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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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Harold Jarche March 16, 2020 at 6:17 pm

I’m a fellow blogger — since 2003. Things are very quiet here in Atlantic Canada. Many places have closed but the virus has not hit … yet. We are doing fine. We started physical isolation over a week ago. Most people are starting today.

David Cain March 16, 2020 at 8:17 pm

Hi Harold. Manitoba is at a similar stage. As of today we have 8 confirmed cases, and things are starting to close. School will be closed by the end of the week, most events have been canceled, and stores are starting to voluntarily close.

Kris March 16, 2020 at 10:57 pm

I’m over in Toronto, so there’s definitely a lot going on around me. I’ve been working from home a lot more (usually I just do that 1 day a week, but I’m now up to doing it every day), but my job’s prett easy to do from home. One downside to working from home though is that I live on a sailboat, and get some of my upper body exercise by doing pushups in my office (which is relatively spacious and private — while my home doesn’t have enough floor space to do such things).

Outside of my work life, the routines that my daughter and I have around our twice-weekly evenings together are also getting somewhat disrupted, but she’s 14 (and remarkably reasonable for a 14-year-old) so it’s pretty easy to figure out alternatives.

What really mixes things up is that I have a difficult-to-label post-relationship-friendship/quasi-relationship/something with a nurse practitioner who specializes in palliative care. Needless to say, her patients tend to belong to highly vulnerable populations — though the overwhelming majority of them are going to die soon anyway. While this makes it somewhat important to isolate her from infection, what makes it even more important is that she’s the only palliative specialist doing home care in a catchment area with a population of about 200,000. If needed intensive care resources end up getting overwhelmed, her workload could grow to multiples of what would already be an extremely busy patient load. It is very likely that a lot of people will need her not to get sick.

Another person close to me who needs not to get sick is my father. He’s 71, and generally as fit and healthy as someone in their 50s — except for having severe allergies and asthma his whole life. He also had pneumonia for pretty much all of January.

Gary March 17, 2020 at 12:59 pm

Live aboard, eh? A bit of a challenge in the winter months. I’m temporarily a landlubber who has gone over to the dark side when I recently bought a 24′ power boat (gasp!). If I/we make it through this insanity, I plan to cruise the Trent-Severn and Rideau Canals this summer. Your boat?

Kris March 17, 2020 at 2:25 pm

Yeah, but in a lot of ways the winter is easier. I summer on the Toronto Islands, so winter is the half of the year in which I don’t have to worry about ferry schedules.

Since I’m pretty sure I’d take the rig off to haul (given that I already take it off to keep it and my winter enclosure from interfering with each other), I don’t think that the difference in spring and fall workloads would be all that high (and apart from getting the enclosure up and down, and the bubblers in and out, winter doesn’t really add a whole hell of a lot of work).

As for the boat, I’m currently on an Alberg 30, but planning to get something a little larger next winter (to move onto in the following spring). I’m a few years late on that plan, and finally getting back into a financial position to stop putting it off (after an ill-advised second marriage, expensive divorce from said-same, and then an attempt at starting a company when I probably should’ve been doing something more stable to rebuild wealth — though I suspect that having done that is making my current job both more stable and higher-paying, so who knows).

Kris March 17, 2020 at 2:27 pm

I forgot to ask, what’s your home port?

Deb March 16, 2020 at 7:22 pm

I live in Portland, Oregon in an area called The Pearl. It’s usually a very busy bustling place with lots of bars, restaurants and shops. It is very quiet outside my windows right now even though it’s rush hour and also happy hour. Normally there are cars jamming the streets. The bar across the street is silent. My husband and I are over 60 and are taking the self-quarantine suggestion very seriously, though we are trying to order takeout food from our favorite neighborhood restaurants to help keep them afloat. I was an RN many years ago, and germs generally do not disturb me, but as we are all saying, this time it’s different.

Kevin March 17, 2020 at 8:50 am

Beaverton native here. That description reminds me of what the Pearl was like in the late 80’s-early 90’s. Hope things get back to relative normal soon.

Michelle March 17, 2020 at 12:29 pm

Hi… responding from Nashville, TN. I am, typically, that person who crams a 5am hot yoga class in before work, who works for the school system in Nashville so I’m surrounded by people all day, who meets a running club a couple if times a week, who sees her boyfriend a few times a week, who loves being outside at the dog park with other pups and people. Typically. That’s me.

But the past week or two has reduced life to this: working from home and primarily interacting via email or text, walking my dog and skipping the dog park, running alone since the group has cancelled meet ups, streaming yoga classes because the studio is closed… it’s a lot of isolation. I’ve still been seeing my boyfriend and, lately, we’ve been on the phone frequently mostly just saying “can you believe this is happening?”

I have to reassure myself several times every single day (ok: hour) that this will end. That something else will become the new normal and it will greatly resemble the “before.” That I’ll still have relationships and friendships when this ends. That I wont die if the main interactions I have are online. That I can still exercise. That plants and trees are continuing to grow and blossom and it’s worth going outside for.

In Nashville we are definitely fully in a panic. Most things are closed or canceled, just like they are everywhere. Having this happen so soon after a tornado seems doubly cruel. But I know we will get through it. What other option is there?

Thanks for sharing March 18, 2020 at 2:58 pm

Thanks for your comments

Deanna March 16, 2020 at 7:46 pm

I am from Denver, CO. I am a 27 year old college student. My store is closed and my school is totally online. The roommate is sick and so we’re totally isolating. She’s a good person to be stuck with and it’s better than being alone for me. I am walking 2 to 3 mikes every day and trying to keep up with my stretching and meditation routine.

My apart has blue walls and the TV is on. Geordi the sanke’s terrarium is glowing red as always, I hope I have enough food stored up for him Sorry my story is really mundane lol.

Thanks!

Mary March 16, 2020 at 8:10 pm

I’m Mary. I’m mostly a music teacher I guess and some(very lucky)times, a professional Classical singer.

A bubble bath is taking place before me, after a long day of being alone, cleaning, organizing, and thinking how weird it is that a lot of the world now feels how I often feel-cooped up, cut off. I’m off from all 4 of my jobs this week and am pondering how to start making steps to make my life more like I had hoped it would turn out. Lol it sounds heavier than it is.

I am mostly OK. I have wonderful parents and siblings and friends whom I’m concerned about, so I’m staying away for now, which makes me sad. But mostly OK.

Thank you for your post. They always make me feel more connected to myself and the world.

David Cain March 16, 2020 at 8:23 pm

Mundane is good. I appreciate the sense imagery too. Best to you and your roommate and Geordi the snake.

Jacky March 17, 2020 at 3:09 am

Deanna, “My apartment has blue walls and the TV is on” is the BEST comment!! Says it all re what social isolation is like for most of us. That was until I realised that ‘sanke’ is ‘snake'(!) so that does make your social isolation rather more exciting than most people’s haha

Cassandra Arnold March 17, 2020 at 9:48 am

That doesn’t sound mundane! Must be quite a change at campus

Mark March 16, 2020 at 8:10 pm

Bostonian here. The city is totally shut down, no restaurants, bars, etc. I’ve been working remote for the past week and MBA classes are online til further notice. Spirits are good though. Socially distanced in a loft apartment with my girlfriend, which can make things challenging when we’re both on conference calls.

Love this idea, David. I’m normally introverted and jump at the chance to stay home and veg. I’ve found myself on Reddit (lurking only) more often than usual, perhaps for a bit of social interaction. Or to assure myself by reading the rational thoughts of others on the stock market plunging.

Take care!

David Cain March 16, 2020 at 8:36 pm

I’ve also been finding myself on Reddit more. There is a sense of camaraderie to be found there, although it’s easy to get stuck.

Alex Kidder March 17, 2020 at 6:55 am

You should make a subreddit for us to hangout in!

Neill Kramer March 16, 2020 at 8:17 pm

I live in Bali, Indonesia and the coronavirus has apparently affected only 1 person, but it’s hard to believe that. We do know that the virus has more difficulty in hot weather and so if the virus is here it might die quickly or not spread successfully.

I run a small hotel and we have guests from around the world who mostly make a living remotely. So they are happier in Bali than in their home countries, as the restrictions and risks are.probably greater.

Sarah March 16, 2020 at 8:30 pm

Hi. I like this idea! I’ve read your blog for a couple of years now…I connect with some posts more than others, but there are a few that I have printed off and hanging on the wall to keep in mind.
I’m 31 and I work as a nurse in a university clinic in the Midwest. I’m also a part time online student. It’s pretty weird now because my days are super busy and things are constantly changing and stressful and weird, but I go home in the evening to do my homework and everything is closed and so quiet (I usually go to a coffee shop to work cause I don’t like being home alone much). My boyfriend recently had to move to another city a few hours away for a new job, and I’m trying to stay away from my parents so I don’t potentially expose them to the virus if I’m carrying it from being exposed at work.
Right now I’m taking a break for dinner (egg curry) and iMessaging friends. I’m sitting in my cute living room with all my plants and a cooking show playing on Netflix. Thank you for your writing!

Miser Mom March 16, 2020 at 8:38 pm

I’m a college professor. On Monday, the students (well, heck, the professors, too) were complaining about losing one hour of sleep by springing forward. But the springing forward is all behind us, and now it’s hard to believe that that one hour could have gotten us so riled up. I got to bring my dog to office hours so students could get some animal love before they headed away, and then I dove into trying to figure out how to move my class on line.

Outside, the Pennsylvania weather is just gorgeous. There’s a lot of inducement to remember that the world is pretty beautiful, even if we do have to pull back from physical contact with people for a while.

Kelly S. March 16, 2020 at 9:08 pm

Hi! I’m a 38 yo woman living with my husband and 2.5 yr old son in NYC. Things are bonkers here. I work in Finance, currently on day 6 of “working from home”. While everything feels a bit upside down right now, my husband and I are incredibly lucky that we’re continuing to be paid through this epidemic, we have a happy and hilarious toddler at home to keep us entertained, and we genuinely like hanging out together, so quarantine has thus far been ok. The uncertainty of everything right now, however, is scary and your blog posts are always a great read, and a very good way to put life into perspective. Thank you!

Tracy March 16, 2020 at 10:24 pm

Reading from Kirkland WA, which was known only for being the origin of Costco until a couple weeks ago. I work in local government, so everything has been totally out of the ordinary since this all started! My routines are all out the window at work and at home. Our poor little downtown has been deserted for weeks already and I’m worried whether many of our local businesses will make it. One of the things I love most about our downtown is that it’s almost all independent businesses or small local chains and I’d hate to lose that.

I’m lucky to be young and healthy, and have a job that can be done from home, but it’s hard not to feel anxious following the news day in and out. Fortunately I got to escape on a weeklong vacation in February so I came into this all with a little rest behind me.

Hoping to get some veggies planted in my garden beds while I’m cooped up at home! I never got around to planting anything last year so this will be my silver lining. I’m also planting some flower seeds, I think I’ll really appreciate some pretty pink cosmos come summer.

Austin mom March 17, 2020 at 12:19 am

Single-ish 48-yo mom of a near-teenager in Austin TX.

Things started feeling quite surreal last Wed or Thurs, but I think that’s just because I read a lot and could see the writing on the wall before it was evident to my partner or friends. I haven’t left the house since Thursday but will need to go to two medical appointments this week — even though I’m fairly sure my “elective” surgery to fix my shoulder will be postponed due to the virus. (Which is completely okay. I’m just grateful to be in less pain this week than before.)

I’ve worked remotely for a number of years — my entire team does — and so my job hasn’t changed at all yet (although I do worry about layoffs when the economy tanks). My managers haven’t even reached out to see how we are doing, which is odd but I guess understandable given that we are the lucky ones; and they also have a lot more than usual on their plate right now.

My middle schooler is home for at least 3 weeks, and probably longer; I’d be surprised (and upset) if they don’t figure out a virtual solution for the remaining two months.

Anyway we’re doing okay, aside from the anger that I feel toward those on FB…friends and strangers alike…who are taking a more casual approach to the situation. People who are traveling to beaches/ski resorts/etc over spring break, and even those who are local but taking their kids out to restaurants or to local arcades — seemingly just to make a point in many cases — I am having really struggling with unhealthy levels of anger. Not jealousy, to be clear; I just don’t understand why they can’t make the tiniest of sacrifices for the greater good. Most of these people seem generally intelligent and educated, so they must understand the whole concept of “flattening the curve” by now; and their breezy attitude towards it all is just hard to swallow. I probably need to get off social media for awhile; but since it’s the only connection I have to anyone beyond the house, I haven’t taken that step yet.

ElsieJoy Davis March 17, 2020 at 1:16 am

Am a seventy one year old, ‘at risk’ female in North East Lincolnshire,England. I am in my first week of ‘Self Isolation’ for at least three, if not four months and am not sure how I will cope. I regularly get my groceries delivered each week and have done for many years, so the cat will be fed at least.
I am writing this on my Kindle and I am sitting outside in my garden, wrapped up in blankets with the cat on my knee. It is 6.15am, have just fed the birds and am watching the first arrivals.

Tony March 17, 2020 at 1:17 am

Writing from Fort Collins, Colorado. My girlfriend is heavily pregnant – about to go into labor any day. Up until last week, we had been only mildly concerned about the virus. However, starting Friday – the entire town’s mood has changed. City streets that used to be busy are deserted. Restaurants and bars have been closed. Our city offers several community activities, all of which have been suspended. Schools have been canceled, many daycares too. We have a 3 yr old but since we’re both unemployed, we can stay home with him. I’m concerned for employees of businesses that are getting hit from the effects of the virus. The flu may only be around for a month, but if the businesses don’t survive, that’s gonna hurt the people who worked there.
For now – I’m grateful that the grocery stores are still open, mail and courier services are working. Hopefully after it’s all over, we’ll realize how alike we all are and come a little bit closer together as people.

David Cain March 17, 2020 at 8:09 am

This is one thing I’m thinking about a lot — ordinary life must go on in many ways, and part of that is that people need essential medical services unrelated to the virus… births need to happen, medications need to get to patients, and other illnesses aren’t going to take a break for this one. Best to you and your partner.

Pat March 17, 2020 at 1:24 am

Just a few words to say I’m with you. I’m an older person who has been living a mostly alone life. I cannot say that isolation is terrible as it is what I have chosen and I am very happy with it. I have supplies for an indefinite time but did not need to go to the stores lately to hard them. It’s just my way of buying enough for a few months or so at a time. I do appreciate Facebook as it keeps me up to date with what is going on and my e-books keep me happy to go with the characters in whatever they are up to. Thank you raptitude for your on target words.

