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Saturday, April 4, 2020

My CovBlog: Days 9 - 12


Day 9: Monday, March 23, 2020 - Started the second full week of working from home today and the commute was murder. I barely made it to work on time.

Last week, I was getting up at 7:15 a.m., having a shave and showering with a spring in my step (but not too much mind you. I don't have a shower mat and didn't want to fall on my arse and break a leg for all the wrong reasons!) Surviving the shower, I proudly sat at my impromptu office by 7:55 a.m. ready for 08:00 and the workday to begin.

Today? Pfffft.

I set my alarm for 7:58 a.m. and blearily switched on the computer right at 8 a.m. I get it that I'm one of the lucky ones to still have a bloody job, (and won't forget it,) but the news that the state of emergency will extend through Easter has, for now, beat the shit out of my optimism that this global Covidfuck will be solved sooner than later.

Even the weather, normally a consistent in Spain, has done a runner and I leave the dining room light on most of the afternoon as I, the ultimate (but secretive) drama queen, spend the day huffing and puffing as I am (Californian king duvet) covered, nay blanketed in gloom and doom.

Day 10: Tuesday, March 24 - Well now. Wasn't yesterday a jolly entry!

Last night, I knew well enough not to fall asleep (and wake again at 7:58 a.m.) feeling like crap, so when I saw a banner on Prime saying Love Actually was "going away" March 31, I had to watch it for the 18th time. (Why was it going away? Had it done something wrong? Was there an appeals process I could join or start?)

Such a great movie.

(We should all be so lucky to "Get the shit kicked out of us by love!" -- young Sam.)

So yeah, I woke up on the rocky side of tired, but a whole lot more motivated by Prime Minister Hugh Grant who reminded me again that, "If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around."

(Richard Curtis... you... you writing god, you.)

Happy sigh in the early morning then. I threw off the sheets, had a quick shower, changed into my big-boy day clothes and realized with a start... here were eight or nine hours that I didn't have to worry about what to do. Duh! While the weather was completely shit again, the gloom in my head drifted away (like me trying to enter the local pub... we're both barred from re-entry.)

Best part of the day was right around 8 p.m. As it was too cold to sit outside, I middle-aged marinated myself on the couch with only one book for a change, and then heard a minor commotion.

Being too lazy to move (it had been such a busy day, apparently) I wondered what was up? Something tickled the end of my weak brain stem.

Barcelona neighbors were amongst the first to honor all our front line workers❤❤


8 p.m...


Sounds of Suppo--

Oh shit! That's right!!

It's the 8 p.m. clapping for the front line workers!!!

Needless to say, by the time me and the expanding stomach pushed ourselves off the couch and outside to the balcony, everyone else had gone inside. I half-waved and clapped and fully nodded at no one, and then, feeling a wee bit sheepish, walked back inside.

Originally, I'd heard a movement started in Madrid or Barcelona where the locals would go out on their balconies at 10 p.m. to clap and salute those doctors, nurses, grocery staff and anyone not home with their families.

I'd poked my head out the other day at the announced time, but nothing happened. What I didn't know, but found out, after a quick shout to "OK Google" that the time had changed to 8 p.m. so kids could join in, which I thought was a great idea.

Note to self: Set alarm again for 7:58, but this time p.m..

Day 11, Wednesday, March 25 - Today, Spain announced they had a death toll greater than China and only second to Italy. What??

This jarring news led me to check in with as many loved ones as possible.

Mirjam is safe at home with family, my boys are happily ensconced in Virginia and my brother, Carl, is staying with Ma and Da for the duration of the pandemic. Ireland is in lockdown mode, and as my parental units are old farts, I am grateful to my absolutely, most favorite brother (OK, I only have one, but still 😇) who is there to do a bit of shopping as the oul' wans cocoon themselves from the outside world.

While a Knight dresses in the background, Ma practices early Social Distancing techniques last December :)

Happy to hear from some of those who willingly put up with me, I stood on my balcony and, as the time clicked over to 20:00, I began to clap. A little self-consciously, because our balconies aren't opposite each other, so I couldn't see anyone, but I got goosebumps as my clapping was joined by dozens of others, with a bit of hooting and hollering going on.

It was brilliant and although I couldn't see a single soul, it was the closest I'd felt to anyone who lives in the same country as me.

Side note: Once this is 100 percent behind us, I pity the first fool that accepts a hug from me, but I do promise I'll be there while their broken ribs heal.

Day 12, Thursday, March 26 - It's not breaking news, but I'm wrapping my head around the Spanish government's extension of the lockdown through Easter.

(And, will that even be enough?)

This is a hugely proud nation and the many gazillons of events surrounding Easter that make up Semana Santa are now all cancelled. It's mind-boggling and I (again) don't know what to say...

For years, our local takes great pride in simple things, like the count down to Semana Santa...

Then I read something online how millions of people are reconnecting via Facetime, Zoom, Messenger and other video-related apps on their mobile phones.

My mind starts to make a plan that simply can't fail this time (and people all over the world who know me go, "Nooooooooooooo…")

For the last several years, I've been a proud member of the nine-strong, "Rialto & Northside Lads" WhatsApp group. We're an absolute bunch of misfits, and I'm sure many can relate to those friends you grew up with, and for whatever reason, still hang out with. In our case, most of us know each other 45+ years, so it's even scary that we still get along.

Anyway, there was a video coffee hour at work, via Skype, and it was fun to see the five colleagues who joined the relaxed meeting. With lots of laughter, some serious moments and lots and lots of mutual encouragement, I sat back thinking...

Oh. Yeah. I'm setting something up like this with The Lads.

Later, after the 8 p.m. appreciation, I texted the group and the general feeling was a bit of confusion ("Why do we have to look at each other?") and ("What do ye want to talk about?")


I've set up a "happy hour" for this Saturday evening, and though I will need to text 3,520 reminders, I have a feeling this weekend will be a lot more fun than the last couple...

Members celebrate a quorum of Bald Ones at the recent Annual Guys Meeting (AGM) of the Rialto Lads 


Elephant's Child said...

Here's hoping this weekend is a heap more fun than last - and the next one even better.
I love the idea of cheering on the people who work to ensure that there is some normalacy in our lives.
We are all in this together - and while I have long wished for world unity this is so not what I had in mind.
Stay safe, stay well. And don't let your lazy self drop off the blog again or your inbox will be inundated.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sadly it will probably go past Easter as ours is going until the end of April.
Glad you can virtually get together with your guys.
And that you figured out your clapping time.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

At least your parents aren't alone.

It's a beautiful 70 degree day here in NC and as I sit here with the window open, what hits me is the silence. Very few cars have passed by as they exit the subdivision. I usually hear one a minute. (And we have only 80 houses!) But no cars to be heard and it's really eerie.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I posted a thank you on Facebook. I thought about yelling to my neighbor who works in the hospital, but I doubt she'd have heard me.

Stay strong! I can't wait to get back to normal. Although the new normal will probably be commissions and political fights...

Jo said...

I think the clapping and cheering is a great idea. It will definitely go past Easter here, the numbers in Ontario are still going up despite being on lockdown. Best of luck my ol' mate and glad your parents are in good hands.

Lisa said...

I think of you every time I read about Spain. Glad to hear Miriam is safe too! You gave me goosebumps with your writing about the clapping 👏🏽 . Thanks for keeping up this blog...

CWMartin said...

Glad to hear your bro is there to keep the folks in line. With one Ohio senator threatening to have Trump charged with crimes against humanity for promoting the one drug that is working against this crap, our world has gone around the bend. Stay safe.

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