.36 Days in Lock Down

I can’t believe this has been going on for over a month. It makes sense of course, but when Italy and Spain went into lockdown, I figured the US would be more prepared so we wouldn’t have to endure self-isolation for as long. Well, I was wrong. And I’m lucky! I live in a state that’s flattening the curve and there’s a weird sense of pride when I check the case count in the morning and see that Washington continues to do better than other states. I’m thankful to live where I am.

Other states aren’t so lucky. Florida re-opened beaches today as their case numbers soar, Texas is on track to start re-opening places on Monday despite limited testing, and Washington is in lockdown until May 1st at the earliest. Can you guess which of those three states is doing well statistics-wise? (I’ll give you a hint- #FloridaMorons started to trend on twitter…)

I put a letter in the mail today with the keys to my London flat- that was a bit surreal. UCL has done a great job accommodating students to new leases, so that students who went home are able to not worry about belongings left behind or having to pay for an apartment that isn’t in use. It’s odd though, to now give up my flat in London – I’ve surrendered to the idea of me not moving back there but actually returning the keys feels very… final. Regardless of the news telling us what may or may not re-open, I think a part of me was hoping I’d be heading back this summer and this solidified that I’m not.

In truth, we don’t know when life will ‘return to normal’ or what that new normal will be. I have plenty of papers to write and emails to send (which are keeping me plenty occupied) and I’m looking forward to figuring out where I’ll be in the next few months. I’m also looking forward to getting these papers written so I can start focusing on my dissertation and working through the final part of my Master’s degree!

A great bit of news in all of this isolation is that so many people are reaching out. I’ve had messages from high school friends, zoom calls with Uni friends from first year and I’m growing closer with a lot of people – which I’m surprised about since we are all in different parts of the world. I think individual loneliness is helping a lot and thanks to social media, that communication is never ending. Actually, Covid is helping to push these numbers of internet-use up by 70%!! 70%!!! That’s insane! The past two Sunday’s I’ve given myself rest from electronics with a family coined ‘Screen-free Sunday’ and it’s a good reminder that we don’t need to get sucked into the online world – there’s plenty to do all around us. Soccer, supermoon sightings, ‘haircuts’, bike rides, try to get your tax stimulus check, painting, the long-list-of-projects-that-are-continually-put-aside-because-you-never-have-time… there’s always something!

I’m hoping for case rates to slow worldwide but the virus has begun to hit Africa – without many testing kits, how can you know how bad a county’s situation might be?

19,000+ cases in Africa…. <500 deaths per day in Italy….35,000+ total deaths in the US….more than 2.2 million cases worldwide.

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