Michelle March 17, 2020 at 1:24 am

Hello! I’m 28, living in San Diego, CA. I caught what was probably a cold a little over a week ago, so my husband and I have been self-quarantined just in case since then. Setting aside my worries about the rest of the world and my family, it has been a nice time to isolate—it’s been raining off and on, which makes a quiet evening and a home-cooked meal very inviting. It’s the perfect excuse to stay in and work on projects I’ve been putting off for a while, like repainting my office and trying out figure drawing.

San Diego is in the phase of cases where things are beginning to spread to the community, and so social distancing has the biggest potential to effect things if it happens now. Schools have just shut down, and I’m hoping that businesses will follow suit shortly. Later this week, I will head out for the first time in two weeks to pick up some medicine and groceries. I hope to see many fewer people while out, but I’m not sure the rest of the city has come to that conclusion yet. I am lucky in that my elderly relatives understand the risks at play and are staying home—I have friends whose aunts and grandparents are more skeptical about such things.

Jacinta March 17, 2020 at 1:25 am

I’m an ICU nurse in Australia and although the worst is yet to come to us, we (the healthcare workers) are very much getting ourselves physically and mentally prepared for what is to come.

Coronovirus really has shown us how interconnected we really are.

Robin Taylor March 17, 2020 at 1:32 am

Hey David,

Been with you since 2014-ish. Ive done Camp Calm with you for 4 seasons and Camp Calm Relax. Here’s a free plug for you to anyone that’s reading this, hands-down best meditation courses you’ll ever take, I could extol their virtues ad nauseam but I’ll keep things in the frame of your article. Things in Victoria are ok, alot has been canceled/postponed in our lives to which I can’t be more thankful. Our government has had an extremely defensive/mitigatory attitude since last week and im hopeful that the situation won’t become as dire than in other countries. I’ve found myself to become a bit of a news-aphobe recently. Usually researching things to fully understand them but with all of the updates, comments, opinions and shock-and-awe, I’ve found myself seemingly “headline-numb”. Gardening has been absolutely awesome too, a small semblance of control in a sterile environment. Also my ceiling fan looks a bit dusty, should give me something to do tomorrow.
Thanks for all your writing David, I’m going to silk-screen myself a Camp Calm T shirt one day, I’ll send you one too, what size are you?

David Cain March 17, 2020 at 8:13 am

Thanks Robin. We will be doing a Camp Calm season soon, and it’s probably not a bad time for it, seeing as there’s a lot of anxiety out there, and a lot of people suddenly have some time on their hands.

I am also feeling headline-numbness. I’ve been reading piles about the virus and the evolving situation, and now it is starting to seem redundant.

I’m size L :)

Alisa March 17, 2020 at 1:35 am

I’m 41, living in Washington DC while trying to figure out my next steps in life as I left a job at a bank 1.5 years ago to pursue an MFA in classical acting in at GWU. It didnt work out and I left after one semester, didn’t do one thing for approx. for 8 months because I was shocked, confused and lost, then started looking for a job I didnt want and didn’t find one after hard core search of 3 months, needed money so started working in a bar next to my apt, finally able to pay my rent and pay off a small loan to a friend when I was struggling. Worked 6-7 days a week and it all came to a grinding halt today when the bars and restaurants shut down. I was at work yesterday and very few people came out and I could feel that it’s more of a risk to stay open. Well,I no longer have to worry about that but the big issue now is how will I pay rent in April. I have money to pay off the loan to my friend which I was hoping to be done with this month, so I can finally figure out what’s next for me. Return to NYC, move somewhere else, pursue another degree. Now none of it matters. Now it’s survival mode. I don’t have sick leave or qualify for unemployment in DC, so what are we all, tipped employees are supposed to do? No clue. But with this extra time, I hope to restart meditating, writing my morning pages, and exercise at home, which I all abandoned after work has taken its toll (whatever ppl think, serving and being on your feet for long period of time in your 40s is hard and you’re relying on ppl’s tips to live, with $3/hour from the employer only if you didnt make minimum wage from tips). I live alone and the day 1 of isolation is scaring me even though I enjoy solitude and do a lot of things on my own. I live on a very busy street in downtown DC near the GWU campus and it’s eerie how quiet it is but I am enjoying it as well. All the GWU students who make up a lot of the neighborhood were forced off campus and will not return after spring break because all classes will be taught online through the end of spring semester. The composition of this neighborhood will change for the foreseeable 3 months and even if the bar will reopen, about half of our clientele and colleagues were students, so that’s gone too. I’m scared about everything but mostly finances and not being able to see my parents who are in their 70s and live in Israel. God forbid (or whatever entity) something happens to them, I cant fly out to Israel because it has stopped all flights I believe. So here I am. Grateful to be able to share on this forum with strangers. Thank you, David, your blog has always opened my eyes to things and I appreciate it.

David Cain March 17, 2020 at 8:21 am

I appreciate your story here. Financial challenges are going to be a major part of the fallout from this, and I hope that means governments will be stepping in to help. Some countries are already announcing policies, but they will certainly vary a lot. It’s just so hard to see what the future might look like. Best of luck to you. You are definitely not alone.

Alisa March 18, 2020 at 3:54 pm

Thank you, David. That was very kind of you to read and comment.

Sophia March 17, 2020 at 1:37 am

Hi! I’m 27, living in a shoebox studio apartment in the East Village, NYC. It’s been a tough week; I was traveling abroad when all this broke, so I had to book an impromptu flight home. I’m just coming out of a major depressive episode, and while I obviously understand why it’s the case, being told I can’t go get the physical connection I need to regulate my nervous system and stabilize my mental health feels very very bad. I’ve moved through a lot of rage and anxiety over the past few days. I’m not sure how I’m going to survive the possibility of months alone in this tiny apartment without spiraling into a very dark place. I do feel very grateful to at least have a stable remote-friendly career, though, and I do look forward to tackling some at-home creative projects I’ve been putting off.

Léo March 17, 2020 at 1:39 am

Brazilian, 28 years old! I labor as an analyst in a court of law. Since the previous week, everyone is getting more sheltered.
Each day, we’re becoming more overwhelmed about the outcomes of covid-19.
Thanks, David!

plongeaux March 17, 2020 at 1:41 am

Hi David and my fellow Raptitudians – I’m lying in my bed here in California’s Central Valley, two and a half hours from the Bay Area and just down the hall from the office where my wife’s tapping away on her laptop. We’ve been cloistered for 2 or 3 days now, although, we made a couple of trips to the pet supply store and supermarket. Things may get a little intense even here because of our proximity to the Bay Area.
I won’t be teaching my Wednesday classes in digital iPad art to adult artists with developmental disabilities until things settle down. I’m 63, and I can afford to stay home and paint and draw on my iPad.
It seems to me that people’s minds aren’t wandering as much as usual. I know mine isn’t as much. Maybe there’ll be advances in mindfulness, at least temporarily.
Thanks, David for creating this virtual “symposium,” a cool word which means gathering at a common well. It’s refreshing under these emergent circumstances. Paul

Alice March 17, 2020 at 8:58 am

I hope to learn how to use an ipad for art during this time. Is there a resource you would recommend?

PAUL J LONGO March 17, 2020 at 11:05 am

There are tons of resources online and artist pages and user groups on FB and Instagram. Look up #ipadart and #ipadartists for starters. Try looking through Janette Leeds’ posts at https://janetteleedsart.com/ she’s so good a explaining all kinds of techniques. One more: Jeremy Sutton at https://jeremysutton.com/ipad-art
Let me know if I can be of any further assistance; and, have fun. There’s no clean up and unlimited undos!!!!!!!!! Share your work when! Get those little zeros and ones out of your device and onto social media or on paper, metal, canvas, sides of buses, etc.

Alice March 18, 2020 at 8:49 am

Thank you, Paul!

Catrina March 17, 2020 at 1:42 am

What a brilliant idea, David!
I’m in Cape Town, originally from Switzerland. Currently, there are 62 Coronavirus cases in South Africa.
Things are still relatively “normal” here, but they will explode very soon. I am trying to get my elderly parents out of the country, but all flights to Europe are full.
I feel anxious for them, but am trying to stay optimistic.

Margaret March 17, 2020 at 1:42 am

Checking in from Vancouver, BC. It’s been the perfect day here, not a cloud in the sky, cherry blossoms bursting forth, daffodils, crocus blooming. Doesn’t Mother Nature know they know there’s a pandemic ? I am 74 and lost my husband in January to a brain tumour after 54 years of marriage. Yes life is sad but looking around me today amidst all the doom and gloom I couldn’t help but feel hope springing forth all around me.

Ryan Lynch March 17, 2020 at 1:42 am

I’m a 34 year old guy, living in a guestroom at my sisters house, economically recovering from hiking the Appalachian Trail last year ; ). I came home to find my mother had lost more weight than I did, and now the three of us are under one roof, with her now in home hospice care.
It’s strange to see my local outdoor club and meditation sangha close for a month, and possibly longer. You’re right though, we forget the tools we have, and it would be interesting to see what a group dharma talk/meditation session might be like via Skype or a similar platform.
I’ve been reading for about five years, and I’ve really enjoyed your work. You capture so much under that “getting better at being human” heading! We have so much more in common than we have in differences, maybe a shared worldwide challenge will remind us of that?

Tony March 17, 2020 at 1:43 am

Manchester, UK (North West England) where we’ve just been told to begin the “shut down” as we’re only a few weeks behind Italy/Spain. As someone with health issues, that means working from home and no personal contact. However, my wife works at a doctors, so her work is essential and she’ll be coming and going!

I’m more concerned about others: the homeless, the lonely, people in refugee camps around the world, etc.

Kathleen March 17, 2020 at 1:50 am

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and a mandatory “shelter-in-place”’ policy is scheduled to begin in about 15 minutes. My husband, two teenagers, and I decided to start social distancing last Saturday after keeping up with the news and worrying about my husband’s vulnerability due to his age and asthma. The kids’ high school is closed until at least April 13th and the shelter-in-place mandate means that all non essential businesses will close, too. I work remotely doing customer support so I’m still able to work, despite the closures, but I worry about the security of my position since I was one of the last people hired. When I take the dog out for walks, my neighborhood is much quieter and it feels like everyone is holding their breath, waiting for what’s going to happen next. Thanks for your blog and for keeping us all connected.

Linda March 17, 2020 at 1:51 am

I’m a 32 year old in the Netherlands. Since yesterday all schools, restaurants, sport facilities and bars are obligatory closed. I have a webshop from home and I continue to work as it got very busy now everyone is at home. My partner and 1,5 year old son are at home too. I think it’s cozy and nice to be together. I feel a bit stressed about the future but at the moment our country is doing fine. Not that many cases, health care can handle it fine. It is said that 60% of the population will and should get the virus and recover, this will protect the older and weaker people from catching it.

RupyTN March 17, 2020 at 1:51 am

63yo male, reading from Adelaide Australia.

It has been an interesting but quite frustrating time here from my perspective. It was quite apparent around Christmas time, (from all of the vision of China’s experiences plus the fact they saw a necessity to build a hospital in a fortnight!) that the new, unnamed at that time Covid-19, was a serious worldwide threat if (when) it left China.

However, SO many jurisdictions around the world, and definitely in Australia have sat on their collective hands during the one real sweet spot when this virus could have been controlled in a much more efficient way. Our politicians had a blithe disregard whenever on camera, and continue with their collective arrogance. They should be held accountable. They after all are the people with the levers of power who most definitely had the ability to control people and borders and keep their little taxpayers safe. Now they offer us our own money back and expect a pat on the back … tut tut, no touching!

Regardless of the fools in power there seems little to be done than take control of what can be controlled. My partner and I have still gone shopping weekly for our usual items, at least that which hasn’t been grabbed in bulk in a frenzied panic by other people. I don’t agree one little bit with panic buying but understand the human psyche will draw its own conclusions when there is a vacuum instead of solid information.

For now my partner and I continue to go to our small business (started 63 years ago by my partners parents the same year I was born), and hope that the inevitable downturn doesn’t sink us. We have taken personal pay cuts and are negotiating with employees to use up some holiday/long service pay where possible.

We are at war with an enemy that doesn’t feel, just invades. Pathetic politicians who are too scared or arrogant to act decisively for fear of their populist agenda and their own political wellbeing are working with this enemy, not against it.

This is to use a well worn cliché, ‘a game changer’. We will come out the other side of this with our lives before 2020, and our lives after. That’s not being dramatic, merely realistic. All those businesses which are experimenting with their employees working remotely will have a long hard look after this at whether they need all that expensive real estate or whether they can be a lighter and more modular organisation. The upheaval is only just starting, and like an earthquake, the landscape will be different afterwards.

RTN

Laurie March 17, 2020 at 1:53 am

Hello David. I sent you the wild rice recipe not too long ago! Things have changed a lot since then, and we don’t even know how much in our own town. We left for vacation almost a week ago to Hawaii, and are scheduled to return home later this week. We’ve gotten e-mails since leaving about schools closing, the gym closing, and at midnight in Oregon, all restaurants closing. There really isn’t panic here or an emptying of grocery shelves, (we don’t know their “normal”), but we may certainly feel culture shock when we (if we get to) return home. We will all go THROUGH this, and you are right in saying it feels a bit less isolated having internet connections. Breathe, practice calm, absorb peace, cherish connections . Aloha!

Anne March 17, 2020 at 1:58 am

Greetings from Sheffield, UK. Thankyou for suggesting this, David – I often wonder about the people behind the comments I read here. Our government has been slow to impose restrictions, but they’ve finally arrived, and all the theatre, opera and art exhibitions that are my lifeblood will almost certainly be cancelled. Coming home last night from the first casualty of that policy, which had been cancelled at an hour’s notice, I felt quite tearful about what lies ahead. I’m an introvert and do pretty well by myself, but weeks or months alone is a rather different prospect to a few days. But I’ve been preparing. I have a long list of projects that I never seem to find time for – everything from deep-cleaning the house to finishing some quilts to watching the operas that the Met and others are streaming for free during the crisis. I’ve even bought a bigger-screen TV to make the last of those easier – I reckon that refunds on tickets will almost pay for it! I’m in my 60s and have just escaped the self-isolation imposed on over-70s, so I intend to offer to shop for my older friends. And to step up my ongoing attempts to be a positive presence on social media – a lot of people are going to be struggling. The risk to mental health from isolation and anxiety must be immense. I think we need to be very intentional about how we plan our days, to keep ourselves as well as possible, mentally and emotionally as well as physically.

Gina March 17, 2020 at 1:59 am

Hi! I’m 36 and live in South West England. Life has been carrying on as normal here until yesterday when the government changed its advice to encourage social distancing. It’s 7am and I’m waiting to see if my office will open. I feel pretty lucky, my partner and I have pretty stable jobs, and much of our work can be done remotely. We have the resources to cope but are looking to see how we can help others in our community who are not so fortunate. I’m worried about the long term impact but hopeful that this crisis will lead to greater social equality as people realise the impact of our current ways of living. I’ve been a reader of this blog for 10 years now but this is the first time I’ve commented so while I’m here I just wanted to say thank you David for all the wisdom and insight you share here. Hope you all stay safe and well.

