the end of april cocktail hour

Here we are, another week of stay-at-home orders, the last Wednesday in April. Welcome to my fifth 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 week.

Wednesday, April 22: I had another virtual visit with my doctor, and since I’ve had this nagging congestion and cough for seven weeks now, she thinks it might be sinusitis. She thus prescribed an antibiotic.  I went for a walk with my husband on the CCT trail in Oakton; he signed off a bit early from work so we could do this.

Thursday, April 23: I walked in Vienna, down Glyndon Street and Park Street. I had a virtual happy hour with my sister Steph and my brother Rob by FaceTime.  It was lots of fun hearing about TV series they’re watching and how they’re coping during this trying time.

Friday, April 24: It was raining most of the day, so we took a short walk in our neighborhood after dinner.  I’m still working on the short story I started with my daughter.  We keep extending the deadline, and our new deadline is now Tuesday, April 28.

Saturday, April 25: I was tickled by my daughter’s “story” on Instagram about how she and her friend Nick in California had a virtual meeting of their pets, with a screen shot of their three dogs. Cute. 🙂

I took a walk through a neighborhood close by, Franklin Farm, for a change of scenery.  We got take-out dinner at Luciano Italian in Oakton, but we weren’t very happy with the food.


pond in Franklin Farm


flowering globes at Franklin Farm

Sunday, April 26:  Today is my daughter’s 36th birthday.  She was going to have a social distanced meeting at a park with some friends; they each would bring their own beers and sit on a towel, appropriately spaced, because it had been raining off and on.  She lives alone, and I am always worried about her being lonely during this lockdown time, but luckily she has a lot of friends who call her and Zoom with her, so she is surrounded by plenty of love.

We watched our church service online for the 3rd Sunday of Easter, but it felt quite sad; it seems everyone, including our priests, are worn down by this whole situation.

Mike and I walked around Lake Audubon.  It has been raining a lot lately, so it was good to have a little period between showers to get outdoors.


flowering dogwood at Lake Audubon

I texted my son in Nicaragua today but never heard anything back. Of course, I’m worried about him and imagine the worst when we don’t hear from him.

Monday, April 27:  I walked in Peterson Lane Park in Vienna.  Only after I finished the walk did I see a piece of paper stuck to the sign that said the park was closed. Oops!

Tuesday, April 28:  We have tried to contact our son in Nicaragua, but he hasn’t responded.  This of course worries us.  He has gone off the grid before, usually when he is dealing with some serious problems and wants to avoid us.  I just hope he is safe and is not suffering any kind of emotional or physical trauma, illness, or financial difficulty.

I finished the first draft of the short story challenge I started with my daughter, where we used six words we’d drawn from a hat: nostalgia, monopoly, grapefruit juice, chaise lounge, yellow raincoat, and fountain pen.  As always, I found it very challenging to write fiction!

As of today, I’m halfway through my course of antibiotics, and I’m not feeling any change in my symptoms.  I guess it will be back to the drawing board. 😦

I walked in my neighborhood between rain showers and after bundling up.  I am so ready for warm and sunny weather.


azaleas in my neighborhood

Wednesday, April 29: This morning, I had my last virtual Spanish class of Spanish 100 level.  Next Wednesday, I’ll start level 200; this class will go through the end of July.  We seem to be moving very slowly, but not slow enough for me!  I’m very challenged when it comes to learning languages. 🙂

As of today, we still haven’t heard anything from our son in Nicaragua.  I hope we hear something from him very soon. 😦

Today, we hit 1,012,583 cases of coronavirus and 53,034 deaths in the U.S. In Virginia alone, we have 14,339 cases and 492 deaths. It’s amazing that we have more cases than any country in the world, when we are third in the world in the size of our population.  We have only 23% of the population of China and India each. We only have 4.25% of the world’s population, yet we have 32.4% of all the confirmed cases.  What the heck is going on??  Is it because of our abysmal leadership, our aging and unhealthy population, our high level of mobility and individualism, or a higher level of testing? We have tested 5.8 million people, out of our population of 330.6 million (1.8% of the population).  Who knows? I have to say it is very distressing being here in the middle of it, with no end in sight.

Several weeks ago, we finished watching the first season of the Hulu series, Ramy.  One of the last songs they played on the show was this: Vincent Delerm, “Je ne veux pas mourir ce soir” (“I don’t want to die tonight”), from the Ramy soundtrack.


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!