Post 43: #Coronavirus and a global perspective.

We’re sharing our experiences, thoughts, and uncensored opinions during lockdown, quarantine, and self-isolation. For some of us, it’s DAY 43. 

Today: free-form writing.

Burqas

Charlie, Metro #Washington, DC

I’ve decided I want to wear a burqa when I go out now in this time of the #Coronavirus. Actually, I’ve always wanted to wear one. When I lived in London, many of the women in my apartment building wore them. They looked so elegant as they headed over to Selfridge’s in their Jimmy Choo shoes. You could see a sliver of their high-end jeans. And their eye makeup was spectacular.

I’m thinking wearing a burqa now when I leave the house would be the perfect way to face this insane world we’re living in. First, it would cover up the goofy state of my hair. It would give me an excuse to gussie up my face with great, colorful, and cheerful eye makeup. That would lift my spirits. It would be the perfect excuse to go online and buy some fetching shoes. And there would be no need to wear a crumpled up medical mask anymore.

I’m going to hop online now and start looking for some of those fetching shoes.


Feeling Like the Last Person on Earth

Norma B. Wallace, Bend, #Oregon

Today I felt like I had to go someplace. I have stayed home and have not driven in a month, would I know how? I decided to go up to the ski resort, as I didn’t want to be around people. I am doing the best I can at social distancing. I didn’t know it would be as isolated as it turned out to be. The ski resort is only 17 miles from my house. After 7 miles, there were no other cars. Then it started raining. The road was blocked into the lodge; I could see the ski lift but not the mountains because of the clouds. It was so eerie! I felt like I was the last person on Earth. There have been many movies and books with this theme – I felt like I was living in one of them. Perhaps, if I really wasn’t the last person – if I could find a few others in other isolated areas.  Could we learn from this and start living together and create a better world?  I hope so. 

Then I drove back home and to reality.  I still have hope though.


“We are (not) all in this together”

Tina F., Fairfax, #Virginia

Listening to the radio while in my car, I hear musicians talking about the #Coronavirus and pontificating about our need to stay home and stay safe, followed by “We are all in this together.” This is now the new catchphrase to make the general public feel better about their situation. It is used in public service announcements and commercials, and by celebrities reaching out to reassure the public: “we feel your pain. Don’t worry, we are all in this together.” But clearly, we are not all in it together. The celebrities, politicians, and musicians are not in the same fight as the middle class and they are even more detached from the millions of the underserved, low- income people in this country.

How does the celebrity shut down in their mansion with a fully stocked pantry and sipping margaritas by their beautiful pool think they are in it together with middle-class America? And how does middle-class America sitting in their comfortable homes, lucky enough to have a little nest egg saved for a rainy day, think they are in it together with the impoverished? And how are the impoverished in it with the homeless? Whoever initiated the slogan may have intended to create a sense of solidarity among Americans, but instead has accentuated the real “social distancing” present in this country.

No, Bruce Springsteen (whom I absolutely adore), you are not making us feel better discussing how you and Patti are coping with the shutdown, passing the time riding your horses. No, Nancy Pelosi, we do not need to see your freezer with your overindulgent stash of ice cream.

I know that action is being taken by some businesses to help. For example, several credit card companies are waiving their fees and deferring due dates. And nonprofit organizations proactively raising money to help different sectors of the population. One of those is José Andrés, a world-renowned Chef and founder of World Central Kitchen, an organization that helps feed people during natural disasters. A commendable way to give back to your community.

However, the longer the economy remains closed, the more desperate the situation will become. The other day I read someone’s brilliant opinion on how the government should stop getting paid and live on $1,200 for 10 weeks. Maybe then, more of us can be in this together.


How I see Lebanon lockdown easing…

RJD, #Beirut, #Lebanon

In the state of Georgia, some residents’ main relief is that they can now go bowling. Oh, I am so happy for them…

On the other hand, we in Lebanon are spending the day anticipating what our future will hold, as of tomorrow, when the easing of lockdown begins. Will we be able to afford food and staples with the continuous rise of the Lebanese Pound against the greenback when the government declared war on the Central Bank on Friday night? Will we be able to afford to pay our insurance, car repair, double electricity bills? Bowling is not on our minds…

The government declared a five-phase easing of lockdowns with weekly assessments. This comes after a week of fewer coronavirus victims, but we spiked yesterday with 8 new cases and 2 deaths.

No, we shouldn’t be loosening the restrictions. Not because I am enjoying being cooped up, not because people are not starving because of the lockdowns, not because of anything. But during this holy month of #Ramadan, with the daily iftars and souhours (meal before dawn), people are going to head out, either to socialize or to buy food or to demonstrate against the spike in prices and the flailing greenback.

This, in a country where only last week, demonstrations picked up and protesters wore no masks, no gloves, and observed no distancing in many poorer regions of the country. This, in a country where more than 4,000 expats will be coming back in 2 weeks from all over the world. All this, when ignorance and hunger precede lockdown restrictions.