Lindsey March 17, 2020 at 2:03 am

I’m in Northern Nevada, US, where I recently moved to be closer to my only sibling, and to “reset” in life, so to speak. I’m sitting in the dark drinking chamomile tea to calm my nerves, watching my cat zoom around in my small basement apartment. I can hear laughter from the teenage sons of the family who own the home above me. Normally I would be annoyed, but right now, it’s comforting… I guess the schools here have been shut down until April 15th.

I work as a housekeeper at the moment, in a hotel located off of a major interstate. The uncertainty of my employment has me a bit worried. With everything going on, our small staff is scrambling between keeping ourselves safe, while maintaining the safety of our guests, who are primarily doctors, nurses, and geologists from surrounding areas, who stay with us for months at a time. (Mining is the big thing here, and the small local hospital is severely understaffed.)

It’s all very overwhelming and strange…but it’s a beautiful night. I can see the stars outside my window, and there’s a quiet calmness in the air. Almost as if the universe took a deep, exhausted breath, and is preparing for whatever tomorrow has to bring.

Leah S March 17, 2020 at 2:04 am

Hi folks. This is a fun idea. I’m currently sitting in a rocking chair in the living room of a small Airbnb condo on the Big Island of Hawaii. I got here yesterday, but live in San Francisco. I was supposed to travel to the east coast to visit my family (and meet my new nephew – sister just had a baby) and then head to Thailand for a couple weeks because I’m changing jobs and had a month of time off in between. That plan unraveled in the middle of last week for obvious reasons and I thought a few days alone on a domestic beach would be a nice and sensible alternative. But this morning SF issued a shelter-in-place order that takes affect tonight. Now I’m wondering if I should return early. Hawaii is a pretty great place, but I do not want to be stuck here for the foreseeable future should the US institute a domestic air travel ban.

I’m also slated to start my new job this coming Monday. I’ll be able to work from home, which I am very grateful for, but it’s certainly a strange atmosphere to begin in. My friends back in the city have been proactive about setting up online hangouts for games, dinners, and just chatting, and that’s been great so far.

I keep a thermometer in my purse now and have been taking my temperature 5-6 times a day. What a crazy time we’re living through.

Natalie Doud March 17, 2020 at 2:10 am

I’m an artist living in Seattle. Been reading on and off for about 8 years now. I just started compiling a collection of my favorite corvid-19 related poetry. Would love more contributions for the collection https://medium.com/pandemic-poetry

Alice March 17, 2020 at 10:20 am

I love what you’re doing, and I hope you don’t mind if I let you know that it’s “covid”…a corvid is a crow. :-)

Laura March 17, 2020 at 2:11 am

By the time I hit the “submit” button on this comment, the “shelter in place” orders will have gone into effect here in the San Francisco Bay Area. We’ve got a full house here. My two college-age girls are now at home; their universities both shutdown in-person classes and moved online over the last few days. My son is in high-school and the whole district shut down for the week as the teachers figure out how to move to online teaching. My husband is in academia and is now working from home, indefinitely. I work remotely with colleagues that are all over the world doing artificial intelligence for good, so there is no change for me. We’re needing to set up a bandwidth priority schedule to juggle the Zoom meetings/classes that we all need participate in!

My elder two kids are feeling down and angry about the impact this isolation is having and will have on them. And they’re scared. My biggest worry right now is supporting them.

Mostly I’m feeling grateful.

Great idea David.

Tanja M March 17, 2020 at 2:11 am

I’m in Ljubljana, Slovenia. I’ve been unemployed for a few months and was in between jobs when this all started. While on a skiing holiday two weeks ago, I managed to hang out with someone who ended up testing positive for corona, so I put myself into self-isolation right when I got back from my trip. I just started a new job based in Vienna, Austria yesterday but we’re all working remotely now as Austria’s pretty much done a complete lockdown (the right decision, I think)!! It’s very strange starting a job remotely. I also don’t really know how things are in Slovenia as I’ve been in my flat for over a week now! Connecting with people online is definitely what’s keeping me sane though. :)

Peter Burton March 17, 2020 at 2:14 am

Hi everybody
David, I laughed out loud at your original intention for the post. The real powers that be have a wonderful sense of humour, right?!
It’s almost 7am here in Reading, a town in England about 50 kms west of London. I’m sitting in the living room of my partner’s apartment where we’ve lived for the past 20 years.
I look out of the big picture window onto the communal grounds with grass, shrubs & trees all showing the early signs of Spring. So the natural world reassures me that real life goes on and will go on as it has done for all time with or without humans.
I do think the response to this virus is extreme. Compared with daily human-created suffering through wars and wealth inequality, the actual deaths created by this virus are minute. For almost everyone, it will be a mildly uncomfortable few days.
I’m sad for the small businesses that are being impacted by the measures being put in place and for people in jobs that are poorly protected. I sincerely hope that people are ‘bailed out’ in the way that banks were in 2008.
Thanks, David, for the opportunity to reach out & connect with others.

Maureen Walters March 17, 2020 at 2:17 am

I am looking out my window in Harare, Zimbabwe ! I personally don’t feel afraid being relatively young (50ish) and in excellent health, however I do know that our country has no working health system and I am very afraid for the vulnerable people in our community, these will be people with names and faces, and it will be heartbreaking.

Christine March 17, 2020 at 2:18 am

We are ‘stuck in Palm Cove, Queensland.
We did a
3,000 km road trip from Melbourne to renovate our apartment up here.
Looks like we might not be able to get home. But there are worser places to be.
Xxxxx

Anna March 17, 2020 at 2:20 am

I’m a freelance writer from New Zealand, and not sure how my work is going to hold up this year. We now have 12 cases of coronavirus in our country, but no community transmission as yet. It will come. Our beloved prime minister Jacinda Ardern has imposed a 14-day self-isolation term for people arriving from overseas, and is deporting those who don’t comply. She’s also just announced a government aid package at 4% of GDP which has helped with worries a lot today. As of right now, I have a headache, sore throat and aches. Hoping the travelling I did recently hasn’t given me the virus.

Marian March 17, 2020 at 3:31 am

All the best to you Anna. I hope you get well soon. x

Anna March 17, 2020 at 2:23 am

Hi, I’m a British 41 year old. When I read your blog just now David and this idea I felt like crying! There is so much emotion attached to what is happening. I am sitting in my lovely dining room in a house built in 1750 near Cirencester in the Cotswolds in England. I have my two greyhounds with me (Alfie and Clare) and I’m here safe and sound with my husband. We are so very very lucky that we can hide out here. Our village is very small with a lot of elderly residents, no shop, no school, no pub (very unfortunate!). The church is one mile away – the village used to be next to it but they moved the village during the Black Death plague in the 17th century. Imagine having to do that. Now we can call and Skype as you say!! We are both able to work from home. My husband has the rights to hunt deer on neighbouring land so we have a freezer full of venison. Everything about this situation makes me realise how privileged I am. My husband has severe asthma and so is at high risk. I have elderly relatives who probably wouldn’t make it through if they caught it. The concern I have is more about the mental strain on everyone from being so isolated. Your idea of having dinner via Skype is really good, I’m going to try that with my folks. I think we are in WW3 but the whole world is, hopefully, on the same side – that mentality starts with looking after your family and neighbour, then strangers however we can.

EG March 17, 2020 at 2:23 am

Hey David,

I have enjoyed your writing for years, thank you for this blog! I am an American software engineer. I left Spain on a plane for Bucharest to avoid the quarantine there.

Writing this from a house in the south of the city.

Everything is normal here, that’s in a sharp contrast to the scene unfolding in Valencia and other Spanish cities. It was like coming back from the future landing in a country with only a few dozen cases.

Now things are finally starting to change, grocery shelves are emptying and masks are showing up.

Thanks again,
EG

Marian March 17, 2020 at 2:25 am

Hi David, my name’s Marian. I’m reading this in England, eating my breakfast before my husband gets up. I’m crying because I’m scared, and so sad for the world. I’m not sleeping well for the worry. My husband is 70, thankfully in good health. I have a grown-up son who lives alone nearby with mental health problems and resultant poor physical health. I have a sister and a brother not far away. My elderly, ill parents live nearby. I have to go out to help look after them. My daugher and granddaughter, who I’ve seen only once, live in Japan. They were supposed to be coming here this summer. I have a compromised immune system, limited mobility from rheumatoid arthritis and a back problem, though I can get about, diabetes & high blood pressure. We’ve just been advised here in England not to go out unless necessary. The shops are being cleared of food. I’ve been running through a regime in my mind of how to buy petrol without coming into contact with any surfaces. I have hand gel but antiviral wipes give me migraine. A trip abroad with a group of friends at the weekend has been cancelled. My WI and craft group are cancelled. My thai chi class is cancelled. That’s my lot. Thankfully I’m in a much better situation than many. I do what I can to stay healthy and support my loved ones. Thank goodness for the wonderful technology that helps us stay in touch. I try to be positive, but sometimes it all just breaks through. I just keep telling myself that this will pass.

Robert March 17, 2020 at 2:31 am

Robert in northern Sweden. At work. Not lonely. Good hope.

E Murphy March 17, 2020 at 2:32 am

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster”, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world.
—Fred Rogers

Thank you David. You are one of those helpers. Warm wishes to you all for Leverkusen, Germany.

Leeann March 17, 2020 at 2:34 am

Lots to be learnt from what the world is going though right now. I feel like I am in a dystopian movie. I’m from Australia. Yep the place that’s had droughts, fire, and now corona virus and its only March. The recent catastrophic fires really brought out the best in people and it was great to see everyone pull together and step up to help each other. We’ve slipped up a bit with the virus and we have seen the uglier side of peoples behavior including irrational panic buying. I am hoping that we will soon see a return to the rational behavior and start looking after everyone as we are all in it together. We may have to take care of each other from a distance but I want to come out of this feeling happy with how I dealt with the situation, not ashamed and embarrassed about how selfish I was. Best wishes to everyone.

Terentius March 17, 2020 at 2:35 am

Terentius from Tanzania. We got our first corona patient yesterday in the country. I am 62 and I live in the villages. Many people do not seem to be aware of the disease. So we, I, have a task on my hand.
At present I live alone in a fenced two acre garden with bananas and maize. I feel safe, confident, and hopeful.

Maciek March 17, 2020 at 2:37 am

Maciek (pronounce: MUH-check. It’s supposed to be short for Maciej – MUH – chey. Don’t ask. Polish is ridiculous.), 37, translator, a year ago switched 180 degrees to become a software developer. My path on the way to pulling off that switcheroo began when I started reading your blog a few years ago, when I was working for a translation company and I started feeling as if I was spending eight hours a day repeatedly pressing a single button in a factory of Useless Junk Inc.
I live in Warsaw, Poland. The city center feels like ghost town, but where I live it seems to be business as usual. There are fewer people in the streets, but there is no shortage of bikers, hikers, runners and dog walkers.
My office shut down and all of us are working 100% remotely, but to me this makes almost no difference, as I was working remotely 80% of the time anyway. I have a 9-month son and I’m so grateful to fate that it seems the virus doesn’t affect children.
I earn enough so that my wife doesn’t have to work, so we can hunker down at home and live reasonably normally.

Paul van Hoek March 17, 2020 at 2:39 am

Hi Dave, I am 57 years old and living in the Netherlands. I am following your blog over quite some years now and I can’t help reading it each time you start up a new topic. At one time I was even close at trying Camp David as it appealed so much to me. But as with many projects, financial reasons or work kept me from following through on your offer.
Each time I read your blog I find something surprising and or interesting which wants me to pass the message forward. I.e. the time you mentioned to enjoy little tasks like emptying the dishwasher or clean your house in general. It really helps to see it as a joyful task and not as a nuisance as your face will take the form of your mood for the (little) job, which will return endlessly anyhow. This was just a small eyeopener and I realise you’ve written on so many subjects, like staying in a black tank in the water for many hours without any light or other stimuli (I still wouldn’t go for that one). Sometimes you need a lot of words to get across your message, but I forgive you for that. Keep up the good work and blogging! One of your steady readers! Paul

Christy March 17, 2020 at 2:40 am

Hello David and readers, I am an American (and Italian citizen), 64, living on a tiny island in Greece with my husband and 6 cats, island population 8000; as of Sunday, all public places, restaurants and such are closed and the ferry will bring only supplies. No one is panicking, something I really appreciate about the Greek people. I am really hurting though for the islanders that are already struggling economically here, and now this. I feel that the extreme measures are – too extreme.
Easy for us to isolate, we live semi-rurally on the island, working on our sustainable home and huge garden, a 10 year+ project, we look out of huge windows on a beautiful view of springtime green and sea, so I count myself very lucky to be “stuck” here. For now the situation is not changing our lifestyle much although I am relieved that I returned here just 2 weeks ago after 2 months of travel – just in time. I did come back with a cold…so I was keeping away from people anyway. (I am over it now) I don’t have a TV (can’t stand it) but stay sufficiently connected via the internet with people all over the world. Isolation does not bother me in the slightest.
No cases of the virus yet reported here on Leros.
My charter sailing business will be heavily affected by the reaction to the virus; I take people on sailing holidays June to September, for now I only have 2 bookings made months ago. I have faith that people will book – last minute when the virus begins to come under control. I hope to see a change within a month or so.
I am more concerned about the worldwide knock on effect economically than anything else and view the position that the UK is taking as the most scientifically based and sane approach. There is no pat answer, no one knows where this is going to go. I see a bit of fear mongering going on, and feel that it would help if the current virus were compared more often to the “normal” ones that affect the world population each year.
Thank you for your continued interesting and thought provoking writing.

Anne-Marie March 17, 2020 at 2:42 am

Hi there, I’m In London reeling from the news that we mainly have to stay home for the forseeable future. I’ve woken up with a cold from the stress of it all I think. Schools are still open here and I’m just trying to work out whether I should send my little boy in (he has asthma). It is only a matter of time before they do it. I want to keep things normal for him as long as poss. He couldn’t get to sleep last night as he was worried about it all. He saw my face after the listening to the press conference and knew it was bad. Thanks for suggesting this, I’ve not done this before. When I look up I see my husband making coffee, my cat waiting to be fed, my back garden through the window and my washing drying on the airer. It all looks normal but also looks very different somehow. Good luck everyone and stay in touch. xx

Tony March 17, 2020 at 2:44 am

Hello David,
Im Tony m/44 in kilkenny, a small medieval city in south east Ireland. Ive just woken up from a good nights sleep. Lying here in my freshly painted bedroom listening to the national. I recently met a woman that I really like and Im wondering if it blossom into something.

