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We’re Here With You

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I’m not sure what last week was like for you, but I’m guessing it felt different from the week before. You may have experienced major changes in your work situation, your finances, your child-care scheme, your pantry inventory, your worldview, your handwashing technique, your vacation plans, and your feelings towards doorknobs.

What seemed relevant then may not now, and vice-versa. I don’t believe I heard a single mention of the US election for an entire week, which was surreal. Only six days ago I was quite interested in the results of certain NHL games. Now that feels like a memory from childhood, and there are no NHL games anyway. Also, over a 48 hour span, the topic I was going to post on Raptitude started to seem a little out of touch, then became completely inappropriate — the joys of connecting with strangers in public places.

I do think staying close to our fellow humans is a vital aspect of global well-being right now, but we don’t want to connect in ways that allow our germs to connect as well. Depending on where you live, you may have been asked (or ordered) not to shake hands, high-five, shop, dine out, hug, lift weights, throw a party, give a speech, or dance anywhere but in your apartment.

Thankfully, we have the futuristic power of connecting via wire and wi-fi. Even from within isolation we can exchange kind words and thoughts through sterile electronic channels. We can even stream our faces onto screens inches from our friends’ real faces, with no risk of germs hopping over. That is pretty amazing. Pandemic sufferers of the past would not believe our luck, in that regard at least.

So it seems like the perfect time to use these connectivity superpowers for their ability to keep us close when we’re apart. I’ve already heard of isolated friends having drinks or dinner via Skype or Zoom. People are rediscovering the telephone function of their telephones. We have many ways to safely check on people. For all the disruption and danger the world is facing from our self-isolation efforts, we’re quite well equipped to stay in touch.

With this in mind, I’d like to make use of one technological power I’ve mostly neglected. A blog is usually used as a megaphone — one person broadcasts, others tune in, repeat. But it can also function as a sort of conference room, if we invite people to share their stories in the comment section.

As of this week, this blog is 11 years old. Back when it started, I would semi-regularly ask who is reading it and what they’re up to, because I just didn’t know. I still don’t — I do see the numbers, and I know there are thousands of you every day. But with the exception of a few regular commenters, I have no idea who you are, where in the world you’re reading from, and what I might see if I could stick my head through your device’s screen and look around.

Here’s what I’ve asked readers in the past, and would like to ask you now:

Who are you? Who is the person reading this blog?

Looking up from the screen before you — what’s happening around you? In this room and in your community?

And how are you doing?

Let us know in the comment section. Whatever you feel like sharing. Even if you don’t normally comment, many of your peers would love to hear from you. Just introduce yourself and tell us what’s going on in your corner of the world.

And read a few other people’s comments. It just takes one minute and will help us all feel a little less, uh… socially distant.

Every time we’ve done this in the past, it’s created a tangible sense of being among others. Even when you’re browsing a website by yourself in your dim apartment, you’re doing it alongside many other real, physical people. Their thoughts and hearts can be here with you, even though their bodies aren’t. Living in the future allows for this magic.

Browsing through other people’s accounts of their own physical corner of the world cuts through the illusion that the internet is made of webpages. It isn’t — it’s made of people.

So, world — give us the view from where you are. And discover who’s here with you.

I’ll share the view from my own window in a bit.

***

Photo by Luke Insoll


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{ 229 Comments }

Catherine March 17, 2020 at 12:05 pm

Hi David and everyone–

I’ve been reading this blog for around a year and have rarely commented, though I find something to use or ponder in every post. I’m in San Francisco, where we are “sheltering in place.” We can still go out to take a walk, buy groceries, walk the dog, etc. so it’s not as bad as it sounds.

I’m retired, a bit of an introvert, and I love to cook and have plenty to do around the house, so I’m much more fortunate than many. My heart is breaking for the homeless, the small business owners and their employees, the families with marginal resources. I worked in restaurants for many years so I know how close to the edge even successful businesses are in the best of times.

I’m taking time to read and contemplate the teachings of Buddhist nun Pema Chodron, especially about impermanence, chaos and the fact that things are always falling apart–we just don’t usually get such an immediate example of that truth as we are experiencing right now!

I will be taking time in the next few days to read these many, wonderful comments and to feel a sense of connection to all of you out there. Sending to everyone best wishes for health, both physical and psychological.

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Adriana Higuera. March 17, 2020 at 2:18 pm

Hello Catherine. Thank you for your time and your wishes. I send you a big hug.

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Catherine March 17, 2020 at 7:19 pm

Virtual hugs back!

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Carolina March 17, 2020 at 2:44 pm

Hi Catherine, Im far in geography but close in heart. I truly feel it. Thank you!

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Julia March 17, 2020 at 3:35 pm

I’m a 27 year old woman from Chicago. I’ve been reading this blog since somewhere around the beginning I think. Not a clue really as to how I’ve found it. I’ve only commented once or twice, and messaged David once in college to say how much I loved his writing and how it informed mine. And he replied and was as very nice.
I’m concerned/worried right now. Much like everyone with the COVID-19 pandemic, for various reasons. But am remaining calm and focused as possible, connecting with friends and family virtually.
I’m currently listening to Doja Cat full blast in my bathroom while I wait for the shower water to heat up. haha
Looking forward to getting know all of you!

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Kathy March 18, 2020 at 5:49 pm

Hi there I’m Kathy mom to three great adults and nana to two wonderful children. I live with my husband and our cat and dog in the Okanagan valley in the interior of BC I first heard about Raptitude in a CBC interview about depth years. The concept really resonated with me and I was very happy to read more of the blogs. I am currently trying out the pantry program which feels like a great antidote to the panic buying we are currently seeing. Tonight I am going to make use of some raw cashews from the cupboard and try a new soup recipe from a cookbook that I always thought was a good idea but seldom used. Cheers to all of you. Hoping that the coming of spring brings renewed hope and joy

Savanah March 17, 2020 at 10:17 pm

Hi there. I’m a mama of 5 little humans in the Ozarks. I’m envious of the people that are bored during this quarantine, as there is NEVER a dull moment around here…. but I am always seeking out silver linings and working to become more present.

In 2017, a 23andme test turned into me meeting my father for the first time in my life. He did not know I existed. As it turned out, we are very similar and we hit it off immediately. He welcomed me into his family with open arms, though we live on the other side of the country from each other. Once, during a conversation he told me about Raptitude and said it was of the only mailing lists he truly enjoys. I began reading them as well, and your blogs have been an excellent talking point for us over the last few years as we’ve gotten to know each other.

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Lindsay March 18, 2020 at 7:59 am

This is such a heartwarming story, Savannah. Thank you for sharing!
Wishing you a peaceful day at home with your five little ones.

Dawn March 19, 2020 at 11:58 am

Hello,
I’ve been reading your blogs for years and have shared some on social media thinking others would enjoy them as much as I do. I’m telecommuting from home in beautiful New England where I work for a University that has gone virtual for the remainder of the Spring semester. As an introvert who enjoys time at home, it’s not so bad. A small way of helping is offering to purchase 50% of a years worth of massages from my massage therapist who has opted to close shop, and I’ll pay the other half during visits to help keep cash flow going and to help him keep his doors open. I know he is responsible for supporting extended family, and I cannot imagine the burden and stress of it for someone who is a gifted and hard worker. Thank you, David, for sharing your inspiring work and for encouraging us to share with each other. I wish you and yours all well and hope this experience inspires a huge shift in how we live towards more sustainable and equitable ways of being all across the globe. There is so much broken with our ways of being and it may be these sorts of disruptions that finally challenge them on grander scales.

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Lana March 19, 2020 at 5:44 pm

Dear Catherine,

Sending lots of love. I hope to hear which Pema Chodron’s teachings you found to be the most enlightening. Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your world – it has calmed me down incredibly. <3

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Angela March 24, 2020 at 12:41 pm

Hi, from Madrid, Spain.
My English teacher recommended me your blog five years ago. I’ve never commented but I really enjoy the blog.
Two weeks ago, the company where I work informed us that we had to work from home because it wasn’t t safe go to the office. Here, we used to make fun of this, thinking that it was not a real problem, but everything changed in just a few days, the infections increased a lot and the government closed everything except supermarkets and pharmacies. I am taking this very seriously and follow the rules.
I thought it was going to be difficult to stay at home and stop my life: no go to work, social life,walks, gym, visting my family…but I am discovering other activities that makes me feel happy, positive and relax.
I hope you all stay well and healthy.
Thank you so much for what you do David.

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Patricia J Geist-Martin March 17, 2020 at 12:08 pm

Hi David (and everyone else)
so happy to be asked. I have been dedicated to only one blog–this one for over five years. I find myself forwarding these to others who I know will appreciate your ruminations like I do.

I am a 66-year-old soon to be fully retired Communication professor (teaching one semester a year for the next three years).
Spring semester is my time to write (working on my 6th book), so while I fear for other’s health and safety, I feel completely content staying home, listening to music and writing. I do think I will start to order take-out food to support local restaurants (as one of your readers recommended above). I so worry about all the people and economies that are being severely affected. I would love all of us to put a plan in place to help them now and when we get through this. I have tickets for dance performances that are being cancelled–I can choose to get my money back or donate the money to the dance companies. If you can afford to buy the tickets, you probably can afford to donate the money. So that is one plan I have put in place. I would love to hear from others about what we can do.
thanks everyone!

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Diane I. Young March 17, 2020 at 12:09 pm

i’m in my studio in Victoria, BC on Canada’s west coast. I’m surrounded by my tools, mostly paper and rubber stamps as well as bookcases with only books I know I will read and re-read. I make greeting cards (used to sell them but now just give them away). I am happily married (57 years), have 3 adult children, four grandchildren and one great grandson. All of us are well and taking the virus seriously. It’s no hardship for me to stay in and play with my craft supplies. We do go for a 10 or 11 kilometer walk very early in the morning; hardly ever see other people out at 6:30 in the morning! Life is good here in Paradise. I wish everyone out there to be safe and healthy.

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Cheryl Craver March 18, 2020 at 11:53 am

Like you I live in Victoria and spend my time mostly in my “studio” playing with paper. It is a great way to get lost and forget for awhile. My husband has compromised lungs due to an autoimmune pneumonia several years ago that almost killed him so we are being super cautious. None of our family live here but we have great neighbors who have offered to shop etc.

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Megan Lofgren March 17, 2020 at 12:11 pm

Hi, I’m Megan, I live near Montgomery Alabama. Been reading raptitude for years. I have been excessively anxious about the whole thing, mostly worried by being out I would spread it to others. As of yesterday I am stocked up on groceries and am planning not to leave my house for two weeks. I am taking the whole thing very seriously and am having a hard time when I see others who are not. I am also extremely sympathetic to people who do not have the privilege to stay home during this time and how stressful that must be for them, or anyone for whom staying home is not enjoyable or safe. This is a hard time. I feel guilty for the privilege I have to stay home and mostly enjoy myself. I’m working hard to connect friends and family through video chat and virtual movie watching and phone/text. It is positive to see all of the people who are releasing uplifting content right now. Thanks for giving a place to share.

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Mary March 17, 2020 at 12:12 pm

I am 66 years young and run/walk three to four miles a day here in the beautiful Sierra foothills of Northern California. Being an introvert and loving to sew, I was thrilled, over the moon happy to comply with the highly suggested social distancing. Heaven to me! Especially since my sewing retreat was cancelled. The first few days I spent cooking up a storm (I hate cooking) so that I could enjoy cook free days while sewing. And then…..the snows came and knocked out power. It has been 32 hours without heat and my husband and I are experiencing some never before seen temperatures in our house. 50*! And the food I so diligently prepared going to waste in the fridge. Sigh! All familiar memories of last fall when PG&E turned our power off for days and week at a time in case of wildfires like those experienced in Paradise, not far from us. So…..no sewing for me. Using the time to check on friends making sure everyone has what they need. After all, that’s what’s truly important in life! Thank you for your blogs which help keep life in perspective.

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Klara March 26, 2020 at 5:52 am

Hi Mary, Sorry about your sewing retreat being cancelled, but if you were here in the Czech Republic, you would have your hands full! Because of the vast shortage of conventional face masks and respirators, the entire country is sewing traditional cotton face masks, by the tens, hundreds and thousands, and giving them out to those in need, be it individuals, families, seniors homes, healthcare providers, everybody. There is a website where you can find people near you who can give or sell you a mask :) It creates a nice sense of solidarity, and some people are really getting their fashion flair on :)

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Will Collier-Byrd March 17, 2020 at 12:17 pm

Hey David and Raptitude readers.

I’ve been reading the blog for years, likely found it through the your life has already been designed post that a lot of people seemed to find it through. I am in the San Francisco / Bay Area and my county (San Mateo) is one of the counties sheltering in place. I’m probably headed to the office in a minute to pick up a few things to try to make my work from home experience more normal. I’m extremely fortunate to have amazing employment with great work from home support. I am also incredibly fortunate to be able to have a great setup at home to keep me productive.

Since I work for a company providing a somewhat critical (debatable) service at the moment, I’ve been working a lot of 12 hour days / weekends to help weather the COVID-19 / work from home period. I’m tired, but the work is rewarding and important right now. As a result I’ve been largely heads down for the last two weeks.

The times I am able to pull my head up and look around, I’ve been fortunate enough to buy food before the grocery stores were emptied, spend more time with my wife and cats, catch up with some friends on video games I haven’t played in awhile, etc.

I’m looking forward to spending a lot more time catching up on my reading list once we settle in over the next two months and writing e-mails to catch up with friends I haven’t spoken to in awhile.

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sandra March 17, 2020 at 12:18 pm

Hi, I’ve been following David’s blog for some years now and always get a pleasant tingle when I see a new post in my inbox.
I live on the Canadian prairies. As a recent retiree I’ve already been adapting to more solitude so the current situation isn’t such a dramatic change for me.
The last few years I seem to have gotten into kind of a low grade state of underlying depression regarding the state of the world in terms of our sluggish, inadequate response to the climate change issue. So this virus crisis has, ironically, given me new hope that we can actually all pull together and take decisive action without protesting that we can’t afford it. Not sure it will continue once this virus thing blows over, but my spirits are lifted for the time being.
I love this beautiful gathering of different yet like-minded readers.

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Jamie March 17, 2020 at 1:22 pm

Hello from Yosemite National Park. I’ve been following Raptitude since I was a junior in high school, so for 9 years. Can’t remember what exactly brought me to it but I was doing homework and listening to the song Paradise by Coldplay on repeat. Have enjoyed both the blog and song ever since.
Like others who commented here I am also introverted and love the idea of 2 weeks of nothing but books and music. But being up in the mountains is somehow both worrisome and comforting. Like will food and supplies continue to be brought up with our very recent closure? Or is it maybe safer to be up here secluded? I have to keep reminding myself that I’ve got it good either way. This all still seems impossible to me and I can’t imagine what others are going through. Thankful for this little respite.

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julia kasdorf March 18, 2020 at 9:32 am

Hi, Sandra. I, too, have had my days colored by our lack of response to climate change. It is the deepest fear in my heart and i actually avoid any documentaries on the subject because I don’t think i can handle it. I take comfort in not using my dryer anymore and buying organic foods, etc.. so i am taking positive steps. It helps fight the low level underlying depression. And I also follow the Buddha – suffering results when i resist change. And change is the nature of existence. What do you do to manage your fear?

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Jazmin March 17, 2020 at 12:18 pm

I’m just outside Toronto in Guelph ON, and amongst the many IT folks who are scrambling to help our users figure out a whole new online world all of a sudden like. I don’t usually have to distract my officemates from scratching the furniture, but such is the current reality.

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Shelly March 17, 2020 at 12:23 pm

Hello everyone! Thank you so much Davis for creating this space today. I never commented on any of your posts, though always read them thoroughly and share them with loved ones.
My name is Shelly, and for the past 2.5 yrs I’ve been living in London with my boyfriend and our cat. I LOVE the city, and I love living here, but times like these make the distance from family at home – which is Israel – feel weird. Things are only slowly starting to shut down here, as just yesterday they announced orders / recommendations for social distancing, though I’ve been practicing it for a few days now.
I suffer from anxiety anyway, so these last few weeks have been hard in that sense. Trying to stay sane and restrict news consumption, but mainly feel so helpless, also because it feels I don’t know who to trust and believe anymore.
Thank you again for the positivity in this post.

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edhellos March 17, 2020 at 12:24 pm

Hi from Bavaria, Germany next to the Alpes :) Enjoying bird-song and the first green in the garden – and walking in the mountains with rather no closeness to anyone at all but my family with two students. Following your posts since 2015 and looking forward to each of them, all the ideas and insights – absolutely loving it!
As virologist I’m also very scared from the beginning of 2020 on – so I hope you all stay well and healthy – thank you so much David for establishing this raptitude format and the possibility for sharing thoughts in these times!

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Ludmila March 17, 2020 at 12:25 pm

Hi, I´m Ludmila! I´m a publicist from Brazil, 38, married and a mother of 2 (3 yrs and 6 months). Really enjoy reading your peaces.
My employers already released me to work from home and my son´s child care is shut untill April. My baby stays with a nanny, which I´ll probaly ask to stay home, since she uses public transportation, at least untill the contamination here decreases. This will probably take long beacause We are still having the first few cases where I live (Porto Alegre).

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Alan Richbourg March 17, 2020 at 12:25 pm

Here in North Texas, doing what I usually do: designing historically themed board games to educate and entertain people. My routine hasn’t changed much, since I spend a lot of time at home, but the world around me has gone nuts. I have lost a fortune in the stock market. I think ultimately the greatest effect of the virus will be economic damage; that is still underestimated and under-reported. Wondering if this new pain in my chest is just psychosomatic or real. Looking forward to a Skype call to a publisher in London tomorrow.

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John Baglio March 17, 2020 at 12:27 pm

I’m John and I am sitting in a house in the Berkshire hills of Massachusetts right now. I just discovered this blog when one of the entries showed up in the Recomendo newsletter. I feel like it has its head screwed on straight and it’s heart in the right place. My wife and I are teachers on spring break and we have 2 teenage kids. Most of our life is spent in New York City but I knew we had to get out ASAP when my school shut down. Luckily, we have my mother-in-law’s house to retreat to. My mind has been toggling back and forth between 3 modes: my fear and preparation for a total breakdown of society, an overwhelming sense of gratitude and privilege, and communion with nature. We have basically adopted two of my kids friends who have come to live with us during this time. In one case one of the kids came back from college but is not allowed home because his father’s girlfriend is immunocompromised and in the case of the other, her single mom is one of the folks whose income is disappearing by the day. I get nervous about our food supplies sometimes but is is wonderful to have our little commune up here in the woods.

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Madalyn March 17, 2020 at 12:29 pm

We are a 70ish retired couple living in a rural town in Oregon. We have a large vegetable garden along with fruit trees and bushes. By the way, this is the perfect time to take up gardening if that’s been on your radar! So, it’s a busy time of year for us and staying home is not so bad, yet anyway. Not really homebodies! Worried about friends and family that are far away. Will miss our grandchildren’s birthdays sadly. We see a lot of suggestions for activities online, looking forward to suggestions on virtual social interaction. Will telephone calls come back? This is just week two!

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Deb March 17, 2020 at 12:33 pm

Hi! I’m new to your blog, and am enjoying it. I’m from Nebraska. For those not familiar with the U.S. , Nebraska is located in about the center of the country.

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Kim March 17, 2020 at 12:37 pm

I live in Morganton, North Carolina, with my husband and son. I work from home and we homeschool, so in some respects we have fairly normal days. My husband’s job is picking up donations for the local thrift store. He requested, and his manager agreed, that they will only be picking up items left outside and not going into homes until further notice. He still feels a little anxious about it, but we can’t be without the income.

My son has type 1 diabetes which puts him in the high risk category. We have postponed dentist and orthodontist appointments, told a neighbor that he won’t be helping out for a while, and will even be putting off celebrating his birthday. Nothing optional seems worth even the smallest risk.

I am taking the opportunity to pull out some sewing projects and start on a quilt for a dear friend who has cancer. I’m feeling pulled to slow down and surround myself with comfort–warm foods, quilts and fabrics, candles, etc.

I’ve been reading your blog for several years now, and I am often amazed at the timeliness of your posts. My first was Most Lives Are Lived by Default, and the impact was tremendous. Thank you for what you do and what you write and for sharing it so freely.

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Heidi March 17, 2020 at 12:42 pm

Hey all!

I’m in Alberta. I work as an Educational Assistant. Right now we are cleaning the school. Doing a lot of decluttering around the building!!! Waiting to see what the next weeks- months will look like for education.

My kids are home, just hanging out so far. We’re going for walks everyday and driving to find new trails to discover. It keeps us active, healthy and reconnecting with each other and nature.

Thanks for the blog! I’m using a lot of your tips as I do some spring cleaning both at home and at the school.

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Rachel Vazquez March 17, 2020 at 12:44 pm

Hello David,

I have been reading your posts for years, and forward so many on to my friends and family. You really have a way of simplifying the unnecessarily complicated world we live in.

At present, I am in my apartment in Switzerland, just outside Zürich – lake and mountain views from my windows facing south. Wonderful springtime weather, flowers budding and blooming. One would never think something horrible was descending upon us.

Just last night, I wrote a letter to my employers to say that I could no longer risk working with their 3 children. I am in “the at-risk group”, as is my husband. I was recently accused that it took me too long to admit I am not invincible and that I am risking my life by stubbornly going to work each day. So far we are both still healthly. Still, I feel like a slacker as I enjoy reading my latest read or stitching on my lifelong embroidery project or knitting or walking my dog…(all things I’ve dreamed of doing limitlessly).

Perhaps this new mode will get easier with time. One of the positive things it has brought me is having more contact with my children and extended family. My daughter is a scientist in SF. She’ll probably be in the frontline, testing and decoding this mysterious illness. I worry about her every minute of every day. Thankfully, my son is ensconced with his aunt in Wisconsin where he might be safer than we are.

Meanwhile, we muddle on, learning to spend lots and lots of time together in our little safe haven. Seeing nature in all her glory surely helps.

Your words help and bring optimism. Thank you.

Rachel Vazquez

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Marilyn McCormick March 17, 2020 at 12:45 pm

Hello readers,
After listening to the latest virus updates from the president, I retreated to my bedroom where I have my computer and stereo. Temp’s are still in the 40’s here in Minnesota which is “a bit cool outside” for a person in her 70’s. I put on the next CD of my library audio book, THE LAST OF THE DOUGHBOYS, which is an incredible story about WWl. While enjoying the story, I’ll sit at my computer dividing my time between my on-line course exercises of Photoshop, and my hobby of digital scrapbooking. Soon, I’ll heat up some soup for lunch for myself and my husband of 57 years. Our children and grown grandchildren have called to check on our health. I feel blessed that we have a warm home, food in the fridge and freezer and interesting blogs like this one to read. We all can slow down and appreciate what is in front of us—a book, a bowl of soup & a computer. I did put on a green scarf decorated with 4 leaf clovers around my neck this morning to acknowledge St. Patrick’s Day. Between the virus and my age, it can’t hurt to have a bit of “good luck” around my neck!