As I am writing, I can hear the police sirens on the Beirut Corniche warning people to go home. The lockdowns are broken already! We live in a mayhem society, and teaching the public how things will proceed is as essential, if not more essential, than lifting restrictions and easing lockdowns.

Unless we can educate, monitor our phase ins and outs, we will be heading into a worse disaster than the greenback and the Lebanese Lira.


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Post 27: #Coronavirus and a global perspective

We’re friends and family from around the world, sharing our experiences and thoughts during lockdown, quarantine, and self-isolation. For some of us, it’s DAY 27. Important Note: WE DON’T ALWAYS AGREE – nor do we have to! We post our opinions, and those of our guest bloggers, with no censorship. No copyright infringement intended WRT photos in this post.


Today we hear from #Barcelona, #Virginia, #Oregon, and #Beirut regarding a few religious holidays…and we even have a virtual Easter egg hunt! #Malaga is happy to sit back and enjoy these posts while contemplating the lessons an #Agnostic can learn from the #Coronavirus.

We may be of different faiths and belief systems, and we may express ourselves differently, but we do have a unified message:

#STAYHOME #STAYSAFE


“ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, YOU…”

#Passover, #Easter, and #Ramadan 2020

D., Barcelona, Spain

The other day, my favorite Pope EVER – Pope Francis – made a statement hinting that #COVID-19 could be a message from Nature telling us that enough is enough. I think the Pope was trying to be secular and politically correct. I think “nature” is code for God.

This coincides with the month during which the world’s main monotheistic faiths are celebrating three holy occasions: Passover, Easter, and Ramadan.

Passover: This year, from April 8-16, my fellow Jews will remember the 10 plagues that God inflicted on the Egyptians to convince the Pharaoh to release the Jews from slavery.  The 10th plague was the death of every Egyptian first-born. Jews were instructed to slaughter a spring lamb and mark the doorsteps of their homes with its blood, so that the angel of death would pass over the homes, saving their first-born from death. Pass-over? First-born? Interesting.

Easter: On the other hand, my Christian sisters and brothers will celebrate Easter twice again this year (the 12th is Catholic & the 19th is Orthodox), remembering the betrayal, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Twice? This represents the betrayal, crucifixion, and resurrection of LOVE – unconditional love – to save us all. Anyone reading anything here?

Ramadan: This holy month falls around April 23 to May 23, give or take, depending on the lunar calendar. For my Muslim brothers and sisters, this is actually the holiest of months. Fasting and observing the month’s rituals make up one of the five pillars of Islam. This is the month during which the Prophet Mohammed received his first revelation, and the month during which Muslims believe he would later ascend to heaven, and then return to Earth. It’s the month when Muslims are supposed to go back to the basics: the month of physical, mental, and spiritual detox and purity; the month they’re instructed to give to and care for each other. It is a month of fasting, prayer, and family, which in recent years, has become the month of gorging, greed, profitability, Iftar parties, Suhours, and socializing.

What’s interesting this year is that the doors of all those lavish and ornamental palaces, temples, churches, and mosques are closed. The spaces we’ve created to house, contain, and celebrate God in our little groups are closed, off-limits, geschlossen…. As if someone is telling us, “Go away. Go home. Be with your loved ones. I don’t want you visiting me. I don’t want you using me as an excuse anymore. Go – rethink and reconsider your priorities, your lives… your love.”

But then again, I’m only assuming things here.

So in light of all of this, the questions that come to mind right now are:

  1. Will the Pharaohs of today release us from our bondage and slavery, or will they need another plague to convince them? But also, will we free ourselves?
  2. Will there be enough unconditional love to save each other- and in turn, ourselves – or will this world fall apart? At the end of the day, do we want to live in a world of fear, or do we want to live in a world of love?
  3. Will we use this quarantine as a detox period, revisiting and reprioritizing our plans, coming back stronger and better than before, or will we get @!#*%^? Will we learn and improve?

Whether you realize that these and other belief systems are part of a continuum of milestones along the same trajectory of human and social development, each a major chapter in the same book entitled, “Humanity,” or whether you believe that it’s nature or God, or that nature is God and you are part of it too, or whether you don’t believe in any of this stuff and you think it’s historical BS, may we all exit #COVID-19 freer than we were before, more loving and loved than we were before, and more informed and improved than we were before this plague. A free, loving, and enlightened world? Imagine.

Happy Passover, Happy Easter, Happy Ramadan, and Happy “Just Another Day” for all.

Compilation of Google images

Show Love

Norma B. Wallace, Bend, Oregon

Happy Easter! Of course, we all know that bunnies and Easter egg hunts have nothing to do with the meaning of Easter. Many non-Christians participate in Easter egg hunts and Spring activities. My bunnies are staying safe, staying home, and staying masked when they need to interact with others. They want to show love ❤️ and thanks.

