Post 67: #Coronavirus and a global perspective…

…on staying indoors during warmer weather.

We’re sharing our experiences, thoughts, and uncensored opinions during lockdown, quarantine, and self-isolation. For some of us, it’s DAY 67.

Summer time

Tina F., Fairfax, #Virginia

Now that summer is around the corner, I am looking forward to a change. I have this fluttery feeling in my stomach remembering what the word “summer” means to me:

  • Summer means walking barefoot all day
  • Summer means visits to the beach and eating ice cream on the boardwalk
  • Summer means spending the day by the pool with a cocktail or two
  • Summer means longer days and BBQs with large gatherings

May 25th is Memorial Day and the official start of summer in the US. So how does this all play out during coronavirus 2020 ? Will summer will be cancelled?

I doubt it will be cancelled, because many states in the US have already opened their beaches, allowing groups of people to gather in one place. For those who decide to go, life will seem normal. As though we never had a pandemic. At least not until the numbers of fatalities from the coronavirus rise again.

So the question, “Does the warmer weather make it difficult to be indoors?” is a no brainer. Of course it does.

But if our brains weren’t so programmed on how summer is supposed to be enjoyed, we would not feel a loss if it does not live up to our expectations. We only have to change a few things and we could enjoy summer tremendously.

We in America have not been asked to lock down with curfews like most other countries. We have been asked to stay home. The outdoors is open. But there is no retail or entertainment or restaurant dining, but those are opening back soon.

As for me, I am not ready to go back to the normal hustle and bustle. So I will spend as much time as I can outside, barefoot, drinking cocktails, soaking in the sun, admiring the flowers. Eventually the temperatures will soar and I will retreat back indoors to my air-conditioned home.

The chair on the left has my name on it…let’s hope I can go there soon! – Tina

Ughhhh summer is here…

RJD, #Beirut, #Lebanon

The temperature in Beirut has been at 90 degrees Fahrenheit since last week and it has been so unbearably uncomfortable.

I am a hot-blooded individual. The heat has never been my friend and I hate humidity and stickiness. In the summer, I take 3 showers a day!

I also have an aversion to eating outdoors when it is this hot. I can do so if I am in a bathing suit, sitting in the shade. But to me, summer outdoor events, from lunches to weddings, are a nightmare. I avoid them vehemently.

It is beyond my comprehension why anyone would spend hours at the hairdresser and wear evening formal clothes (at a high price I might add), to eat and dance in this kind of weather. And only to see mascara running and sweat marks on their lavish clothes. What a waste of time and money…I know many would disagree with me, but hey!

So, in these lockdowns, I am – luckily – just as happy as can be sitting in an air-conditioned room pretending it is winter. I dream and long to walk the rainy and cold streets of London like a happy duck. Soon…I hope…

Retrieved from No copyright infringement intended.

Venturing out and #planting

Norma B. Wallace, Bend, #Oregon

I am going out today!!! Yes, it is more difficult to stay in when it is sunny and bright out. I am actually going to a store!!! I have had friends go to the store for me since the lockdown.  I am going to venture out with masks and gloves, of course.

I was perfectly happy staying in by my fireplace this past week while it rained. I have gone out for walks, where I was hoping to go between showers. Unfortunately my timing wasn’t right, I got drenched. That made my fireplace even more inviting.

After reading RJD’s perspective in Blogpost #64, I got out my planters and decided I would make a little herb garden in them. 

You see how far I have gotten during this week during the rain. The planters have been in my garage for two years and were actually just containers for other things. It’s good to think of them being repurposed and used as planters. No, I am not going to save money. I don’t know what the cost will be, but I need to buy potting soil and plants. I also will have to bring the planters in at night because it still gets below freezing. It will be worth it. I am getting out of the house with a purpose—will get some exercise and eventually add some fresh herbs to my food. 

It feels great to go to the store. Will post another time with the end product. 