I work in retail so my work continues as normal. Albeit with frequent hand washes. All St Patricks day festivities have been cancelled and the bars/pubs have been ordered to shut for a fortnight. Its noticably much quieter around.

Wendy March 17, 2020 at 4:10 am

Hi all, I’m Wendy, from Perth Australia.
My immediate family members are: husband and 2 sons – 18yrs & 20yrs. We also have a Maltese-Shihtzu (7yrs) whom we all adore & spoil.
I am a primary teacher, so getting lots of COVID-19 response updates on the job front. Schools are currently still open here, on a watch-and-wait basis from the Australian government and, ultimately, school. Obviously, teachers have all begun plans behind the scenes in the (expected) event that schools are instructed to close. In class, things appear normal and calm for students and families. The whole world is in the same situation, albeit some more serious than Australia, so my family is feeling okay and accepting that “this, too, shall pass”. Consumers have only recently gone crazy buying as if shops will never be open again! It is a little laughable, probably because we DO have toilet paper in the house!
Today it is drizzling. Its the start of season change to Autumn. The rain is refreshing and very welcomed.
This is actually my first year using my Raptitude Journal. I will be getting one each year because I love reading the tips and quotes. I’m an “organisation-maniac”, so love recording my commitments in my journal.
I’ve enjoyed reading some of the contributions from all over the world! I will make time to come back and read further comments… Take care everyone. Enjoy this season of difference for whatever it teaches us. W xx

Bernadette March 17, 2020 at 2:47 am

I live in a lovely coastal town in Australia. I’m 60 years old, and I look after my 86 year old mother who has suffered from severe vertigo for over 20 years.
Our normally buzzy little town is quiet without the tourists.
We have just fostered a stray cat who has had more than enough drama in his little life and needs to learn to trust people again.
After our horrific fire season we’re concerned about the vulnerability of people who lived with heavy fire smoke haze for months….
Just breathing fresh air and having toilet paper on the supermarket shelves are simple pleasures I took for granted.
And every day I’m reminded that being able to balance and walk, and run, is a gift!
This is a good time to focus on my online business and reach out to people who need to explore alternative ways of earning a living.
As Seth Godin mentioned this week, what we do next is a choice to react, or to respond, or to initiate. And right now is the single best time to initiate.
We can make things better.

Caroline March 17, 2020 at 5:39 am

Hi David, Caroline here. 32yo German living in Melbourne, Australia. I’ve had my first COVID-related work day from home today and have set up my workspace well (for the first time now that I am forced to do this for the foreseeable future) so I’m quite positive about the coming weeks. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful posts, I really appreciate them, especially during uncertain times.

Maya March 17, 2020 at 2:48 am

Hah, I’ve been reading your blog since day one and I don’t think I’ve ever commented. That’s bad reader etiquette, my apologies!

I’m a 27-year-old software engineer from Belgrade, Serbia. Since the beginning of this week, the country has been in a state of emergency, with schools, gyms, clubs and bars closing down. (Un)fortunately, Serbs are a very skeptical and very social people who don’t need open establishments to get together. The weather is chilly, but also sunny, the perfect early spring combination to draw masses out of their homes and into public spaces. It’s a little scary.

Every morning I walk my dog and survey the neighborhood. Sure, the school is closed, and there are fewer children about at 8am, but grannies are still towing their tote bags to crowded grocery stores, men on the local construction site practice more social bonding than social distancing. It’s surreal how dire the situation is but how little heed is being paid.

My life has largely been unaffected. I work from home and don’t socialize much, even on a good global health day. My boyfriend is in the same situation. We’re used to a bit of isolation. It’s not a drastic, begrudging change that has been imposed on us. The thing we miss the most, however? The gym. </3

Linet March 17, 2020 at 2:49 am

I’m in Miami, Florida, taking things one day at a time. I came back from Qingdao, China mid December, feeling really happy to have escaped the
Coronavirus. I was supposed to start a new job with Marriott next month but I got a call last Thursday to inform me the position has been cancelled because business is down 40%. I have been stuck at home since last Friday because I’ve developed a cold and I’m self-isolating in order to not make things worse. It is currently 3:43 am, my circadian rhythm is out of whack but things feel strangely peaceful and surreal.

Kim March 17, 2020 at 2:50 am

Kia ora, I’m Kim and I live in New Zealand. So far schools and universities are still operating. I took my 7 year old to her swimming lesson today and there were only a handful of people there. Our prime minister has cancelled any gatherings of 500 people and over. I have to take my elderly father to the hospital tomorrow so that feels a bit unnerving.

I really enjoy reading your blog David. I am also a Camp calm alumni. Although I haven’t sat on the cushion for quite some time. :-/

Antonia March 17, 2020 at 2:52 am

Hello and greetings from Berlin! Bulgarian living here. I’ve been reading your posts for years, I love them.
Things are getting quiet over here since the outbreak last week, but there are also waves of crazy traffic from time to time. I’ve been self-isolating for the last one week and working from home so it will be at least another 2-3 weeks like this. People are asked to work from home, schools are shut and public transportation is reduced among other measures. All this is scary and it’s not. I felt trapped last week and just this feeling made me feel super anxious along with reading news so I try to follow them in small chunks. On the good side I live next to a big park and a forest (in the city!) so I’ve been regularly going there, connecting with the universe and hugging trees as usual. Sun has been out a lot which was rare this winter so that’s a life changer too. I’m very positive that this pandemic is a wake up call for people to start living more sustainably, respectful to nature and people around them, in more harmony and love between them. I hope we get out of this transformed and start a new chapter in humanity.

Olga March 17, 2020 at 2:58 am

Hello, I have started reading your blog just recently.
It is a lovely sunny morning here in Helsinki, Finland.
Schools are closed now so I am enjoying spending some time with children (some reading before bed, cooking treats and etc).
I am a yoga teacher and I am not brave enough to go online. Yet ;) Practicing with my husband and it gives amazing calming effect. Especially the meditation part. He is really stressed bless him with everything that is going around (he works in retail) so I do what I can to support him.:)
Keeping healthy lifestyle, eating more mindfully (as when I am at home I want to eat constantly!)
So far, it is ok.
Interesting to read other comments as well and see the geography of your readers.
Thank you for this blog David and take care everybody!
Warm (virtual) hugs to all!

Jenny March 17, 2020 at 3:06 am

Hi, I’m Jenny (32f) and live in Germany, near Hanover. I’m taking a break from the first hour and a half working from home right now, listening to the Firewatch soundtrack and browsing through my feed reader. Everything smells like wood because we had a dinner table delivered yesterday. The house renovations aren’t finished yet, but sitting at this table is a big step up from working from the kitchen with its many distractions. The natural wood under my hands feels really nice, too.

The situation in Germany is a bit tense right now, with our chancellor having told us yesterday that more or less everything except supermarkets and health care is closed down. But I’m really, really proud of her (even though I don’t like her party’s politics) for delivering real facts in a calm and well thought through manner, after listening to different scientists and experts, with clear instructions on what to do and why, where this is meant to lead and who will be doing what. The huge difference compared to certain other world leaders couldn’t be more apparent these days.

Private life is really quiet right now, with no friends, family, or sports activities. It is also very nice, in a way, because working from home gives me 2-3 hours extra in a day that I don’t have to commute, more time in my beautiful new home (and garden! the weather is wonderful right now), and more time with my partner. I could have it so much worse in a time like this.

Greg March 17, 2020 at 3:10 am

I live in the middle of Paris, in an apartment from 1865 with a large gold framed mirror over a carved marble unused fireplace. Outside the window, I see stone buildings with wrought iron balconies on the 2nd and 5th floors. A tree is in blossom with tiny white flower in the triangular square in front of the house. I grew up in Pittsburgh, and love being in Paris. It is now calm and quiet in Paris, parents have taken their school-less children to grandparents houses in the country. Restaurants, cafés are closed. Bakeries and food stores are open. Everyone waiting for the viral tide to roll over us.
I have lots of empty canvases, and enough paint, so that is my quarantine project.
A longtime follower of this blog, I appreciate David’s outlook on life, as something to be discovered afresh, undogmatic, open to surprise. Thanks for writing it all these years.

Karen March 17, 2020 at 3:10 am

Hi. I’m Karen from the UK. I discovered your blog maybe a year ago. Our government has just taken a U-turn on social distancing, thankfully, as many Brits thought the previous stance was too little, too late. I’ve been voluntarily self isolating with my family for a week now, as my eldest son has had a cough. The schools are still open, but I’m not sending the kids as we have parents with health issues and can’t risk passing anything on. Our village is tight-knit and already making plans to support the elderly and vulnerable. Work wise, I’m very lucky. I run a small agency and we’ve always worked from home. Around a third of our clients have paused their retainers and more will no doubt join them, but they’ll come back. We’ll carry on helping them for nothing where we can – work is about relationships and partnership for us, not just money. My eldest son is relaxed about the situation. He’s on the spectrum and quite happy to live in a virtual world! My youngest is oblivious to the scale of the problem but is going to struggle with a lack of social contact. I am so grateful that we have enough food and enough space, including a small garden where we grow vegetables. My heart goes out to all families struggling in far less comfortable circumstances.

Frank Loughnane March 17, 2020 at 3:10 am

Hi All,
I’m an anaesthesiologist in Ireland. Today is St Patrick’s Day – happy St Patrick’s Day! – but one like no other.
I got up early this morning to make some soda bread. Bread making is good for the soul and meditative in a way.
We’re preparing and waiting for a tsunami of ill people. I think it’s going to be bad in even a best case scenario. We can see the numbers multiplying.
For me it’ll be a case of ‘head down and getting on with it’ and hopefully surviving physically and mentally.
Funnily, I had hoped and started to write a more cheerful account.

David Cain March 17, 2020 at 2:57 pm

The mention of soda bread did cheer me. Wishing you a safe and steady time at work.

Shanta March 17, 2020 at 3:12 am

Hope everyone is bearing up in their corners! My corner is London, England and there have been some new measures announced recently for social distancing, which have brought lots of panic for many. For me it means with my partner living abroad, I am working from home and on my own in our apartment. While this is refreshing, as a deep-set introvert, it is also scary when all our shops are ransacked and we are told 80% of us will be in infected! Trying to stay optimistic and sending happy thoughts, plus checking in with friends and colleagues who may not have others. Stay safe all!

Mary Dawson March 17, 2020 at 3:13 am

Hi,
I’m Mary. I live in a village in the Yorkshire Dales and work from home for a charity working to combat climate change. My work is precarious at the moment and my partner’s is also – he will be working from home from tomorrow but his industry is likely to start making job cuts soon. I’m frightened for our future more than I am for the illness itself.

I am, however, lucky enough to live in the middle of some beautiful countryside which is starting to come back to life after winter: birds, ducks and pheasants are all going about their daily business and teaching me that life goes on. My community is also rallying – a virtual village meeting is planned for tomorrow night and there is lots of support around.

I am also hopeful that there will be some positive unintended consequences come from this event, not least the chance for me to practice leaning into the uncertainty.

Thank you for this blog and for your humour and pragmatism. And thank you to everyone who has commented so far. x

Mandy March 17, 2020 at 3:14 am

Hi, my name is Mandy and I live in Cape Town in South Africa. I am sitting on my couch with my cat and about to make a coffee. I went to the gym this morning – so few people there – and them to get some food. At 08h00 the shop was mayhem with people stockpiling and long queues!! Our border for travel have been closed to affected countries, universities are shut as are many schools. I am luck to live next to a beautiful mountain and hike regularly and am half an hour away from the Indian Ocean on one side and the Atlantic on the other, so plenty of beauty to balance out the drama! Much love to you all !

Joy March 17, 2020 at 3:28 am

Hello David and everyone “out there.” It’s 3:50 am here in New Jersey, USA, and once again, I’m awake at an odd hour, worrying and wondering about the rapidly changing world. I’m a photographer who teaches online; a blogger (hilariously infrequent, although I’ve been thinking that now is a good time to begin again); a wife (to a doctor who is seriously stressed out after reading doctors’ firsthand accounts from Italy and preparing himself as best he can); and a mother (to a teenage boy who at first was freaking out that we weren’t letting him hang out with his friends but has finally come around, and to a middle school girl who is relieved she is getting a break from the Mean Girls at school, but sad we can’t do things together that we had planned). I’m an introvert who works from home, so it’s quite a shift having my family home with me so much. Not bad, just very different. The uncertainty of all of this is surreal. My heart goes out to all those struggling right now—physically, mentally, financially, and otherwise. Doing everything I can to be kind, positive, and creative each day. Hugging my velvety-eared dog is helping me, now more than ever. At the risk of sounding hippie-ish, I’m sending you all peace.

Julie March 17, 2020 at 3:29 am

Hi from Melbourne, Australia.
We are starting to see events cancelled here, social distancing, international travel restrictions (we have had to cancel an extensive US / Canada vacation). There is a lot of uncertainty around when measures will be ramped up.
We are seeing a lot of empty supermarket shelves. The recent bushfire crisis seemed to bring out the best in people, but now people are hoarding supplies and fighting over toilet paper rolls!
I work for a sizeable Church. We have closed our doors for services, and we are rapidly learning how to take our services online and use technology to keep in touch. Some of these measures will continue after the crisis is over.
I have a few craft works-in-progress I hope to finally finish when we are required to isolate. (And I have set up a space to work from home)

Jeremy Landreth March 17, 2020 at 3:36 am

Hi Raptitude readers and David! I’m in Anchorage, AK and been getting your blog post via email newsletter since 2014 as well been a camp calm member for a few seasons, go meditation! Alaskans have been on alert for the past week or so with news from the lower 48 and around the world on the chaos that will reach us soon. We are always the last on the supply chain for all types cargo so that never really has impacted me on learning how to keep large supplies of food and cargo for months at a time, I use to get my groceries by plane once a month. Today Anchorage initiated the social gathering ban that has been put in place all over and now restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and other socialite places are in lockdown until further notice. In the past I use to be isolated to areas that pertained to my work such as Antarctica, Arctic, and remote places around Alaska but as I have enjoyed the simple creatures of comfort from my home as going to the local coffee shop or bar to socialize with friends and neighbors, I shall no more. As a extrovert I am saddened by this but fully understand the ramifications that are involved and will adapt as needed. Maybe it’s time I read catch up on past Raptitude blogs or figure out to socialize on the interwebs, either way it’s a time that I will add my personal history books.

Tommy T March 17, 2020 at 3:36 am

I’ve been following you for a few years I think, and frankly you have proven quite helpful with some problems I’ve been working through, along with some other sites. I’ve recently lost a marriage, and a son. Both of those sucked profoundly. But I appreciate your insights, every article seems to hold relevance to what I am going through. Sometimes it is a real insight into something, I don’t know how that works, but it sure helps sometimes. Thanks for your contributions to our collective experience. I don’t have a lot of support during these troubled times, so I appreciate you and your insights very much. Peace!