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Kevin March 17, 2020 at 12:50 pm

Kevin from Calgary, Canada here. It’s a sunny morning and the wind is blowing outside, still pretty chilly. Great idea, and I love seeing the comments from people all over the world! We’re adapting to our new work from home normal, but so far am healthy and have lots of supplies. These are tough times for sure, but I love seeing the positives like this that are coming from it. I’m trying to call atleast one person per day that I wouldn’t otherwise call.

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Alicia March 17, 2020 at 12:51 pm

Hello from O’ahu, Hawai’i. My preschool son is watching too much TV so I can have some thinking space and read stories here. (Prime Video’s “if you give a mouse a cookie” is pretty delightful.) I’m a stay at home mom who relies on various meetings with other moms to deal, so I’m really missing that even though I am an introvert. We’re not on mandatory isolation yet, but my husband works in urgent care near all the Waikiki tourists, so I don’t want to spread his germs. I’m getting extra motivated to figure out Zoom for my moms Bible study group. We gotta get our prayers and frustrations out! Thanks for your writing, David. I link to it often.

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MK March 17, 2020 at 12:58 pm

Howdy, all. Hailing from Fort Bragg, NC. I’m a registered nurse, and am sitting at a screening station as I write this. Though I usually prep and recover surgical patients, today is a little different- I’m suited up, and must screen every human who walks through the glass doors in front of me for signs/symptoms of COVID-19. It’s quite interesting interacting with people in this manner. Some thank me, some complain at me, some say they’re also healthcare workers and know exactly what this is like, some leave, some say they don’t understand what all the fuss is about. After each encounter, I wipe down all of my equipment, and wait for the next. I’ve been staring out the window a lot- something I haven’t done in a while, honestly. I’m tired of my phone, and wish I had brought a book to read. I’m glad we haven’t had any positive screens today, that everyone coming in seems healthy. Tomorrow I’ll be back to my normal duties, and one of my coworkers will man this station. That’s one of the things I’m most grateful for- healthcare workers by nature tend to be excellent team players, and that hasn’t changed in this climate. Wishing you all the best! Reading everyone’s snippets has kept me entertained in my downtime this afternoon.

Oh, and I’m hoping some of our stores have restocked so I can find some toilet paper on the way home, though am expecting to come up empty handed and to finally just order that bidet my husband has been suggesting. ;)

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Dave March 20, 2020 at 12:01 pm

I’m one of the “I know exactly what this is like” people – I work at public health department in a midwestern city and boy is it crazy here. I’m not a provider, I’m an admin, but getting supplies for our providers has turned out to be quite a challenge. I completely agree that healthcare workers tend to have solid camaraderie, especially during stressful times like this. Good luck with your TP search (but your hubby is correct, go with the bidet lol)

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Anand March 17, 2020 at 1:03 pm

In the bay area, CA.. now we have shelter in place…

Hopefully the spread slows down with this.

No need to panic.. we will get through this.. Thanks david for all the work that you put out..

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Michelle Ferguson March 17, 2020 at 1:08 pm

Hello David,
I have been reading your blog for a couple of years now and will often share your ideas with friends. I find it a valuable guide for keeping perspective in an increasingly chaotic world.
I have the good fortune to share a home with my elderly parents in Victoria BC so I have been watching closely what is rapidly evolving around the virus. I am off work (spring break at school which may become indefinite) so we are gardening…the embodiment of looking forward with hope….moving plants, starting seeds, finishing a pond started in the fall. We have everything we need, and all that we want in place. It is a beautiful day so I had better get out there!

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Rich March 17, 2020 at 1:14 pm

Hello David (et al),
My name is Rich, I’m a small business owner and bodyworker living and working in Portland Oregon.

As I write, the sun is shining, there’s not a cloud in the sky, and the mercury is alleged to hit nearly 70ºF today. My overall mood is good, though the fear that permeates our conscious world is definitely taking its toll. I have my ups and downs like anyone.

My apartment is warm and cozy, my pantry is full and I just went on a grocery run yesterday that will help me weather at least a couple weeks worth of isolation. I feel very fortunate, but also very cautious.

Thanks for asking how we’re doing, David. Your writing here has meant a lot to me over the years I’ve been following you.

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Gary Magwood March 17, 2020 at 1:23 pm

Wow David, Your blog has cranked up the writing skills of a huge number of folks from all over the world. After about an hour spent reading many contributions, I realize that despite geographic distances, we are all of one family. Age, sexual orientation, racial background, employed or not, healthy and no so healthy and relationship status do not separate us, especially when reading their words. Given the seriousness of this pandemic and the attendant isolation, maybe when this eventually blows over, we will continue to communicate more directly with each other, like putting down the plastic palm distractor and literally talking to each other without any intermediaries. So, I’m hanging out in my riverside cabin in Eastern Ontario watching the Moira River flow over the dam… and reading fascinating blogs… not all bad!

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Derrick March 18, 2020 at 12:23 pm

Hello all!

I agree. Wow! This is an awesome place to be at this time. Amazing David how your current and past blog’s relate to life styles and perspectives that can be put to such good use in “real life” situations. I rarely go on the internet and your blog is the only one I follow. I don’t comment a lot but in hind sight I should more. Very healthy psychologically. I live in rural Saskatchewan so social isolation is easier then in many places but still has it’s challenges as you can imagine. Thanks to everyone for doing their part!

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Carol March 17, 2020 at 1:26 pm

Hi Raptituders!
I’m Carol from a seaside town called Stonehaven in North East of Scotland, UK. It’s been a beautiful spring day here and I’ve been working from home as many of us (lucky ones) have been asked to do. Outside, it’s strangely distopian but normal at the same time. Early days re mass virus spread but already dividing us into great and not so great behaviours, I guess that’s life … David as ever, you have the power to provoke thought from afar and bring us together in the best of ways, thank you. Stay safe everyone, all things must pass xx

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Rick March 17, 2020 at 11:59 pm

Raptituders! I like that, Carol. It sounds so much more friendly than Raptors. Lol. Greetings from Rochester, NY.

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Amanda March 17, 2020 at 1:28 pm

Hi David and Raptitude nation! I first came to the blog through Mr. Money Mustache and “How to Walk Across A Parking Lot.” I’m in far west Texas enjoying a very extended spring break (I’m a teacher, and very thankful not to have to worry about the paycheck for now). Aside from the lack of toilet paper, things are pretty normal here.

Not scared of getting sick myself, but a little worried about my kids who work in vulnerable industries (restaurants, nursing home) facing economic challenges. Also worried for my students whose families may be under a lot of stress right now. For some of them, school is a safe haven and being stuck at home for an extended time is really tough.

I’m super glad to have this time off to recover from a very stressful year (both professionally and personally) and focus on taking better care of myself physically–exercise and sleep!–and of course some fun projects that have been on hold. Very happy to stay home for awhile. Plus, state testing has been canceled. Hallelujah!

I’m also looking at this time off as an experiment in retirement. I’ve been looking for an exit strategy that can still pay the bills, and this is a great time to start coming up with a plan.

To all those of you who are feeling scared, stressed and isolated: my heart goes out to you. Do everything you can to take good care of yourself, mentally and physically. And I highly recommend turning off the news! Our nation has come through worse with far fewer resources (see: Spanish flu). Things will get back to normal, maybe not as quickly as we’d like, but they will. (And to my fellow introverts: enjoy social distancing while it lasts!)

David, thanks so much for sharing your heart and life with us through this blog. Your articles have helped me clarify a lot of things in my life and helped me through some rough times. Thanks for all you have done.

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Sue March 17, 2020 at 1:35 pm

Thanks for your thoughtful, stimulating and beautifully written blog, David.
I’m a middle aged self employed mum living in Lancaster, UK. But currently on holiday in rural Scotland … bizarrely, for such an empty country, I have a view of a dual carriageway, with trucks trooping past (plus some troops too). In the room are a very tired spouse and dog, we did an 18 mile run today and yesterday.
It’s pretty calm here, posters are up seeking volunteers and offering support to those in isolation. We’re all supposed to be minimising social contact. So lots more long runs and walks for us. And we’ll have to indulge in whiskey here instead of in the many pubs.
I’m grateful to be feeling ok about it all, but recognise I’m lucky to have no one I’m worried about, should be okish to keep working, and can compartmentalise quite well to prevent c-19 updates etc taking over my brain. It is as it is.

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Kristi March 17, 2020 at 1:48 pm

I’m not a worrier and this won’t cause me undo concern–we’ll get through it. (I do feel for those who will lose their livelihood.) The grocery store is out of many staples and they don’t know when they’ll get more. Still, I don’t need to hoard–I can find substitutes–for example, no milk available–canned evaporated milk works well in coffee and tea, so I bought a couple cans. I make smoothies in the morning, so I happen to have powdered dry milk on hand (found on Amazon–our local grocery stores no longer stock it). Also, I’ll buy fresh broccoli, rather than frozen for my smoothies–the store’s freezer section is pretty empty! I can make soup or something else creative from what I find in the cabinets and freezer. And, I’ll have to check the grocery stores more frequently.
What does bring me joy is Postcrossing. I send postcards and get almost as many in return. We send messages through the platform, thanking the sender. I’ve had wonderful interactions with people all over the world–it warms my heart. Through the platform, we request cards to send, as fits our schedule. This will be a perfect time to send more cards!

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Bronwyn March 17, 2020 at 1:52 pm

Hi,
I’m Bronwyn, a beef farmer from Australia. Life isn’t much different in my world as we are isolated anyway, and used to being stocked up and self-sufficient. Covid-19 did make me do two things though – plant 4 times as much vegetable garden and finally after two decades of snoring order a C-PAP forced air breathing machine. That’s because we are old and apparently vulnerable in the breathing department if we get infected. We decided to isolate and wait until the ‘curve flattens’, not wanting to burden hospitals but more importantly not wanting a hospital to burden us. Please distinguish between healthy fear and useless panic, and above all do not abandon your community. Love to all ( at a social distance! ).

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Matthijs March 17, 2020 at 2:08 pm

Hi everyone,

I have been reading this blog for years. I love how it makes me look at life from a different point of view. Currently my girlfriend and 1 year old son are at home for 3 weeks due to corona (we are not ill). This terrible disease now gives us the opportunity to spend 3 full weeks with our little one. We are trying to see the good in a bad situation i guess.

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JOEL GITELSON March 17, 2020 at 2:11 pm

In Los Angeles, appreciate your work, your writing, your thoughts. I stay active. Might bike ride later if the rain stops. Glad to have the rain.
Retired LA County Lifeguard/Paramedic…

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Vicky March 17, 2020 at 2:21 pm

Hello David and everyone reading this.
I’m British but have been living in South America for over 10 years now teaching English. I now live in the north of Uruguay, right on the border with Brazil, in the countryside, and I love it. Right now I’m sat looking at our 4 cows grazing, and it’s about 36°C (no idea about Fahrenheit). Last year I only had Skype students, but this year (the academic year has just started here) I went to work at an institute to top up my rapidly declining savings. I worked one week, then on Saturday they announced all educational establishments would close. I don’t know if I’ll get paid. That’s my biggest fear, the financial aspect of this. My boyfriend’s sister’s a waitress in the capital and has just been laid off. Avoiding going into town is easy because we need to watch how much we spend on gas anyway. There are 8 cases in the country so far. I’m really not worried about catching it if I’m honest – I’m 46 with no underlying health conditions and cross paths with far more cows and horses than people – though I’m washing my hands a lot more than usual.

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Fred March 17, 2020 at 2:23 pm

Hello from the Chicago area (Elgin, actually). It’s a sunny day and I’m planning to go for a walk soon. I’m able to work from home and I’m grateful for that. My wife is working as a poll-worker in the Illinois primary today and I’m worried about her exposure. We both have some risk factors for this virus.

I’m still figuring out how to keep connected with people online during this semi-quarantine. I haven’t tried Skype or Zoom yet, but will. Facebook is not a happy place to be though — my blood boils at some of the comment threads.

I am returning to a regular meditation practice after years of slacking on that, and I’m finding that it helps me settle a lot.

Peace and strength to you all.

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Helga March 17, 2020 at 2:27 pm

Hi All,
I’m sitting here in my family room in Winnipeg, Manitoba contemplating the events of the last few days. My husband and I were on vacation in Arizona and were to fly home at the end of this week. With all that was happening, on Saturday we decided to come home sooner. Was able to get flights and arrived home last night. So thankful for that.

Everything feels surreal and unsettling . I feel like I’m separate and apart from everything (well I guess I am as we have just begun our two weeks of self isolation) but what’s going on in the world … it’s like we’re living in a dystopian novel.

In spite of all that the majority of people we encountered over the past few days have all been wonderful. And to all those whose jobs were part of what enabled us to come home – thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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Carolina March 17, 2020 at 2:28 pm

Hi David!
Im Carolina from Uruguay, South America. Ive been reading your posts for about three years. I truly love your idea of encouriging people to share their experiences on these days. Our tiny country is located between Argentina and Brazil. Five days ago there were still no CoVid registered cases here. Today we have 30. I know its a very low number but as you people know this is only a matter of time. I am now at my work place as I am a public servant. We are taking turns to come and some mates are working from home. I live with my boyfriend and my 22 year old daughter. We are trying to taking it super easy but sometimes its hard to keep our spirits high. We are trying to minimize our errands. Theres a coastline nearby our house which we call Rambla were we go biking or walking. Weather down here is fantastic at this time of the year. Summer is ending and sunlight is dimmer, but sunsets are splendid. Thanks for asking how we are taking all this. Sometimes I feel super lonely as my partner is a bit introvert and reserved. I believe that communication is vital when times are rough. Thank you all for your kind words and lets hope for the delivery of a vaccine before the end of the year!

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Remy March 17, 2020 at 2:28 pm

Hey David, and everyone! I’ve been a 30+ year resident of the Yukon Territory, Canada now finding myself hunkered down in this country’s tiny most westerly community of Beaver Creek right on the border with Alaska. Just left my longtime job with the Yukon Government as an environmental educator to share my envirosongs to a wider audiece in schools across the country… talk about timing! for closed schools and economic impact! But this situation a great opportunity to practice the “depth year” approach. As a bit of an “electronic hoarder” I have ridiculous amounts of e-books, articles saved on Pocket, browser bookmarks, photos, videos, emails, online courses, and software accumulated. Good time to review/drop or do! And get outside and move daily; still snow here so cross-country skiing is the thing. And keep practicing the fundamentals of diet, sleep, and meditation.
Been following Raptitude for several years now… thanks for the thoughtful insights, David.

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Katherine March 17, 2020 at 2:33 pm

I live in Upstate New York and feel really fortunate because I already work from home as an Independent Self Direction Support Broker for clients with developmental disabilities. All of my contact now is via phone or email because in person meetings aren’t happening right now.
I don’t have any travel plans and have plenty of food and supplies. I had heart surgery twice last year so I’m a higher risk than others but staying healthy and being cautious. I’m going with the flow right now.

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Marianne March 17, 2020 at 2:42 pm

Hi, I’m Marianne. I live in mid-coast Maine. I retired from teaching years ago and now make art and run a gallery in the summer. I have been reading David’s posts almost from the beginning. Someone in my book group introduced us to him and it has been love and devotion ever since! We almost got to meet in person and hoping that can happen someday. Most of the Maine coast is shut down now…I have had e-mails from the library, theaters, galleries and museums…all shut for at least 2 weeks. As hard as this is to take, it is also sensible and necessary. There are many online resources to explore and there’s always good old fashioned paint, paper, glitter, collage, pencils…as you might guess, I was an art teacher! Stay safe and well, everyone…lovely hearing all your stories!

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Mary March 17, 2020 at 2:51 pm

Hi all, I am 57 recently retired and hunkered down with my semi retired husband. I’ve been doing a lot of baking and making soup. Also daily yoga in the basement gym we just finished over the summer. Still riding bicycles but without the friends. Feeling hopeful. Adversity brings people together in a way that otherwise seems impossible.

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LanChi Pham March 17, 2020 at 2:59 pm

Hi everyone! I have been reading Raptitude for ten years and it’s the only blog that I follow. I actually quit my job just a week before the Coronavirus panic broke out full-force. It was good timing, too, since I used to work in a hospital. As of now, I am happily unemployed and studying web development in preparation for a coding bootcamp which starts in less than a month. I wonder if my bootcamp will be cancelled or moved online because of the public health concerns. However, like several of the people who already commented, I am an introvert and spend most of my time alone anyway. In my area, Southern California, people are still able to go outside to take walks or to bike. I myself take long walks almost daily. At home, I like to read, write, and work on little projects that I have been neglecting for too long. All of the local libraries in my area closed today so I can no longer go to the library. However, I see it as a blessing in disguise because that means I can now finish the books I have stockpiled at home. I am also eating the food I already have at home, too. Similar to David’s previous post about The Pantry Project, I am eating everything in my pantry first before I go out for more food. Every part of this social distancing has been an enlightening experience. I am sending out good vibes and well wishes to everyone out there. May all be well.

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indre March 17, 2020 at 3:06 pm

hello from London, American friend of mine showed me your blog a few months ago .. love it. I read only two blogs on a regular basis, yours and Set Goddin :) … love your experiments as well

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Sheri Codner March 17, 2020 at 3:19 pm

Hi David and everyone,
I am a 48 year old self-employed Hamiltonian (Ontario)! I run a shop on Etsy making prints and wood poster hangers called Odd Nerd Vintage and understandably there are not many orders to work on at the moment. I live in my own house with a roommate and we are doing fine for the time being as far as essentials go. I am an introvert and yet I find myself feeling a little lost at home with not a lot to do – I didn’t realize how unsettled I would feel without a lot of work lined up before me! I have been a fan of Raptitude for a few years and love hearing from all the other readers around the world. I think this crisis will show us all how interdependent we are on one another and hopefully things will change for the better on the other side.

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Sean March 18, 2020 at 8:58 am

Super cool prints! Just submitted an order

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Raquel March 17, 2020 at 3:29 pm

Writing from sunny Miami, FL. I work as a manger of a gym and we have shut down operations although staff is still able to come in to work and get paid which is helpful. It’s odd to look outside and see a beautiful blue sky with the sun shining and realize that we are living out what seems like a horror movie come to life. Trying to stay positive and use this time, and possible isolation in the future, to connect more with loved ones and really talk. I hope you all do the same and stay safe. Thanks for all of your posts, David. I’ve been a reader for some years now but don’t typically comment. Take good care.

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mindy March 17, 2020 at 3:33 pm

Hi David,
I have been reading your blog for about 5 years now. My therapist recommended it after my husband had died. I love it! You just know the right things to talk about and how to put everything in perspective. I have introduced others to you and they agree.
I am a third grade teacher in San Diego, and am now off for 1 month as of right now. I am thinking that
this school year is probably over. I am concerned for the students who will be missing a third of their school year if they are not allowed to come back this year.
I am surrounded by my 5 dogs and lots of paperwork as I am planning my retirement this June…getting house refinanced and filling out retirement paperwork.
I am not concerned for me with this out break, as I will survive it. I am concerned for others who are older and not in great health. I will do my part to keep my distance and help others if the need arises.
Thanks so much for all the work you put into your work in helping all of us out here!
Mindy

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Stam March 17, 2020 at 3:37 pm

Hi All,

I’m 72, work part-time and can work from home maybe up to 6 months, and I’m in our 15th story high-rise on the Las Vegas strip. I’m amazed at how much our world has changed in just a few weeks. The MGM and Wynn companies are closing their casinos and hotels for the first time ever. I’ve watched our portfolio take a significant hit to value. I’ve had a meditation and Buddhist practice for almost 10 years, and it serves me now. I liked what someone said earlier about impermanence – we are certainly seeing the evidence.
I wish all of the small business owners and those working in affected industries the best. Hopefully the government’s stimulus will help you offset the costs of our response to the virus.
May you all be safe, peaceful and free from harm.

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Kelly Watt March 17, 2020 at 3:47 pm

I’m Kelly, and I live in Superior, Colorado, just outside of Boulder. Only two weeks ago, I was debating to take a trip with my 7 month old baby to visit a friend in Massachusetts. I decided to cancel the trip, and it felt like an overreaction at the time. Now, my husband and I are both working from home as of last Friday. Two memorial services that I was planning to attend were changed: one moved to video only, one postponed until who-knows-when. Social plans are changing as well – no more visits to the Butterfly Pavilion, or brunch with friends at our house. Things are different, becoming more different every day.

I’m writing this on my laptop at the kitchen table. My husband is sitting in his favorite chair in our living room, also on his laptop. Our baby is at his in-home daycare; now he’s the only one there (all the other kids are home alongside their older siblings now that school is cancelled). Our dog is taking one of many naps on the living room floor. No lights on in our house right now, and the sun is filtering in through the half-open blinds. I am feeling weirdly overwhelmed by work, despite (perhaps because) the fact that I’m working from home. I am seriously contemplating taking up meditation again.

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Peter March 17, 2020 at 4:01 pm

Hello from Hungary! I’ve been reading Raptitude for about 6 years now, found it while still living in London, UK. I’ve moved back to my home country since, bought a house, started a family. Our son is about to turn 6 months old, he is upstairs, hopefully being fast asleep soon. Maybe he ate too much mashed potatoes, he’s been feeling uncomfortable today. Thank you David for your amazing blog!

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Paige March 17, 2020 at 4:03 pm

Hello all!

I currently live in Dallas, Texas, where I moved for a job after graduating college. I’m in my late 20s and discovered Raptitude in 2014 when I was working at an internship where I was so bored that I read blogs to pass the time. I love the arts–especially the performing arts–and I’ve recently picked up the hobby of baking.

Dallas is misty and overcast today, though the temperature is a perfect ~70 degrees. Recently, the city mandated that restaurants close for dine-in, so I’m thinking I’ll get takeout from my favorite local burger place tonight.

I’m doing okay. All last week, I was convince that everything would go back to normal within a few weeks. Two days ago, I finally confronted the reality that things will likely not be back to normal for months! The uncertainty feels a little overwhelming, but I’m doing my best to be kind to myself and others as we all adapt.

Thank you, David, for facilitating this wonderful corner of the internet.

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Joanne Hedgespeth March 17, 2020 at 4:03 pm

Hi David and everyone,

Although I have been reading this blog for years, this is my first time to comment. I am amazed by all the comments and all the good will from the readers worldwide.

David, it is clear you have touched and influenced many lives.

To all the readers, I encourage you to support David’s work in a practical manner, if you can. There is a link on the site to become a Patron. The link is on the top right of the webpage and says, Support this site.

I am from Orange County California and hunkered down.

