an april cocktail hour: making uncertainty finite

Here we are, another week of stay-at-home orders, the second Wednesday in April. Welcome to my third cocktail hour, a virtual world where we STAY HOME and drink. 🙂  Drink plenty of water at the very least. Or gargle with saltwater or drink orange juice, grape juice, kombucha, or hot apple cider. Or imbibe in coffee, tea, wine, beer, or even something harder. Fluids will help, or so they say.  Let’s pour them down.

Though you may not feel it deep inside, I offer you Cheers! À votre santé!  乾杯/ Kanpai!  Saúde!  Salud! May we all remain healthy, safe, financially afloat, and hopeful despite the barrage of bad news.

Here’s my last week’s diary.

Thursday, April 2: My daughter and I started a project today.  We each put 10 nouns in a bag, drew out three, and then shared them with each other, making a total of six words to work with.  By Tuesday, April 14, we are to write a short story using the six words.  The words are: chaise lounge, nostalgia, grapefruit juice, yellow raincoat, monopoly, and fountain pen.

Today, according to NPR, a record 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment, a dismal record showing the halting of our economy due to the coronavirus.

Friday, April 3:  Today we got a text from our son in Costa Rica:

Damn today I’m feeling doubts that I made the right decision coming here. I feel like a wimp, so grateful for my experience so far but really missing having water that doesn’t immediately make me [have stomach issues] lol. Still hoping things will get better but no change so far. Was looking at flights and doesn’t look like anything available for another month.

I’ve been getting a strong reflection hanging out with that guy I told you about who’s exactly like me, kinda annoying hahaha 🤣, making me look at myself a little differently.

Anyway just wanted to let you know I love you guys and miss you lots and I’m sorry for being so negative and judgemental and projecting sometimes. I switched to bottled water today but still pushing lots of liquids through so pray for my [stomach] hahaha. Trying to find a SIM card somewhere too… I may end up renting a moped tomorrow to get to more of a town center where they may have something for me.

We told him he could book his flight on the next available flight in one month if he wanted to come home, but we don’t have any idea if he will do that.  We had to admit we smiled a bit at this text as sometimes it’s good when he sees himself in others and doesn’t like what he sees.  I really do wish he hadn’t gone to a foreign country where he’s now unable to get back home.  This makes me very nervous, his inability to return home.

Saturday, April 4:  I was feeling quite down today with all the bad news about coronavirus and the economy; I really couldn’t get myself to believe that all of this would come to an end eventually.  It seems like a solution is very far away.

Sunday, April 5:  We are enjoying our new Sunday morning routine of watching the Church of the Holy Comforter church service after we eat breakfast. We get comfortable on our bed with a cup of coffee.  Here is the Palm Sunday service we watched today:

After we watched the church service, we took up an invitation for a walk. I had heard from Tamsin of Walking without a donkey about Walk This Weekend #walkgoesviral. It’s a short walk that people are taking wherever they are in the world to collect sounds, thoughts and feelings to then share with folk who cannot leave their homes.  You can find more about it on Tamsin’s blog: Walk this Weekend.

I walked between 11:13 a.m. and 12:37 p.m. (1 hour 24 minutes); recorded sound at minute 45; sat, listened and wrote at minute 53-55; took photos at minute 11 (because I love cherry blossoms),12 (I liked the message on the painted stone), 13 (I love Japanese maples), 14 (I like hyacinths), 16 (I love the cherry blossoms up close), 50 (to show the path through the woods), 62 (because skunk cabbage is a cheery green in an otherwise drab brown woods), 63 (I love moss), and 75 (I liked the lines formed by the fallen trees); My route began and ended at my home in Northern Virginia. I went down the hill in my neighborhood, through two more neighborhoods, then through a gravel and dirt trail through the Difficult Run Stream Valley … And I ended back where I started (see the map).

