Hi. I’m calling from Seattle. I’m in my new basement office. I took over the guest room. It’s not bad. I’m working alot.
I have a pretty demanding job, and I’ve just been realizing that I really miss walking from meeting room to meeting room. and I miss you know, walking to the kitchen which is further away in the office. And sometimes I even have to walk to another building in my office. I miss having to stand to move. Honestly, I can stand. I am allowed to get up and move, but I just find myself working for a long time and not taking breaks because it’s just more work.
I have especially more work because of Covid actually, but yeah. I’m just not. There’s just no natural break It feels like the day starts with work and ends with work, and I don’t come up for air. And I know that I have an easier job by far than like, doctors and nurses and even those people who are delivering packages and working in a grocery store but. I don’t know I just… I need to learn to take a break and find some air between all of this. That’s it for me. Thanks.
Good afternoon. I am calling from the village of Harlem in New York city, and to my surprise, it’s 2:34 PM and I’m just waking up. I don’t need this calendar that’s in front of me on my wall that reads March 20th, 2020. I’m in the process of losing weight, and every day I write down what my current weight is. I haven’t done that since… Last date I marked was, looks like March 21st. Because the quarantine has me eating around the clock. And as you can see, I wake up whenever my eyelids choose open. I have no job to go to.
My son is here. He’s 20, so he can cook for himself. He is enrolled in college. So he has a schedule where he goes to virtual classes, but I don’t.
I’m a tour guide. So tourism is shut. It went from being the number one tourist location in the world to being completely obsolete. I love research and history, so I have plenty of time to gather and notate information for tours in the future. But only God knows when those tours will come to fruition.
I’m sitting in my bedroom right now. Every now and then you may hear my wind chime that I gave to my mother a couple of years ago before she passed away, and it always calms me to hear a wind chime, so I put it on my fire escape, because that’s my new front yard, my backyard. That’s my imaginary deck, my imaginary terrace.
And I’m originally from Chattanooga and there on top of everything else are tornadoes. So when I count my blessings, I do include electricity, because I have family and friends that are all quarantined with several children out of school with no power. With no iPad, with no music, with no food, I mean, no stove to cook.
When it rains, it pours. Literally, it is raining in New York City. I can hear the water on the tires. New York has become very, very quiet these days. The only sounds I seem to hear are ambulance sirens. I hear a lot of birds chirping, surprisingly. And I think the birds are even confused, because they’re chirping at 6:00 pm like it’s 6:00 am. I noticed that yesterday as I watched the wonderful movie about the Clark Sisters for the third time. Gospel music has really gotten me through this.
I’m slightly handicapped because I have become obsessive about food preparation. So I’ve been chopping celery and onions and I sliced my thumb. Now all of the wiping and cleaning and sanitizing I’m doing is with one hand. I’m right handed, so at least it’s my left hand, my left thumb that’s injured. But my son helped to wash the dishes, but out of nervous energy and anxiety I just have a little bottle of 10% Clorox and I go around the house every three or four hours wiping down and spraying.
I haven’t left this apartment, it’s two bedroom apartment, in over a month. Thank goodness my husband goes to the grocery store and will make one family trip a week. And he’ll do the laundry and he’s taken on the domestic, I guess, engineering department. And he’s considered essential, so he goes out every day. But it is a 45 minute ritual, as soon as he comes into the door, we’re in the shower. And he calls maybe five minutes before he’s home, we turn the shower on, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, fill it up, make a makeshift steam room, and he goes straight in, clothed. But he changes clothes at work. So he has his work clothes. He puts on his home clothes, he goes into the shower, sits for at least 28 minutes, and then he comes out, puts his clothes in a plastic bag. And that goes to the laundry the next day, not the next day, the next that he goes to wash, which is usually Saturday. So that’s our normal activity.
I just saw Cuomo who has become my savior. I got a little crush on him. He just did a wonderful interview with all of the governors. From Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, Jersey, Connecticut, and it’s just like this, we got this energy, every time he’s on CNN. And I’m reading the newspaper because I want to know how many new cases. That’s what I’m personally interested in. I know the death toll is grim. 700, 740, 750, 780, 790 people die every day. Unfathomable. I was here on 9/11. This is as if 9/11 is happening every day. For six weeks straight. And I see now we have new cases. I saw a story about a maternity ward, where almost all of the women have coronavirus and it’s not a happy time. It’s usually filled with balloons and joy. No.