Joanne

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Kip March 17, 2020 at 4:19 pm

Hello from Houston. Here the weather is fine, which allows us to meet our 27-year-old son in the park for a picnic visit (we bring our own food and sit the required distance apart). The city has mandated all the usual closures; the good news is that grocery stores remain open and reasonably well-stocked, other than the must-hoard items like toilet paper, sanitizer, children’s cereal, etc. My wife and I are 65+ and retired, so it’s easy enough to remain at home, though we do share the space with our 25-year-old med school student daughter. We live half-block from a lovely park (site of the aforementioned picnic), and this will be fine until the Houston heat and mosquitoes arrive, any day now.

We are well and hopeful. Daily meditation, exercise, rest – these are the things we try to do to stay well and hopeful. Thanks for your writings, and thanks to all who have shared in this space already.

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Jean March 17, 2020 at 4:31 pm

Another lurker here. I live in a medium size city with a world-famous medical center, so lots of international visitors year-round. We have COVID-19 drive-through tests available, if needed, so we’re lucky.
I’m retired, so don’t have to worry about going to a job or getting a paycheck. My volunteer work has been canceled for an indefinite time. My days haven’t changed much — meditate, take long walks outside, no matter what the weather (cold or rainy), read, knit, work on sorting boxes of stuff from my mother’s house after her death 3 years ago.

Since probably 60% of us will get COVID-19 in the next 6 months, I would prefer to get it sooner and be done with it. I’m lucky to be in good health, no children at home, etc. Everything here seems to be shutting down– schools, gyms, even my dentist. Few people have COVID-19 so far, but testing has been limited also.

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Sallie Sones March 17, 2020 at 4:33 pm

I am a 45 year old single who lives with her mom and is trying to get her life together like so many other 45 year olds in this world. Our stores aren’t bare…yet. We do have hysteria and people hoarding products like we are going through another hurricane…I live in Mississippi…we get hurricanes occasionally. Anyway, mom and I are just taking it day to day. I do worry about mom because she is 76 and has asthma and lupus so I know if I ever become positive with the virus, I will move out for awhile. I work for a government entity and we are doing daily temperature checks…if anyone has fever, they get sent home. Who knows what will happen, but until then, I am doing yoga, meditation, reading, journaling and trying to figure my life out…while helping mom out at home.
Love your site and I love to read your entries. I found you when I was binge reading Cait Flanders’s site before she somewhat shut it down. Hope everyone stays healthy and safe!!

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Jennifer March 17, 2020 at 4:34 pm

Hi Raptitude World:
Jennifer from Connecticut here! I am a 51 year old mother of 2 boys (17 and 8) and have been an American Airlines Flight Attendant based in NYC for the past 28 years. A lot of contemplation and concern going on in my life now needless to say. My extended family is living in the Seattle area where I grew up and we are constantly in touch now through group texting which helps a lot! My husband was just sent home from his job at a local car dealership (no business) and I am worrying about flying to DFW next week (all of my other int’l work flights have been cancelled).
Take care all and keep writing and connecting David it helps immensely!!

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Tonya March 17, 2020 at 4:40 pm

Hello, I’m Tonya and I’m currently living in Grapevine, TX. I found this website on stumblupon.com while I lived in Munich and have been a huge fan ever since. I moved to Munich from Kauai (where I lived for 11 years) for a job and for travel and lived there for almost 5 years. I moved to Texas to be near my best friend and her new twin boys and a job a little over 3 years ago. Although I never imagined myself living in Texas, I was reconnected after 23 years with the love of my life (the two of us not being from here, either!) and life has never been the same since. I have worked from home since my heart surgery a little over 2 years ago, so this self-distancing isn’t that big of a change for me, but it is for my boyfriend and his daughter, both of whom are going stir-crazy. Anyhow, it is nice to still have this blog to read and get such wonderful insight from and the comment platform to connect. Thanks, everyone!

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Susanne March 17, 2020 at 4:55 pm

Hi from New Zealand! I love your blog posts, they brighten up my day and give me some kind of perspective to life. Especially now, that more and more corona virus cases are coming closer to home and everyone is freaking out, the thoughts of your blog give me a sense of focus and calm. Thank you!

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MattD March 17, 2020 at 5:02 pm

Hi all, I’m 49, married with two high school-aged kids in the Hunter Valley in NSW, Australia. Reading these comments prompted me to walk outside and have a good look around – something I havent thought to do for a while. it’s a perfect Autumn morning, spotless blue sky and not a breath of wind. About 22 degrees celcius at a guess. The dust from the coal mines isn’t as noticeable as usual – so that’s something to be grateful for. Last week seems like forever ago – the supermarkets in town have been hammered. Last night there was no meat, no vegetables and no bread (in addition to no toilet paper, paper towel or tissues). Stay safe everyone!

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Edith March 17, 2020 at 5:25 pm

I’m a 38 year old woman writing from Cuernavaca, Mexico. I have been reading this blog for around 8 years. I am very thankful for this blog. Apart from great life-changing articles, it introduced me to Mr. Money Mustache, which changed my world view completely. I am a translator and short story writer, but also started a financial blog some years ago. I enjoy my days at 29 degrees Celsius, and things here are pretty much normal. There are some recommendations, we try to not go out much. With a toddler having afternoon naps, I usually don’t go out much anyways. I feel this situation is a great opportunity to realise whe world is intertwined and we should look out for everybody, not just people from our country.

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Eric March 17, 2020 at 5:36 pm

Hi David,
I’m Eric (58) from The Netherlands. I have been reading your blogs since 2014. I enjoy them every time. You often hit a spot of actual concern or problem and show a different view, which make me feel better. Thank you for that – and sorry for not letting you know earlier.
I am living in a tiny city in the center of The Netherlands. Thursday some rules were set to contain the Coronavirus, and these rules were sharpened yesterday. We were spoken to by the prime-minister Rutte, a very rare occasion in NL, since the last time was in 1973, so 47 years ago, then we had an oil-crisis – resultlng in a car-less Sunday. Three weeks later the crisis was over. This time the rules are set for the next 3 weeks, however the crisis will not be over then.
The Dutch government chose for a different approach than most other countries. Instead of total lock down (like France, Italy), the government chose for ‘controlled spread’ of the virus to ‘flatten the curve’ of the number of people getting sick over a longer period of time so that hospitals will not get overloaded. Also, over time more and more people become immune after being sick, and can move on and help others. So we are still free to move, keeping 2 meters distance from eachother. Restaurants, theaters, cinema’s, basically all social gathering places and schools are closed till 6 april. A vast majority (my guess 80 to 90%) of the country supports this approach. Interesting measures, interesting times. The latter is that it will people bring more together on a local level, and also worldwide, of which your call on this blog is an example. And that feels good. Thank you David!

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Roberta March 17, 2020 at 5:39 pm

Hi, I’ve been reading for years through a few feed readers. I’m in São Paulo, Brazil. The last pieces of my resume are that I am a female and I work for a non essential part of the state government.

Here we are in the anxiety days. We had the first fatality today. The government is deciding who will work at what times.

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David March 17, 2020 at 5:40 pm

I’m a 67-year-old retired English teacher who has lived forty years in a small city on the southern coast of Shikoku, an island in Japan. Outside my window, the wall of the Shikoku mountain range looms over the strip of plain that ends in the Pacific Ocean. In our community, we are facing many of the same restrictions and hardships the world is struggling with. Perhaps because of our isolation, the small number of infected cases nationwide and in our prefecture (twelve to date), and the seemingly intrinsic nature of the Japanese to bear difficult times collectively, life here in our prefecture—and the nation—is not as difficult as it is in the rest of the world.

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Korra March 17, 2020 at 5:49 pm

Hi everyone. I am a scientist living in downtown Boston with my husband and dog. My company was the origin of the outbreak here, and I was sick all last week. Days before any of us knew how bad it would get, I made the decision not to go to my choir concert; more than half the group is over 65, so I’m so glad I did. They finally had a test for me today, hoping it was Covid-19 so that I’ll be *almost guaranteed not to get it again.
Loving this blog for the quiet contemplation, of seeing the familiar with new eyes. It’s been hard working at home, because my experiments are in the lab (and will have to be re-done). But my hobby is writing scifi/fantasy, and I’ve been insanely productive there and connecting with other writers on Reddit and friends near and far with Google Hangouts, so I will come through this just fine. My husband rarely leaves the house normally – he jokes that he’s been training for this! Everyone stay safe and thankful for the parts of our homes, the people we live with, and ourselves, that we now get to experience in a new light.

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Laura March 17, 2020 at 5:53 pm

Hi, I have only recently discovered this blog through Mr. Money Mustache and haven’t even read all of the previous posts yet but, in the few I have read I have discovered the common sense knowledge (reminder of things we already know) and good spirit of the blog. I am from SLC, Utah. I originally thought that everyone was blowing this virus way out of portion and am now realizing the seriousness of what is happening. It feels very surreal and I am just taking one day at a time. I usually have a bit of food storage and am not immediately worried about that except for seeing the empty stores on the news. I hope that people will calm down and everyone will be able to get what they need in time. My thoughts are with all as I continue to pray for our leaders and citizens to make good decisions for the benefit all of us. Thank you for sharing your thoughts through this blog.

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Elizabeth M. March 17, 2020 at 6:03 pm

I live in a very small town in Northern Alberta, and I am 65. After a few cold days, the sun is out and the temperature is up near freezing. The yard is full of snow, but the edges are beginning to retreat, and the slightest feeling of spring is in the air. Alberta has just announced some serious social distancing measures, but I am organized to spend my time indoors now. I live alone, and don’t have family or closed friends nearby, and had some logistical concerns if I got the virus, but the province seems to have figured out some solutions to those last details I hadn’t solved yet.
My urge to get organized is tempered with a certain excitement about the possibility of being able to fully express my inner introvert for a few weeks or months. So many choices of things to do and think about …
This morning I called my aunt in Montreal to wish her a happy 91st birthday. She lives in assisted living, and they are not allowed out and no one is allowed in. They did have a St Patrick’s Day lunch with Irish stew and very green cake, and lots of decorations, I’m told, and everyone wished her a happy birthday. I asked about her disabled friend/ward, who lives in a residence a small distance away and who she normally sees every day, and he is in the same situation. Disappointed that their group trip to the maple sugar bush was cancelled, but happy enough with his computer and his music.
Love to hear about everyone. Stay safe.

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James March 17, 2020 at 6:16 pm

Hey, David. I enjoy the blog. I live in FL and I am a cancer survivor, which comes with some susceptibility to infection, so I am in the risk group I suppose, but I am lucky in that I work from home. I hope that everyone stays healthy and safe.

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Marian March 17, 2020 at 6:34 pm

Hola David, hola everybody. I am Mexican but have lived abroad for 20 years. I live in the DC area. I am a single mom of two kids, who for obvious reasons are not going to school for (at least) the next two weeks. Today has been the second day I have had to do “homeschooling”, and all I can think is I rather be working at the office! This is hard. And requires so much patience. The days seem to have 48 hours instead of 24, and it is funny because, in my pre-covid19 world, all I wanted was to slow down and have time.
Now that slowing down and having time has been forced upon us, I don’t know what to do with it, which means I have been giving myself excuses to complain. I think there will be many lessons to learn from this unusual circumstance.
What is happening around me, literally: food is being delivered. I am not a good cook and I have run out of ideas… plus Amazon fresh is not delivering groceries (it is so bad how we get accustomed to easy…) Kids are watching a movie. And outside in our community, everybody is sort of freaking out.
I am not afraid of the virus. I am afraid of what is within, the anxiety that is amplifying now that I am not crazy busy as usual. Being is harder than doing, I suppose. Perhaps this last bit may answer your last question “and how are you doing?”. All the best, and stay safe! M.
And how are you doing?

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Kim March 17, 2020 at 6:45 pm

Hello All,
I’m a 52 year old secretary. I found Rapitude fairly recently, with the depth year, it really resonated with me. I tend to jump into new projects, new hobbies so this year I’m trying to go deep and to delve deep into what I’ve already started. I’m from NorthWestern Ontario, Canada, where I just came back from a walk, it was -7 Celsius with a wind chill, the sidewalks were icy and precarious at times, but it was refreshing nonetheless. We have lost plenty of snow and still have plenty left.
I’ve been training for a 1/2 marathon in June and a ten mile event in May, and I’m waiting to see when/if they’ll be rescheduled or canceled. I’m hoping they will both be either canceled or rescheduled so I can cut back on my training and regroup. I’ve been struggling with running this year. If just one of those events goes ahead, I’ll have to keep plugging along.
As of now my office remains open, so for me, not much changes. I work during the day and run/exercise most evenings. I’d kinda like to chill at home for a few weeks and spend more time reading, writing, and playing with art. My husband will be home as of next week and I admit, I’m a little jealous.
Take good care everyone, I have really enjoyed reading your stories.

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Philippa Ferguson March 17, 2020 at 6:46 pm

Hi David and all

What interesting stories are being shared. I’m a 71 year old Kiwi woman who discovered David’s blog and did Camp Calm (the first, I think) while teaching for an Irish university 2014-17.

Now retired, I live in a lifestyle village with a view of the sea in New Zealand’s North Island.

We have been asked by our great Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern not to exchange hugs,handshakes or hongi(a Māori connection of nose and forehead, exchanging breath) but to use the least coast wave”. To see this demonstrated, check out https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/17/east-coast-wave-should-replace-handshakes-and-hongi-amid-coronavirus-says-jacinda-ardern

Stay safe all. Pip

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Amy Bridges March 17, 2020 at 6:49 pm

I’m sitting in my dining room reading some email and this. I’m home from work along with my 2 kids and my husband for 3 weeks and probably longer thanks to Covid-19. My son, Sam age 8 and daughter, Anna age 9, are roller skating around the dining room table as I type this. My dog, Stewie is at my elbow waiting for a neck rub. My husband is standing on the front porch smoking. I’m just taking this one moment at a time. I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew, so-to-speak. Plus, I need to remain positive because I have little eyes watching my response to everything. Normalcy will return as I knew it but until then this is the new normal!

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Pat March 17, 2020 at 6:59 pm

Even though I have been working part-time at a local hospital, because I have a son who lives with us who is immuno-compromised, I have had to stay at home. I am a chaplain and am feeling some loss because I can’t be there for people who need the support.

I’m also feeling a bit disoriented. I had scoped out my weeks and made plans to visit our family in Seattle in April, as well as going to a celebration of life for our extended family (my husband’s mother was the last one to pass in her generation). I’m trying to sort out how I want to spend my time and put it to the best use possible. There is much I can do around the house. I just need a different mindset, and it will take some time to get there.

At first, I thought, what’s wrong with me? I then I realized that many,many of us are going through the same thing. I am NOT alone, and that brings some comfort to me.

We are in this together, even though we feel separated.

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Pat Stoltey March 17, 2020 at 7:01 pm

I’m in Northern Colorado and we’re essentially shut down — we may not have the “shelter in place” for the general population but we elders are told to do exactly that. Happily my husband and I have a good-sized yard, a couple of pets, adequate supplies, and lots of hobbies to keep us occupied. I’m not worried about us at the moment, but I’m worried about family in hot spots, small businesses, folks who worked for tips and are now unemployed, and on and on. We need to take care of each other.

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Andie March 17, 2020 at 7:03 pm

Hi David, hi everyone!
I am a eastern European woman, temporarily living with our family in a small city in Oklahoma. I’ve been reading raptitude since the first months, I think. I never commented, mostly because the articles were very much up my alley and not much could be added.
Just my personal opinion is that this virus gets more attention than it deserves. The anxiety is in the air, everyone ( or someone, because the shelves are empty) is stocking on produce, schools are closed and we are travel restricted to 60 miles around, 60 miles of prairies and not much else. I fear the economic crisis will hit very hard in the small European country that we’re from. What I also fear, even with insurance, is the greedy American health system. I see how easy our freedoms can be suspended indefinitely and I don’t like it.
Let’s hope spring will sprinkle some hope dust and some flower petals on us. Let’s hope better days are to come and that we get out of this having learned something.

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Elias March 17, 2020 at 7:07 pm

Hello David and all! I’ve been reading David’s blog over 3 years.I live in Kansas USA. I work for a wonderful insurance company that allows me to work at home thru this crisis. (I’m high-risk at 60 but feel GREAT). A few, (maybe a lot) people still believe this crisis is no big deal, but every school and university is closed for the year and even the hardest skeptic is realizing something is not right. Stoicism has always fit my philosophy and in times of crisis, it seems to help others to be mindfull and calm on those events we don’t control. Thank you and your community for all you do. We will get through this (and any event) together.

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Oying Pineda March 17, 2020 at 7:11 pm

Hi David and the rest of you wonderful people!
I am from Manila, Philippines. I have been reading this blog since it started way back then and there are times when I used to copy-paste it and post on Facebook for my friends. Like everyone else, we are on lockdown right now because of this temporary interruption in our lives. Our government is trying it’s best to remedy the chaos that this has placed us into. As in every crisis, there are those who are supporting and those that are not. Two sides of the same coin, duality in views or just plain ignorance. Thank you, David, for continually sending us the good vibes through your writing. I hope that this new effort of getting us all together through the comments creates a space for us to support each other through these difficult times. Sending you all virtual hugs and high fives from the islands. Namaste!

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Natasha Wainwright March 17, 2020 at 7:13 pm

Hello David,

I’ve been a reader since my first degree…which, when I did the math, was probably around the inception of Raptitude. Who knew!

I am based in Metro Vancouver, Canada and love to cook and get outdoors. The air has been crisp and cold, with the sun shining brightly (an unusual gift here on the West Coast…but I guess it is the first signs of spring!)

Looking around my office, I am reminded of my ongoing file cabinet re-organization, which now seems more hopeful to be done in a thoughtful, considerate way. My partner is working from home too, which means, we get to cook dinner together after I finish this reply, which is a treat since our normal schedules leave little room for shared meals. Indeed, as others have commented, I am realizing how very lucky I am to have a home and work that is done remotely.

Yesterday, I told the building manager to consider me a volunteer for my neighbours who aren’t able to get their groceries and medicines. She called today with the first request and I felt surprised(since nobody even talks to their neighbours anymore) and honoured. Somehow, it makes me feel like, no matter what happens, we have each other, even if only virtually.

It is a heartening pause for humanity.

Thanks again David, for all your posts, but especially at this time, for the invitation and chance to reflect.

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Karen Fyles March 17, 2020 at 8:02 pm

Hi David,
I have been reading your blog for just over a year & enjoy the feeling of being “grounded in what is real” that I experience. I was originally captured by your concept of a Depth Year which I am making a way of life. I am a teacher on Spring Break in a rural community in Northern BC (Quesnel) & have just heard schools will remain closed after the break, as has been anticipated. I am enjoying the sounds of my chimes as the wind picks up outside, +7C after several days recently of -20C so am enjoying the sun pouring in my dirty windows (Spring Break job) as I contemplate what else will have shifted in another week & a half. I am content to self isolate & take a break from the busyness of 26 – 9/10 year olds & end of term report card writing. I anticipate we have interesting times ahead & am resting up. I will putter away on some chores & get a few days of spring skiing (back country) or snowshoeing in depending on the weather – solitary pursuits. My asparagus roots just arrived today in the mail, however the snow in my back yard is still over my knees deep. Everything in good time.

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Belinda March 17, 2020 at 8:27 pm

I’m in San Jose, California. As of today we are on full shelter in place, with only essential services open. I have spent the last week or two getting my company ready to work at home (those who didn’t already have that capability). I have been working at home full time since last Thursday. Today everything became very real as stores closed, appointments were canceled, and things became very quiet. I am an introvert so this is not terrible for me. I am looking at it as a time to reflect and to appreciate everything that is good in my life. I know that this will be very hard on small businesses so I am doing my best to support those that I usually frequent. I have my work and my political activism to keep me busy, and we are so lucky to be able to connect digitally to our friends and family.

Thank you for this David, it is so wonderful to be able to hear from so many people in so many places. We are all connected.

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TPC123 March 17, 2020 at 9:28 pm

Who am I? An interesting question and hard to answer meaningfully. Sure, I’m a 37 year old teacher, married, father of 2. But that doesn’t really say much except demographics. I’m a worrier. I have a weird sense of humor. I struggle with organization. I love a good conversation, but don’t always know how to start one. That is a bit of stuff.

Looking up from the screen before me, I see a green couch and a couple lamps. The cushions are messed up and there is a rumpled blue blanket we bought years ago from a mall kiosk (it gimmick is that it has a little pouch for your feet. There is a tangle of wires for my wife’s ancient laptop (12 years old!) on the couch. A pile of books on an antique hutch and beside the hutch several boxes of toys. An empty bowl from homemade popcorn and a teaching book (The Middle–about teaching through reading/writing workshops). I’m listening to Imagine by John Lennon currently–it is part of the playlist for putting our kids to bed. My daughter had a hard time falling asleep, so I’m staying close.

I’m doing OK. This has been a tough year. Therapy for my son with ADHD. Therapy for my wife to deal with past trauma. Therapy for me to deal with a shoulder injury. And therapy for my wife and I to deal with our own disconnects & slowly built up resentments due to our own miscommunications and missteps. I’m also worried about my students–they are mostly in a tough spot and doing their best to work towards graduation. But most of my students struggle on a good day, so I don’t know what this whole thing is doing to them mentally.

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Dennice Hall March 17, 2020 at 9:33 pm

Hello David and fellow humans!
I live on Bowen Island BC- have retired from a job that I loved helping others and feel blessed that I have the mountains to look at year round, the gifts of being able to never get bored with life and its adventures and upheavals. I have a love for nature and the peace that it can bring. I love to make art and to write and walk in the forest.
Currently I am on lock down as I have an immune disorder and must be very careful. I live in a Co op and we are practicing social distancing as best we can.Some of the ways are quite humorous. This practice of keeping our distance from one another has made me remember how deeply connected we are.Though a bit of a loner myself, I find a great longing to be with others. I live with my small elderly Toto dog and I may be driving her crazy with the need to hug this aloof terrier as much as she will let me.
I cannot recall how I came to your website David but I so love all that you share and your perspective on being a human in this magnificent and puzzling world. Thank you for the gift of your wise and funny approach to life on this planet.

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Anh March 17, 2020 at 9:40 pm

Hi David,
I’m in San Jose, CA. Thankful being able to work remotely with ease, yet my heart breaks for many youth I work with who are in crisis (I’m in the mental health field as a clinician), as well as marginalized communities as they are negatively impacted the most. Recognizing my privilege and doing my best to reach out and supporting others. Internally, one cannot help but to have existential inquiries. Discovering the beauty in the different opportunities this global pandemic can offer; reminded of the fragility of life and the impermanence of mortality, which is humbling. I am moved by the kindness and love I have witnessed thus far in various communities. Full of gratitude for my health, ableism, and sanity.