Wendy March 17, 2020 at 3:40 am

Hello all.
I’m from sunny Weymouth, Dorset on the South coast of the UK. Nationally we have been advised to avoid pubs, restaurants, theatres etc. Over 70s are self isolating.
London is ahead of the curve in the UK, here in Dorset as usual we are behind. We have only have one confirmed case. We have no motorways and only a small airport. You could say we are relatively isolated.
All indoor social events are off. I shall continue with outdoor activities, walking and cycling, particularly on the beach.
My group of tennis playing friends, all over 60, many living alone, are looking out for each other via a watts app group. I’m shopping for an elderly neighbour. Everyone is wondering about the best way to handle the new guidelines and stay sane.
We all need fresh air and sunshine. If you are self isolating open the windows, sit where the sun streams in or better still in the garden. Fresh air and sun will boost your immune system and lift your spirits.
This is a good idea. I do hope those that feel isolated feel less alone.

Melanie March 17, 2020 at 3:40 am

Hello everyone! I’m a reader from Italy and we’re in total lockdown here – and in sorrowful disbelief as we watch wave after wave of deaths. I admire the spirit of my adopted country, singing from balconies, meeting at a distance with flashlights, applauding our healthcare workers.

That’s what I see around me – Italian squares always packed with lovely people sharing news and an espresso, now spectral. I see people grateful for having discovered that the air they breathe in their own homes is clean, that they have clean water and lots of food (no shortages here).

We’re well, working from home, hoping to return soon to doing all those things that seemed so unimportant – getting our hair cut or chatting with a neighbor about their dog. How beautiful mundane can be!

Hugs to all, and thanks for this blog, David, which I always read with interest.

Georgii Ivankin March 17, 2020 at 3:51 am

Hi I’m Georgii from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Things still feel mostly mundane here. Shops and restaurants are open and streets are full of people, although borders are mostly closed, and there are stories of people who already lost their jobs because of all this etc. I guess we’re a few days behind overall. I am happily privileged to be a programmer in an international company so switching to fully remote wasn’t a problem for us. Sun is shining today and you start to feel the spring kicking in. Had the most wonderful walk at the park. It was freezing at night and as the sun was rising and hitting the soil there was visible vapour over the frozen last-year grass and leaves.

TRich March 17, 2020 at 3:52 am

An Almost 74 year old woman, I’m in Northern Ireland, looking out on a beautiful spring day. Everything looks just as it did yesterday, but my world has shrunk overnight. My new normal is radically different to what it was before the weekend.
I work as a volunteer group leader for an international life long learning charity, and up until yesterday had a very busy schedule. Most of our members are over 70s, so the social interaction of belonging to our many interest groups was a big bonus for us.
This morning, I’m delighted to be alive, and planning on doing my best to keep it that way. Close social interaction within my peer group will be almost nil, but I can continue with my activities at home.
I’m lucky, as my dear husband and I are in fit, in good health, and have our families living close enough to assist us if the need arises. I have a wide online social network, so have been privy for several months to how things have been progressing in many parts of the world.
Life as we know it has changed irrevocably, but we will cope.

Alison March 17, 2020 at 3:54 am

I live in madison, wisconsin. The UW closed wednesday. The cub scout pack’s pinewood derby was canceled on friday.
Public schools were closed and most state employees (including me) were sent to work from home on Monday. The kids still play together at the park but not in each other’s houses. At the end of the day yesterday, i went for a long walk with my 6th grader in the deserted quarry that is now a park. We saw a few dog walkers and families. There is still ice on a few of the most shaded paths. On our way home, we heard a woodpecker and looked from tree to tree until we found it, black and white, drilling, closer than we had imagined.

Dee March 17, 2020 at 3:58 am

Hello David. Writing from a small town in the Cotswolds in England. I love your blog!
Lots of uncertainty here. Concern about elderly becoming ill and also the economic impact on local independent businesses such as cafes who may never reopen…I’m lucky as I can work from home but it’s not so easy for others…
But spring is coming here…the sun came out yesterday. Hopeful birdsong. We can gather wild garlic and hawthorn leaves! Good tonic.
Interesting astrology for 2020…rare Saturn conjunct Pluto. And all that’s ihappening is right on the money…Hoping that breakdown will be break through…

Zoe March 17, 2020 at 4:02 am

Hi, I’m Zoe, 32, and I live in Luxembourg. I’ve been reading this blog since at least 2014. It’s in large part thanks to your posts, David, that I found the courage to quit my office job and start freelancing back in 2015, and I’ve never looked back.

All restaurants and bars and non-essential shops have been closed here since Sunday evening. My husband, my 18-month-old son and I just got back from holiday in Portugal on Friday, where we had a great time. But because we travelled so recently, we’re also nervous that we may be sick, so we’ve been staying home as much as possible. All daycares and schools are closed, and my husband is working from home. He gets special paid leave to look after our son too, which allows me to get some work done, but right now I’m mourning the loss of my alone time.

I was planning on finishing the rewrite of my novel this month, but now most precious shreds of spare time will need to be devoted to work. I’m also sad because I was supposed to go away on a writing retreat next weekend, my first 2 nights away from my son since he was born. I was really, really looking forward to that (I love my kid… but I love my sleep, too!). It doesn’t help that I’m sick with a stomach bug right now and feel like I can’t get the rest/care that I need. I’m also sad because I see all these great ideas for parents to do with their kids, but most of them aren’t suitable for an 18mo. At this point it mostly involves avoiding as many tantrums as possible. I’m so tired.

I’m also scared because my mum is 73 and my dad is 79. They live in Switzerland (which is quite badly hit), so I feel helpless because I can’t do anything to help them from here. My dad especially has the world’s worst chronic cough.

At least it’s sunny outside, though, and we have a small garden. I keep thinking about Anne Frank and how many days (years!) she had to stay inside, fearing for her life and the lives of those she loved, and that helps keep things in perspective.

John Bulmer March 17, 2020 at 5:36 am

Hi everyone and thanks to David for encouraging this discussion.

I’m John, a 57 year old retired engineer and cancer survivor. I am located in a very small (200 person) fishing village in southwestern Nova Scotia Canada. My community’s claim to fame is that we were referenced by Brad Pitt as the last zombie free zone in the movie World War Zed. Irony?
My day started as usual with a 3.5 KM walk around town with my dog. An easterly wind is blowing cold air in from the north Atlantic. I have 1 or 2 cats on my lap as I enjoy a cup of coffee and watch the sun slowly rise. My view is over an ocean passage that separates us from our neighbouring island. I watch the lobster boats head out to check their traps and also see the local ferry as it shuttles people and goods between our two islands. If it sounds a tad idealic, its because it is.

Overall life is great and I am greatful to be living my dream. Two years ago I was preparing for surgery and chemotherapy to deal with a cancerous tumour. One year ago I was dealing with the chaos of moving from Canada’s west coast to its east coast. Missus Sheila and I packed up our belongings and made the 5500 KM trek eastword. An adventure – for sure. Stressful – for sure. So the current blip in our worldly order seems highly manageable.

I am a contrarian by nature. So with that, I will take a different tact and say that the sun came up today, the tides continues to come in and go out and the birds continue to feed and sing and prepare for mating season. In other words, life continues on. Its only the human species that are disrupted.

Enjoy a wonderful day and remember to breathe.

ALifeOfAWE

Ruth March 17, 2020 at 4:04 am

I’m Ruth, 33, living in Devon, UK. I live with my partner, our 2 year old, and his 14 year old. We are in the middle of moving house! It’s quite stressful. We have no vehicle and have not much money so are relying on help from others, which means moving is taking longer. Moving with a toddler is hard too! My stepson has a condition which affects his lungs so he is at risk. All this combines to create some really strong anxiety and guilt in me.
We have the loan of a big van and 3 people coming to help today so hopefully we should have all the big stuff moved, and just have to mop up a few small things and do the cleaning before we hand the keys back in.
We both work for a Buddhist charity that runs outdoor meditation retreats, a drink and drug free festival and a vegan cafe, so also trying to participate in meetings figuring out ways forward with that. Stressful! But also thankful to be part of a practice community and to have my practice to depend on.

Winsome Brown March 17, 2020 at 4:05 am

Tēnā koutou i tēnei ahiahi ~ good evening everyone
I’m a teacher from NZ, where we have just recorded our 12th case, with no deaths. The impact so far is economic, especially with everyone coming into NZ needing to self-isolate for 14 days and the cancellation of all cruise ships. Tourism reaches into so many sectors but our fabulous government has today released the first of its packages to help keep the economy afloat. It totals 4% of our GDP which is huge.
Schools are still open but gatherings of over 500 people have been banned and even smaller events are being cancelled. There’s quite a bit of panic buying – why, people why?? – and a bit of disaffected grumbling but generally speaking, we’re just getting on with it. Especially in Christchurch, my nearest city, which has suffered a lot over the last decade with major, deadly earthquakes and last year, the mosque shootings. We are resilient but we need to keep looking out for each other.
Your blog is always such good read – thank you so much
Kia kaha (stay strong)
He waka eke noa ( we’re all in the same boat)

Brenda March 17, 2020 at 5:26 am

Lovely sentiments, thank you and peace from Detroit, MI, US

Kathleen March 17, 2020 at 4:05 am

Hi Everyone,

This is Kathleen from near Boston, Massachusetts. Everything is pretty much closed here now other than grocery stores, hospitals and pharmacies: schools, restaurants (takeout only allowed), libraries, museums, no sports gatherings, St. Patty’s day parade cancelled, Boston Marathon rescheduled for Sept.

I’m trying to stay in the moment and not get scared. I’m supposed to be retiring end of March, what timing for my 401k! This feels more bizarre even than 9/11 for some reason. An attack from an invisible world, just doing its thing in the natural order. I’m trying to re-orient to this new reality, though desperately just want things to return to normal. As in post 9/11, however, I think we’ll emerge from this with a new normal. This reinforces how nothing, really, is in my control but my attitude. Grateful for other readers out there to share in a virtual community!

M March 17, 2020 at 4:08 am

Hello from Amman, Jordan, where I live and work. I’ve been paying close attention to COVID-19 for a couple months, as I and many of my friends travel frequently. I am immunosuppressed, and my wonderful doctor here is very proactive, telling me to self-quarantine from week-to-week, depending on the situation. I had a very brief window of opportunity to return to the US just before the Jordanian government closed all borders/airports as of this morning, but I chose to stay for several reasons: No one here is hoarding toilet paper, hand sanitizers, food staples, etc.; I have a cat that I can’t abandon; I would have to live in a hotel in the US because my parents have very serious health issues and we don’t want to put each other at risk; no matter how good the US health care system is, it’s not capable of handling an outbreak; here I can easily have food and supplies delivered and hunker down as necessary; and I didn’t want to take the risk of passing through all the airports and airplanes on the way back, being exposed to people unknowingly carrying the virus.
Jordan had only 1 confirmed case, just released from quarantine earlier this week. And now were at 34 cases. That’s 1 recovered, to 34 infected in two or three days. I don’t know how seriously people are taking it here yet since I’ve been in self-quarantine for a week. Until the government made the announcement a few days ago that the borders would be closing, it seems most people feel invincible and that it only affects the elderly. People here are much more informal, but the government is definitely taking it seriously. As the last flights landed in country yesterday, all passengers — regardless of where they flew in from — were loaded up in buses and escorted by the Jordanian Armed Forces to designated hotels in Amman and the Dead Sea (4- and 5-star hotels), for a 14-day quarantine. Mosques and churches have been closed, schools are closed, restaurants are open only for pick-up, large gatherings (even weddings and funerals) are banned, etc., but I don’t have the sense yet that most people really understand the impact of social distancing if it’s not enforced. Jordan has prided itself in having just 1 case, while other countries in the Middle East are exploding, and I think that led to this feeling of invincibility.
As for my view now: I live on a small street with apartment buildings, an embassy, and a UN building. It is definitely quieter than usual. My housekeeper is here at the moment – because I am immunosuppressed, I asked her to wear a mask.
My Jordanian friends here have been angels. My hairdresser asked me if there is anything I need, and I asked her if she could find me an N-95 mask, which my doctor said I need to wear to go out. And would you believe she actually found me one at the first pharmacy she went to!
My colleagues who aren’t quarantined have been delivering mail and other things we can’t get through delivery apps. My doctor checks in on me via WhatsApp every few days and told me, “I will be your family here.”
I am a homebody by nature and have enough projects to work on and topics to study that I am never bored. I am an amateur photographer, so I am trying to get more caught up on photo editing and creating some online albums. I have a gazillion books I want to read. I am spending at least one hour a day studying Arabic. I like to journal and want to document life now, so I can look back on the future and see in detail how I (and the world!) learned and grew through all this. I spend time watching Netflix (currently watching a crime drama from Iceland). I’m revisiting some of my older recipes that call for more basic ingredients as well as trying new recipes, and of course spending snuggle time with my cat.

Kwek Leong Loh March 17, 2020 at 4:13 am

I’m a 65 year old retiree from Singapore. It’s about 5 in the evening. The sun is still shining very brightly and I’m sitting here in a coffee shop. Singapore dealt with the Covid-19 outbreak very well. Although we have more than 200 infected persons, not a single one has died from the virus. I was just informed however that my bowling league has been suspended for 2 weeks. Things were a bit tense last night when our neighbour, Malaysia announced they will lock down the country and no one is allowed to leave or enter. As most of our food is imported from Malaysia, there was a rush to stock up groceries at the supermarkets. But other than that, life goes on as usual.

I was a land surveyor before I retired. So it was quite a pleasant surprise for me to read in one of your posts that you were a land surveyor too. I’ve been following Raptitude for several years and I enjoy reading your posts very much.

David Cain March 17, 2020 at 4:30 pm

A fellow surveyor! I haven’t spoken to any former co-workers yet but I’m wondering what sort of effect is being had on their work. The office was always very close-quarters, but field work allows people to keep some real distance. Anyway, glad to hear the situation is relatively in control in Singapore.

Belinda March 17, 2020 at 4:16 am

Firstly thank you so much for your posts. You are the only blog I always look forward to. So thank you!

I also live in a beautiful coastal town in Australia. I’m a mother of two children who had their first day at home today from school as they had a slight cold and I didn’t want to put them or anyone else at risk.

I’ve felt really sad today for all that’s unfolded and all who are effected (everyone!). I run face to face mother’s’ groups for new mums and I had to make the decision to move them to zoom for now. I know we all need connection even if we can’t be in person. Now more than ever. It’s unprecedented times with a lot of fear and stress but I also notice that there’s some beauty too. A bit more space to really reflect on what’s most important.

