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Apr 21, 2020

Here are some of my thoughts on the stay-at-home mandate because of the Coronavirus, and how I have been feeling about it. First of all, I must say that I am really thankful that the virus hasn't impacted my family, apart from a cousin in Madrid who is now recovering. The demographic here is spread out, and small and rural, so the infection rate has not been high. This is unlike many areas around the world where it is densely populated, and people are therefore more at risk. I'm also thankful that we are now in spring. If the virus had hit us as we approached winter, it would have been twice as difficult and depressing. However, we have glorious colors of flowers, trees, the blue sky, and the sun to comfort us. And to be honest, I think we all need comfort right now. Every morning the world seems so different, and we don't really know what to expect. I am very fortunate that my husband still has work. Mine has disappeared completely, and I find myself floating with no routine. Sometimes I will plan a routine of great things to do daily, like pray, exercise, garden, practice French, cook something unusual, work on some art, contact a friend, and perhaps dust off the violin and squeak a piece of music into the atmosphere. That all sounds really good. Honestly, if I could do those things every day, I would become extremely accomplished. The trouble is, the next day I sort of rebel or lose energy. Have you found the same thing happens to you? Perhaps you are more disciplined than me. 

I was speaking with a butcher a few days ago in a supermarket who was telling me how thankful he is to have a job, and how he knows so many people who have no income, none. So what about food for their children, and the bills? When I consider the hardship that some people are facing, I certainly can't complain about my lack of routine, or lack of work. One of my Facebook friends posted about how the virus has impacted people so differently: some people have time to watch films, wear comfortable clothes, drink wine, and not worry about much, whereas others either have no money, work for less, or are worried about whether there will  be enough food to feed the family. "We are all in the same storm, but we are definitely not in the same boat," was what she said. 

Something else I have felt, as many others have, is the psychological impact of the virus. This sudden change, sudden loss of control, is very destabilizing. It makes me acknowledge my mortality on more of a daily basis. It has me turning to my faith, and rethinking my priorities. These are all good things, excellent things. I have more time to rest, to communicate, and to see life through eyes that are not busy. And I have to deal with emotions that come up from my subconscious which I am usually too busy to deal with. The writer Victor Frankl talks about this in his memoirs of Auschwitz: "When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves." That, for me, has actually been the hardest thing, to dig deep and consider my view of myself, and the path I am on. It's a time of reflection for me, to get myself in alignment with my creator. I am not a health worker, nor am I a food producer or essential service provider, so I am at home, floating, thinking, thankful for the work of others, and reshaping who I think I am.