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Hette March 17, 2020 at 10:34 pm

Hello David,
First of all I want to thank you for your blog – I found it a few years ago and it is a haven of good sense for me!
I’m a retired person who normally keeps busy with visits to the Y and volunteering – clearly that is not happening this week!
Still, there are hobbies that I now have no excuse not to spend time at… making pottery, knitting, maybe finally a serious quilting project…??? who knows, I make even organize the non-computer photographs and slides… It’s been on the “to-do” list for at least 5 years… I’m an introvert but I miss the people in everyday exchanges… I do hope everyone on this list stays healthy and well!

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Brady Faught March 17, 2020 at 10:54 pm

Hi fellow Raptitude readers!

My name is Brady and I’m in my teeny tiny condo in North Vancouver, BC. which I love dearly. My 3 month old daughter is sleeping in our bedroom, my dog is chewing her stuffy on the couch and my wife is watching a show. I’m beyond grateful to have the flexibility to work from home and get bonus family time! I’m an engineer at the City of Vancouver, and I’m also fortunate to be passionate about my job. Municipal government is where it’s at!
And I’ve been reading David’s incredible blog for at least 5 years. It’s magical, always seeming to say just what I needed at the time, from reading less news, to being present walking across a parking lot, to trying depth years (currently it’s skateboarding, I’ve been going almost every day and I LOVE it, it’s so incredibly hard so the progress is really rewarding). All the best out there!

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Brady March 17, 2020 at 11:12 pm

You’re certainly not alone. While I’m generally outwardly content and happy, there’s this nagging discontent underneath about the climate crisis, from the seemingly non-caring of those around me, to idling trucks and voracious consumerism (I’m also from the Canadian prairies so I can sympathize!) It’s this constant distraction that dulls the otherwise incredible joys I have in my life, which I have many.
However, I’ve learned that WAY more people care than we typically realize, and this virus does show we’re capable of acting in a caring, compassionate and somewhat orderly (minus the toilet paper fiascos) manner to address a crisis.
Plus the fact David’s content has so many fans gives me further hope :) I’m glad to be virtually here with you all wonderful folks.

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Jamie Schumacher March 17, 2020 at 11:27 pm

Hi David and Raptitude readers,

Thanks for this connection point.

I’m Jamie. 40 years old, mom of two. Nonprofit executive director trying to help my community while also now homeschooling a six-year-old and wrangling a two-year-old along with my husband. It’s a new challenge.

I’m finding some of my hope in what’s already happening.
– Even more solidarity and collaboration among doctors and nurses across nations.
– Less commuting. More e-working. (Climate positives.)
– Communities banding together, lifting one another up in a shifting landscape.

In the community where I work, for example, it’s a mostly immigrant community with many many elders. Many restaurants began immediately pivoted to meal delivery for quarantined family members – all at their own expense. We’re trying to help them get resources for this so this can continue – it’s a lifeline to the businesses and the community members they are helping.

How am I doing? I’m doing better this week than I was last week, as the world settles into the new “normal.” I’m keeping the healthcare workers on the front lines in my thoughts and heart as the days move forward.

Hugs to all of you.

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Barbs March 17, 2020 at 11:35 pm

Hi to all who have left comments. Lovely, jubbely is this connecting of human beings stuff x. I’m 76 years on, from Wellington, New Zealand. Like all of us, having our own peculiar difficulties and also joys, in dealing with this global change. My hardest bit is being a risk factor, as if any of us were not! That aside, I love to look outside in the days of our autumn weather to the hills of my city and reflect on what I have that no virus can possibly take away from me. Dapling is really good… In parks, on the streets of our villages or suburbs. An amazing blog of like minded people like this. A family I love and who loves me; warts and all. If I can not be happy with this, what could I be happy with?

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John March 17, 2020 at 11:42 pm

Hi David,
Always turn to your blog for a fresh perspective on life, thank you. I’m in Bali and we are not on lockdown…yet. Just social distancing and changing our habits to break the curve. Interesting Bali will celebrate Nyepi holiday next week. This is an annual holiday when no one leaves their home for 24 hours, no noise, no lights to be seen from outside your home. I have experienced Nyepi many times and find it a fantastic holiday. Many friends of mine sayt that the world should celebrate Nyepi, and in a sense, this year it is. My heart goes out to all those souls lost to this illness, but hope there is some lasting good gained for families being together and gratitude of life from the restrictions of our daily routines.

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John March 18, 2020 at 12:42 am

Hi David,

John here from Melbourne, Australia. I started reading your blog around 2012 when it was recommended to me by a friend when I was still living back in Philadelphia where I grew up. Eight years later I’m writing from the office in my home on the other side of the planet. I can hear my five month old “chatting” to my partner downstairs and I’ll be off to pick up our two year old from childcare shortly. As I write, schools and childcare centres remain open in Australia, but the rest of society is slowly shutting down. There are currently 450 reported cases of COVID-19 in this country and we’re only just starting to see the S-curve turn upward at a near 90 degree angle. With the exception of our daughter being in childcare three days a week, we’ve mostly been staying in as I can work from home and my partner is on parental leave. We’ve been practicing social distancing outside of work/school hours the past few days, which has been relatively easy in the gorgeous autumn weather we’re currently experiencing. Never have I been more grateful for my mail order fortnightly coffee subscription from Proud Mary (they have a 2nd location in Portland, WA) and we’ll be exercising the newly available option to order take-away from our favourite independent restaurant down the street Little Tienda. In times like these, it’s so important to support small businesses however we can.

Speak soon,
John

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Petra Merkelbach March 18, 2020 at 3:07 am

Dear David, and dear everybody around the world,

I’ve been reading your wonderful texts for about seven years now, but have never commented (neither here nor on any other blog, by the way), it always seemed there wasn’t enough urge or time to really say something relevant or interesting or deep or whatever…
Normally I live in the southern part of Germany, I teach German to non-native (mostly fugitive) children. At the moment there are twelve children from eleven different countries, their knowledge of German ranging from almost none to pretty good. School is closed now, I’ve no idea what they’re doing, how they’re spending their days, how all this turmoil affects them. It’s not that I’m not interested, I’m simply not there, I’m “stuck” in Bern, Switzerland!
My almost 91year old mother had an accident four weeks ago, broke her femur, and had to have surgery. She’s actually doing very well, has started walking again, and her spirit is high. I came to help her move from one hospital to the next and in between came Corona…
I was afraid that the authorities wouldn’t let me come back to help her move home, if I returned to Germany in between, and so I’m still in Switzerland. Both countries are considered high risk areas so for me personally it doesn’t make any difference where I am.
The very strange thing though is, that as for yet, it doesn’t really feel like there’s anything different! Yes, toilet paper (!!!) is sold out, all shops except for grocery stores are closed, and I’m well aware that for many many people there are dramatic changes in their lives: not being able to go to work, having to work at home with their children around (and thus not really being able to do justice to both tasks), having to close their shops, restaurants etc., not really knowing how they will make ends meet if this goes on for another month or even longer.
But if you go out on the streets or in the parks – thank God for the wonderful warm weather we have! – it looks like a normal weekend. People sitting together, listening to music, children playing on the playgrounds, birds chirping. Here, everything feels like normal, still.
But of course this makes me think of (and pray for) the people in Italy, and all the other countries, where everybody has to stay home, where the streets and parks and piazzas are ghostly empty, where you have to fill out a form to be allowed to go out of your house, where REALLY nothing is like before.
I also think if all elderly people who’re not on social networks, who can’t be visited for risk of getting infected, for sliding even in a bigger isolation.
I hear of neighborhood initiatives on social networks of people offering to go shopping for them, leaving the things on the doorstep.
But who of those elderly in need is on a social network?
Most of us know people (and if only by sight) who live alone, who don’t have relatives close by, who aren’t part of our circle of friends/acquaintances.
Let’s ring their doorbells or their phones and offer services as long as we still are allowed to move freely and let’s spread the word out to everyone.
Take good care of yourselves, all of you, and let’s try to take care of others in need as best we can!
Petra

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Vanessa March 18, 2020 at 3:34 am

Hi. I’m Vanessa. I never really comment on anything. I am in the Bay Area part of CA. I’m not doing too well. The loneliness is hard. I don’t really have anyone at all family or friends and I lost my job a few months ago. I guess the depression is just really getting to me. At 30 I am often finding it hard to want to continue this life.

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John Norris March 18, 2020 at 5:01 am

Sorry to hear that, Vanessa. Maybe saying the following might help, even if it feels distant at the moment?

May I be filled with lovingkindness; may I be held in lovingkindness.
May I feel safe and at ease.
May I feel protected from inner and outer harm.
May I be happy.
May I accept myself just as I am.
May I touch deep, natural peace.
May I know the natural joy of being alive.
May I find true refuge within my own being.
May my heart and mind awaken; may I be free.

~ Tara Brach, True Refuge p.28

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Luli March 18, 2020 at 9:12 am

Hi Vanessa,

I’m sad to hear that you’re hurting like this. It sounds like you’re feeling really lonely and wondering if it’s worth continuing with your life. It must have been difficult for you to open up and share your feelings of suicide. But I’m so glad you did. I think you are a brave person. I’m wondering what the hardest part is for you to deal with right now?

Please know that help is available. I’m not from your area, but there is this https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ which offers free and confidential support 24 hours a day. Tel. 1-800-273-8255.

I’m sure you’re not alone in your feelings during this taxing time.

Luli from near London in the UK.

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David Cain March 18, 2020 at 9:18 am

Hi Vanessa. That sounds really rough. You’re definitely not alone in that sense, and this extra layer of isolation and bad news is the last thing anybody needs. I just want to say that it’s possible for people to come into really dark places in life, but also to come out of them. I’m no stranger to it. Conditions really do change in ways that seem impossible looking forward. So I guess what I’m saying is that it’s worth just doing the next thing for a while and seeing what’s around the next corner. Things are possible that don’t seem possible.

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Janene March 20, 2020 at 3:11 am

David your words here are so comforting and helpful. Sometimes I find myself in a black cloud and I hope I can find these words if I need them in future. I am 40 something, married, mother of 4 living in Portland. I have read this blog since it was a much smaller thing. I grow so much from it. I am an avid reader and have enjoyed many of the book suggestions on here over the years. Some of them were absoluetly life changing. Thank you for a quiet place to land amid the chaos.

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Julie March 18, 2020 at 10:12 am

Vanessa,

This must be a very difficult time for you right now. I am not going to pretend that I know how you feel, but I can only imagine that this is a very rough time.
My name is Julie and I live outside Chicago. I love to snuggle with my elderly dog, currently I am taking care of my sick husband (he has a cold) and hopefully can get outside soon to start cleaning up our garden. I am happy to chat with you if you want company and am sure that Raptitude team can help arrange something if you would like.

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E March 18, 2020 at 4:37 am

Dear everyone,

greetings from Uppsala, Sweden! Thank you all for the little windows into the rooms all over the world. Thank you for sharing.

I’m in my office, making a list of work things I can do from home. It’s overcast with a little bit of rain but spring is undeniably here. I only work three days a week so this is my “Friday”, and I find myself looking at my office as if I’m not going to see it for a long time. The Japanese cloth with waterfall and koi. The little Balinese painting of a village temple festivity my mother gave me as a child (it only hangs here because my partner doesn’t like it). The view out my window, over a busy road and some fields. My notice board with planning schedules, all the “important papers”. We may all be quarantined at home come Monday…

My company is focused on medical clinics and we all expect no one having time for our services for some time ahead. Luckily the company has good finances and summer is low season for us, so I’m not too worried about my job anyway. I like my job, but I am slowly scaling back, “collapsing ahead of the rush”, trying to make do with less, finding out what is important in life. I was planning to retire in a few years, as I turn 60.

So some of the infrastructure is already there: my partner and I will relocate for the rest of the week to our little cottage in the countryside which we for the last few years have been fixing up for permanent living. We’ll work in the garden. It’ll be good, especially for my partner who is more high-strung and whose anxiety tends to make also me more worried. There will be crocus and spring birds and the hope for new life.

So much more to write, so many thoughts that crop up, but I’ll hand the word on to the next person. Take care, all of you. Stay safe and help each other. <3

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Luli March 18, 2020 at 5:08 am

Hi Vanessa,

I’m sad to hear that you’re hurting like this. It sounds like you’re feeling really lonely and wondering if it’s worth continuing with your life. It must have been difficult for you to open up and share your feelings of suicide. But I’m so glad you did. I think you are a brave person. I’m wondering what the hardest part is for you to deal with right now?

Please know that help is available. I’m not from your area, but there is this https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ which offers free and confidential support 24 hours a day. Tel. 1-800-273-8255.

PS. I’m Luli from near London in the UK. A working mother of one and married. I’m working from home for the time being and not missing my daily 3 hour commute in the slightest. I’m new to this blog having read about it in The Guardian newspaper, from Oliver Burkeman. I’m enjoying hearing birdsong now that traffic is less. This seems like a lovely community of people and I’m enjoying reading about people’s lives.

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Ursula in Cádiz March 18, 2020 at 6:00 am

Hello David and fellow fans, from the lovely 3,000 year old city of Cádiz on the south-west coast of Spain, where we are in official lockdown now after places closed in phases. We are only allowed onto the street to food shop or go to the pharmacy, unless you have officially documented authorisation to go to a vital job – or a dog to walk! You can only go out alone and you mustn’t go far or prolong the outing.
Morale is great and the sense of community is amazing. At 20:00 every night, the whole of Spain goes to their windows, terraces or balconies and applauds all those who are providing vital services to keep the rest of us safe and healthy: it’s actually quite moving. This is a tiny island city mostly built in the 18th century and no one has a garden – the population lives largely in the street in cafés and restaurants – all shut, and gather in squares to chat: the parks and beaches are out of bounds, so the children are burning off the already-imminent cabin fever by playing on the flat roofs, accompanied by other family members takng the sun and fresh air.
The chat groups are a constant flow of hilarity, news and GREAT online resources for entertainment and learning. So many free everythings: online concerts, virtual museum visits, libraries, you name it. But also people playing bingo with neighbours from their balconies; a keepfit fanatic taking everyone through a workout from his roof; you name it, they’re doing it!
Sending calm and optimism to everyone :)

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Ovi March 18, 2020 at 6:02 am

Hi, I am Ovi. I am 31 and I live in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania.
We are currently in a lock-down, the whole country’s being shut down and we’re all waiting for hell. Everything is calm, there’s nobody on the streets.

I’ve been staying in for almost two weeks now, in order to protect the elderly by not spreading the virus.
I hoped I would have time to finish the books I started, to enjoy everything I have in my house, to go deeper, not wider. But all I do is find myself reading about this virus, reading all the news, posting a lot on Facebook and doing my part in raising awareness.
I am not panicking, I am genuinely interested in this pandemic and the effect it has on the world. If it were for my job, or even my passion, I wouldn’t be that excited and diligent as I am now.

Everything is falling to pieces, I will most probably have to close my business, but I am very calm, because there are people who are going through much worse than I am. As long as my family and I are healthy, everything is manageable.

I hope all of you are doing fine and staying at home cherishing the life we used to complain about.

Virtual hugs to all.

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Julia March 18, 2020 at 6:12 am

Hi, I’m Julia, I live in Dorset on the south coast of England. I’ve been reading Raptitude for years, and it is about one of the only blogs I’ve kept up with. I frequently re-read some of the all-time great posts as a little reminder to live life.

I’m feeling a little lost at the moment as I’ve recently gone self-employed, but my business plan involves going out and meeting people and exploring local small businesses, so the current situation has made that all rather difficult! I’m also not sure what I’m doing with my life (at age 32), so yeah, lost… I’ve used the last couple of days to apply to become a teacher, as I love biology and think I might be an ok teacher, plus it is a (somewhat) stable job option.

On the positive side: I live in an absolutely stunning part of the world, I’m currently sitting at my dining room table, and I can see the river just a few metres out of the patio doors, there are swans, cormorants, ducks, gulls and a kestrel around. From my kitchen window I can see blue tits, great tits, robins, dunnocks, a little coal tit. I’ve got daffodils in pots outside the door and the tulips are about to flower. My wonderful boyfriend of 16 years is currently out at work, but he’ll be back later and he is doing a great job helping to keep my anxiety under control by just being lovely and level-headed.

Much love and clean hands to all x

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Linda March 18, 2020 at 6:50 am

Good morning all. I wish you the best in your corner of the world and trust that life continues to treat you well. I’m retired and currently packing to move from FL to PA. This move has been planned for several months and I’m a bit nervous that the movers will cancel, I will be unable to get gas as I travel to my new home, and state lines get closed (could that happen?). I’ve sold my house for a song just to be able to start my new life in PA and I have to be out by the end of next week. I have a great deal of “stuff” I need to donate, but all of the donation places are closed! (My parents and younger siblings have all passed, so I became the repository for their stuff.)

People are, once again, becoming a bit more gentle with each other. This warms my heart and I thank all of you for taking the time to lend a (clean) hand.

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Ailish March 18, 2020 at 6:53 am

Hi all,

I’m Ailish, working from home in Dublin, Ireland. Yesterday we had a Paddy’s Day that was described by our prime minister as “like no other”. No pubs open, no cafes or restaurants open, people unable to congregate, people maintaining social distance. The only place I saw lots of people was in the (gigantic) Phoenix Park, a public park.

Everyone is staying positive and trying to obey the rules as much as possible but we did have a scary public address from Leo Varadkar the PM last night where he said the surge is coming and that 15,000 people could be infected by the end of the month.

I’m worried about my family, friends and colleagues but hopeful we can get through this and through the hard times to follow. I hope everyone here is keeping well and that you got to raise a glass at home to Paddy’s Day yesterday!

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Christine McLafferty March 18, 2020 at 7:49 am

Hi David, you have a lot of reading to do! I live with my partner and two dogs in rural West Wales, UK, where it seems to have been raining for 3 months, and is at the moment. We are mid 60s, retired and at risk so we are social distancing as much as possible and staying home most of the time. At the moment shopping on line is proving difficult but we have a reasonable supply for a week or so. I can hear my partner making his lunch in the kitchen and the dogs are fast asleep as usual. I am concerned for all with elderly friends, neighbours and relatives who live alone and the communities are organising like never before. However, their carers have a dilemma as many have children still in school and fear passing on the virus. I am passing the time with Duolingo, watching TV (esp news), walking the dogs and thinking about what other things I might learn. It is too wet for gardening as yet but the greenhouse seeds have been started.

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Connie Beyer March 18, 2020 at 8:05 am

Hi, I’m Connie from Gilbert, Arizona. I am fine today but this last week has
been very difficult for me. I am 77 years old and have diabetes so I was told by my doctor to have absolutely no contact physically, with others, even my son and daughter. She said I was in the highest group that could develop very serious consequences and even die.

Until last week, I was known to be the happy lady because I always wear “Be Happy” tee shirts when I go out – I have seven. I also make and give out happy faces to most people I come in contact with. In the last 4 years, I have given away thousands. This has been my identity and makes me happy, as well, but last week I couldn’t do any of this. I also have really just come unto my own – who I am and what I enjoy doing. I have been doing things to become stronger and more active. I take cardio drumming classes, take Tai Chi classes, take my dog for long walks and am making new friends. I have felt fantastic and felt stronger than I have been in years. Then, all of a sudden, I couldn’t do any of the things I have come to love. I kept telling myself, other people are having the same issues plus those with the virus are very ill. I should just be grateful for what I have. However, no matter how hard I tried to feel guilty for feeling this way, I kept getting more and more depressed.

I kept how I felt to myself but everyone knew. Finally, I started sharing how I felt and why and things changed. My husband is helping me set up a drumming set at home, I am keeping myself busy doing things I like at home and I am calling others just to talk. I am feeling happy again. I actually wrote a book on happiness based on the Science of Happiness. One of the things research found was the importance of smiling, even when you don’t feel like it. Every time you smile, happy hormones are released and you start feeling happy. You don’t even have to smile at a person. You can smile at the wall and those hormones will be released because your brain doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what you are imagining. I have been smiling constantly now and I know that is one of the main reasons I am feeling better along with being active again. I suggest both of these ideas to anyone who has also been fearful and worried and out of sorts because of being confined – especially the elderly.

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Helena March 18, 2020 at 8:33 am

Hi, I am Helena 37 years old and live in a small town in the Netherlands. Schools are closed, my two kids are at home. My husband can,t go to work, so he works at home. I have several diseases, but I have medication and are doing well so far. Although I have a higher risk, I am calm. I can,t do anything about the situation, except listen to the government. Yesterday I heard that my grandfather has lung cancer. He is almost 93 years old. I love him, but I,m not allowed to visit him because he also has a higher risk. I hope they can do something about the cancer in the hospital for him. He and my grandmother had their 70th wedding anniversary in February, it was a nice party and I am glad that we had that party. The kids are doing their homework online and I play football in the neighbourhood with my son every day. We eat healty and we move around the house a bit. I hope they find something that works against the corona virus. My thoughts are with you, I wish the best for everyone in this world. We have a saying in the Netherlands: “we zitten allemaal in hetzelfde schuitje” . It means: “we are all in this together”. Help each other, love each other.

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Philip March 18, 2020 at 8:37 am

Hello,
I’m Philip, working from home in a small village near Ghent, Belgium. This will be the first time I comment. The near lock down in our country feels creepy. My wife and I work on a freelance basis and are used to work from home. Feels great. The three children are still looking for a workable schedule during the day. They will manage with some help.
I am a regular reader of this newsletter and find it inspiring. It connects with my interest in mindfulness, meditation, some teachings of Tulku Lobsang Rinpoche.
I was mostly touched by a post about new years resolutions and a post about what we have achieved last year (or decade). It agree that it is not only about the great goals in life (studying a language, starting triatlon,..) but also about the smal and big, very personal, intimate, not visible achievements that one makes. We do not talk about it, but we struggle and win some of these battles. These are the really great achievements.
I wish you good health, peace of mind and keep on helping each other.

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Kelly March 18, 2020 at 8:56 am

Hi, I’m Kelly and today is the first time I’ve come across this blog. I am in Louisville, Kentucky and things are very different than they were even last week. The Kentucky Derby is the biggest thing that this little river town revolves around on the first Saturday in May. And this year it won’t be run until September. The life cycle of the city is off. Spring is about news stories on horses and trainers and jockeys. Who is running, and who is not. The festival that surrounds the Derby is also moved and won’t be quite the same.
As for me, I am doing okay. I’m retired and was staying at home anyway. My husband is on sabbatical this semester, so he has been home much of the time as well. The thing I’m going to miss most is my friends at the local community/wellness center that I belong to. The weekly ritual of taking a class and chatting with friends was good for my spirits. I know they’ll be there when we are able to return. And I’ll be happy to see them.

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David Cain March 18, 2020 at 9:02 am

Welcome to Raptitude Kelly. I wish it was under happier circumstances, but I’m glad you’re here and I hope you stick around.