Warm weather, good

RafifJ, #Malaga, #Spain

I thought I’d start with a photo of beautiful Malaga. It is virtually impossible to stay indoors when the sky and the sea are this blue. These are just some of the colors that delight our eyes.

I took this photo the first day we were permitted to go outdoors for walks. Other than my elation at being “allowed” outside, what struck me was that the weather had turned warm, overnight. One day we could only go out for groceries or medical needs, and it was cold. The next day, we could walk around during specific times, and the weather was just fabulous.

Actually, for most of our lockdown, the weather had been unseasonably cold and wet. It was as though Nature understood that we were miserable indoors, and chose to make any outdoor trips unpleasant. I remember occasions when I was feeling claustrophobic and invented reasons to go shopping – I need parsley – we’re out of pencils – we might run out of dental floss next week – I would walk furtively to the store, only to get rained on. I’d return home quickly, cold and shivering.

But now it’s a completely different story. Looking at the happy, happy people filling the cafes, and the groups strolling along the shopping avenues in this beautiful city, it’s almost like we never had a coronavirus issue. Other than the masks nearly everywhere (and as of midnight they are required), you wouldn’t know that two weeks ago people were afraid to greet one another, let alone hug and kiss as they do now.

Spring marks new beginnings and new life. Hopefully in May of 2020 and beyond, the spring and summer will not mark a new life for the virus.

#StaySafe #WashYourDamnHands #WearAMask

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Post 64: #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 64.

Give us our daily plants

RJD, #Beirut, #Lebanon

This week, a Lebanese icon, Nadine Labaki, released a video that encourages us to grow our own gardens in an attempt to save money on local produce. Not that we have any money left anyway to buy food as was written in The Washington Post today.

Our local currency, the Lollar, began playing a game of hide and seek until it hid and couldn’t be found anymore (it has been kidnapped for a huge ransom!) Many of our groceries have also quadrupled in price.

A brilliant combination of local stars, journalists, and influencers participated in this sing-a-long: plant it, grow it, water it, cut it, cook it, share it are among many of the lyrics.

I am so happy that this movement is taking place for many reasons:

  1. During lockdowns, gardening is an amazing meditative experience.
  2. Reap what you sow. There is something to be said about eating what one nurtures.
  3. It is creating a community of gardeners in many neighborhoods.
  4. We are learning to be more environmentally cognizant.
  5. We avoid produce that has been watered with sewage water (yep!)
  6. Green spaces!
  7. I have been planting my veggie and herb garden for years and so happy to be joined by others!

There are days when I feel like giving up on Lebanon. What Nadine Labaki did is she rekindled my patriotism and my love for this amazing little country that just can’t seem to mature.

But gardeners, environmentalists, protestors, citizens, we shall prevail now and post-corona. Enjoy and sing along; I’ve been humming the tune all day.

Heirloom tomatoes, grown locally by RJD on her balcony.
Flower bed locally made by @myriamshwayri @alkafaat

Sorry, not sorry

Wayne Wallace, McLean, #Virginia

I remember the outrage expressed by politicians and pundits of a particular stripe that the President of the United States (POTUS) was corrupting the youth of America. Because the POTUS had lied about sex, and because it became the main conversation across the country, he had “coarsened” the nation and was an especially bad example for our youth. You see, POTUS is held to a higher standard than the rest of us, specifically because of the position he holds and the visibility of his office.

Where are those politicians now? What do the pundits think today? Far worse than the example of an extra-marital affair, the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is setting us up to normalize sociopathy. When he speaks, he shows empathy for no one other than Donald J. Trump. In April 2020, some 30 million Americans lost their jobs. Trump’s take on it? “Nobody can blame me,” he announced, neglecting to recognize the impact to millions of his constituents.

When the death toll from the #Coronavirus surpassed 70,000, he tried to express empathy. But his true nature shone through: “To those who have lost loved ones, we are sorry, and we are here for you. But I’m going to give you an economy they can be proud of.” Really? Are your dead relatives proud of Trump’s economy? Our Commander-in-Chief couldn’t manage to spit out one unadulterated empathetic sentence.