My childhood best friend’s sister died. She lost her battle with cancer two days ago. So planning a funeral in the middle of this coronavirus, where you could only have ten people present, and some of them are employees of the funeral home. Thank goodness her son is… He just graduated. What is it when you go to school to be a funeral director? He just graduated. So of course her service is going to be beautiful, but who’s going to see it?
Oh, sounds like someone is outside having an episode. I’m on the fifth floor, so I can’t even see out the window what that is. Sorry.
Planning a funeral in the middle of coronavirus is awful cause you never ever planned to bury your baby sister. She’s the oldest sister, my friend. So, I did see that in Tennessee, they may even have drive-by funerals, which means the body would be maybe out and the cars can drive around, roll down the window, and view the body, and drive off. This is reality.
How do I feel most of the time? Sad. Not myself. Very short tempered. I got to the point where I just don’t even answer the phone anymore. Cause I would learn about ten deaths a day. I would learn about.. I know I got ten minutes. Oh, it’s time to go. Yeah. Not good, very grim, but I’m fighting to stay alive. I’m fighting to stay healthy with all my heart and I will prevail and so will the rest of us. 2020 came in with a bang.
Last Wednesday my family and I had a zoom Seder. From St Louis, from Atlanta, and from New York City.
And one of the more poignant things that happened was that my sons, one is in his late twenties the other in his early thirty’s, introduced their partners to each other who they had never met, because a trip had been planned in March for the 2 couples to meet and it never quite happened.
So during the Seder my son Ben introduced Sarah, and my son Daniel introduced Sam. It was a lovely, very bittersweet moment.
Um, I’m okay. I’m just scared and have to go out for groceries and I wish I didn’t. I wish, somebody would set up an extensive delivery system. More extensive than the ones there are, especially for people over 65 like me, who don’t have people to do this for them.
So, that’s the message I want to put out there, and I’d like to find out how I can listen to other people’s concerns. Thank you. Be well.
Okay. So, I’m in a room in small room. Given like the situation in New York City, I left and I came up to Beacon, New York, to my cousin’s place. And we’ve hunkered down here and made it quite the creative experience, I guess, when you have that privilege.
And at first I was sort of very anxious about it all. And by now have settled. And I know that I don’t have to like create something magnificent during the quarantine. I should just stay healthy and alive. But. Creating something would be ideal. So I’ve been working on my next book and so far it’s coming out shit. But the idea is good.
The process for it to be good includes writing out the shitty. Then the good will come through. I hope.
But we’re healthy. We’re alive. And honestly for the writer’s life that I’ve lived so far, quarantine seems pretty much the way I used to live my life, except now I have permission to dive really deep into the things I love creating. So, can’t really complain. It could be much worse.
Hi, I am a resident of Santa Cruz, California. And as we move through this challenging pandemic, my reflections go to a couple of different areas. And I would say that I have come to recognize and embrace four different things with this, which is fear, awareness, thankfulness and hope.
The fear that I have is for those that were not prepared. For those that have lost loved ones and will never have closure because of the way that it has been handled.
I have become acutely aware of my responsibility as a role model, being as a food service manager in a hospital, to my staff and the way that they have handled it. I have found myself being in need of giving them support in more ways than I ever thought possible.
I’m so thankful for my upbringing, for my parents and that they have made me independent, self sufficient, and so that I can make it through this these hard times with minimal suffering.
And then lastly, I hope and pray to God that all mankind learned from this to make good choices in the future, to ensure a safe and bountiful, you know, time with their family and friends from here on out. This isn’t going to be the last time we experienced something like this, and I hope that everybody learns from it.
I know that these are times where we wonder what’s going to happen with us. And I keep reflecting that I have lived a good life. I have wonderful adult children, and if it is my time to go that I have no regrets. The only regret that I do have is that we have not found a cure for this. And I do hope one day that we can look back and realize how precious life is.
Hi, I’m calling from Jersey City, New Jersey. One thing that has been really weird lately is, I’m not a doctor, but my husband is, and he’s about to finish his ICU fellowship training.