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Carolyn Sill March 18, 2020 at 9:06 am

Good morning from Pflugerville, TX –
Today, I am focusing on the “good,” and I am thankful. Over the last week, I’ve seen so many beautiful examples of communities working together in creative ways to ensure care for those at risk, to support small businesses, to share hope and encouragement — all while taking seriously the social distancing and hygienic recommendations to slow the virus. I am thankful for those who are protecting our communities, who are tending to the sick and injured, and who are providing essential goods and services.
My husband sits behind me, working from home until further notice. My girls are home from college, likely attending classes online for the rest of the semester. I work for a school district, currently on extended Spring Break, not yet knowing when I will return to work. I am thankful for the technology that allows many to continue their duties from home.
As I pray for those affected (in all the various ways) by this virus, I will look for opportunities to extend aid and compassion where I can, with all the recommended precautions.

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Kimberly March 18, 2020 at 9:12 am

Hello! We call Washington state home, however we had been traveling and recently visiting my mother in Arizona. My mother is older and lives alone. When the current situation started unfolding we decided to stay with her until things become safer. We could not imagine her being alone during all of this. We have four generations “sheltering in” together. Thankfully, two of the generations are able to work remotely. Yesterday, we started researching what veggies and herbs would grow well in the Southwest, it will be a great project for all the generations to enjoy together! We are focusing on simple pleasures, like making and eating meals together. We are grateful that we can all be together during this time.

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Kate March 18, 2020 at 9:21 am

Hi David,
Long time reader…don’t think I’ve ever commented. I’m in the greater Chicagoland area. My field is instructional technology and I work at my local high school. Supporting eLearning is my job so this time has been quite busy for me. We’re closed, but I’ve been supporting teachers non stop through google meets and phone calls. I do hope this experience helps teachers see the power of some edtech tools and how impactful they can be, when paired with classroom instruction (upon our return!).

As I work from home, my husband is upstairs working from home and my son is sitting next to me working on his eLearning activities. I’d say we’ve been forced to slow down a bit and that is some silver lining. Early last week, I felt really overwhelmed with life and work. To then move into quarantine-esque lifestyle has been really interesting….

I truly enjoy your blog posts. I actually treat them like a mini book in that I sit in a quiet place with a notebook and read and take notes. I’m not sure I do that with any other blogs.

Everyone take care and if you’re feeling lonely, try a google meet or skype or something. I had my son facetiming both of his grammas yesterday and just hanging out with them. Virtual hugs to all!

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Robyn March 18, 2020 at 9:26 am

Robyn here, a 63 year old from Sidney, BC, which is on the west coast of Canada. Gorgeous weather with lots of sun, which makes the outside threat surreal. Stores shopped out and most things being shut down makes it a touch intimidating. My husband has had a heart transplant, so no immune system, which has got me a touch on edge and a daughter still practising every day on the Canadian Olympic Rowing Team, so possibly bringing germs home. I just dropped my husband off at a remote cabin with food and all his stuff to wait it out there. Mostly we focus on love and connection to get us all through this….. which gives us all a certain amount of peace.

I have been reading your blog, David, for 1-2 years and thoroughly enjoy your posts which are so sensitive, loving, generous and thoughtful. Thank-you very much for taking the time to do the blog. I just can’t delete the Mr. Rogers post!

I am thankful I am a retired school teacher, so will continue spend my days doing art work, gardening, and small house projects – which will never bore me. I spin wool, felt, weave, draw, paint and plan art projects. Fun! I have also enjoyed connecting with all of my friends, online or by phone or FaceTime. It feels good to connect with others. I am also cooking for my daughter who eats 6000 calories a day!

All is well here!

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JP Michel March 18, 2020 at 10:00 am

Hi everyone,
My name is JP Michel and I help young people decide what they want to do. In career and educational coaching, we sometimes get to talk about ‘how to live a good life’. David, this is what you are so good at! Thank you for the important words and thoughts you share with us. I appreciate them.
Best wishes,
JP

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Crissi March 18, 2020 at 10:11 am

Hello from Texas- Hi David. I’ve been reading and appreciating your blog for a couple of years. Your topics are always timely. Your blog has helped my own growth and I thank you for the privilege of seeing some of your interior world. My husband and I live in Colorado, in a small mountain town that has yet to see a case of COVID19. The town, which relies on our tourists to thrive, is currently shut down except for the grocery stores and banks. We can order food from the local restaurants and pick it up. We are currently traveling and were working in Florida when the big chaos around the pandemic hit. Our horsemanship clinic went off without a hitch, and people were staying away from each other, but otherwise, we enjoyed the sunshine and each others’ company and the horses. Here in Texas things are again more sober. No traffic to speak of around Houston. Places where the parking lots are normally full are empty. I know this will get worse, the numbers will rise, before we level off and develop herd immunity to this new virus. I remain, while worried, also resolved to do our part in not spreading it around. Thank you for inviting comments. It does help foster a sense of connection to read about how others see this time. Until your next blog, I’ll be in our quiet house, taking deep breaths and feeling gratitude for each one of them. Thanks so much.

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Sahar K March 18, 2020 at 12:09 pm

Hi Crissi, thank you for sharing! I’m also working on gratitude and deep breaths.

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SarahP March 18, 2020 at 10:37 am

Hi David and everyone! I’m a big fan of Raptitude and David’s Camp Calm classes! I’m a stay at home mom in Southwestern Ontario in Canada. These days I’m just trying to keep my two little kids occupied while staying mostly at home with the occasional walk around the block. My husband is lucky to be able to work from home. I can totally relate to Alicia about missing the connections with other moms at this time. I was also thinking how I can use all this self isolation to explore “going deep” à la David’s depth year idea. Thinking of you all!

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Susan March 18, 2020 at 11:15 am

Hi David,
I don’t remember how I found your blog, but look forward to getting it. They are always thought provoking at the least, and often inspiring. I too have forwarded them multiple times. I have a “little brother” (He is 59 and I am 64) in New Mexico who is a regular email pen pal, as both of us are introverts and don’t much care for talking on the phone. I live in Florida and am now working from home due to covid-19. I feel fortunate that my line of business allows me to continue to work, and I feel so bad for people in service industries that currently can’t work due to social distancing. I’m a technology project manager. Ninety percent of my job is on the phone or the computer, so it really isn’t a huge impact to be here. I do enjoy not commuting, and working in casual clothes. What is awkward is being in the middle of a divorce and having to be shut in with the person from whom I will soon be divorced. Still we are both being sensitive to one another and getting along all right. Still, the timing of covid – 19 is unfortunate. We all have to make sacrifices at a time like this. Given what other people are actually suffering, I think I can suck it up and be mindful of my blessings. I’m glad to see all the other people writing. I’m looking forward to reading them.

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Tara March 18, 2020 at 11:26 am

I’m a 54 year old Montréaler who is currently frantically packing to drive home from winter holidays in California, praying not to get sick before I make it across the border. I plan to hunker down for as long as it takes for this crisis to calm down. As a natural introvert it’s not a huge sacrifice for me, I’m just scared by all the stories of horrible suffering and possible death with this virus. This is the first time I have seriously contemplated my own possibly imminent death and it is causing me a lot of angst. While I know that life is impermanent, feeling death at your heels is unnerving.

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Derrick March 18, 2020 at 12:46 pm

Hi Tara,
If I may say. Try always to just stay in the present moment. Your thoughts are just that, “thoughts”. You will have the ability to conquer that drive and arrive home safe and sound. Then you will be able to relax and appreciate calming thoughts of your accomplishments.

Take Care

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Tanya March 18, 2020 at 12:06 pm

Hello David and everyone,

I’m Tanya from Chennai located in the southern part of India. I have been following your blog for some years now and I resonate with the depth and vulnerability of your posts. I love this coming together of all of us from different parts of the world at this scary and uncertain time. I work at a non profit residential facility for people with mental health issues and I’m most worried about the individuals living there and how they would cope if an outbreak were to happen in the facility. I’m praying that a solution to this dreadful virus is found soon. Thank you for the connection.

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Vanessa March 18, 2020 at 12:27 pm

I’m Australian, living in Seoul, South Korea, and I started reading Raptitude 4 years ago, still a massive fan, thanks David.

We’ve been staying at home for nearly 4 weeks now, by choice. Seems that most other people here are too. We have a lot of elderly people in our neighbourhood and I want to do whatever I can to help stop the spread of the virus.

Nobody’s panicking here, we can get everything we need delivered to our homes. I didn’t think about stocking up on anything, then I heard about panic buying in other countries. Am I too trusting? I just don’t think there’ll be any grocery shortages.

With schools closed until early April, possibly longer, I’ve been spending my days with my 8 year old daughter, she’s sleeping beside me now. Despite the worrying context, it’s a lovely time for us, doing lots of reading, drawing, playing. Today she had her stuffed toy cat, Pudding, put on a performance of Swan Lake for her other toys.

We do get outside, only to walk on the nearby mountain, Namsan. I feel so lucky to have it within walking distance, today we saw the first spring blossoms, so delicate. It was a warm sunny blue-sky day.

I worry about the small businesses doing it hard. I want to support them but I won’t go into shops and cafes now. I woke up at 6am today with this idea: a Pay It Forward app where you can browse your local cafe menu online, and pay for, say, 20 coffees now. Then, after the virus dies down, you have credit for the 20 coffees you paid for, so you can enjoy a coffee in the cafe when you want. Do you think it has legs?

I’ve noticed the feeling of threat from the virus depends on what I see or hear – too much news literally gives me headaches. I saw a Korean TV program last month, a Q and A with Pomnyun Sunim (do a search – check out his smile), a Buddhist monk. He gives advice, replying to questions from the audience. A 7 year old boy asked “Are ghosts real?” The Sunim answered “When it’s dark, we think ghosts exist, right? But in the daylight, they don’t seem to exist. When we’re children, ghosts seem real, but when we grow up, they don’t seem real any more. When we’re alone, they seem real, but when we’re with others, they don’t.”

To everyone who wrote something, thank you for lightening the load of virus worry.
To my fellow Vanessa with the earlier message – your life is so valuable, love. There is only one you.

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Joan March 18, 2020 at 2:45 pm

Hi everyone,

I’m Joan in Calgary, Alberta. I think I found Raptitude through CBC and the story about the Depth Year. Since then I’ve done Camp Calm once.

Things here were crazy on Friday because self-isolation hit at the same time as a spring blizzard. Long lines at Costco and Superstore, but at my local organic market everyone was cheerful and there was even some toilet paper left! I’m glad we recently switched to a more plant-based diet, because we have enough dried beans and lentils to last at least a month.

The twinges of feeling sick when I listened to the news last week turned into an actual cough this weekend. No fever, but it’s worrying, as the last time I was out in public I had lunch with an ER doctor who has since developed a fever and is waiting for test results. One of my sons has asthma and my husband has an autoimmune condition, so I’m washing hands and disinfecting surfaces regularly.

I’m glad I saw my 91 year old father last week. He called today and said his seniors’ home has reduced the seating in the dining room by half, so everyone is crowding the foyer waiting for their turn. It seems there are still a few bugs in the system.

My youngest son is in Grade 12 and is coping with having grad cancelled and ending his year without his friends. His online life is a saving grace. My other son is in university and figuring out classes on Zoom. His friends are worried about how they will pay rent now that their service industry jobs are suspended. Everything is very uncertain, but people’s attitudes are still positive.

My BIL is a flight attendant and five if his friends have tested positive. One is in hospital. Spare a thought for those unsung heroes.

On the positive side, the neighborhood bulletin board app is buzzing with people helping each other out, ranging from grocery shopping to putting Shamrocks in the window for kids to see on their walks.

The weather is cold, -9C, so it’s okay to stay in, too. Today I am staying in bed and catching up on my reading.

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Hi Diane March 18, 2020 at 2:51 pm

Thank you for your comments.
I am intrigued with some of the cards you have created.
Could you share one or two of your favorites?

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Jean Ann March 18, 2020 at 3:43 pm

Hello from our remote little corner of Southwest Colorado. I love, love, love this blog and all the readers who are posting their experiences from their little corners of the world. Way better than reading the latest, breaking, terrifying news. Thank you, David, for providing a way for us to connect with real people experiencing this worldwide event in their own way, in their own words. For my husband, myself and our two cats, not a lot has changed. Our neighbors may feel somewhat the same way. Being one of the last places to be homesteaded during the 1930s, many farm families continue to live the way their parents and grandparents lived, and are not so heavily reliant upon services in our small town, which is half an hour away. We enjoy working our land, and there’s never an end to that. However, I can feel for those who are stuck in small apartments alone, used to the company of many. I would feel the same if a whole bunch of people were forced to come live with us out here… Would be most uncomfortable. These comments that people are writing here provides a true and accurate picture of what is happening around the world. Thank you all.

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Natalie Meyersick March 18, 2020 at 4:25 pm

This is Natalie in Austin, TX. I’m in the events/hospitality world and also a Massage Therapist. It’s been a crazy week+. Feeling hopeful that good things will ultimately come of this and hopefully some much needed social change. I’m working remotely and posted in my office/massage studio, it’s an overcast but bright day and Yo-Yo Ma is keeping me calm :) Having emotional moments here and there but coming from a much better emotional place then I have in the past and that’s good to be aware of. Sending out love and love this blog so much!

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Ravi March 18, 2020 at 4:25 pm

Hi all. I’m living in Raleigh, NC. This is an especially difficult time for me because I’m in the middle of a divorce after a 30+ year marriage. We still love each other, but have grown down different paths and no longer fit. It’s incredibly painful. I was already working through adjusting to living alone and running a business by myself. Now with this virus, it’s much more anxiety-provoking. This crisis will certainly negatively affect my business. I was born with the trait of Sensory Processing Sensitivity, which I share with about 15-20% of the population. We intensely feel emotions & deeply process, so that makes the pandemic even more overwhelming for us. I’m very grateful for this blog and have retained lots of gems over the years from it. I try to keep reminding myself to look at the big picture. In six months from now, we will likely be in a much better place. In the meanwhile, earth gets a bit of a break from the affects of humans as our negative impact is naturally reduced with the multitude of restrictions in place.

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Anja Porter March 18, 2020 at 4:30 pm

I am very impressed with your long morning walk! I managed 20 mins today and I was out of breath (partially uphill but only for a few mins…)!

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Anja Porter March 18, 2020 at 4:43 pm

Hi David (and all),
Thanks for this opportunity. Been reading your blog for maybe a year, got here through Cait Flanders and emailed you once or twice (and got a reply which I’m still amazed with and appreciate!).
Anyway, I’m originally from Berlin, Germany but have lived in Brighton, UK for 10 years now. I love my husband, my house, our cat and we have been self-isolating since Monday so it’s good that I love them ;) (saying that, the cat gets to frolick in the garden…)
Re “Ayeee Corona!” (anybody else know that song??), I’d much rather be in Germany right now, UK’s PM is not taking this seriously enough. But we can all do what we think is right for ourselves and that’s all we can do. I’m upset by travel restrictions because I’ve had some great plans for this year but of course I understand, we’ll have to see how it all unfolds… I’m privileged to be in an office job where we’re all able to work from home, I’m worried for people where this just isn’t an option. My husband is a musician and he has lost so much work. I’m happy to see banks are pausing mortgage/loan repayments in some places so maybe we can get a reduction in rent for a couple months.
Another thing that upsets me is the bulk-buying. Why can’t we stay sensible? Why can’t I get 1 bag of pasta cos others buy 10?! It’s so selfish when only recently it was World Kindness Day or whatever. But I also see lots of community groups sprouting and that is so great to see. Overall, I’m positive and hoping this will show people what’s really important in life (whatever that is due everyone).
Wishing you all well xx

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Noel March 18, 2020 at 7:22 pm

Hello fellow philosophers,
I’m Noel and have been loving David’s ideas since… sometime near the beginning.
Moving from my native Toronto to Melbourne and now coastal northern New Zealand has been challenging and revealing. I couldn’t be happier to now live somewhere so remote, with gardens and a keen kayak fisherman for a partner to feed our little family.
I’m concerned for people I love and the vulnerable, happy to see friends enjoying more time with their families than perhaps ever before, and personally mostly riveted by what this is revealing about the fragility of our societal structures and the emptiness of much of what we as a civilization spend our lives doing (earning, acquiring, spending, going…).
Now I’m wondering how the seemingly-near vaccine solution will play out; there are many unvaccinated families where we live, as there are in many parts around the world…

Today is my grandparents 65th wedding anniversary. They came here to visit us five days ago with aunt uncle and cousins, despite my advice to the contrary. We are only spending a few hours a day with them outdoors, because of the requirement that they socially isolate following international travel. Soon we’ll eat lunch on the deck, seated far away from each other, and I wonder how they’ll manage not to hug us when we reveal their second great grandchild will be born in November. Fascinating times to say the least.

Thank you, David, for giving us this picture of how the lives of real people around the world are being affected.

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Mike March 18, 2020 at 7:54 pm

The wife and I decided to go thru our cell phone contact list by alphabet and call folks. Today was the letter B and ending up talking to great friends about the virus, about work situations, kids, challenges and hope.

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Natalia March 18, 2020 at 8:30 pm

Hi everyone. I’m Natalia, I live in Philadelphia, and I’ve been following the blog for about a year. I was delighted to find it because I also love doing experiments with myself. I am not quite as disciplined as David, though. Everything “non-essential” is shut down here in Philly but stores (not restaurants) that sell ANY food get to stay open, so it doesn’t feel completely inactive. The weather has also been really lovely – we had a very mild spring and an early winter, so everything is blooming, and I’m seeing more people taking walks and going for runs and playing tennis in the local parks. Every day, my partner and I walk for an hour and half to a beautiful big park nearby (named after Franklin D. Roosevelt, which feels more significant now), and watch the ducks and the geese and small orange-breasted birds. Men of every demographic come to fish in the pond. On our rowhouse streets, neighbors talk to each other across their stoops, complaining about the government and misinformation and passing on bits of news. I’m not sure if I’m just noticing it more, but it feels like every other person is scratching off a lottery ticket.

As a child, I lived through the collapse of the Soviet Union, so I feel like maybe I have more resilience for social/political restructurings. I also like to dream about alternative futures, so there’s something interesting to me about how all this unfolds. I’m worried about money (my partner and I have an AirBnB and no one’s traveling, although young people from the area are renting rooms to get some privacy and space), especially because today I found out I have to get a root canal that my insurance won’t pay for. But I feel really grateful for all that I do have: both of my parents are alive and healthy, I live with a partner I love and have a lot of fun spending time with, and I am okay. Life is emerging through every crack, and also continuing on, patiently, ecstatically.

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KC March 18, 2020 at 8:38 pm

Hi! I have been reading Raptitude for many years but haven’t ever commented before. I live in a basement apartment in the larger DC metro area. I was in close proximity to someone who may have had Covid-19 about 8 days ago, so I have been self-quarantining and have just under a week more to go. I work in the museum field and my job is not one that could normally be done from home, but thankfully my organization is still paying us as we all figure out how to work from home for now. The isolation actually hasn’t been as bad as I would have expected – I am alone, but I have remained pretty connected via phone, skype, etc. But I am absolutely very worried about what the long-term repercussions of this situation will be – for my family, for my immunocompromised friends, for my industry, for the economy, for our collective mental health, etc. But I’m trying to stay focused on the present; right now I’m enjoying one of the Met Opera’s streams that they’re doing because of the coronavirus, which has been a real treat. I wish everyone in these comments the very best as we continue to walk into these strange times.

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Amanda March 18, 2020 at 9:06 pm

Hello everyone out there, thanks for sharing your experiences and thank you David for creating this friendly worldwide forum for us. I’ve been reading your blog for years and love the insights that you bring to everyday life. I’m currently living in Jersey City where everything is closed except essential businesses like grocery stores, however we’ve not yet been ordered to “shelter in place” though most people are doing so. I’m happy to spend time at home with my cats, calling my friends (actually using my phone as a phone again) and have now just picked up a new online language class which is quite fun. However I am so lucky to be able to work remotely and I am gravely concerned about those many, many people who cannot work now due to the shutdowns. I hope that this crisis helps usher in reforms. So far I am hopeful seeing the new mandatory paid sick leave and paid leave to take of kids whose schools have shut down. Sending love to everyone out there, stay safe and healthy!

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Vicki Atkins March 18, 2020 at 11:28 pm

Hello David, I have been along for this ride with you for many years now, 6, maybe 7? Sometime during my months of binge reading Blonde on a Budget, Cait Flanders linked to your blog and I have been hooked ever since. I always appreciate your insights, I have commented a few times, definitely sent links to my adult children and have even emailed you a time or two!
I am 48, I live alone in a small village in Northern Alberta. I am sitting at my kitchen table, tax papers scattered around my laptop, a colouring book and some coloured paper clips beside me. I work in a sawmill and love what I do, but will one day leave here because I long to return to the heat and sunshine of Kamloops BC. I have had the fleeting thought that maybe my opportunity is around the next corner, so I better be prepared, but for now we are still sawing and I am still at work every day even while the world is breaking down in the distance.
Being in Alberta, the shut down of schools, libraries bars and casinos and other public spaces is completed, the streets are quiet but the shops are still a bit hectic although less so today. In my sleepy little village things look the same as ever, today was a beautiful though cold bright sunny day. Its is quite surreal when you realize what is going on in the greater world.
I think that it will take some time, but when we find our equilibrium, our new normal will be revealed.
For myself I am not worried, but I do think we should seize this opportunity to become more connected socially, if not physically, with people we care about in the world. Things are going to keep changing for a while.

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Mum 3.0 March 19, 2020 at 1:56 am

Hello David,
I have never commented, by fear my English is too poor…
I live in France, with my husband and 3 teeenage kids. We are not allowed to go out except for food shopping and medical reasons. We are lucky enough that we have a house and a large garden to play badminton for instance, and as recommended in some comments I have started cleaning a spot to grow some vegetables. (Fortunately I had bought seeds last week, as a birthday present for my father, as I cannot give him his present, I will sow them myself.) We are lucky enough that the kids are autonomous to work by themselves and the school’s web system is not down: the classes “happen” at the planned time, with lessons and exercises sheets available on the website, and the kids have to work by themselves. My husband and myself can homework without difficulties (“intellectual” work), so life is different but fine, it has slowed down, we enjoy family time and we phone regularly to our families who are OK. I replaced running by yoga and gardening and it is fine as well.
On a different not, I really appreciate the work of medical staff and I thank them wholeheartedly. I am not the only one and there is a new ritual occurring in France: opening the window or going to the balcony at 8h pm to plause them. Maybe an initiative to copy?

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Ines March 19, 2020 at 6:46 am

Hi everyone!

Firstly, I hope you are all well!

My name is Ines, turning 30 this August. I am living in SW London and have been reading this blog for 3 years almost. I have thoroughly enjoyed everything that’s been posted on this blog! I remember finding it online and thinking ‘FINALLY, some sense!’.