“I Made Cheeto Trump.” Found on Reddit.
No copyright infringement intended.

Where is the outrage from what’s left of the right? The alt-right, I get (they’re sociopaths, too), but there used to be a principled opposition that would speak up and point out wrongs. They would prod those in power to do the right thing. Were their voices silenced when Fox News fired all the so-called “Never Trumpers”? If so, I fear for the country, because it means the American Right has become devoid of moral character. Children giggling in the schoolyard about a blue dress and the DNA found on it is concerning. But it’s nothing compared to the damage to America’s Future inflicted by a Commander in Chief whose example is that self-centeredness and utter lack of empathy – not to mention accountability and a whole host of other responsibilities – is an acceptable standard. Should future generations of leaders understand that sociopaths are to be admired? Is empathy and concern for fellow citizens no longer a virtue?

Adapting to the future

RafifJ, #Malaga, #Spain

One of my favorite pastimes is apartment-hunting, whether or not I’m in the market for a new place. There’s something exciting about entering a space and letting my imagination go. How did the owners collect their artwork? What’s the story behind each piece of furniture? How would I arrange my own stuff in this apartment? How awesome would my dinner parties be here? I’m always in search of the perfect apartment.

In the BC days, I found my perfect apartment. It is smack in the middle of the old city. Bars and restaurants on both sides of my street. The carryout place is so close they could just throw my order up through my window. And how romantic, to be in the old city! Ideal!

Well, let me tell you, that got old about two weeks into my year-long lease. Living in the heart of the old city is only romantic during the day, while the drunks are asleep. Throughout the evening and well into the night, I was routinely kept awake through the evolution from social drinking to happy drinking, buzzed to sloppy, crying over love (oh, why did she leave me!) (Me: because you’re a fool), and eventually, inevitably, the challenge to a fight in the alley (if I can’t have her, nobody can!).** It was rare for me to get to sleep before 4 or 5 am because of the noise.

** Overly dramatic portrayal of real events **

With lockdown, though, the eerie quiet has been more disturbing that being kept up all night, and I have to admit I’ve been longing for the old sounds. But my priorities have changed, and as the end of my lease nears, I feel the familiar twinge of excitement at starting the apartment hunt all over again.

Time for virtual tours! Next week, since Malaga has finally entered Phase 1 of “un-lockdown,” I will visit places in person – masked, gloved, and possibly caped like a superhero. When I’m ready to move, I won’t be looking for the nightlife, no matter how much I miss the loud drunks. Nope, in anticipation of a second wave of the Coronavirus, my new perfect apartment has a sunny balcony overlooking the sea and a quiet space where I can work. The decor won’t matter; my stuff will fit perfectly, I’m sure; and the fabulous dinner parties will have to be over Zoom.

Sometimes, we just have to adapt to the future.

La Malagueta, Malaga

New Ways to Solving Problems

Norma B. Wallace, Bend, #Oregon

Albert Einstein said it best: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Retrieved via Internet search.
No copyright violation intended.

I think of all the ways in my 76 years that I have solved problems. I am resilient and will overcome whatever I need to at the end of this pandemic. I am not sure how, but I’ll figure it out. That is an expression I hear from my grandkids and I am proud of them and their parents for having that attitude. I just don’t know what the solutions will be.

I could name all the things we all have made do at home and all the people that provide services that we depend on. The grocer, the truck driver, the healthcare workers, and and. ….

What are the solutions? We certainly can’t depend on our government—there is more chaos than I have ever seen in my lifetime. Believe it or not—I am totally at a loss for words and can’t even ramble. I have written and rewritten this post and deleted all the previous drafts. I am just depending on the next generations to improve life on this planet and others for the benefit of ALL mankind. Show respect for fellow human beings. Take care of the Earth and the Universe. There have to be solutions!!

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