Post 34: #Coronavirus and a global perspective on…keeping busy during lockdown

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 34. WE DON’T ALWAYS AGREE – nor do we have to! We post our opinions, and those of our guest bloggers, with no censorship.


All the time in the world

Tina F., Fairfax, Virginia

Although the days merge into one another and the hours seem to slip by with not much being accomplished, I actually have a few daily rituals to help me pass the time.

I try to get out of bed around 7 am and go downstairs to enjoy the peace and quiet since my family tends to sleep in. I love making my tea and catching up with my dearest friends and family across the world who have been up for several hours.

The one thing that I have found so rewarding, and which has brought me solace, is the daily writing of this blog. I never had the discipline to write a blog on a regular basis before, but for some unknown reason, I have found an outlet in these short daily writings.

It’s after that that my day becomes a little fuzzy. If you are a regular reader, you know I like to joke and present a crazy impression of the current situation. I am the “funny one” amongst my friends (a role designated by me). However, I do not feel fun or funny some days; other days, I feel as though there were a lump in my chest that wants to explode. Many times, I sit immobilized, unable to do anything.

It was when I sat down to really think about how I pass the time for this post that I realized how lucky I am to have all so many options.

These are some of the things I do after my I write my blog:

  • I read a book.
  • I scan the Internet for interesting stories and to see what’s new with the Coronavirus.
  • I go for walks with my husband and my dog.
  • I watch British period dramas online.
  • I FaceTime my parents and my friends.
  • I Zoom my Pilates class.
  • I team up with my son and play the interchangeable role of chef/sous chef as we create our elaborate dinners.
  • I team up with my husband as bartenders and come up with fancy cocktails.
  • I look through my old photos and family trips.

Wow! After looking over my list, I feel as though I am on an awesome vacation and I feel better.


Locked up in the car

RJD, #Beirut, #Lebanon

I hate driving, in normal times, in Beirut. The traffic, the aggressiveness, the waste of time, the lack of parking spots, and the double parking in narrow streets are just a few of my personal grievances.  

I also hate the fact that people have no respect for personal space, even for a car. Bumper to bumper, anywhere a toothpick can fit, one should occupy that space. I often wonder, “You moron, is it going to get you there any faster?” 

Avoiding hitting another car is like trying to drive a bumper car, in an amusement park, sans amusement!

The lockdown law is so that certain days are for odd-numbered license plate cars to drive (run “absolutely necessary” errands, as the policeman told me today at a checkpoint) and even-numbered cars on the other days, with a total curfew on Sundays. Like yeah, right. 

So being Lebanese, I take that opportunity to drive the more or less empty streets, blare the speakers, and listen to my favorite playlist. It has become my reprieve from staying at home. I drive along the Beirut Corniche, look at the sea, fantasize about swimming in it (it is one of the most polluted seas in the world), and enjoy the peace.

Today, I did just that. For half an hour. It was heavenly. I don’t leave my sterilized car (you know by now, I am OCD.) 

In a sad way, I am enjoying the lockdown rules and pray that when they are eased, this law of even and odd numbers will remain to reduce the Lebanese air pollution that we live in. Oh how I wish. But if it doesn’t remain so, I will go back to driving on Sundays only! 


Hope for After Coronavirus (AC) 

Norma Bea Wallace, Bend, #Oregon

We have to get through it first.

Yes, there is Hope that life AC will return to a new normal. I’m sure we will not go back to Before Coronavirus (BC) behavior. Thinking about the new normal – we will have to create what that new normal, just like we have had to create what the new normal is after any life-changing event. 

In an earlier blogpost, I wrote about how life has changed for me after my husband passed away two years ago. I had to move forward. We will move forward, AC. But before we move forward, we have to get through the present life with the Coronavirus and how it affects us. 

So what am I doing during this lockdown?

I am fortunate – I can go out for walks and bike rides and keep social distancing. I live a short distance from National Forest Land. As more people are using the trails, I use them less. I have a stability ball, yoga mat, and some weights at home; I am using them.  I look forward to FaceTime with my family and checking by phone how friends are doing. I have a little patch of yard that I am getting ready; I’ll put in containers with flowers in them. A friend has a greenhouse and he has been starting my flowers in flats. What is the stuffed toy chicken named Aurora doing there? A year and a half ago I started a story about a romance between Aurora and Puffin, who you met on my first blog. She (Aurora) lives with the family that’s preparing my flowers. I had forgotten about that story until the other day. So, I am going to dust off that story and work on it.

I have been sewing masks for friends who needed them for work. I am going to start making them for neighbors too, because it looks like we will be needing them to go most places. So I have kept busy. I enjoy seeing and hearing what others are doing, which reminds me of what a photographer here in Bend is doing. 

The photographer was featured on the same local TV station as the mother I wrote about last week. She started going to her portrait clients’ homes. Using a long lens – in keeping with social distancing – she photographs activities the family is doing; perhaps sitting on their porch or working in their front yard. This helps so many people. The family thinks about the activity they want photographed, or the photographer suggests one and they create a memory. Some families were building human pyramids; some had costumes for a play; some were painting outside; and others working in their flowerbeds. The list seemed endless. I am sure that gave others ideas in addition to the family having their experience documented. I know it made me think of my flowers and going back to writing. There were so many creative ideas that I am sure it inspired other families to do something creative.

We will get through this, and as long as we have hope, we will figure it out in our own way. It will change us; let’s make the change for the better. We will have choices; I believe we will learn from this. 

I am forever hopeful. 


Time keeps on ticking

RafifJ, #Malaga, #Spain

During lockdown, time has a certain fluid quality to it. Some days it goes by quickly; other days, it feels like it is simply not ticking. As the Steve Miller Band says, “Time keeps on ticking, ticking, into the future…” and that future is post-Corona. Then, I really do want to fly like an eagle.

Right now, the sad truth is that I plan my day around Clapping Time, when for 1 – 2 minutes, nothing but the sound of applause matters.

OK, 23.58 hours to go!

I find it easy enough to get my work done, clean the apartment, chat with friends and family, and catch up on the news. These activities keep me occupied for most the day. And let’s not forget the excitement of taking out the trash!

In the evenings, ping-pong and social media occupy me for a while.

But what gets me is the anxiety-ridden nights, those sleepless nights, when time keeps on ticking, and I have no answers for the future.


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