I work as a designer for Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. I love my job, I love plants and nature in general. I am now working from home, although I have no work because all events have been cancelled until September. The Gardens are not completely shut to visitors for those who fancy a walk (glasshouses are closed though). I am waiting for the scientists at work to finish writing chapters for the next State of the Worlds Plants and Fungi so I can start working on it. In the mean time, all I can do is FINALLY edit photos of plants I’ve taken in recent years and upload them to the asset bank, I’ve always been too busy otherwise. Oh, and get through all those design training tutorials I’ve been meaning to do… Hopefully I can create some artwork that I can also use for Kew in future. I like to inspire people with the beauty of nature! Eventually, some of who live close by will need to volunteer to water the large collections of plants if the horticulturists get ill. I am totally happy to do this!

As my boyfriend started showing mild symptoms on Saturday, we have self-isolated since then. As I am currently writing, we are both fine. Up until today there were kids in the next door park, but the vibe has changed. People are generally all being helpful to one another, despite the few causing issues regarding stockpiling. I live right under the flight path for Heathrow, so I’ve really noticed a difference in noise pollution and air quality! Two people in my building are quite ill, my parents are stuck in Italy (but safe on Elba), my aunt and grandma in Northern Italy can’t visit one another because my aunt is going through round 3 of chemo and my brother is still at uni a few hours away… I would prefer to have my family here, but I’m not the only one in this situation!

It’s really surreal, I was watching so many tv programmes from Nov-Dec about pandemics on Netflix and the BBC. I never thought it was just a few months away. I trust that those with the right expertise will guide us through this. I’ve heard we’ve been stockpiling food because of Brexit, although not sure what to believe anymore. These last two years have been relentless. I never even wanted to leave the EU. My soul hurts for those who are affected and those working on the front line, it must be so stressful. I think we’ve been taking too much for granted. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t got anxiety over all this the last few days…

The building I live in has a roof terrace so I have suggested to the other residents to grow some tomatoes among other things to pass the time a little. They are all up for it so I’ll sort that out soon. After this, I hope the world properly shifts focus on the environment, because change is now inevitable.

I’ve provided a link to my website if you want to see some pics of plants! I’ll be uploading more soon. Enjoy! Thinking of all of you! x

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Katherine March 19, 2020 at 8:19 am

Hi David, hi everyone,
I have never commented here although I’ve been reading your blog for so many years I don’t even remember how I found it. I always enjoy your musings and should have stopped by in the comments section a long time ago to say thank you. Better late than never…
I live in the south of France. We’re currently confined to home, with my husband, my three boys, and a friend going through a break-up and her two kids, our dog, our cat and three chickens. We’re all teachers at uni/school and all unis/schools were closed last Friday so we’re working from home alongside the kids. We still go out to food-shop and to exercise / walk the dog, but that’s it. The streets are peaceful, cars are rare, birdsong has become the main background noise… I can’t say I don’t appreciate the break from it all! I feel like this is a bit of a practice run to be honest. A chance to regroup, to reinforce bonds of solidarity, to take stock of what is important. I thought climate change / biodiversity loss / extreme weather events would force us towards these kinds of radical measures… instead it’s Covid-19!
I am aware that these are terrible times for many people, especially those who have lost close family and friends and can’t even attend funerals. I am aware that as in any crisis the most vulnerable will be the hardest hit. My heart goes out to the homeless, the elderly who are confined to homes with no visits, those with precarious employment situations who must deal with a health scare and financial difficulties at the same time, those at greater risk of infection, doctors and nurses working round the clock, etc. At the same time, I think things could be far worse than they are. Many of us are still comfortable, still connected to those who are important in our lives, still feeding ourselves without any difficulties, etc. I feel like we have the opportunity to live a moment of quiet in our rushed lives, to take time for loved ones, to renew with a garden or nature, to read books that have been collecting dust, to cook and share meals together, to keep active (to keep sane), to get creative. I have been appreciating taking the time. Even the government seems to be taking stock of what is important for once: public services (hospitals and medical care in particular); state support for the most vulnerable, including small businesses; communication (the president has never given so many solemn speeches in a week!); public radio and TV stations are pulling together to provide content for homeschooling. I have been touched by neighbours reaching out to the elderly or the sick. I love that people are taking the time to do things they’ve been putting off for years. Even just getting a proper night’s sleep each night to keep one’s immune system in shape ;-)
I will remember this time as a special moment and I hope my kids will too. Today my middle son asked me if this kind of thing would become a common occurrence in his lifetime. I hadn’t really thought about it, but I expect it will. And I hope we will learn collectively from the experience to make sure that it never becomes unbearable.
All the best to all the other confined or semi-confined readers out there.

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Patty March 19, 2020 at 9:06 am

My name is Patty and I’ve been reading this blog for probably a couple years. I’m in Western MA and everything is shut down. I have two young girls who need so much attention, I honestly have no idea how I’m gonna get through this with my sanity intact. I may or may not need to go to work within the next couple weeks, as I work in healthcare. This is a very stressful situation for people with young children. Being on social media doesn’t help either. I’m over it!

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Linda March 19, 2020 at 9:07 am

What a wonderful idea. Reading the comments from all corners of the world illustrates the power and connectivity of our world. I live in rural Saskatchewan Canada so some isolation is no stranger and I actually relish it most of the time. We returned from Europe on the 13th so are in self quarantine until the 27th at a minimum. I have found it interesting though I am struggling a bit to settle into this time. First I watch The National 2-3 a week, nowI can’t not watch the news from everywhere.
I have many pastimes that I often lament I don’t have enough time for but again I am finding it difficult to pursue them. Today is a new day, this change in our world (limited contact) is here for awhile so one hour of news a day, get going on tasks, keep in touch with family and friends. A warm hug to the world.

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Lauren March 19, 2020 at 10:11 am

I’m a 36 yo woman in the Puget Sound area. I’m married with a 4 yo and another on the way. We’ve been sheltered in place (voluntarily) since the beginning of March bc of my pregnancy and we are all starting to feel the strain. Two adults wfh. One 4yo without structure. All our farts mixing together 24 hr a day (lol). I’m concerned about our older family and the people who aren’t taking covid seriously. I’m less concerned about money (thankfully) because both of us have been poor before and know how to make that work but also we’ve save a lot of money so could ride out job losses. I miss people in all settings. The awkward human interactions that result in a laugh for both people or the ability to help others with small things out in the world. Stay strong and look for the good around you. Much love.

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Danay March 19, 2020 at 10:50 am

Hi David,
I’m Danay from Hemet,CA I have been reading this blog since 2011 or so. I actually was glad to see you resurface as I hadn’t seen your name in my email for a while. Good to se you keep it coming. Somehow your blog is quite therapeutic. Informative. Inspiring.

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Gunnar Pedersen March 19, 2020 at 10:57 am

Hello from Sweden.
My name is Gunnar and I’m a 41 year old married man with three children from 4 to 12. Up until last summer I worked in school, eleven years a teacher and three as a principal/headmaster. Now I dabble in writing and stage acting, having much more time and energy – which is by far the most valuable currencies.

So far Sweden is not in lockdown, no curfew or mandatory isolation. The schools are still open, with exceptions for highschools and universities, who are now working an a digital, distance basis. The streets are emptier, the restaurants also, the physical distance between people is greater but I see a lot of warmth and caring and empathy between a lot of us. People help each other out, many do not stress out and I think a lot of us are thinking about what really matters. This is for sure something that largely will affect the world we live in, but I think it serves as an important wake up-call as well. I think and hope, that on the other side of all this, we will see life as something that happens NOW, not something we are waiting for and saving up to experience later on. We only have one life, we have to care for it.

Stay safe all of you and thank you David for encouraging us to share and connect.

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Micaela Aparício March 19, 2020 at 12:21 pm

Gammla Stan :)

I’m so fond of the soups of the bistro at that building.
Also a huge fan of this inspiring thought provoking site.
I wish you all well in these uncertain times, the joy of small things and warm moments in the quietness of home.

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David Cain March 19, 2020 at 12:59 pm

This is really wonderful. Thank you everyone… I’ve read every single comment. It’s made me feel closer to you all and I hope it has for you too. Keep them coming.

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Rachel March 19, 2020 at 1:50 pm

Hi, I’m Rachel and I live in an ugly but friendly village half way up a mountain in North Wales, UK. I am sitting in the ‘spare’ room, which is my favourite place in the house, weirdly enough.
The window is to my left, and I can see the as yet naked branches of an ash tree silhouetted against a pink and orange sunset (the first sunset I’ve seen for some time, this being Wales). If I get up and look to my right from the window, I can see the sea (well, the Menai Straits) and a medieval castle.

So far corona virus hasn’t arrived in our county, but schools are closing, the gym is closing and things are changing. My job isn’t the sort I can do from home, but I’ve had a day off today, back to the mayhem tomorrow.

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Isaiah Curtis March 19, 2020 at 3:13 pm

Hi,
I’m a Sophmore in St. Paul Mn, my school was recently closed and so I’m writing this from my dining room with my dad, who is currently unemployed and searching for jobs. My teachers have been communicating well, and I am not overly worried about myself, but all of my grandparents live alone and far from me or any family. Naturally, I feel an urge to help them in some way, but besides a phone call, I feel a bit useless. As I mentioned earlier, my dad has been struggling to find work, and I imagine that this is one of the worst possible times to be an unemployed music major with minimal experience outside of teaching and retail, so most of my time has been spent trying to find a solution with him. The twin cities are not shut down officially, but on an evening bike ride last night, I swore I saw more people walking than driving.
Hello to everyone

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Viv March 19, 2020 at 3:16 pm

Hello from Puerto Rico! I have been reading your blog for many years. Always a pleasant reading. We are under lockdown since Monday 3/16, for the next two weeks; only allowed to go out to the supermarket and pharmacies. Wishing our world will heal soon!

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Allison March 19, 2020 at 3:56 pm

Thanks for this post. I’ve enjoyed reading the comments.

I am a student who found Raptitude two years ago while struggling with procrastination. Since then, I have had ups and downs. Unfortunately, right now I’m deep, deep in one of the “downs.” Working from home does not help my procrastination at all. I plan to re-visit some of those old articles again soon. They really speak to me.

As I look around me now, I’m in my bedroom alone. Everything is quiet and still except for the occasional car passing by outside and the creak of old pipes in my heater. The rain has stopped, but the skies are still gray.

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Derrick March 19, 2020 at 5:55 pm

You describe your situation well. I can only kind of imagine being in your way of thinking right now. Take time to lower your overall expectations of yourself. With out over thinking. Meaning try to stay at a task orientated state. It’s ok. Perspective says you can only do what you can do. And you obviously already are by caring.

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Belgian March 19, 2020 at 4:22 pm

Hello. Thanks for reaching out.
Today was hard on me. Everyday the government in Belgium is imposing new measures. Only essential stores are open, with a limit of the number of people allowed inside and a mandatory distance. Unless it’s absolutely necessary you are not allowed to physically go to work. We are forced to telework and my company doesn’t have the culture for it (yet).
Schools are closed so our 4 year old is stuck at home. the daycare for our daughter of a year and a half is still open, so we are able to get a little bit work done. But she is in the daycare with only 2 other children now, instead of the usual 25. it’s very quiet and a bit sad for her.

Work was rough with a lot of extra tasks that gave me stress. My son wasn’t cooperating either. So I just started crying. I cried on my cycle ride to the daycare to pick up my daughter. she was playing outside looking at the chickens and the bunnies and stormed in my arm when I saw her.

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Mar March 22, 2020 at 12:02 pm

Hey, it sounds like you got overwhelmed by the situation, which is completely normal. I hope you’re feeling better now.
Things might be a bit rough for a while longer, so don’t forget to take care of yourself, and remember that this too shall pass.
Virtual hugs from Antwerpen.

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Scott March 20, 2020 at 4:40 am

Hi David –

Thank you for invitation to comment. My name is Scott. I am husband and an attorney in Saratoga Springs, New York. It’s a warm spring morning here at about 0530. There’s a soft rain that is expected to continue throughout the day. It’s still very dark. I’m currently debating whether I should selfishly go to the supermarket (which previously was open 24 hours and now is open to non-seniors starting at 8) to get cherry tomatoes. You see, it’s Friday and that’s pizza night. My wife makes homemade pizza with these delicious roasted cherry tomatoes, olive oil and garlic, as part of the sauce. It’s something we both look forward to all week. Usually we settle in with our pizza and watch the commentary of Shields & Brooks on the PBS Newshour. It’s a great tone-setter for our weekend. That can all continue sans cherry tomatoes I suppose and when we get the fresh cherry tomatoes out of our garden this summer, I’ll try to think back to this damp March morning.
Me, my family, coworkers and friends are all healthy and well. We are frustrated we can’t help end this faster except through staying apart. We are people of action and this action-through-inaction is a major attitude adjustment.

Be well!

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Marlene March 20, 2020 at 5:44 am

Hello all,
I live in south east Michigan with my husband. Empty nester, retired and age 59. I really liked your depth year experience and started reading your blog after that. Since then I have appreciated that you only blog when you have something to say. I also like your experiments and plan to try out some of them myself…eventually.
The weather has gotten warmer here so I have been out walking each day and met a friend at a local park for a socially distant walk. Have plans to meet with my bible study group virtually. So far so good. All the best to everyone.

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Annie March 20, 2020 at 9:53 am

Hello David and everyone else reading this! I live in NYC and am now working from home as all of our library locations have closed. It’s a little strange for me but my husband, who is self-employed and has worked from home for many years, is taking it in stride and setting the example. We are trying to stick to a routine which helps.

We are sheltering in place and have enough supplies without resorting to hoarding. We are also trying to support our local diner with some delivery orders as they are really good people and we would hate to see them lose their livelihood.

I only check the news twice a day to keep anxiety at bay and other than that I am sticking to good news websites to keep my spirits up. It really restores my faith in humanity when I see how people are being so generous. While I am not physically able to volunteer I plan to donate to some reliable charities to help others during this time.

To everyone here I would like to extend loving-kindness and a wish that you remain healthy and look out for each other. We are all each other truly has in this world.

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Maryellen March 20, 2020 at 11:39 am

Hello, David and everyone! I am in Toronto. The weather this week has been like a roller coaster. Today started very warm, around 18 Celsius at 8:00 a.m. It’s 13 now and the high will be just above freezing tomorrow. it was raining hard a few minutes ago. Now, the sun is coming out. I am one of the fortunate people – I have worked in a home office for the past 8 years and my roommates are all felines (3 of them), so I am used to the work-from-home life and I have no severe social distancing issues at home – no spouse or friend who has to go out among people, as grocery cashiers and first responders do, and worries about coming home.

I’d like to share something that one of my friends posted on Facebook. It’s a meme from Alexandra College, a women’s college in Dublin, Ireland, and it reads: “Do not change your behaviour to avoid being infected. Assume you are infected, and change your behaviour to avoid infecting others.” As my friend added, we have to save each other’s lives.

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Bhawna kapoor March 20, 2020 at 12:35 pm

Hi David

I am from Delhi, India

In 2014 a friend introduced me to the blogpost about 9 to 5 jobs. I was wowed at your clarity. It took to the next level living. Then this year i am back to understanding more of how you view things.

Right now i am living the life of my dreams, letting the universe work through me. View from my window is the beautiful Kosi ashram in UP where our team is training villagers to adopt Natural farming, animal husbandry, yoga as ways of success in business.

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Selena March 20, 2020 at 1:27 pm

Hi David,

Thank you for creating this space to connect. I’ve been reading your blog for ages and it’s always one of my favourites. I’m in Winnipeg, and I’m self-isolating due to a cold that left me with a lingering cough – I’m fairly certain that that’s all it is, since I was sick before the first case here, but I’m waiting to go back to work until after I feel completely normal. I work in a credit union and it’s been stressful to deal with the public who are definitely panicking about their money, and asking me a lot of questions I don’t have the answers for. I’m hoping that we drastically reduce our hours soon, or close some locations to the public, because I worry that a lot of our older members aren’t taking this seriously enough and won’t stop coming in unless we close. But then, some of them don’t have computers or know how to use an ATM, so I worry then that they won’t be able to get money for groceries. I have to remind myself to worry about only what is in my control. After my self-isolation is over, I plan to make myself available as a volunteer to help those who need groceries or anything else delivered.

It’s easy for me to get overwhelmed with anxiety in these times, and the last few days have been hard. But everything is two-sided, and I’m trying to see both sides to stay calm. I’m glad that I share an apartment with my sister – we can always laugh together and it keeps us sane through the worst of times. Last night my ballet-dancing best friend took me through a VERY hard barre workout over video chat. I’ve been working on my bodyweight fitness and mobility since I can’t go to the gym to lift – maybe I’ll come out of this able to do 10 proper push ups in a row. Today I made a dress out of a vintage bedsheet I got from the thrift store a few weeks ago. And once the snow melts and I’m free from quarantine, I can’t wait to dust off my bike.

I’m trying to stay hopeful and reading all these comments is helping me do just that. What a beautiful portrait of how we are, all around the world. Thank you.

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Lauramaureen March 20, 2020 at 1:41 pm

David, thank you for asking who we are. I am a 40-year-old with two children (8 and 10) living with my husband in a small city at the edge of West Texas. We have homeschooled for the last 5 years, so we have a lot of resources for this time, including a schedule that works for being at home a lot. My kids even naturally give themselves a quiet time after lunch every day because we’ve been doing it so long. I’ve been sharing books and ideas with friends whose children are now out of school.

If I look up, I see our library full of our favorite books and two huge leather chairs. Yesterday our public library announced it would be closing soon, so we stocked up on books, movies, and audiobooks and now have 164 things checked out! The effect on our family has not been worry about the disease itself but the isolation from our local community, since our extended family all lives far away. I am concerned for those who are struggling with being alone right now.

My husband is a college professor, so his job is now full of preparation for teaching online and the elimination of his favorite part of the job—being with students in person. I am a freelance copyeditor, so my job is exactly the same as it has always been. We are all taking the separation from our friends pretty hard—we are a family of social introverts—and I at least struggle to connect with people online.

I enjoy your blog because it’s long-form and the writing is lovely. You give words to things I already think about or notice but wonder if other people do. The post that stands out to me is the one about watching for the tiny beautiful things that happen every day—the light as it changes through the day or the way different colors look together in your house. I’ve been working on painting my house for 5 years, and as it starts feeling more cohesive, I notice more and more how beautiful these small things are and try to give thanks for them. And this is something I can do even in stressful times. I also find it interesting that this time at home is happening during Lent, a Christian practice I observe, and I have found great comfort in the lectionary readings in the morning.

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Barbara March 21, 2020 at 2:23 am

Hello all, my name is Barbara and I live in the San Juan Islands in Washington state. I am 78, retired and self isolating to protect myself and others. I am an introvert so am used to entertaining myself with books, gardening, and browsing the internet. I have been visiting Raptitude for several years and enjoy all the articles. I love David’s outlook on so many different life venues. Thank you David! I am struck by the diversity of your readers. All ages, all walks of life from many countries. I have adequate food and household items to last for awhile. My faithful companion Charlie is a 110 lb Golden Retriever and we go for walks each day. It is beautiful outdoors, spring is here and everything is blooming out. I am filled with gratitude for my life and family.

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Alison Scott March 21, 2020 at 4:06 am

Hi David. I’m in London. I normally work from home (I’m self-employed) but my husband and student kids are now home, all trying to work and live together in a house that used to feel fine but now feels quite small.

Today I think we’re going to try to drive a little way out of London to go for a walk somewhere peaceful, because I don’t think we’ll be able to drive out by next weekend, and it’s not possible to walk round here and practise social distancing at the same time. It’s a lovely day.

I just read your post from a month or so ago about creating gratitude. I knew, intellectually, when you wrote that post that this would happen. But even so it’s a forceful reminder. All those things we took for granted a few weeks ago.

We have enough food. None of us are sick. Our house is warm and dry. Our vulnerable elder relatives have support and are doing what they need to. Life is good.

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SABRINA March 21, 2020 at 5:39 am

Morning, this is Sabrina. I am Italian and live in Lombardy, the region of Italy currently having the highest rate of people passing. I just ended quarantine with my 10 year old daughter as I had two people in our office positive to the Corona. So beside the general lockdown I haven’t exit my home gate for.2 weeks and had my ex husband to bring us food and water, was supposed to leave the bags outside the door, but wearing a thick mask he’d come in for 2 minutes to say hi and hug Anna for a few seconds. I now have shut down the TV because sick and tired, don’t know if this is a selfish act or a survival act, trying to protect myself to be contaminated my fear, panic and all the horrible feelings you get every time you watch the news. Won’t deny the situation in Italy is really really bad, especially my area. My sister is a nurse so I do get to hear what is going on even more directly, and it’s probably me who don’t want to hear anymore. What can I say? I think I have not realized in full what is happening and might be in denial, I do not know. So far I consider myself very lucky, I had no sign of Corona symptoms, Anna is well. We spent 14 days just the two of us at home, there were some jelling, screaming and fighting but this has been the first time in 5 years where I got to spend to much time with her. You surely have the opportunity to be alone with your thoughts and see things more clearly despite what’s going. Actually the fact that you’ve got this opportunity is because of this pandemic which is going to be either a curse and a blessing, two sides of the same coin. A lot of people will leave the earth because of this, others will resurrect and will come back to life again. I will never forget that teaching I got from Man’s search for Meaning and I believe that, even the Corona is far far far and don’t even want to compare this to the Holocaust, still the teaching of that book could be applied to all of us, in particular I am thinking of all the Italians trapped/stuck/ incarcerated/ isolated … I live in a touristic area ( Garda Lake ) and it seems like a ghost town, you usually see a lot of German people at this time, and get the vibrant energy of the people getting ready to enjoy the lake, the coffee in the coffee shops, now it’s …. silence and I must admit I do enjoy this silence, this quiet. Our company has been closed for 2 weeks and this long break from work, wow, I am so much enjoying this time away from that pc I have been seeing for the past 20 years each day mon to fri. Like in every situation we are called to face, we’ll always be in charge, to choose how to see it, if rising to the occasion, if turning the event into opportunity for growth or playing the victims or some even plans created to keep us away from happiness. So far I had no people losing their life because of this pandemic … I sometimes think it’s easy for me to say all of these things cause I have not experienced the pain of the loss and maybe my reaction would be different. I have turned into a woman who’s trying to live her life trying to turn the apparently bad things into opportunity in general. I also believe that if I am now safe and enjoying this particular time of loneliness, this should not be taken away from me but the sense of guilt knocks at my soul’s door from time to time telling me: how dare you enjoying this time when there are so many people who are dying ? sometimes I remain in silence and agree with the words, at times I talk back saying that I am supposed to be here to enjoy life, life calls for joy and despite what’s happening ( and I have total respect for that ) if life has given me this opportunity I should embrace it, I am sure that, should I survive the corona, there will be other times where I’ll be asked to bear the pain of something and other people will rightly be in the joy and they should continue to experience it even though others are not in the same place. Saturday morning here, first day of spring, almost lunch time, I feel so grateful. Am going to continue my journey. wish well to all of you. felice giornata a tutti e benvenuta primavera!

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Christina March 21, 2020 at 5:43 am

Wow! It’s so inspiring to hear from so many people around the world. We’re here with you, indeed.