So this sort of came at a really interesting time. And when he’s not doing critical care shifts at the hospital, he’s been on all these conference calls with his co-fellows and his department, and I’ve had to go into the other room because it just feels so close to have all of the details about how many people are in the ICU and how many vents they have and how many nurses they have. And there’s just so many details that are hard to hear constantly.
But one thing that has given me hope is that every now and then I hear them all laughing. And it’s not about the situation of course, but they just find a way to make each other laugh and smile. And it just seems like the right people are in that profession, because they feel so motivated to keep going and go to work. And despite all of the numbers of the facts and the shortages they don’t feel at all dissuaded from doing what they need to do. So, that part makes me feel really grateful.
My husband and I had spent the winter in Florida when all of this started hitting New York.
And the messages in Florida were that New Yorkers were bringing Covid-19 to Florida. We couldn’t wait to get back home, and even though we were hitting peak numbers in New York, we wanted to leave Florida and be home where we felt the leadership was so much more stronger and that we would be in much better shape if something happened to us.
It was kind of scary being in Florida and hearing the venom directed towards New Yorkers in particular, that they brought Covid-19 to Florida. It was a scary time to be far from home. And when we did arrive home, even though we’re socially isolated from everybody, including our family, we’re happy to be back home in our home state of New York.
Hi, I’m calling from Brooklyn, and I’m in my room right now, so surrounded by room things, mundane things like my bed and my desk. And, this is a weird time. My room has four windows in it and two of them face South and two of them face East. And so, I don’t really have a choice in the morning, whether or not I get up early. I’ve just been getting up early. So many days have been longer. I’ve been talking to people that have had the opposite experience. Even longer than, I was awake for in the before times, if you will.
This time is terribly frightening. But there are good things that are coming out of that, and I know I’m not alone in observing that. I was on the phone with my therapist last week and expressing guilt about how I, as someone that suffers from mood swings and anxiety and depression, feel like some of my symptoms, recurring symptoms have lightened up. He said that that is not abnormal, and that’s not the first time he’s heard that from a patient. And I think the biggest difference, having now been quarantined for just about a month and having had the virus earlier, middle rather of March, and I’m fine… It’s not the most fun thing in the world, but I’m really lucky I had a mild case… Time’s giving me the chance to ask some really big questions that I think life was moving too quickly before and, to allow for them to be asked. Like, am I happy with what I’m doing? I’m a full time musician. And, a lot of people on the outside look in and say, Oh, well you have your dream job. And in many ways that’s true, but I haven’t been able to sit with myself for a long time and say, you know, is this what I want? You know, or rather, is the way I have things set up right now, conducive to being my best self quote unquote. Am I taking care of myself? Am I taking care of, you know, my family? Am I surrounded by, and I guess we can say digitally surrounded by people that help me grow and help me be the best version of myself, or are there people in my life that are preventing me from doing that?
Am I eating well?
And it’s been, yeah, I don’t think it’s good or bad, and I think it’s also good and bad. You know, it’s the gray area, that I’ve been feeling a lot of during this time. And asking those questions. But, you know, with every passing Zoom call, you know, with every passing Instagram message and text and Facebook, you know, message and Instagram live concerts, I do feel like I’m becoming more grounded. At least right now, my work involves, music, but music with large, large, large groups of people, specifically amateurs and, you know, without the ability to congregate in person, I have, you know, no work. And so practically speaking, I’m fine. Spiritually, it’s been interesting to see and artistically to see, where I’m missing things the most, and also surprisingly things that I thought I would miss, but I’m not missing it all. Hence asking the big questions. So we’ll see.
I hope everyone stays well. And I also hope that other people who are finding themselves feeling better, mentally speaking, during this time can forgive themselves for feeling guilty and know, that that’s a valid feeling to have right now. And to just live with that as long as we’re in this. I don’t think… People keep saying we’re going to go back to normal quote unquote, or some combination of those words, the variants of that word, and I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think the world before was the world before. And the world has now forever changed.
And I think about that as someone that works in large scale group meetings. That’s the crux of my work. Are people gonna want to do that anymore? I think there’re going to be some people that crave it and there’re going to be some people that are forever freaked out. I just can’t handle going into a room with, you know, X number of hundreds or thousands of people. So for now, I’m going to keep asking the big questions without expecting answers. Going to keep eating oatmeal and wanting to keep waking up at six in the morning. So, thanks so much. You well, stay healthy, have a good day.