Thanks David and take care

Kate March 17, 2020 at 4:17 am

I am a 47-year-old American who has been living in Spain for 22 years. We have been in lockdown for several days (schools closed here in Madrid on the 11th and things have escalated from there.)

My parents (and their respective partners) are in all sorts of risk groups back in the US. My brother and his wife both work in a hospital so they need the grandparents for childcare help.

I teach English to 3, 4, and 5-year olds in a public school, so now we are using blogs etc. to keep kids engaged.

We are lucky to have a small yard to get outside time in. I feel for those in apartments who don’t have this option.

Stay safe, everyone!

Jayne March 17, 2020 at 4:17 am

Hi David, I’m Jayne and I’m sitting here starting my day with some coffee before heading into work as a circulator RN in the OR at a nearby hospital. I, along with many co-workers, am wondering WHY we are still doing elective procedures at this point. I worry about my elderly mom getting sick, as I don’t think her respiratory status could fight this virus. I have an adult son with autism who has struggled for years now with fear of germs and contamination, and so you can just imagine how all of this is impacting him. This is all uncharted territory for us here in the US, and it saddens me to hear people making light of it, or having the attitude of “I’ll do whatever I want to do!” We should all be taking care of one another right now. I read a quote that spoke to me and sums it all up nicely:
“Thrown all together, in one unrelenting present, we are made to recognize in one another what we deny most vehemently about ourselves: In the end, it’s our vulnerability that connects us.”
—Jon Mooallem

Irina March 17, 2020 at 4:20 am

I’m Irina. I’m 26 yours old and I live in Aarhus, Denmark. I just moved back here from the United States in February. It feels cruel to feel so relived that I made it in time. I’m with my family and my spouse, but my friends are left behind. I took the first few steps in building a social network here, but it’s more difficult now.
On the other hand I feel at though I am finally resting for the first time in a long time; I’m neither going anywhere nor missing out on anything, and I’m staying at home playing the games I meant to play and reading the books I meant to read. 2020 was slated to be my depth year, and so far I have received this in wicked monkey paw form.

Joe March 17, 2020 at 4:22 am

I am Joe. I’m 59 years old and living in Vernon, Texas USA. I grew up on a farm and ranch and have worked for our Sheriff’s Department for almost 26 years now. I am a daily runner and have completed five full marathons and countless races of lessor distances plus I love to ride my bicycle and have reaced several 100 milers (most of which have been the world famous Hotter ‘N Hell 100 in Wichita Falls, Texas). I’ve also ridden a bicycle across the entire state of Oklahoma starting in Texas and ending in Kansas (in 2017). I love to backpack and hike and read and play chess. I have a wife, two grown sons, one grandson, and my dad who still lives ant home and drives and occasionally works who will be turning 94 this next July.

Rocky March 17, 2020 at 4:31 am

Howdy! I’m Rocky. I’m 65 years old. I run a hamburger restaurant/ tavern, in Cañon City, Colorado, that has been in continuous operation since 1903. This place has seen two World Wars, the Great Depression, the 1918 flu pandemic, and assorted minor disasters, come and go.
This too shall pass …..
Just yesterday, our Governor closed all bars and restaurants for 30 days. Bravo I say !
Nations which are proactive and aggressive in dealing with this pandemic are starting to come out the other side of this thing. Those who took the “business as usual” approach are stacking up the bodies.
We will still be able to do take out orders at the restaurant. We can still offer a little respite from the situation.
Life goes on…. Be Well :)

Olimpia March 17, 2020 at 4:48 am

Hi everyone, I’m Olimpia, 41 years old and currently living in York, England. I moved here 6 months ago with my partner from London after living there for 12 years. Since the move I’ve been working from home and that has made me feel quite isolated. I’m slowly rebuilding my social live here but with the outbreak it’s a bit more difficult now. My yoga classes have been cancelled and there are talks of closing down the university and schools. Despite all that I’m really encouraged by human creativity and connection we can build in a crisis, and it just shows that we are very social creatures depending on each other.

Marike March 17, 2020 at 4:48 am

Greetings from a beautifully sunny Guernsey in the Channel Islands!
With only one confirmed case on the island so far, we’re all still ok. Many islanders are working from home, many are working in offices with many protective measures in place, and everyone is attempting social distancing to the best of their abilities.
We have many elderly citizens, and they are being cared for by neighbours, family and the community while they are self-isolating. Hotels and restaurants are offering meal deliveries to vulnerable islanders, and even discount to islanders employed in healthcare. Sit-down restaurants are offering their menu in a take-out basis, to encourage people to still support businesses in the midst of all of the isolation.
We’re all a bit scared, but also pretty determined to get through this as a community.
We’re also all really ready for spring, and grateful for the sunshine that’s made an appearance over the past few days. Love reading everyone’s stories today!

Stephane March 17, 2020 at 4:50 am

Hi David,
I live in a suburb of Paris. Only five days ago, everything worked as normal even though we could suspect the crisis was coming. I went to work, had lunch at the restaurant, coffee breaks with colleagues, planning a drink with an old friend…

Now almost everything is closed: schools, non essential shops, restaurants and cafes… We will be confined at home in less than two hours.

I’m sitting at my desk in a small room, trying to work but distracted by my baby sitting on my lap. The view is nice enough, with gardens and a building 50 metres anyway. When I raise my eyes, I see a picture I love – a girl in Vietnam praying in front of an elephant.

Things are not too bad for me: a good job where I can work from home, a good health for myself and my close family, a nice flat. Yet I feel mildly anxious and depressed at the same time. Both the health crisis and the economic crisis make me wonder where the whole world will go to.

Thanks a lot for your blog and your newsletter. I enjoy a lot your writing.

John Norris March 17, 2020 at 4:51 am

Hi, I live in W.Wales with a beautiful view of the Rheidol river in the valley. I’m almost 62, retired 4 1/2 years ago thanks to Mr Money Mustache – who introduced me to Raptitude in his/David’s How To Cross A Parking Lot article. Thank you both!

The UK is advising people not to go to pubs, restaurants or cafe`s. They haven’t been ordered to close but I suspect most will choose to. All a bit confusing!

I love the resilience of the Italians and the banners everywhere saying ‘Andrà tutto bene’. All will be well.

Thanks everyone for sharing yourself via the comments. Much appreciated.

patrick dean March 17, 2020 at 4:53 am

Hi, Patrick here in Monteagle, Tennessee, USA. I’m 61, writer & outdoor athlete who works from home. My wife’s school is closed. Spring is just happening here, and she loves to garden. No known cases of corona virus in our area but we’re all in on distancing.

Feeling very fortunate that we have woods and trails nearby, and lots of room to move and breathe. I’m also glad for the chance to simplify and pare down. Be well, everyone.

Courtney March 17, 2020 at 11:14 am

I’m in Nashville! I drove through Monteagle two weeks ago on my way to Atlanta before things got crazy. Beautiful area! I’m hoping to go back out there and do some hiking once I’m no longer social distancing :)

Kate March 17, 2020 at 4:54 am

Hello from Australia. I’m a mum of 3 girls which takes up most of my day, but I do some volunteering here and there (and used to be a land surveyor too!). My family and I love travelling and have lived overseas for a while.

Looking at the bright side (in our situation at least), I feel this pandemic has given us a way to slow down, for which I am grateful. The schools are still open here, but many events and activities have been cancelled. Most people I come across are pretty calm about everything although there is plenty of panic buying going on in the supermarkets. The only panic ‘buying’ I did was when we learnt the libraries were closing tomorrow. Seems I can do without pasta and toilet paper….but not books!

I really enjoy your blog and read it to my daughters sometimes. Thank you!

Shaun Tan March 17, 2020 at 5:04 am

Hi there, I’m Shaun from Singapore (fancy seeing other peeps from SG commenting here!) and I work in the tech industry. Things haven’t changed too much in Singapore during the last few months, considering the prospect of rising unemployment, recession, and really the streets are just a lot emptier and people are staying in rather than being outside.

Work has spiked upwards and it’s quite surreal relying on whatsapp, fb or linkedin to keep in touch with friends rather than just asking people out for a drink.

Fritz @ TheRetirementManifesto March 17, 2020 at 5:11 am

Living in our Appalachian mountain cabin in North Georgia, USA, without another cabin in sight. Social distancing is a way of life, though we’re very active in our local community. This too shall pass. Take the time to realize how special social connectedness really is, and never take it for granted.

Brenda March 17, 2020 at 5:12 am

Hi all, enjoying your comments. Hi David and thanks.
I am in the Detroit, Michigan area and we received an executive order yesterday on the state level to close all non essential businesses, restaurants are take out only, many other measures. I am a professional massage therapist and will be off work for two weeks, for the first time in many years. I plan to do some cleaning around the house, take my dogs for walks and practice all the “flattening the curve” suggestions. Prayer and meditation are planned as well, and I’m a good cook and will be making meals for spouse and myself. I may also be working the phones for our business since we just closed yesterday, appointments to be canceled and rescheduled. Staying in touch with friends and family via technology and very grateful that we can do so. I’m talking to our employees and encouraging and assisting them as much as possible. While scary and inconvenient, this is an opportunity to connect meaningfully and become more human. Be well, everyone.

Yulia Surkova March 17, 2020 at 5:13 am

Hi, David and everyone!

I’m from Moscow, Russia. I work as technical translator and for a recent year my life has become Tango-life. If you know what I mean. Lots of tender-embrace dancing listening to a wonderful Golden-Age music really makes us all real addicts. I guess this is going to be a huge challenge of all. We all are going to miss that during a closure-time.

I’ve been reading your blog for about five years (may be longer, life flies), David, and grateful for it.

We are trying to stay calm in the middle of all this.

Warm hugs to all!!! Lets listen to Tango-music: Troilo, D’Arienzo and Pugliese!
Dance Tango and stay in a good health!!

Yulia

Kelly simmons March 17, 2020 at 5:14 am

Hi, I’m Kelly, and I’m in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Life In The northeast is definitely curtailed. No one I know is sick; but plenty of friends of friends and coworkers of family are — so you feel it hovering nearby. One funny thing is to see people struggling with the isolation and boredom of working from home, which makes me laugh. I’m a novelist, so I’m always writing at home on deadline! It does get lonely, but blogs like yours are a bright spot in an ordinary day — or in an extraordinary time.

veronica March 17, 2020 at 5:15 am

Hello. My name is Veronica. I’m a Canadian currently in Spain. This is the email I sent home to family/friends on March 15th. (Beware the Ides of March!) Sorry for the length.

Hey,

I’ve received so many emails asking how I’m doing that I decided writing a group email back would be the quickest way to reach everyone.

First of all – I’m fine. Second – when I see how many of you are thinking about me, I’m more than fine. Thank you – it helps more than you can imagine.

The world is still the same as it always was.

Honestly.

The sun rose at 7:42 a.m. in the east and it set at 7:25 pm in the west. In between it shone a spotlight on a regular spring day: the territorial clacking of storks as they jockey for nesting sites, acrobatic birds aerial feasting on clouds of insects, stray cats trying to ambush the birds, trees and wild flowers blooming everywhere, my seasonal allergies going absolutely berserk.

Yesterday I ate lunch underneath a flowering cherry tree and it felt like I was inside a hive. The tree was heaving from all the bees collecting pollen.

It’s still the same big, beautiful world. It’s only our perceptions that have changed.

Here’s what is happening in my little, middle of nowhere, corner of Spain. The authorities have been nailing up boards over the windows (metaphorically speaking) one by one all week. Last Wednesday all museums, galleries were shuttered and cultural events were cancelled. Friday they announced the closure of all schools. Saturday city bus service was suspended. And the final piece was put in place today – effective this afternoon, we are ‘confined to quarters until further notice’. The only businesses that I’ve heard will remain open are grocery stores and pharmacies. The police are patrolling and, although they are letting people off with a warning today, they’ve been given the authority to issue fines to anyone out without a good reason. [Good reasons include: buying food, getting medicine, going to the bank machine to do banking, going to help someone in need and walking a dog. Lucky dog owners!]

All of these measures are in place for the next 15 days. But everyone knows that it will be for longer. It’s just that under the Spanish constitution, the government is not allowed to make unilateral decisions for longer than 15 days. After that, it has to get approval from…..the autonomous communities? parliament? Honestly I don’t really understand how all the levels of government work in this country. I’m sure by the end of this I’ll be much better informed. Anyhow, I suspect that the measures will continue to be in effect until the end of April.

If all of this sounds like a draconian over reaction, it is not. The virus spreads very easily. One of the English Assistants, is sick with it. He got it from his room mate. His room mate most likely contracted it when he went to his home city of Vitoria, one of three regions where the outbreak began appearing last week. Even though the room mate had not been near any known sick people, the government had not yet restricted movement of people, and presto, virus spreads.

M and his room mate are both at home sick. They’ll be fine – from what M has been writing to us, they have a mild case of the flu. But Palencia has mostly an elderly population (that is not in very good health judging by what I saw on the streets every day). If the virus spreads widely, a percentage of them will end up in hospital and the hospital here is not that big. Hence the lock down. To try and prevent the hospital from being overwhelmed.

Our program coordinator sent us an email saying they would release anyone from their teaching contract if they wished to go home. Only one of the English Assistants took them up on the offer. He headed back to the US today. I briefly considered returning to Canada but decided to stay for the following reasons: (a) to get to Canada I would have to go through Madrid and Madrid is a real infectious hot spot right now (they recorded 1000 new cases in a 24 hour period between Friday night and Saturday night) and (b) I have somewhere to live here, as opposed to being homeless if I arrived in Toronto. (Tricky to self-isolate when you’re homeless. :) Time will tell if I made the right call.

As for my personal situation, even though it was written in Spanish, I was still able to read the writing on the wall. I went for a glorious, all-day bike ride yesterday and a hike up to the Cristo del Otero this morning, by myself to comply with social distancing rules, while we were still allowed outside. That will have to do me for a while.

The English assistants who elected to stay are all keeping in touch and we have each other’s back. The teachers I work with have also been reaching out to me. So I have people close by I can count on if I need help.

Both my room mates left town on Friday, so I have the apartment to myself. As soon as the second one left, I scrubbed this place from top to bottom and, miraculously, It. Has. Stayed. Clean. Hallelujah.

We received word that we would be paid, at least for the month of March, even though we aren’t working, so money is not an issue.

I have a fridge full of food that I intend to turn into many tasty meals.

I have coffee.

I have a cupboard full of wine.

I have books to read – in four different languages.

I have internet. Is there anything more luxurious than the internet? No. No, there is not.

I feel I’m at low risk of catching the virus, especially now that I’m shut in. And unless seasonal allergies count as an underlying condition, if I do catch the virus, it should just be a mild case. I feel at higher risk of dying of boredom than of the coronavirus.

