April 7, 2020

Corona Times - Week one of isolation

It's almost a month now since we started the lockdown in this area. My phone tells me that on the 10th of March I went for the last time to Luxembourg by train. I know it because I had a doctor's appointment and even then people stopped shaking hands or even kissing on the cheeks. I was alone on the train ride back, not something unseen before, but you could feel the tension in the air. I was happy that for the first time I've payed only 2.50 euros for a trip over the border, because form the beginning of March Luxembourg made all its public transport free.
Then the rumours of total lockdown started to appear and people and companies started getting ready for the possibility. And sure enough, in the coming days only the essential personnel was allowed to physically go to work, as for the others, we were left with working from home.
As someone who was already doing that, I thought I would ace it and still kept my humour on social media, as others started showing initiative 
Over the weekend the notion of keeping the distance was still an unknown one as we went to walk Luna by the lake in Habay where we rarely see people and now we could not get out of the car and could not find even a parking spot, it was that crowded :(
Meanwhile in my garden the first shy tulip was flowering, an event I had to snap. We planted over 50 tulip bulbs, with little hope they will bloom. They did, but for that you have to keep reading.
It was the last time we went to the forest to walk Luna. Soon after all the forest trails were closed and no one was allowed to drive, except to go grocery shopping.
We were really close to the Arlon Carnaval and the Luxembourg Film Fest was in full swing. Spring is maybe the busiest time of the year in this region, we have The Carnaval, The Burning Man, The Film Festival, the Bretzel Sunday, the Emaischen, the first Brocante and many more. Little by little they all got cancelled. Even events that would take place in May were canceled or postponed. A depressing situation and an introduction to what was about to happen.
So first time I went shopping was a shock. There were lines to get into the store and some items were missing and the staff was looking at us as potential time bombs, no one knew what to do exactly and everyone was frightened of everyone. As a joke: Belgian people or people living in Belgium do not know how a queue works, so because I literally never stay too close to the person in front of me, they assume I'm not queueing and they cut in front. I was always frustrated of the situation, especially in the beginning when I could not defend my rights in French. Now, during corona times, everyone is queuing my style and I love it :)
My walking items: sunglasses as coincidentally the sun came exactly as the self-isolation begun and it's been sunny in the area for the past four weeks now, the poo bag for Luna, those were already in my pocket. I've added an extra pacifier for Ilinca and the disinfectant liquid I bought on a limb from DM because it had lavender in it :)
Forgot to say, but the first time I went shopping after the epidemic was declared a pandemic, I felt the need to buy flowers. I usually don't like flowers in a vase, I prefer them in a garden, but as it became clearer and clearer our annual trip to the Netherlands was gonna get canceled, I felt the need to see tulips, so I bought them and then I've ordered online a nice vase :)
At the same time, in my garden Spring was in full swing and the daffodils were as yellow as ever. I remember the first time I came to Ireland it was close to St. Patrick's Day and Dublin was full of daffodils. So for me daffodils are Dublin, St. Patrick and all that atmosphere. BTW this year St. Patrick's Parade was canceled because of Corona :( 
As a journalist turned communicator, I tend to focus on the written word more than the picture or the message per ensemble. So I had a lot of work to do, first with me to communicate properly and every time I see a well communicated message, I notice. That is the case of the European Institutions. 
On the first week of working from home my husband made doughnuts the Romanian style, they were much appreciated.
Violets from our last forest walk
So many choices :D 
Truth is when we heard that the pandemic is coming we only stock up for our daughter. The last time we went to DM in Germany (now Germany is closed for non-essential travel and going to the German supermarkets is not essential, unfortunately) I bought various pampers of different sizes. I guess some people are stocking up toilet paper, we stock up on pampers, it is all in the s**t business :)
From our forest walk
Sunny side of Luxembourg
The first week of self-isolation left me with so many choices and so little time. I've already said I've restarted work, had a daughter and a dog to take care, and all those rules to respect, and so many free books to read or listen, so many free classes I wanted to attend, so many things to DIY... I've appreciated all of them and in that frenzy I've enrolled in a lot of classes, downloaded books and artworks to colour and was left frustrated. Everyone seemed to have it all together at least on social media... believe me I'm not new at this, I've studied it, I know how social media works, but I still got frustrated and depressed. All until I thought I caught the virus and I've said STOP.
For two days I had a runny nose and we feared I got something and that meant staying away from my two months old daughter. You know how hard that is? Well, it is even harder when you live in the same house and you cannot get out not even for a walk.
It was that time the colouring pages shared by the artists I follow on Instagram came in handy, I coloured and sobbed and cried a little.

P.S. BTW did I get it right, quarantine is when you are sick and you are ordered to stay home and avoid contact with other people, self-isolation is what we are all voluntarily doing, that is staying at home, not going out, not meeting friends or family that do not share the same house with us, washing hands, disinfecting every surface, you know the drill. 
Also, covid-19 is the disease and Corona is the virus, right?
My phone helps me to remember the weeks spent in isolation at the cause of the spreading of Corona Virus. I am documenting this for the years to come. I am more active on Instagram @mademoiselle.ralu

No comments: