing and moving together (well, for the most part), shifting the energy and sharing this cerRoula yogatain oneness that’s held and guided by the presence of a teacher who’s walking around assisting students…with BARE HANDS!

I guess I’m also heavier because my body is sad. Our bodies NEED to be close to others in space; to move, touch, hug, and kiss. This social distancing phenomenon is making my body so sad it wants to eat all the time because it’s now only allowed to freely touch or kiss food and drink. I already miss normal yoga classes with live people. I already miss teaching yoga. The building where I live has closed off all community spaces, so I had to cancel my last two classes.

After taping the Kundalini class this morning, I hopped in my car to head home when my alarm went off. I had set it to alert me that Marianne Williamson’s Global Prayer for a Miracle was going to happen at noon EST (in five minutes). Since I happened to be very close to my favorite outdoor meditation labyrinth, I turned the car and made my way there. I recited the global prayer tearfully.

I think I’ll be returning to this labyrinth regularly in my foreseeable, restricted future. An open-air space with nothing to eat and a chance to move the body and relax the mind is exactly what’s needed right now. Grateful.

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