In fact, when I think back to the December 2013 ice storm, where I had no heat, no electricity and only cold running water for 10 days or so – seriously, this is going to be a walk in the park. I’ll be fine.

All week I’ve been finding silver linings thanks to this virus. The bars, cafes, parks – everything except the grocery stores – have been blessedly free of crowds. For the first time since arriving here I felt like my personal space was being respected. No one smacking into me as I walk down the Calle Mayor. No one getting into my face during a conversation. And no more cheek kisses!! Thank you coronavirus! What an annoying custom that is.

I was actually starting to enjoy Spain this last week.

Even my investment portfolio taking a hit doesn’t bother me. It’s a small price to pay for the improvements to the environment that are happening. Have you seen? Pollution levels are way down. Amazing isn’t it – how one little virus could do more in two months to change planet destroying human behaviour than 50 years of environmental activism.

Yup. I’m feeling really ineffective right now.

It’s not the way I would have liked it to happen, because these changes are only temporary. I know that people will go back to their mindless driving/flying/consuming habits as soon as this blows over. But for the moment the planet has a reprieve, a bit of a vacation from us. Maybe it will be long enough to heal some of the scars.

I’ll take my silver linings wherever I can find them. You go look for the ones that make sense to you.

One last thing. Go outside and enjoy this big beautiful world while you can. Forget toilet paper. Stock up on books and movies. Find your board games. Make a to-do list of stuff you can do while at home. The lock down is coming your way. It has to. It’s the only tool in the toolbox (for the time being). Not using it will be SARS all over again. Not doing it would be Just. Plain. Stupid.

Resistance is futile. You will be locked down.

So just do it, with humour, grace and an eye out for silver linings.

Take care everyone. I’m thinking about you all as well.

veronica

nancy March 17, 2020 at 2:33 pm

I’m making way through all the comments, and just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading this.

David Cain March 17, 2020 at 4:41 pm

Me too!

Ricardo March 17, 2020 at 5:21 am

Hi, fan of this blog for a few years now, has slowly been cultivating in me the importance of mindfulness – so slowly, indeed, that I only realized recently how much of an impact it had on me.
Portuguese, 32 yo, living in Berlin, Germany.
Since I’ve been reading and motivating myself to act about the inevitable collapse that our societies will face within the next decades, the topic of corona gives me very different feelings.
From one side, it seems a disproportionate reaction and it’s frustrating to see people react by blaming each other, rather than our systems, being okay with having our personal lives limited while business goes on as usual.
From the other, I’m still kind of shocked to see so many people in Berlin, old and young alike, in the streets as if nothing is happening. And it is scary to see how fragile the health system is.

Happy to see that in an environment where people are usually overdosing with “busy” are now learning to meet up online. Tonight I’ll host my first online workshop with my peers. As I was looking to rally a community through speaking events this year, it’s an interesting twist (:

Wish everyone the best.

Nova March 17, 2020 at 5:21 am

Another Australian here!! I’m in Canberra – a public servant with three school and daycare aged kids, a husband and dog. Life feels very very strange right now! One minute all seems relatively normal… But then I can’t buy toilet paper anywhere

It feels like the calm before the storm and I’m anxious about not knowing what to expect. I’ve never experienced anything like this.

On the back of the summer bushfires, smoke haze, and hailstorm that took out half the city’s cars, now a global pandemic!

2020 has been a hell of a year…

Susie Lee-Kilgariff March 17, 2020 at 5:38 am

Hi Everyone, I’m Susie from Knutsford, a market town in the North West of England. I work from my office at the end of the garden so am looking at the bunch of daffodils I’ve just bought to cheer me up, and at blossom just starting to emerge on the trees outside.

I’d say my family’s reaction is still a bit of denial and plenty of confusion. My daughters are still at school but we are all just waiting for the word to come that they’re closing. They think a month’s holiday is on the horizon but when they realise they won’t be able to see their friends, I think the reality will be much harder. My husband and I are both self employed. 90% of my work is done remotely anyway so I’m hoping I can carry on but my husband’s coffee business is already slowing down hugely, expecting to have to shut within a day or two and we’re concerned we’re still going to have to pay rent. We’ll not be able to give work to our member of staff and are worrying how she’ll cope.

We went to a surreal funeral at the weekend (not Covid related, bloody cancer doesn’t go away does it) where no-one could hug the grieving family and the undertakers were handing out squirts of hand sanitiser.

I am appalled at the empty shelves in our supermarkets. One checkout guy said he’d been getting abuse from customers all day claiming they weren’t restocking the shelves fast enough. I refuse to stockpile.

Community spirit already kicking in with offers to look after elderly neighbours and plans for big parties when this is over. But I think the whole world is going to look very different when we emerge.

Stay safe everyone x

Pam March 17, 2020 at 6:56 am

Hi Susie! Nice to meet you. Daffodils are blooming here in Arkansas, USA as well. I am so, so sorry to hear about your friend who died.

Savanah March 17, 2020 at 10:19 pm

Hi Pam! I’m in Arkansas too. Can’t wait for the sun to come back!

Susie March 20, 2020 at 11:58 am

That’s really kind of you to comment Pam, thank you. Let’s keep looking at those daffodils and remain positive. I think we’re in for a tough few months. Take care.

Margaret Lever March 17, 2020 at 7:38 am

Hi Susie
Just touching base from Staffordshire. I’ve just returned with an elderly neighbour from a Sainsbury’s trip. I was blown away by the friendly care he received from staff during the visit. (The trip took 10 times longer than my usual trips). The staff are working round the clock to keep the shelves restocked – and in the face of those who are stripping them. Delivery drivers are working all night to get the food in. The story is replicated across the country.
We definitely will see more of these good news stories as people’s kindness begins to return. Our behaviours in crises are mirrors of our soul.
I’m sad that you and your husband’s livelihoods will be affected in the immediate future. These things will pass. Keep the faith and keep safe xx

Susie March 20, 2020 at 12:00 pm

Hi Margaret

Thanks for your reply. I’m still horrified by some people’s behaviour in the supermarkets and can’t understand why we’re the only country who seem to behave like this. But on the bright side, the response from people who are doing the right thing is moving and heartening, and I’m sure they’re in the majority. Take care.

Linda March 17, 2020 at 5:44 am

Good morning from Virginia! I very recently found your blog and oh what good timing. I always try to start my day with reading something positive and uplifting and wow, this particular stream of comments has made my day. I am a 71 year old single woman who finds great joy and comfort in the beauty of nature. Thank goodness that even in this time of confinement and social distancing I still have the chance to walk the trails of Shenandoah National Park. I find great peace on the trails and am delighted by the signs of spring that are popping up everywhere. It gives me hope in these difficult times.

Lindsay March 17, 2020 at 7:54 am

Hi Linda,
My name is Lindsay. I’m a 27-year-old woman pursuing a graduate degree in architecture in Michigan. My classes have just moved online. Yesterday I didn’t leave my apartment once, for the first time I can ever remember. Today I will go for a walk.

I’m so glad you are still able to access the trails of the Shenandoah. What a beautiful part of the country. I’m also glad there are glimmers of spring for you and for many of us in these dark times – bringing glimmers of peace and hope. Take care, I hope you have a peaceful day.

Pat March 17, 2020 at 5:45 am

I’m from Long Island, New York. Finally found toilet paper last night!
Crazy here. Stores – no meat, no bread, no paper goods, no rice, no pasta sauce, no soup. Do they need volunteers to restock the shelves? Plenty of fresh veggies. Closed schools(each student gets a Chrome book for on-line learning), restaurants, gyms, dentist, ice skating, museums, blood drives. Golf and parks are open. Gatherings of 10 only. 3 people died from this virus near me. I am going to work and keep breathing. Being VERY careful around others and my elderly parents.

Wearing my green for St Patty’s Day!
Thanks for your blog and nice to be connected.

Ashley March 17, 2020 at 5:46 am

I’m Ashley from Southern Ontario, Canada. Right now we are on the cusp of spring and all my favourite birds are slowly returning and bringing their songs to the outdoor spaces I enjoy.

I work at a charity that focuses on agriculture training and whatnot, so basically all our programming are on hold for the foreseeable future. All this covid19 stuff, I’m saturated, I’m sick of hearing about it, talking about it, fearing what I touch, the grocery store was literally half empty because of food hoarders, we’ve lost $60k at minimum at work because of it… and everything is so ambiguous… no timelines. No way to plan for plan b… my mom is in Florida and refuses to come home early. There’s a lot of ignorance flying around and selfish behaviour that is probably making things worse. Normally I’m a pretty optimistic person but these last 5 days with borders closing and everything coming to a stall, this pandemic isn’t super bad (think Ebola) and people Have lost their collective minds. Thanks for reading and for sharing.

Rebecca Otowa March 17, 2020 at 5:48 am

Hello David, I decided to comment on the public side this time. As you know, I am in Japan and have been reading your blog for a few years now. Thank you for all the positive comments and good things. Where I live in rural Japan is pretty much normal except for the lack of toilet paper on the shelves, which is already beginning to get better. Our schools are closed, but the childcare facility in the school is still open. I am trying to see this whole situation as a test for us in this world to be the best we can be. Not to revert to our reptilian brain’s but to remain human and as evolved as we were when everything started. My husband just returned back from Europe before the borders started to close so I am grateful for that. Now I am waiting for my son and his family to come back from the United States. I won’t be happy until all my Chickies are back under my wing! Aside from that, I have nothing to complain about. Kudos to those who are handling a difficult situation gracefully, and my sympathies to everyone who has problems.
I’d like to call your attention to my website. I just started a blog of my own. Please take a look if you have time.

Bob March 17, 2020 at 5:50 am

Hi everybody! I’m 67 years old and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in January 2012. I only mention that as fairly often my typing goes to hell. I spent my entire career as a grain buyer/risk manager for a minor species , family run poultry company in Indiana, USA. A job I really loved. Up until 5, maybe 6 years ago I was a deeply private person fully content observe, analyze, and understand. Now I understand myself better and have shed the arms-length engagement with the world. I’ve been married to Sue for 47 years. It’s a great marriage that produced 3 kids and 6 grandchildren. I looked after my father the last few years of his life (eldercare), I assist my sister who looks after our mother (eldercare), I help my wife look after her father who has advancing dementia (eldercare) and her mother who is 89 and lives alone (eldercare). Yes, I have rather strong opinions concerning American healthcare system.
I have spent my entire lifetime studying the question, “Why do people do what people do”? That has led me out of the fundamentalist mindset I was brought up in, through a fair amount navel gazing, onward to a science-based love affair with astronomy, biology, history, and theoretical mathematics. I must say my love for math is like my love for my wife, I love her and find her fascinating, but I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand her. I retired from trading commodity just as computers were replacing humans as risk managers. I am extremely interested in the computer/Big Data/data analytics interface with human evolution, human freedom and privacy rights and the concept of human consciousness . The best writer on this subject who “gets the really big picture”, is Yuval Noah Harari, an Israeli historian. His interpretation of the integration of algorithms into every nook and cranny of our lives matches exactly what I have experienced and observed in my life.
I am not particularly optimistic over what humankind will likely evolve into, but I sure its unfolding will sure be interesting to witness.
Now I pretty much live by these guideposts; Be Kind. Life is Precious. If you are going to influence a life let it be for their good. Life is short-even when its long, it’s short. Life is good, even when it’s bad it’s good.
Bobb

Kate March 17, 2020 at 5:50 am

Hello! Kate from London checking in! With our absolute buffoon of a PM showing no solid leadership I feel like we are all just making things up as we go along here based on rumor and hearsay and a combination of real and fake news. I came into my office today on the Tube wearing rubber gloves. And plan to ride in going forward. My biggest concern at the moment is the continuation and also the discontinuation of AA and NA meetings. The worst thing for addicts is isolation. But the best thing to fight the coronavirus is… isolation. Stay well, stay connected! xx

Nicole March 17, 2020 at 7:47 am

Hello everyone,
I’m Nicole from Buffalo, New York.
It’s nice to connect with everybody even though it’s virtually.
As for the very important comment made above about AA and NA groups not being able to meet, I think smaller groups where people can be 6 feet apart are allowed to meet, but that may depend on the locale.
There are also worldwide virtual sobriety groups and wonderful apps that connect people for extra support.
There is a wonderful free app called the insight timer. It has over 35,000 meditations to calm your soul in these unprecedented times.
My website, http://www.holistic divorcecounseling.com. Offers 100% free support, comfort and resources for all life‘s issues and transitions, not just the cosmic hazing of divorce.
There are no ads and nothing for sale. It may also soothe you.
Let’s not forget the power of music. Putting on whatever music floats your boat can buoy your spirits and encourage you to move your body.
I’m sending lots of good karma to all of you as we weather this storm. It will end.
❤️

Andrew March 17, 2020 at 5:58 am

Hello,
I have been a part time reader at best and absent for some time now from reading your content. It has struck such a chord with me at times in the past that when I saw it in my email this morning I knew it was exactly what I needed. I expect thoughtful, personal, genuine, well communicated ideas and that is what I found this morning. You seem to be a good man Charlie Brown.

Today I wake up to uncertainly. The ski area I work at is doing what it can to stay open and I am attempting to keep a running race on the calendar for this weekend. I feel these activities will be important to many people in these difficult times. Perhaps it’s just a very privileged life that leads me to that, but I fully believe fresh air and activity do amazing things for people in difficult times. I hope you’ll find time between news updates to get out for a dose of the outdoors. Stay safe my friends.

Gregory Root March 17, 2020 at 6:02 am

Wow, what a diverse and global audience! So generous of everyone to share their experiences. Generosity, and patience, is what we need right now.

Before I launch into my story, I just wanted to share a video my wife and I made for our Explearning community (we focus on social skills and social engagement) that reinforces a lot what David was suggesting in terms of ways to stay socially fulfilled during social isolation.

Hopefully you get some value out of it: https://youtu.be/v82N3kZ1HJg

Now on to my story:

Until recently, my wife and I were living in Hong Kong, where I grew up. We moved back to the U.S. East Coast at the end of 2019 after becoming too frustrated with the way things were going with the protests. We thought we timed it well since at that time COVID was just emerging in China. So in our heads we had escaped not only civil unrest but also a national epidemic! *Pats self on back*

How wrong we were.

In January, we settled into our U.S. life feeling nice and complacent, even as some of my friends in China were sending me updates of how bad things were getting there. I felt terrible for them, but at the same time it all felt so distant. This is coming from someone who was living in the same country just a few weeks before that!

It’s no wonder then that the U.S. was so caught by surprise. A lot of blame is being thrown around as to who is responsible, but all I can say is, I can empathize with our complacency. China feels very far away and thanks to the news, we’re just so used to seeing bad things happening to other countries, but never the U.S.

Now, of course, as China enters remission and we enter the heart of the storm, we all see how blind and careless we were. Realizing that doesn’t help much. We’ll do whatever is in our power to persevere and recover.