There are so many ways that you can celebrate and stay safe. Celebrate with your family together. Zoom is a great way to connect with a group, or use FaceTime or Skype with families. Be creative. I know this is like preaching to the choir as anyone reading this post, I believe, is practicing the rules of social distancing. 

I wish there was a way to get this message to those who “don’t get it” because it affects us. Those Christians who are holding services in groups together are not showing the Christian Love. They could kill us, literally.  They should be held accountable.

I may go to church but my church is online, believing  that is the best way to show Love. I wish all churches would show love that way.

So whether you are celebrating Easter or Spring activities, please #StayHome, #StaySafe, and Be Safe for others.  

There needs to be more Love in the world —
Show Love by Staying Home. 

Easter Sunday Mass

Tina F., Fairfax, Virginia

Let me begin by telling you that I was born, baptized, and confirmed as a Roman Catholic. Yet I grew up in a Muslim country and later moved to the USA and converted to the Episcopal faith. Now I’m just a humble earthling still trying to understand the wonders of the world.

OK, so that clears up my credentials as I begin to share my thoughts about Easter Sunday Mass for Catholics.

Many devote Catholics are rather disappointed that they will be confined to their homes for Easter Sunday rather than celebrating in church with their priests and their community. Easter is one of the most important celebrations in the Catholic faith. It documents the resurrection of Jesus Christ and his ascension into heaven, where he is now seated at the right hand of God. It is the culmination of 40 days of Lent, when Catholics fast or give up something as a sign of sacrifice to God.

Anyway, I’m not trying to give you a lesson in Catholicism, but I bring it up merely to show that Easter Sunday is the largest attended mass of the year after Christmas. People come out of the woodwork, dust off their Sunday best and bright, spring-colored hats, and head for church.

So what will happen this Easter Sunday?

The churches have not closed their doors nor left their parishioners out in the cold. Many are offering virtual Mass services, available via their websites. For lack of better judgement, some churches are still opening their doors for small, private prayers while others are using Signup Genius for virtual confessions.

The Internet may be a good way to continue to offer Mass services. But I wonder if those Easter/Christmas-only churchgoers will actually attend the online Mass.

In the Midwest and the South, some churches have resorted to conducting services in parking lots, similar to drive-in movie theaters. Will the Catholic churches near me offer the drive-in option?

It’s rather simple. People who have been isolated in one household can drive in together and park. All windows must remain closed at all times. The attendees then open the church app and tune into the current session. The priest can choose to be live on a stage or on a screen, depending on the number of cars.

The Catholic Mass is very interactive. Parishioners respond to prayers in unison. So it is important to keep that connection. In this drive-in church, when the priest calls out, “peace be with you,” all the attendees will flash their car headlights in unison. When he asks them to “offer each other the sign of peace,” attendees will turn and wave to the people in the other cars around them. Communion will be tough to share, but I think the church can wrap the wafer (the body of Christ) in an airtight bag that has already been blessed. Then at the end of Mass, the priest will stand at the edge of the parking lot. He will be wearing his face mask and gloves, of course, so that as cars drive up, he can bless each car and carefully place a hermetically sealed communion wafer in the trunk before the parishioners drive away.

Well, no matter which way you choose to stay in touch with your faith, I wish you a very Happy Easter! Namaste.

I leave you with a virtual Easter egg hunt. There are approximately 30 eggs to find.

Easter Charity

RJD, Beirut, Lebanon

Spring. Rebirth. Easter. 

Usually I decorate my house with Easter bunnies, baskets, flowers, and colored eggs. 

Usually, I love holidays like Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving. Since November of last year, I have not celebrated any of my favorite holidays. 

Today, I feel more the spiritual aspect of Easter and its meaning to those who celebrate this Holy event. 

Instead of my decorations, I am raising and donating food to a refugee nursery school that supports 180 families by feeding the children 2 times a day. That to me is worth more than any Easter egg hunt or chocolate! 

Used with permission

In the past few months, the Lebanese population has suffered a massive economic shock that has led to more poverty than ever. The disparity in wealth – or the utter lack of wealth – was huge, and now is magnified by the advent of Corona, its lockdown, coupled with a sinking economy the likes of which are so few. 

Despite that, many Lebanese have shown a sense of community and responsibility where previous governments have failed. Charity was always present in our society; it is a religious duty in many parts of Lebanon. 

With this sense of charity, Lebanese citizens have been able to provide many needy families with food boxes of basic staples. I am not talking about the media campaigns that were launched nor am I talking about the so-called NGOs that are infested with political undertones. I am talking about average citizens who have civic sense, morality, and decency. 

Its still not enough. It will never be enough but what is enough is knowing that this Easter, I am doing something selfless and more spiritually meaningful. 


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

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. 

We use photos we retrieve via Internet searches. No copyright infringement intended.