a cocktail hour of reminiscence

Here we are, another week of stay-at-home orders, the fourth Wednesday in April. Welcome to my fourth cocktail hour, a virtual world where we STAY HOME and drink. 🙂 Drink plenty of water, 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 Covid-19 diary for the last two weeks.

Wednesday, April 8: I contacted my son in Costa Rica and he seems quite happy to stay where he is. He said the only available flights were in late May, and he didn’t want to rush into anything; as of now he thinks he’ll stay quite a while. He said he’s enjoying hanging out and talking with lots of different people, swimming in the lake, doing free yoga classes once a day at a hostel near his cabin. He said they had a cacao ceremony last night and there was way too much chocolate there. Mango season is coming up soon, so he can’t wait for that.  Otherwise he’s been eating lots of watermelon ($1), passionfruit ($0.15), bananas ($0.07) and papaya ($1) when available.  The local fruit stand has good days and bad days so he’s learning to go with the flow.  Sometimes he splurges and pays $4 for a smoothie of $6 for a vegan curry. He said he’s generally really happy as he learns to overcome the obstacles and not get too attached and frustrated with them.

My daughter in Richmond and my son in Denver have started ongoing games, similar to Scrabble, with me on the app Words with Friends.

Thursday, April 9:  Jobless claims hit 6.6 million last week. New York has more confirmed cases than any other country.

I’m feeling particularly bad today, with lots of congestion and even some coughing.  No fever though, and no difficulty breathing.  These allergies (if that’s what they are) are really getting me down.  It probably didn’t help that I took a walk in the forest, where allergens are high.


trees reaching to the sky

Friday, April 10:  Today I saw that investment advisors are predicting a 50% drop in the stock market, with no quick V-shaped recovery expected anytime soon. The market was closed today for Good Friday.

Saturday, April 11:  I felt a little better today, which improved my mood. In the evening, we drove to Anita’s Mexican Restaurant in Herndon and ordered takeout, and then drove by our friends’ house to wish one of them a happy birthday from out in their driveway.  We’ve decided we need to systematically start ordering takeout from our favorite restaurants to help keep them in business.


a walk on the Glade Trail

Sunday, April 12: EASTER!  We listened to our Church of the Holy Comforter Easter Service on YouTube and then had a Zoom meeting with the whole family.  My oldest son is still working, and their Colorado butchery shop was busier than ever, with over 300 customers on Holy Saturday before Easter.  The company has now hired an extra person to help with the increased demand.  My daughter is still unemployed, but collecting unemployment.

My youngest son has now moved from Costa Rica to Nicaragua, the second poorest nation after Haiti in Central America.  Things worked out in a “serendipitous” way, and he is living near a hostel on an island in the middle of an alligator-infested lake. Apparently, Nicaragua’s borders were still open as their president, Daniel Ortega, hasn’t been seen in a month, and the country is in denial about coronavirus. The country is still conducting large scale events, urging citizens to go to the beach, enjoy holiday cruises, go to soccer matches, and turn out for Easter-season passion plays.  Despite the government’s denial, and the lack of testing and health care in that country, my son seems very pleased to be where he is.

Monday, April 13:  We moved a portion of our retirement funds out of the stock market and into bonds and money market funds. We don’t want our entire retirement funds to be at risk during these turbulent economic times. Of course, we always risk selling at the bottom of the market, but in my opinion it’s likely the market will go much lower in the coming months.  I feel the optimism that is buoying it is unjustified.

Wednesday, April 15:  We continued our Spanish classes on Zoom.  I felt chilled and miserable all day with all the congestion I still have. We went out to our favorite Ethiopian restaurant, Enatye, and ordered takeout, hoping to contribute to keeping local businesses afloat.


Enatye Ethiopian

Thursday, April 16:  As of today, I’ve been sick with constant congestion, coughing and throat-clearing for six weeks now. Still, I have no fever or difficulty breathing, so I can’t get the COVID-19 test, which is reserved for the only the most dire cases.


Stay Strong America!

Friday, April 17:  Today, of course right after we sold a portion of our funds out of the market, the market surged on news that Gilead Sciences spiked to the top of the NASDAQ 100 due to positive results from the company’s remdesivir treatment on Covid-19 patients in Chicago.  Of course, I would expect there to be good news if a treatment for the virus or a vaccine was found.  But I feel the markets are grasping for some kind of positivity, as the test for this drug was only done on 125 people.


walking the gravel trail in my neighborhood


cherry blossoms

Saturday, April 18:  I’m still sick and feeling particularly run down today.  We ordered take-out dinner from our favorite Vietnamese restaurant, East Wind, again contributing to keeping our local businesses afloat.  Mike made hot mulled cider with bourbon to drink on the way, so it felt as much as a date night as possible these days.

Sunday, April 19:  Mike and I are now in the habit of watching our church services online on Sunday mornings: Holy Comforter service for the second Sunday of Easter.  I really enjoy this sacred time.

I walked 3 miles outside, and seemed to feel a bit better today, despite the high pollen count outside, which makes me wonder if it is simply allergies that I have.


the lower Glade Trail


buds in our neighborhood

Monday, April 20:  I walked in our neighborhood under gloomy skies.  But I came home to find some azalea branches Mike had put into one of our vases.



Tuesday, April 21:  Today I set up another virtual visit with my doctor for Wednesday afternoon because my symptoms haven’t responded to over-the-counter treatments, nor have they changed in nearly seven weeks.

Wednesday, April 22: Today, we hit 825,306 cases of coronavirus and 40,316 deaths in the U.S.  In Virginia alone, we have 9,630 cases and 325 deaths.  Before long we’ll have a million cases, and yet our worthless, despicable president and his brainwashed minions (out protesting with their guns and calls for freedom) want to reopen the economy and get back to life as usual. I understand with 22 million people now having filed for unemployment that people want to get back to work.   But realistically, people are going to be hesitant to return to life as normal. Even if governors open parts of the economy, many people will likely continue to stay in place, and people who have to go back to work won’t be happy about exposing themselves to the virus.  We need widespread testing and contact tracing, and some kind of reliable treatment for the virus before people will be comfortable resuming normal life.

Today is the anniversary of my mother’s death in 2002.  She died of emphysema, on a ventilator, much like many of the coronavirus patients of today.  Her disease came from many years of smoking.  It’s hard to believe 18 years have passed since she died.  Here are a few pictures of her.  I’m sure I have a lot more somewhere, but I’m not sure where they are at this moment.

My mom and I were never close, and I’m sad that we never had the chance to create the kind of relationship I would have liked with her.

Robin of Breezes at Dawn asked the question in a comment: What do you want to become on the other side of this?  I think this is a great question to ponder.  I don’t have an answer for it, but I plan to give it some thought.

Here is a song I have on my playlist.  My youngest son is a big fan of this singer, Nahko. Here is “Love Letters to God” by Nahko.


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.


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!