We heard a woodpecker, many birds chirping, the shuffle of dead leaves on the ground, an airplane overhead, people in their yards with weed whackers and mowers, a breeze tickling the leaves, squirrels and chipmunks scampering through the forest, a dog barking.  It was a beautiful day, about 60 degrees and sunny; getting out in the spring day made me feel very hopeful.

Sunday night, my daughter in Richmond, my son and his girlfriend in Denver, and Mike and I had a Zoom meeting where we played the Hey Robot game with Alexa, drank wine, chatted, and had a lot of laughs.  We were online for about two hours; it was great to spend virtual time with the family. 🙂

Monday, April 6: This morning I found out that in Ecuador, where I had hoped to go this coming July, bodies are piling up in the streets.  From the L.A. Times: “The country has confirmed 2,700 infections and 93 deaths — 60 of them in Guayaquil and its immediate surroundings. But municipal officials there said they have recovered at least 400 bodies in recent days.”  Lack of testing and inadequate facilities to handle such large numbers of deaths, along with a slow response by the government to the coronavirus are cited as reasons.

Hearing about this situation in Ecuador makes me fear for the safety of my son now stuck in Costa Rica.

I found this video from Lana del Ray, “When the World Was at War;” in the song, the singer asks the question: “Is it the end of America?” Certainly this coronavirus pandemic could spell the end of America as a world power, if that hasn’t already happened due to our horrific leadership.  It is interesting that the singer uses film clips from the movie Malèna, a story that takes place during World War II. I try to keep reminding myself that people in London survived years of the Blitz, and the world was embroiled in that horrible war for years.  People can be resilient, of course, but also, people will absolutely suffer and/or die.

Tuesday, April 7:  Today is the Pink Moon, a supermoon and the first full moon of spring. The April full moon often coincides with the blooming of creeping phlox or moss phlox, often known as “moss pink.”

Today, I listened to the Davidji meditation: Accepting This Moment Meditation Series: #5 Mastering Uncertainty.  He said uncertainty is frightening because of the feeling we have that a situation could go on forever.  To manage the uncertainty, pick a moment that the uncertainty starts (say if you lose your job or get a diagnosis), and an end moment to the uncertainty, some date in the future. Breathe in, then breathe out saying the mantra Om Moksha Ritam.  (He says Om is the vibration of the universe, Moksha is our emotional field, and Ritam is rhythm.)  I like this idea of managing the uncertainty by putting an end date to it; even if the date is wrong and we have to revise it later, it reminds us that the uncertain situation is not infinite.

Wednesday, April 8: I had my Spanish class by Zoom this morning.  Several of my classmates have dropped out because they find it difficult to have a class on Zoom with their kids and dogs underfoot.  It was nice to see everyone, and my friend Poonam made a joke that she would have to get dressed up to take her garbage out. We all had a good laugh at that.

Today we found out that John Prine died from the coronavirus at age 73.  He will be sorely missed.  Here is one of my favorite songs of his, “Summer’s End.”

As of today, we have 399,929 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S., with 12,956 deaths. 😦

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In the midst of all this, what can we do to make the most of our stay-at-home orders?  I’ve created a page where I’ll share different ideas I’ve come across of ways to cope during the coronavirus.  It is here: how to make the most of a staycation... or how to cope during the coronavirus #Stayathome ordersIf you have any positive ways to get through this, I invite you to share: bits of humor, projects, what we can do to help others, how to keep our sanity, TV shows or movies to watch, books to read, exercises to do, etc.  Please feel free to express your emotions during this trying time as well.  I’m sure we can all relate to any and all emotions you are feeling.

I wish you all the best during this crisis.  Stay at home, and stay safe, healthy and always hopeful.

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I’m going to write a cocktail hour/diary about this challenging time either weekly or bi-weekly on Wednesdays, depending on how much I have to share.  I invite you to share your own experiences with what we’re going through right now, either in the comments below, or in your own blog post, which I invite you to link below.  I’ll try to keep writing this as long as we are suffering through this together.  I hope that we will get through it unscathed, sooner rather than later.

Peace and love be with you all!