David, thank you so much for your wonderful, insightful, “real” blog. I started following you six months ago when my aunt shared a post. Since then, every single one of your blogs has hit the nail on the head. So happy to have found you and this community of people who follow your blog!

Greetings from Great Malvern, England.  This is the fourth time I’ve traveled here to care for the adorably fluffy kitty, Tiddles.  Her owners are on lockdown in their second home in Spain. Upon their return on March 25, I planned to fly to Munich and celebrate the anniversary of quitting my job, selling my home, and traveling for two years.

Two months ago, I made the difficult decision to end my nomadic ways, look for an apartment in Munich, sign up for German language classes and start the next phase of my life.  I had five house sits lined up in Munich to give me time to get an apartment upon my return. Everything was falling into place.

Now our flights have been canceled.  My school is closed indefinitely. Three of the five housesits have canceled, the others will likely follow suit.  Everyone’s lives are up in the air.

I have my ups and downs but right now, I am counting my blessings.  I am in good health, sitting on a comfortable chair, resting my forearms against a sturdy dining room table that I suspect is older than me. The dark varnish has worn down to blond streaks in many sections, but a coaster rests beneath my cup of tea and another beneath the glass of homemade pear wine that Tiddles’ mom made.  Dozens of windows of email, chat programs, writing projects, blog entries, corona articles, recipes, Spotify playlists, and a thesaurus tab with synonyms for word “brew” compete for my attention. I look up often through a picture window wider than my mom’s gentle-giant boyfriend is tall.  Delicate white clematis flowers blanket the trellis next to the window.  A few meters beyond, a mossy cement birdbath hosts blackbirds and sharply dressed magpies. Peeking above the rust-brown of the roof, a magnolia tree is loaded with buds that are purple to pink to white, hinting at their imminent magnificence.  The fence is completely obscured by a glossy green hedge. Trees of at least twelve varieties draw my eye ever back toward the Malvern Hills that calmly supervise all below. As some others have noted in their comments here, the wonder of nature unfolds before us regardless of all else.

When I set out on this adventure two years ago, I was a different person than I am today.  Old Christina might have been sick with worry over what might or might not happen next. No one knows what will come to pass.  Everyone is afraid to varying degrees. We’re not sure what will happen next in our own lives, communities, countries, or how the virus will affect the world in general.  A couple of weeks from now, I may be in Munich as planned or I may remain in England. I’m at peace with either option. I know that there are darker options, but I know that worry won’t prepare me for them.  

I’m incredibly thankful for the amazing travel experiences I’ve had over the last 24 months.  My brain runneth over with the awe-inspiring scenes I have witnessed. My heart runneth over from the astounding number of friends I’ve made along the way.  I am happy with the person that I have become. Travel has made me more confident. More trusting in the universe. The more I travel, the more I see that people are more similar to each other than dissimilar.  We might dress, eat, worship, and speak differently, but we all have the same basic needs and desires.  We all want our friends and family to prosper. We all want to be loved and accepted. A year ago, I met a young man from Suadi Arabia who asserted that if every person in the world traveled and interacted with individuals from other cultures that we would experience world peace.

As borders are being closed, I wonder what effects the virus will have upon travel long term and what it will do to the way that the world perceives foreigners and travelers.  Let’s not let the virus divide us. One silver lining is that nationalities are working together globally. This is unprecedented. We are all in this together. United we stand.

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SABRINA March 21, 2020 at 10:59 am

I really really loved reading your post. Wow, it felt I was reading a novel or something. You surely know how to write. Unfortunately I could not understand everything but I’ll surely make sure that the “black areas” will become white as the snow. I particularly loved the part where you describe the Clematis because that’s the Bach flower that represents mostly myself right now. I simply wish you to enjoy the present moment and hope this particular time we have been given for reflection will make us better human beings so that we can leave something meaningful for the next generations to come and for our remaining time on the earth with this life as a part of me in some unclear way thinks we actually are never born and nor will ever die.

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Guilherme March 21, 2020 at 7:16 am

Hi. I’m from Brazil and I guess I met this blog 5 or 6 years ago (at least, my memory play tricks on me), and I can definetely tell some of yours posts made me think so much and for such a long time, that in the process I’ve become a better boyfriend, a better son, a better professional and a better friend.
A sincerely wi-fi hug.

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David Cain March 24, 2020 at 10:15 pm

*wi-fi hug*

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Ana Krelling March 21, 2020 at 8:08 am

I’m a 33 (soon to be 34) old woman who recently moved to Orlando, Florida. I started reading posts from this blog during my PhD, and considering those were pretty rough times for me, this blog would give me a few minutes of realizing how simple things are important in life. It truly helped me keep my mind sane during those times. And here it is, doing it again. In mid-February/beginning of March I had just started looking for a job after a period of burnout in which I could not bear to hear of my previous work. I was very excited to start a new job. And then COVID-19 hits, and the possibility of a new job soon seems to go out the window. As dissappointing as it is, I am much more worried about people who will have it much worse than me. Small business owners and employees, who are such a great part of what makes this city a great place to live, are struggling. That is without even mentioning people who are sick or whose family members are sick. And again, in the middle of panic, this blog and its comments from such kind audience come to remind me that even though it does not seem like it at times, we are indeed part of a community. It’s very nice to realize that in such difficult times.

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Brandon G March 21, 2020 at 10:24 am

> Who are you? Who is the person reading this blog? Looking up from the screen before you — what’s happening around you? In this room and in your community? And how are you doing?

I am a middle-aged man from Utah/USA. Ex-mormon, Navy veteran, software engineer at the University of Utah. INFJ lol. Divorced a handful of years ago. Father of a 10 year-old. My mom is in her 60s but basically an undocumented American, living with me, my son, and my new partner. Terrified mom will get the CV19.

Started WFH full-time last Friday, started refusing to attend team meetings several days before that (well, I did attend remotely though). Our schools started soft-closure basically the same day I started WFH. It’s been a real challenge to watch the amazing school staff struggle to get up to speed with the digital tools, while trying to coach my 10yo through learning them, all while still trying to work — often with coworkers themselves who don’t know the tools either. My 10yo is being forced to grow up a bit quicker than he was naturally: “son, you HAVE to check your email every morning, again around lunch, and again towards the end of school hours”… “son, did you see my google-chat? your teacher sent an email to me asking you to be sure to enter your reading time into the spreadsheet-tracker”… “son, you have to manage staying on-schedule but not also burning-out; how about after you complete an entire subjects’ worth of assignments, take 10min to play a video game or read or go outside and sit with your cat? You have to self-care too.”

Meanwhile, mom is self-isolating to her 10sqft bedroom or her own bathroom. When she needs food or exercise she only goes to the kitchen or basement when we aren’t using them, wipes everything down beforehand, keeps all windows open, and we avoid coming within 6 feet of her.

It’s surreal, and challenging. There are occasional indications from work that our old 60+ year-old leadership isn’t quite in-tune with our WFH problems, would rather we are in the office, and don’t understand why we are struggling to put in a solid 8 hours of active time.

Then, an earthquake hit us on Wednesday. Right in my back yard, basically. Shook us up pretty good, and continued to do so throughout the day. No damage to our home, thankfully, but it was bad enough that we spent the rest of the morning loading the back of the truck with essentials to bug-out if the aftershocks grew worse instead of better.

If “the big one” that Utah has been long-overdue for were to hit right now, I absolutely cannot afford for mom to have to live with us in a school gymnasium. That would be a CV19 nightmare for 60+ year olds! Meanwhile, our valley has exactly 3 ways out: 1 into another valley with a million+ people, 1 through miles and miles of 1-lane mountainous roads… both of those would be hit hard by a big quake and likely be dangerous if not blocked… the final exit, through the desert to another relatives’; but if we didn’t rush to get out first, we could be hemmed-up in a traffic jam.

Thankfully, the after-shocks have chilled-out.

I had to cancel 2 D&D sessions that were scheduled at my house this weekend: 1 with my son’s friend and his dad; another with my friends from work — because we always play in-person and we haven’t had the time yet to look at the online-tools and decide how to go about the online. Our next sessions are about a month out, I’ve got to start looking at those tools!

My ex-wife lives just across the highway from us. Her fiance got placed on WFH thankfully but she initially did not. She became VERY ill, coughing bad, serious weakness and lethargy, but no fever. She avoided visiting our son for several days and finally called into the CV19 hotline; they had the gall to tell her that because she does not have a fever and has not come into contact with any CV19-infected person, she does not have CV19. Uh-huh, right; as-if Utah is testing and/or the symptoms from everyone are noticeable and always include a fever; what a crock of horseshit! Children are often huge vectors of disease, and CV19 usually doesn’t even exhibit symptoms in them, so it’s scary to have him living here with my mom; but how can I ask my ex-wife not to see him, when the authorities cleared her? I can’t. I can only pray in a personal god that I don’t believe in (to be clear, I do believe in god, just not one that’s paying much attention to humans).

Meanwhile, our outdoor cat stalked a bird in our backyard a few days ago and caught him; that was an incredibly fascinating thing to watch! That’s the sort of god I worship, the Deist god of nature. It was a really amazing thing to watch him pull that off. For the bird-lovers: he is fenced in really well, hasn’t been able (yet) to get out of our yard, and I *DO* in fact have a noise-maker on his collar. If he were killing more than his fair-share of birds, I’d look into more draconian solutions to curb it. But the way I see it is, he’s a cat, he’s entitled to an occasional triumph. I love the birds too, but their numbers where I live are insane and a little curbing of their population here is warranted.

I am in the middle of installing a shed. Spent all last weekend getting the rock pad laid down.

We have plenty of food that we’ve set aside over the years… not exactly hoarding-level, but plenty we don’t have to worry from week to week. Restaurants and bars are closed here by law but you can still get to-go food. We’ve been trying to do some of that still, to help those employees keep their jobs.

I also had an epiphany this week about why dad (born in 1947) always loved eating the Hostess snack foods so much! Twinkies, etc, are such an incredibly cheap food with loads of calories and a nearly-unlimited shelf-life — I theorize that he grew up with them b/c his parents, coming out of the great depression, saw them as a very cheap way to keep lots of calories around the house. When I went to the store the other day I noticed an incredibly stark contrast in availability between quality shelf-stable foods on one hand (beans, rice, etc) and fresh-foods and junk-foods on the other hand. You have no problem enjoying bananas, lettuce, and twinkies. Rice, beans, and potatoes on the other hand are almost completely non-existent.

That’s who I am, what’s going on in my world, and how I am doing. If too long, apologies. Skip it and move on!

I hope all of you and yours are doing as well as can be expected. Depending on where you live, you should 100% stay home; where I’m at we are being asked to mostly stay home but still encouraged to support our local businesses when we can do so while maintaining social distancing. Today I am going to the nursery to buy a new tree, but of course if the order is to shut down all business and shelter-in-place, I am prepared to support that for the greater good.

Best,
Brandon

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David Cain March 24, 2020 at 10:20 pm

Thanks for this Comment Brandon. So glad the quake wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Best of luck.

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Daniel Nogueira March 27, 2020 at 11:17 pm

Loved your history, thanks for sharing.
Love this: (to be clear, I do believe in god, just not one that’s paying much attention to humans).

Stay strong,
Daniel

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Jessica March 21, 2020 at 11:09 am

I’m Jessica, 36, from Sweden. I’m an oncologist in training, but have background in intensive care as well.
Right now things are ramping up in Sweden, Covid-wise. We have community spread mostly in Stockholm, the capital city, and the larger cities. In the smaller town where I live we’ve had 16 cases, none in need of intensive care.

At this very moment, I’m sitting on the couch with my three year old son. He’s watching a cartoon, I’ve got dinner in the oven, and the husband is on his way home from a run.

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Rebecca March 21, 2020 at 5:48 pm

G’day, I’m Rebecca and I live in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia.

The view from my window is of ALL THE WEEDS IN THE WORLD, so I’m guessing if I have to stay at home due to his virus shiz, I’ll have plenty around here to keep me occupied.

Tasmania is the island state of Australia, so we basically have a built-in moat. We “shut our borders” from the rest of Australia a couple of days ago. Probably wise. We only have 16 cases here at the moment.

I’ll most likely have to work from home soon, but I work for a charity that feeds homeless people and rehabilitates those with addictions, so I’m worried that vulnerable people won’t have access to food and that those halfway through their recovery programs won’t be able to finish if we have to shut down our services.

I don’t give a toss about getting the virus myself, so I’m pretty calm about it all. I am, however, pretty bloody ropeable about the behaviour of some people in supermarkets around here. Seriously, if you’d told me a few weeks ago that there’d be an in-store punch-up over toilet paper, I wouldn’t have believed you.

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Derrick March 21, 2020 at 6:02 pm

Amen!! Toilet paper thing is silly/ridiculous.

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Tatiana March 21, 2020 at 9:54 pm

Hi! I´m Tatiana from Mexico. Here the situation is very uncertain, and due to the government´s attitude towards coronavirus, is probably going to get pretty ugly in the next two weeks or so. Private entities and enterprises, and a huge part of society are locking up and slowing down activity, even when there are no explicit orders from the government. We are at a fix, on one hand hearing the news about the spread of the virus in Europe and the States and on the other, not having concrete policy towards this crisis.
Feeling a little lost….but thankful that people close to me are still in good health and a good state of mind.

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Francisco March 21, 2020 at 11:18 pm

Hi Tatiana, I felt compelled to reply to your post, as I wondered back into this site, clicked on the last post and saw someone else from Mexico sharing their experience. I share your concerns, it’s deeply disturbing to see how very little our government seems to be doing in preparing for a crisis of this magnitude even as first-world countries aren’t being able to fully address /cope with. So much of our population in uninsured and depends on their daily income to make ends meet. Social distancing is fine, if you are part of the small percent of people that can afford to raid Costco, and fill up their pantries with supplies for a month. But as people start losing their jobs, they may end up needing to steal food, or worst… Still, the fact that we are *here* means we still have hope. Take care, be safe.

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sally March 22, 2020 at 7:01 am

Hi David. I am in Western Australia. Still working, however just today it was announced that non-essential indoor businesses such as restaurants, gyms, pubs and churches will be closed from tomorrow. I will really miss my exercise classes :( .
My work in government is still going and I am still using the office but this could change soon. Our kids are still in school. It is a strange in-between world where some gatherings occur and some don’t, and every day brings some further restrictions. Panic shopping has occurred so there are shortages in some groceries although supplies are available. We have a full pantry and I’m trying to minimise shopping and nurture my lettuce and chard seedlings.

Grateful for secure employment and accommodation and I hope our government supports everyone less secure in these. Hoping the impact of the virus on friends, family and community is minimal but feeling the stress of what may come.

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Cam March 22, 2020 at 10:17 am

David, thanks for your wonderful way of bringing people together. I’ve been reading your blog from the beginning, enjoying that long point of reference. It has meant a lot to me over the years.

Hi Raptitude readers! Who knew there were so many of us.

I’m in Berkeley, California. My wife and I were planning to re-locate to some place more affordable, but that may have to wait. She’s finishing her Masters of Public Health in a few months. I’m still working for now, at a local bakery. I make a lot of pizza and breads.

My life revolves around cooking. I make my own bread at home — the kind I want to make when I eventually open my own shop: hearty, mostly whole grain loaves cultured with a natural starter. In an ideal future I’ll have my own milling stones, and grind the flour fresh each time I bake bread. It’s an intoxicating aroma, when freshly milled flour and water mix and combine with a mild, fruity-milky leaven. That will all have to wait. Now is the time for patience.

I’m grateful for my training at a zen buddhist temple. My wife and I met there and each spent about five years doing regular (and sometimes intensive) meditation. In some ways I’m a hopeless wreck, and I’m sure I’ll always be that person. I’ll always come from a dysfunctional family and have an instinct to anger and judge myself and others. But I can say that meditation and practicing in community definitely worked to soften my edges.

I would like to use this time of great uncertainty to treat my fear with compassion, to be generous with my time and resources, to find ways to reach out to those in distress.

On the bright side, this quiet in the streets is truly amazing. I can hear birdsong in the mornings. I feel a powerful sense of being ‘in this together’ with every person I encounter. And I’m confident that we can all rise to meet this. Thanks everyone for sharing.

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LuAnne March 22, 2020 at 11:35 am

Hello from Michigan in the US. Thanks for having us introduce ourselves, David. I’ve been reading Raptitude for several years and I attend the very first Camp Calm. My husband and I are retired and all of our kids have moved out on their own. I am therefore not terribly hurt by the pandemic personally, but I really feel for others like the hourly workers and the hospitality industry. My grown kids are much more impacted as two of my daughters are unable to work (science teacher and flight attendant). I have been obsessed with reading the news but I hope to start this new week by writing poetry and doing some painting.

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Lynn March 22, 2020 at 12:08 pm

I’m sitting thinking I should probably go to start cooking our evening meal, but looking through all of these windows into others’ lives instead.

I live in Scotland with my husband and kids age 10 and 6. The schools closed on Friday so my husband will be looking after them while also remotely teaching his college students. I’m a doctor so will continue to go to work, though we’re doing a lot of patient contact by phone and video calls.

This whole thing hit me suddenly and like a truck on Monday. I went from calm and going with the flow to sick with anxiety. Barely able to eat and sleep. Not like me at all. I’m feeling better the last few days which I think is partly due to speaking to people, and partly just the healing power of time letting me start to adjust.

I’ve set up a WhatsApp group with neighbours to support each other to drop food at the door of families who are self isolating. We’re all amazed that we don’t know each other better, and hope that a stronger sense of community with the people we live beside will come from this.

We’re still allowed out for walks. People are generally practicing social distancing, but it’s noticeable that this is offset by a lot more smiling and chats with the strangers you encounter.

Thanks for writing this blog, and for inviting people to share these snapshots of their lives. All humans together, all over the world.

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Rodrigo March 22, 2020 at 2:25 pm

I am Rodrigo, a brazilian guy with poor English vocabulary, but I would like to say same words: First, I don’t have any idea when I start to read this blog, but I know why I continuously read…It’s like a fresh air come from the window… Maybe it is why I am here in this moment… I need a fresh air, because in my country so many “no human” thoughts is invading our home from the mouth of ours political representatives.
I am home, reading poems, working, washing hands and praying for that people that really is suffering at this moment.

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Beth March 22, 2020 at 5:58 pm

Thank you all for allowing me to get to know a little bit about you! My name is Beth and I have been reading David’s blog for quite a while. I’m a nurse living in PA and working at a local clinic. It’s kind of scary. Today I deep cleaned my bathroom since cleaning is a way for me to deal with stress. We are staying inside, but tomorrow I go to work.

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Mar March 22, 2020 at 6:30 pm

Hey everyone, and thank you, David, for creating this little oasis of connection and mindfulness.

I am a twenty-eight year old living in Belgium. It’s my boyfriend’s birthday today, so we’ve been trying to find little pockets of happiness against the backdrop of stress and uncertainty. Homemade tiramisu and watching silly comedies have helped.

The stars looked exceptionally bright yesterday and today. I’m wondering if it’s due to less pollution, or just the fact that I took my time to appreciate them.

Although we are not in complete lockdown, going out is limited to going to work/getting food/medicine/medical care. Going out to exercise (walking, jogging, biking) near your residence is also allowed.
Thankfully, I’ve been able to work from home since last week. I realized, however, that I must relearn how to be productive without having someone constantly looking over my shoulder, which means I’ll soon be revisiting some Raptitude posts on procrastination.

I’ve been feeling pretty anxious lately, so I try to remind myself to focus on the things that are in my circle of control.
Like many of you, I am an introvert, so staying inside thankfully feels quite manageable, at least for now. To make myself feel better, I’ve been making a list of enjoyable things that I look forward to for the coming months, like keeping in touch with family and friends, starting knitting again, reading tons of lovely books, cooking new recipes, and following online dancing classes. I’ve also taken advantage of this opportunity to meditate every day, which I had never managed to do before.

I also try to feel grateful for the things I do have at the moment (roof over my head, people who care for me, food for me and my loved ones, etc), because, as we’ve seen, things can change quite drastically from one week to another. “This might not be so”, indeed.

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Kathryn March 22, 2020 at 8:18 pm

Hello, everyone!

My name is Kathryn. I’m a freshman in college who’s starting online classes tomorrow. I’m also supposed to start work tomorrow, though I’ve heard rumors that the governor is going to issue a shutdown this week (Florida).

Overall, I feel like my brain isn’t built to process what a “global pandemic” really means. It’s interesting to think that this is the first event that happened during my lifetime (born after 9/11) and that I’ll be old enough to remember in years to come, the way people older than I can recall and share exactly where they were and what they were doing during previous disasters.

My main interests are creative writing and computer science, so luckily isolation doesn’t hinder those, but I have trouble staying happy and productive when my usual schedule is shattered.

Overall, I’m doing my best to make this a time of growth for myself, while also making a special effort to text/call friends, grandparents, and anyone else who I think I could bring some joy to right now.

I hope everyone else is doing as well as possible! Hopefully we all get through this together, by acting with compassion and generosity toward each other.

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Heather J. March 22, 2020 at 8:27 pm

Thank you, David, for all your wonderful posts and for this one in particular. I started reading this blog around the time I started my own business, in 2012. I no longer have that business (and am actually grateful not to), but I have come back to your writing time and again.

I am in the American Southwest, and at this very moment, I am lounging on the couch while my husband and 5 year old daughter play a video game together. My elderly cat is curled up near my feet. We are all (mostly) at home right now; while school is canceled and my husband’s company was able to go remote quite easily, I work at a university that doesn’t have the infrastructure for that set up yet. So I am going in to work 2 days a week and working from home for 3 days.

I’m a mom, a wife, a coworker, a boss, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, a volunteer, and someone who is working on becoming a better human in lots of different ways. I find myself worrying about my in-laws and grandfather, my sister who has five children, a loved friend who is a nurse in Denver, and my parents who seem to be defiant about the threat of this virus. I do what I can – by ordering groceries and picking up medications, by sending birthday gifts and asking what’s needed – but know that I can only control myself and my own emotions.

Your last post about gratitude really hit me hard, and I have been trying to practice it every day. As a result, I have been giving more hugs to my family (the ones I socially isolate with!), exercising more patience, making Zoom dates with my far-flung friends, and having more snuggles with my cat. Thanks, David. Here’s to another insightful and kind year on this blog.

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Emily March 23, 2020 at 10:25 am

Hi David!
Thanks for asking :) I’m Emily and I’m 38. I live in NW Indiana on the IN/IL border (considered Chicagoland). My fiance Steve and I are going through a lot. We’re 16 weeks pregnant with our first baby, and had a wedding planned for April 18th with a reception at a suite at the Chicago White Sox. Everything’s off, we can’t even get a marriage license because the county offices are closed. In addition, Steve got his dream job up in Green Bay, Wis. and he moved up there March 1st to start. He’s making the 4 hours drive home on the weekends but it’s been incredibly hard to be alone, pregnant for the first time at 38, and isolated. We are both incredibly grateful and fortunate to have great employers who won’t leave us in the lurch financially, but I work at a funeral home where I do the books, and it’s stressful knowing we’re going to have Covid cases in the building. I’m high risk because of the pregnancy and am taking all precautions I can (working at weird hours when no one is around and disinfecting everything), but it’s still a hard situation. My 70 year old parents live a mile away and I haven’t seen them in a week. I want to help them but being high risk myself I need to stay put. We’re anxious about the move, the possibility of getting sick, having a baby, and selling our home with the current financial crises. All’s well currently, but the fear is real.

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Debbie March 23, 2020 at 1:57 pm

Hello everyone,
I am writing from outside Denver, CO. I’m working from home in the “garden level” of my tri-level home. “Garden level” is just a fancy word for half-sunk basement. But I like to think I’m not buried in here, I’m grounded with the earth. At least I have a fairly sunny window.

My family is all fine now but it’s hard not to worry that the ‘Rona is going to swoop in and take people I love; particularly my ornery 79-year old father who keeps sneaking out to the grocery.

At least we have wonderful pets – four cats, a puppy and three horses that won’t let us wallow in the morass. My husband, son, and I are thankful for the pets to keep us busy and sane.

I pray that you all stay safe, protected, and sane! Sending hugs XOXOX

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Big"L" March 23, 2020 at 3:06 pm

Wow, what a community! I live in New Brunswick (Canada) and have been reading this blog for…not sure how long, more than 5 years.
I am able to work from home and consider myself fortunate. I am an introvert (100%INTP) so the isolation is really no issue for me. We have 2 beautiful daughters, a big spoiled Chocolate Lab, two cats, 7 hens and a sauna in the backyard. I find the hardest thing about this situation is the fact that there is no “end date”! If we new that it would be all over by, let’s say May 20th, then we can set our mind accordingly, but for now, we just don’t know. Love this blog by the way.

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Jan Ross March 23, 2020 at 11:27 pm

its about a certain intensity
are we really listening now ?

well, i was already depressed and anxious
stuck there really
things could get worse or better
you know
as they do if you think your life is a story
i really never thought that i could be grateful for worse
but im begining to think
it could happen

last night inhaling sharply, as i wake, in full blown panic mode
no where to run
no one to fight
mental and physical
writhing
..in desperation i cling onto the trailing ends of breath and find myself
lost in the beauty of my nightstand still life, salt lamplit,
greenglass refracting stunning abstraction of light shape colours
i live there for some long moments
it feels like a small healing.
these are the things i really want to share.

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Robyn March 24, 2020 at 12:44 am

Emily, congratulations! Such exciting happenings in your life. It is an odd feeling, this limbo of open ended not-knowingness, but you are here, you are loved and you will be okay.
My name is Robyn, I’m 49, married with 2 teenage boys and I live in Victoria, Australia. I’m currently in the ‘snug’ room of our farmhouse, looking outside at the changing colours of nearby deciduous trees. I can hear trucks on the highway, proof that the world has not ended. :) I have just finished my second patchwork quilt and I’m feeling really pleased with myself. I’ll go and start dinner soon, but I wanted to check in and read some of these community comments. I have been reluctant to until now, feeling a little like a schoolkid waiting her turn to speak in the sharing circle, certain that my comment would sound silly. But Emily, you moved me to put finger to keyboard to wish you all the very best.
I think, for so many, there is a sense of grief surrounding the loss of what is “normal” in our lives, but the three most important feelings for me at this time are gratitude (which I have in abundance), preparation (I do like to be organised) and resilience (by reaching out to others, I feel stronger). Thank you for listening. Best wishes to you all. Thank you David. ‘Til next time. :)

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Mary-Ann March 24, 2020 at 9:26 am

Hello David,
I enjoy your blog. I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I write a blog myself on career resilience and carry out career coaching. We (my husband and I) did a major clean of the house yesterday, felt like a great thing to do physically and psychologically. We are able to get out and walk in the neighborhood, keeping the appropriate distance from others. It is so great to smell the fresh air! Lots of losses for me this year as my mother passed. Now this. It has been great though to support my siblings and friends now through things electronically over the last weeks and slow the pace down. Thanks for your invitation to connect! Looks like the picture on the blog is from Amsterdam. Is that were you live? Mary-Ann

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David Cain March 24, 2020 at 10:13 pm

Hi Mary-Ann. I live in Winnipeg! Just two provinces over.

The photo is actually in Stockholm, Sweden. I wish I lived in that building.

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Mary-Ann Owens March 25, 2020 at 11:14 am

Glad you are in Canada, best wishes to you at this time!! thanks for your work.

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Willow March 24, 2020 at 7:16 pm

Hi all,
I’ve subscribed to email posts from Raptitude for a few years now, but this is my first ever comment.

I’m doing my postgraduate studies in London, which is far from home and family. It was a difficult and expensive decision that took some time for me to finally muster the courage to make, but I’m glad that I did it… Because I think I would regret not doing it.

There have been massive changes and uncertainties in UK over the past week because of the coronavirus. Anxiety and fear seem to be common emotions of many Londoners. It has been hard having to go through this without my family by my side, especially knowing that they’re worried about me, but I have been managing! I’m glad for the technology we have now, and how that allows me to contact family and friends regularly.

It is scary to hear about the havoc the virus has wreaked in the world, but I have also been inspired and comforted by the acts of kindness and resilience that have come out of the situation… And am reminded to not just focus on the negatives in any situation.

Take care everybody, and thank you for listening! And thanks for the posts, David! Always enjoy reading them :)

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Morgan March 24, 2020 at 8:30 pm

Hey. I’m Morgan from the Canadian west coast.
My partner and I are on day 5 of an unexpected stay-cation. We’re both suddenly without work, but taking it well. It’s been a full day of cleaning our space. We’ve got the laundry done, the dishes cleared, the floors scrubbed, and the cats bathed. Tomorrow, we’ll be tackling the deeper projects of our indoor plants and, well, I’m sure something else will come up. We’re used to being busy people. I’m not sure what we’ll find ourselves up to once our home is spotless.
I’m doing alright. I slowed down my news intake last week after I lost Tuesday to unknown emotional forces. My sources are now my friends and family, which has the added bonus of each conversation having a fair share of surprises. After all, I’m used to having seen most new information online 30 minutes prior.
Could be better though. Now begins the job hunt in a tough market. The goal in this early stage has only ever been to get those years of experience down. That hasn’t changed yet. There’s no sections for self-taught skills on application forms yet, and certification is out of the question when rent takes priority. Only time will tell what happens.
Hope everyone’s well. Enjoy the moment, eh?

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Brittany A March 25, 2020 at 12:55 pm

I am Brittany for the Midwest (Wisconsin). Longtime reflective reader who works in construction.

Right now, I have been taking everything in stride and seeing were it leads. I have been seeing this an opportunity to slow down and enjoy getting things that sometimes fall by the waste side because of time get accomplished.

It seems as though the world around me is falling apart with many people I know are scared and/or laid-off because of this after they are just started to get by from the last recession. And yet, I also notice that in the in my large city it is quite peaceful outside without the hustle and bustle.

In all honesty I am okay with the slowing down of life right now. I think it good at least for me.

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N March 25, 2020 at 2:54 pm

I’m 29 y.o from France living in San Francisco.
I’m reading this sitting in the sun in my backyard which looks like a junk yard (construction supplies everywhere), birds are tweeting. This experience feels comfortable and reassuring.
My 2 flatmates are also here enjoying the sun in silence, 1 is napping on a bench, the other one doing smtg on his phone.

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Louisa March 25, 2020 at 3:04 pm

I’m Louisa. I’m sitting in my home office in Barry’s and my apartment in Eureka, CA. I also live in Guanajuato, Mexico, but am glad I’m not there right now because the Mexican president thinks the virus is a mere passing cold. I’m a writer, seminar leader, coach, cook, and lover of physical activity, especially outside. I live 1/2 blocks from our bay, where I love to go out on my paddleboard.

I’m doing fine, that is, I’m not anxious. Fortunately at 68 I’m semi-retired and although I loved to earn, I have enough savings (even with the market collapse–one way I reduce my stress is by NOT looking at stocks!!) to get by. I very much hope the pandemic will be a permanent game-changer for the world. I’m not optimistic, but I’m not totally pessimistic either.

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Klara March 26, 2020 at 6:03 am

Hello David and everybody else.
I’m Klara from Prague, Czech Republic. I’ve been reading this blog for years, and for the most part I identify with every word David has ever written. It’s reassuring to know that others have a slightly different, less conventional view of life.
We’ve been under “quarantine” for 10 days now, across the country. We can still go out for groceries and other urgent needs, and people are still going to work, though many have home office. We can also go for walks in the park or better yet out in nature away from the city. It is mandatory to wear a face mask when outside, and there can be groups of no more than 2 people in public places (except families). There is a major shortage of those here, so people everywhere have pulled out sewing machines and started sewing home-made cotton face masks for themselves and everybody in need. Restaurants have been closed for over 2 weeks, most are offering take-away service and we try to help by grabbing a bite from our favourite venues every now and again.
For me personally, not that much changes. I’m a freelance translator and I’ve been working from home for 20 years, so apart from the lack of occasional pub life and outdoor activities, I’m pretty adapted to the situation. There is still plenty of work.
I try to avoid reading the news and watching TV, because it seems that all the information is grossly distorted, fragmented and generally useless, except to cause panic and fear. I have mixed feelings about whether or not it’s all being blown way out of proportion, but I’m pretty sure it’s the end of the world as we know it. Whether in a good or bad way, I’m not sure.
I hope everybody here and elsewhere stays safe and sane, and will keep reading others’ stories :) Good luck!

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Annika April 1, 2020 at 5:47 am

Hey Klara, David and everyone!
I am also in Prague, although I am originally from Germany. I am in my small but super cozy apartment right now, the sun is shining and things are looking OK outside. I’m about to sew my own masks as well. Have been getting by with using a scarf, but that is uncomfortable in the long run. I am very proud of this country at the moment. The Czech Republic reacted super fast to bring in strict measures, and it has paid off. We have very few deaths and the hospitals are coping ok compared to other places. Although I am not sure I will ever get used to not seeing people’s faces and just looking at masks. Feels like a perpetual bank robber movie.
I only discovered your blog recently, but am loving it!
Cheers, Annika

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Peggy March 26, 2020 at 5:22 pm

Hello David and other fellow humans!

My name is Peggy, I’m 49 and live in Maple Ridge BC. I’m an ESL teacher with a husband, 2 kids and a crazy beagle.
This all hit us right before Spring Break so things don’t seem too strange yet for us… although my husband is working from home, which is new.

We are doing all the recommended things… getting outside, exercising, walking our dog (or pay the consequences!! :)) and only going to stores when absolutely necessary.

We are definitely connecting more as a family with less distractions – which makes me happy.

I find if I start ruminating on the future I get anxious and a bit paralyzed so my motto right now is: One day at a time. One foot in front of the other.

I’ve been listening to podcasts and doing housework. I’ve even scrubbed my kitchen cupboards and walls yesterday!! ???

David, I can’t recall how I found your blog but it was maybe a few years back and then I found it again just recently and decided to subscribe. I like that you are Canadian and you seem to have values similar to mine. I am enjoying this opportunity to slow down and go within and listen to my inner voice.

Stay well, everyone. Virtual hugs. xo

It’s nice to know not everyone out there in the world

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Beth March 26, 2020 at 8:51 pm

Hi, I’m Beth in Dunedin, New Zealand. I’ve been a long time reader of this blog, which I got onto through a friend. I now regularly recommend it to others!

I was on an Outward Bound course last week, in nature, without connection to the digital or outside world. When I turned my phone on, I found out how Covid-19 has spread throughout New Zealand, and the next day the Prime Minister announced we were going into a full lockdown. It was such a shock, because when I went on the course, there were only 6 cases in New Zealand, all related to international travel. I never imagined a lockdown could even be a thing!

I quit my job last year to spend a year travelling and volunteering, so had to find a place to spend the lockdown. I was planning on leaving almost immediately on a 3-month trip to the UK and Europe to see family. I raced nearly 800km to my parents’ place here in Dunedin where I’ll be for at least the next 4 weeks in lockdown.

I’m just catching up with emails now, and love this idea of a blog being a community, rather than a megaphone.

The future is now so uncertain, but there are many skills from this blog that can help us through!

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Maret March 27, 2020 at 4:46 am

Hi, I’m Maret from Tallinn, Estonia. I’ve been reading Raptitude since 2014 but this is the first time for me to comment.

I’m an artist and mother of a 1st grader. I’ve been extremely lucky to just have finished some of the projects that needed me to be physically present. It is quite usual for me to work from home and in that sense the introvert in me is happy.

For the last 2 weeks the schools have been closed and I’ve been amazed by my daughter’s class teacher. She is just 20-21, a student herself. Yet she has been so supportive, well-spirited and prepared. Every morning they start with a video, go through the tasks and discuss difficulties. These are 7-8 years old kids who just got their first e-mail addresses. My daughter just handed in her homework on her own on Classroom. (A platform not even in her mother tongue). The only thing that wears me down is being available all the time. But that’s a minor issue :)

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Sharon Hanna March 27, 2020 at 10:13 am

Hi Maret! My co-worker was to visit Tallinn and had to cancel her trip. How nice to hear from you here. My father was Latvian, his parents born in Riga. I’ve always wanted to visit….the architecture etc. must be so amazing. Let’s hope we can all do a very modest bit of travelling in the future. Best of luck to you.

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Maret March 29, 2020 at 7:22 am

Thank you Sharon! :) It is definately worth a visit, both Tallinn and Riga. All the best to you too.

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Marvin March 27, 2020 at 5:11 pm

Ciao, tutti.
I’m living in San Clemente, CA. Nice little beach town with a beach that is now closed. Great beach trail which is also closed. Cute little downtown, voted #1 main street by someone, somewhere, also closed. But good news…one of our main street restaurants is still cooking AND, get this, you can also get a margarita to go!!! So, for that reason alone, perhaps. Things are looking up.
Personally I’ve been able to do most of the same things I usually do but less. I like that. Less really can be more when it’s nice focused time. My work as a kitchen designer is a fairly solo activity anyway. I have my own business and a showroom where I am the sole proprietor so 6 feet of separation is pretty easy. 3-4 hours in the office does it. Then I have time for home stuff. Long neglected projects. You all know those. The things you know you should take care of but after working 8-10 hours during the day you really don’t have much enthusiasm for doing them when you get home or even on the weekend. Afterall, that’s your day off, right? Well, when the work day is short (and the weather fantastic) it’s not so hard to get into it and actually enjoy doing it. For me that has been sanding and filling, priming, filling, sanding, for priming and sanding and filling my two garage doors. Jealous? I didn’t think so but it’s actually been enjoyable. Not just the results, but the process. Dusty stuff, tiring pushing a belt sander and hand sander over 7′ x 18′ of garage doors. But, kinda fun. That’s the great thing about having time and with fewer things to fill it. I’m not thinking about all the other things I could/should be doing. Those all got done in the first 4 hours of the day.
There’s more time to read, to write. Like this. Time for chai in the morning with my wife. Time and energy to make lasagna for dinner. There’s time to clean parts of the house that haven’t seen a dust mop or rag in, God only knows.
Finally, this seems like the perfect rehearsal for retirement. I think I’m going to like it.
Be safe, be smart, stay well and enjoy the time.

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Daniel Nogueira March 27, 2020 at 11:12 pm

Hi David and readers.
My name is Daniel Nogueira, I’ve been a rapitude reader for over 5 years now. In fact I don’t remmember when I started. Anyways..I currently live in New Zealand. My home in the past 5 months have been my tent, holiday parks, and wilderness hut, as I have been walking the 3000 kms of Te Araroa Trail, a Thru-hike in New Zealand, from its northernmost point Cape Reinga to southernmost Bluff. I was 400 kilometres away from finishing when the Jacinda announced bring the Alert Level 4 in response to the Covid-19 and a minumum of 4-weeks self-isolation, stay home policy. The recommendation for trail walkers was to find somewhere safe to stay self isolated and dont continue the walk. So that’s where I did, I paused my walk and will wait until things are ok that I can continue and hopefully finish the walk. I guess it’s all part of the journey.
If anyone is interested in some stories from my trail, they are on my instagram: https://www.instagram.com/daniel.anogueira/
Stay safe everyone

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Louise March 29, 2020 at 6:56 pm

I’m a British 31 year old woman living in Bend, Oregon. I’ve been reading Raptitude for years, but I think I’ve only commented once or twice. It’s the only blog I ever bother to read. I’m an ecologist, a museum curator, an animal lover and a traveler. I value compassion above all else. Looking up from the screen, I see my lovely, patient husband, I see my two sweet dogs, I see a beautiful yard filled with pines and signs of early spring. The first Stellar’s Jay of the year appeared at the bird feeder this morning, making me unspeakably happy and grateful. Today, I made a conscious effort to be happy. I did a virtual run around my neighbourhood with an old friend. I did some yoga to Beatles music! I made soup that made the whole house smell like herbs. I walked the dogs with my husband and we stared at the river that flows on regardless. I did not look at the news. I feel better.

In my community, I see people grappling with this new reality. I see a community based on tourism, and on outdoor recreation, now dealing with loss of employment and the closure of trailheads. Our State Parks, our forest trails, these are where so many of us find our peace, sanity, and community. I see homeless people unsure of where exactly they’re supposed to go. I see people struggling to know where their next mortgage or rent payment will come from. But I also see people reaching out to help each another, and I’m hearing people express renewed gratitude for the small things.

I am feeling many things, including fear for the future and for all of the different types of people impacted by this pandemic. I am consumed by a homesickness of a depth I’ve never experienced before. I watch the UK news every day. I see the country I love struggling, and I want to be there with my family and friends. I had flights booked to go home in April. I’d looked forward to that trip for months. I’ve lost access to many things I love, but I’m also well aware that I was exceptionally fortunate to have those things in the first place. I’m trying to focus on things I CAN do. I cannot visit beloved family, but I can FaceTime them. I can’t ride my horse, but I can watch videos and read books to help me become a better horsewoman. I can’t swim, or climb, but I can run. I can’t put my arms around a friend who is struggling, but I can text her and send silly dog photos. I can’t take my husband out for dinner, but I can rustle up a great curry for him. I can’t volunteer at the animal shelter I’ve volunteered with for years, but I’ve signed up to be a foster home.

A lot of the things I usually enjoy may just sound like pastimes, but they’re also part of my identity. May I never take them (or the things I still can do!) for granted. Be well, everyone.

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Doni Boyd March 31, 2020 at 6:22 pm

Hi David, I’ve been following you for a long time – I’m Doni, retired, on the Oregon coast. Looking around the room – my DH is sitting in his arm chair with his own electronic device! I’m happy to say, after 5 days of rain, the sun is shining and we have blue ocean to rest our eyes on. I’ve been basically self-quarantining myself since the first of March. I’m a quilter (and face mask maker) but have a little cabin fever going. It’s much easier to stay in place on sunny days! Thanks for your words of wisdom. Stay safe, everyone. doni @ Oregon coast

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Alan April 3, 2020 at 2:34 am

I’m Alan and I live in London, right by the river Thames.
Normally a great place to live however a very strange atmosphere now, from being very quiet generally and when out walking feeling a very peculiar (but not surprising) sense of not wanting to get anywhere near anyone – a good thing now but hopefully will pass when the time is right! Shops are a very uncomfortable experience now, just incredible how things have changed in just a few weeks.
Overall though positive about the future once we get through this, hopefully not as long as some think.
So take care everyone,
Alan.

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Jonas April 4, 2020 at 6:34 am

Hi David and everyone!

I’ve been reading for about two years now, I think. Always getting something valuable from your writing, even when I get to read it a couple of weeks after the email landed in my inbox. I think this is only the second or third time I comment, though.

I’m sitting in my spare bedroom/office in London, the sun is shining through the window, warming my back. In the living room, our new kittens are going crazy, playing with a feather toy and I’m catching up on reading with a big glass of water. I’m thinking about the (once-daily socially-distant) walk we’re going too have in a few and things feel pretty much like a normal Saturday.

Though it really isn’t. Emotionally I’m thrown back and forth between two extremes. On the one hand, I’m loving the community efforts to keep everyone safe, the heroes in the health services, and found a lot of gratitude about the people in my life and the privileges I have. It’s been so heartwarming to see the whole world get so much closer.

On the other hand, I’m really upset. Upset that we’re freaking out about a “stronger flu”, mainly because it impacts privileged white people (like me or my parents). There are way more important health challenges out there that kill more people every year, but we choose to ignore them because we have them “under control” in Europe and North America. Upset because we only talk about lives saved from Covid-19 and not about lives lost because of the lockdown measures. (A bit simplistic, but I didn’t want to get too wordy)

I guess it’s the inability to do much, the social isolation that is challenging. All we can do is wait, but we don’t know when the wait is over or if the waiting is going to to have the impact we hope for. And even as the introvert, that I am, I like a bit of human contact every once in a while…

So I’m trying to stay away from the hyperbolic statements the media make about everything, while still getting a little update on what’s going on in the world. I connect with friends and family, do yoga and workout classes with my friends on Zoom and keep myself busy baking sourdough bread and cooking healthy dinners with whatever we have in the pantry.

And then I realize I’ve been caught up in my brain again, feel the sun rays warming my shoulder and remember to get back in my body. I’ll finish writing this post, have a (late) shower, and go for a walk, trying to smile at as many people I can. From a safe distance. It’s spring outside, the cherry trees started to blossom this week and it’s getting warmer. People are playing in the park. Scattered in their little safety-bubbles. It’s almost like a normal Saturday.

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Anne April 6, 2020 at 11:56 pm

Hello,
I found your blog today. A friend had shared your article “Your lifestyle has already been designed” on social media… And you put into words what I hope our world can be like after this pandemic. Now I’m am perusing other articles, and again I am really appreciating your clear way of presenting life .. I never comment on blogs.. ever! Until now actually.
I’m doing fine. Alive and safe. Literally just drove across Canada amidst these covid days, from BC to Ottawa. Took me 7 days (I’m a slow driver and like stopping to make coffee…). Lost count on how many signs in the country which told me to stay home. But unfortunately, my work has been cancelled for the next couple months, and the boyfriend broke up and went back to his country. Had everything I needed in the car to self-isolate on the road, so I took my time, enjoyed the views, listened to CBC radio news and just stopped for gas. I think the most difficult thing right now is dealing with this breakup without being able to hug my friends and not being able to do the sports that keep me sane. I’m also wondering how long the borders will stay closed as my heart belongs in Europe.
Other than that, thanks for asking. And at the end of the day, if we just put things in perspective a little bit… Everything could be worse.

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David Cain April 7, 2020 at 10:16 am

Welcome to Raptitude Anne! I can imagine that was a very strange roadtrip.

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