But what I did learn is just how connected our world is now. It really does matter what happens half way around the globe. Because we all share this planet, and it’s only getting smaller. We need to learn to tackle these issues with unity and solidarity. I hope we remember this lesson as we enter this next decade. Next time the U.S. might be the first to suffer, and I’d sure appreciate a helping hand when that happens.

Deborah March 17, 2020 at 6:07 am

Hello! I live on Cape Sable Island, at the very southwestern tip of Nova Scotia, Canada. We are connected by causeway to the mainland but I think “island mentality” comes in handy at times like this. My father’s generation relied on a small two-vehicle ferry which (to hear him tell it) was frequently missed! I think growing up knowing how to quickly form other plans, becoming creative with what was
left over, inventing other ways of accomplishing things and just generally “making do” was a fine formation for these uncertain days. That said, the internet makes today’s isolation so much more bearable!
Around here small grocery stores are offering delivery within their telephone exchange areas and facebook
care groups are keeping tabs on people who need help. On Sunday people returning from vacations in the US knew they would be going into 14 day self-isolation and had arranged for family members to stock their houses. Most events and many public places are closed. Our iconic coffee shop, Tim Hortons, is closing its sit down areas which will finally force the “nothing can touch me” types to stay home!
Along with many of you I am concerned for family members who have more to fear because of age or compromised health. I engaged in a frustrating online conversation on Sunday with a friend who is convinced she does not have the virus and can’t understand why she should stay home. She is also frustrated that churches are closing because ‘God is bigger than a virus”. At the end of the conversation and against my better judgement we made plans to meet at Tim’s on Saturday and she expected to do a shift at the public library today. Neither of those will happen now.
I am thankful for science, for health care workers and for common sense. Oh yes, and online social approaching.

Katy March 17, 2020 at 6:15 am

Hi Everyone, I’m in Evanston, Illinois. It’s very quiet. You could ride a bike in the middle of the road and feel relatively safe these days, so few cars. I was one of three cars on the road yesterday, and clicked my indicator to turn left, all very normal, but this person behind me blasted his horn as he swung around me, who knows why, except he must have been having a very fearful day.
I’m in my office, it’s still dark outside as I prepare to start another work day. I hear the commuter train a block away, but I know it must be nearly empty. Still, it is a normal sound from life’s rhythm and I always find it comforting. Oh! There’s the horn as it departs! I love that.
I am a landscape designer and work from home anyway, and tend towards introversion, so I am a-ok and work continues as normal, ramping up for spring and installations. One client has cancelled thus far, another is wary, but that still leaves a very booked season, so far. We will see.
I am a regular meditator, which helps me practice being in the “now.” We are well now. We have plenty now. But my husband is feeling fear. He was RIF’d in September and has been panicking about the job market for the last week or two. But then a former colleague said, eh, not to worry, there will soon be a ton of jobs in bankruptcy workout. Which is very disturbing but was also, for the two of us, oddly comforting.
We have grown kids and I miss them. We chat all day long, little text blasts, but I want to hug them, and they don’t want to bring anything into the house. Thank god I have the dog. I get to kiss her head, my husband gets to pet her back, so we even have our personal space on the effing dog :D
I wish you all peace. I am so enjoying reading all your stories – – that brings ME peace!

Montyne March 17, 2020 at 8:25 am

Hi Katy, I can relate from Marietta, Ga. I miss my grown kids – even though one lives just across town. The other, in Chicago, has been sent home to work for the foreseeable future… wishing he would just come home to do it. :) And my work is easily done from home, with my dog at my feet and my husband, who always works from home, popping in and out. Outside, the elementary school across the street is quiet, but there is enough traffic not to feel eerie. Tired of watching the news and need to find ways to make this isolation count.

Wishing you and your husband well.

Reh March 17, 2020 at 6:17 am

Hi all,
I live near Paddington and the literal view from my window is of an almost deserted street – never seen that before. Thanks David for your posts – they always give me something to think about.

Jill Stafford March 17, 2020 at 6:26 am

Hi, I’m Jill from Lancaster Pennsylvania, USA. I’m sick in bed with the flu. I can’t remember the last time I felt this way. I haven’t been a candidate for testing of the CV 19 this whole time. It’s been very unsettling. Yesterday I finally got the strength and went in for a check up and they did a rapid test and discovered I have a regular flu variety. Watching all of this fear of the flu has been very surreal for me. My only consolation was thinking that I’d get through it early and be able to help others.
I’ve been joining my cats in front of the glass door with the sun beating down on me each morning. That’s been pleasurable. Also, honey lemon tea. It’s been more vital to me than toilet paper. My work hasn’t canceled yet. I hope they do soon. I hope to get strength to go back in my sewing room and create a quilt top.
Thanks for the blog posts, Jill

Pamela Cameron March 17, 2020 at 7:05 am

Hi Jill! Nice to meet you. I do hope you feel better soon. The flu sucks! Give your cats a pat on the head for me!

Caitríona March 17, 2020 at 6:29 am

Ah, you’re lovely – thank you so much, Dave, for your beautifully positive vibes (always)!
And happy St Patrick’s Day from a very, very quiet Dublin.
Looking out my window at the sea, all is well – the seagulls don’t know about the virus, nor does the sky.
I know that good will come of all this – people realising hidden talents, creative thinking, and incredibly heart-warming compassion are already showing up.
Love to all fellow Earthlings! xCaitríona

Mr RIP March 17, 2020 at 6:30 am

Hi all, I’m Mr RIP an anonymous Personal Finance blogger from Italy, living in Switzerland. I’m 42yo, married, with a 2yo daughter :)
I’m actually talking much less about finance, and more about midlife crisis, my adventure in quitting a well paying job (will work until March 31st!), a long burnout experience, and a passion for lifelong learning :)

I love Raptitude, I find every article extremely interesting. I think I find the blog thanks to the Depth Year experiment, but I’ve binge read almost all the blog soon after.

Keep doing this amazing work David!

Caitríona March 17, 2020 at 6:30 am

Sorry, David, not Dave!

Chris J Vinson March 17, 2020 at 6:31 am

I am Chris, from the suburbs of Baton Rouge, LA. I spent last week in So NM without much news coverage. Only local blips from the various news apps I have on my phone. Friday was the first time I really immersed myself in the news and was completely blown away. I may be a little “pie in the sky” with all this, but it really makes no sense. But I do know that people are scared, and that destabilizes the community. And THAT makes me very nervous.

Dana March 17, 2020 at 6:32 am

Morning! Great post- I’m sipping coffee awaiting sunrise on my porch after watering my thirsty flowerbeds out back. We’ve just moved into a new home and are still in the chaos of boxes, etc.
Feels like the calm before the storm here. I return to work in a nearby hospital here in Tampa tomorrow. Not really sure what to expect but I’d be fully lying if I said I wasn’t a bit anxious for the weeks ahead.

Hazel March 17, 2020 at 6:33 am

I’m in Yorkshire, England. I’m in my 50s, and lucky enough to have retired recently.

Here the sun is shining. Things look the same as usual: spring buds opening, children going to school, the council bin men have just been round to collect our recycling.

We have recently taken over a new allotment, where we will be growing our own veg. I did an hour’s weeding there earlier today. We have seeds to plant and beds to organise. I am going to build a bench.

My husband has gone to work. He’s very worried he may die from Coronavirus, although he is fit and well. I’ll collect him after his shift so he doesn’t have to travel home on the bus.

He said that over the weekend, the only time he stopped worrying was while we were working on the allotment. So I think it’s going to be very useful.

This is a worrying time. But I’m ok.

Thanks for asking :-)

Louise March 17, 2020 at 6:33 am

Hi all
I’m Louise from Canada. I’ve loved this blog for several years and this post is adding to that. Thank you David.
I’m an emergency physician with a husband and 2 kids. The hospital where I work is preparing well altho we do not yet have a case here. We are running thru mental rehearsals of removing PPE and caring for sick people so that we don’t consume supplies by practicing.
I’m impressed with our group’s ingenuity and willingness to run toward rather than away. Several fantastic Family doctors have staffed screening clinics that have tremendously offfloaded us in the ED.And also on the upside there is very much a trench mentality amongst the staff. In fact, a crusty surgeon who I didn’t think even knew my name stopped me in the hall to ask how I was doing— and actually stood and chatted with me for about 10 min! People are kind and looking for ways to use their energies to help others safely. Our medical students (who are now off clinical duties) have started a google sheet to freely assist staff with groceries, child care, really any errands needed, and have used their ingenuity to make it safe.
The schools are closed. My husband is still working tho not for long since the supply chains for his industry are drying up. Yesterday we bought new tennis balls and will start a family couch to 10km run program to try and do something to help with the stress since all the gyms are closed. Maybe do a coursera course. And we stocked up at the library yesterday before it closed.
Today is rainy and cold and hard to stay cheerful in. But maybe it’s a day to retreat with a book and a cup of tea.
Hang in there all. Wash your hands and stay safe. Be kind and patient with those around you.
X

Catherine March 17, 2020 at 6:36 am

Hello all. My son works as a corrections officer. I just heard that a corrections officer tested positive and died. My son is going to freak out when he hears that. H’es already terribly worried about picking it up at work. Hub and I self isolated a few days ago. Daughter inlaw mad at me because I won’t babysit anymore. We’re in our 50’s, hubby has risk factors.

Elisa Winter March 17, 2020 at 6:42 am

Hello Raptitude community from upstate New York, USA. We picked up our daughter and her friend from McGill University on Saturday. Daughter’s friend is a Londoner, who is senior at McGill in Montreal, Canada, who is now completing her classes online from upstate NY. No one could have predicted that kind of ending to 4 years at college. I plan on finishing up “Daniel Deronda” by George Elliot over the next two weeks of no work.

Blythe Johnson March 17, 2020 at 6:52 am

Thank you all for responding. I didn’t know I needed this but I did. I live in eastern North Carolina and work in vegetable production scouting crops. Social distancing is how I live my life so this is not a hard time for me (just keeping my hands out of my face). I worry all the time too so that’s no biggie either. Thanks David Cain for all your writing. I love your ideas, your suggestions for practices, and your gentle chiding about staying with it when routines don’t automatically develop. Thank you for helping me be a better person or at least trying to be.

Montyne March 17, 2020 at 8:27 am

Blythe, I feel the same way about Raptitude and the thoughtfulness of David’s work. Thanks for sharing and hello from Marietta, Ga. Take care!

Alexander Kidder March 17, 2020 at 6:53 am

Alex here from NY, NY. I’ve lived in the city for the past ten years. My wife and I own a small condo in East Harlem where I work from a shed in the backyard running a small family business. We make custom coins, buckles, and pins for military organizations around the world and most of my employees work from home standard, so we haven’t had significant changes in the way our business operates other than dealing with supply chain issues.

Between being a big twitter user and doing my manufacturing in a couple regions in China, I was an early freak-out/prepper. I tried to convince my wife to stock up from Costco in late January (around the Chinese New Year) and we did a little, but that was clearly way too early.

I taught myself option trading in February (well, YouTube taught me), because I wanted to be able to hedge against my retirement portfolio disappearing in what I could see as a crazy downturn that people just weren’t properly preparing for. I feel guilty about making money during this craziness.

I’m not usually a chicken little person, but this felt very different based on my interactions with the people I work with in China.

My wife and I have been reading David’s blog for years. We’ve signed up for Camp Calm a couple times and have read nearly every post.

My wife normally works in midtown Manhattan, but has been working from home since Friday. Our daughter (2) had her last day of preschool yesterday. We are debating running away from the city toward Connecticut where we both have families.

I’m an introvert, but go to the pool to swim daily and play volleyball once a week competitively with friends. Those activites are gone for the foreseeable future and I’m truly nervous about what could happen in the city under a version of martial law.

I’ve been sick for the past two weeks, many of the COVID-19 symptoms (high fever, chest cough and shortness of breath, early sore throat). I’m relatively healthy and part of me hopes I do/did have the virus so I can beat it and then readily help others without fear of infecting them or getting the infection.

None of us are in this alone. Thank you David for reminding us. Stay safe everyone.

Catherine March 17, 2020 at 6:54 am

Good morning,
I live in a suburb of Minneapolis, where schools are closed as well as many businesses. I appreciate this opportunity to connect and have never commented before. However, I think now is the time to share our experiences and focus on each other even from a distance. I particularly love that this community of readers is thoughtful and respectful. I am currently planning for both a grand parent’s funeral ( not covid related) and a child’s birthday party. The idea that both of these events will occur with few or no beloved guests is surreal to me. Even for an introvert it is difficult to stomach the idea that the best way to protect each other is to stay at a distance. I am trying to focus on what I can do, rather than fear what I cannot. I will look for simple joy, and do good where I can.
Our grocery store still has food on the shelves, for which I am grateful. I think I’ll buy the ingredients for my grandma’s favorite lemon cake, and donate to the local food shelf while I’m there.

Alison March 17, 2020 at 6:57 am

Hello everybody and hello David, I’ve only been reading your blog for a couple of months but I find it inspiring.

I live in rural Scotland and our county has not yet had a confirmed case of Covid19 but it can’t be far off. I work in a cafe which is also a training establishment for young people with additional support needs. We have had to try to keep their anxieties to a minimum while also trying to take preventative measures to stop virus transmission. I expect the cafe to close any day now.

I have not been stockpiling but just doing the regular shopping. Shelves have emptied of pasta, toilet paper and hand sanitizer and signs have gone up asking customers to respect the staff. I can feel the fear everywhere I go. There is also confusion because the government has only offered advice, schools are still open but most clubs, choirs, events have been cancelled by the organisers.

My elderly parents and grown up children all live miles away and it’s the lack of contact from them that I feel most of all. Yes, we are fortunate to have internet but it isn’t really the same.

I think it’s the uncertainty which is most difficult, though. How long can this state of affairs go on? How can people manage without wages, or businesses without customers?

It’s heartening to see community groups springing up and offering help where needed. Bringing out the best in people as well as the worst.

Kate March 17, 2020 at 6:59 am

I’m Kate, I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan. When I look up I see my husband’s cast iron pan collection (“I use them all for different things!”) hanging on the wall of our kitchen. It’s dim in the room, 7:30 am, and my two kids (8, 14) are still asleep. I’m working from home and the schools were closed last Friday. Both girls have had a virus this week (not the virus) so I’m eager for them both to be 100% better. My university job is pretty secure and I can work from home. My husband repairs musical instruments and will likely be laid off.

I’m grateful for the warmer days so the kids and I can get outside. People in the community are checking in with each other and I’m checking in with my work team every day to make sure they have what they need. I was starting to look for work (We’d like to move to NC or Southern Virginia) but it seems like a weird time to be looking for work. We were hoping to move before my kid started high school in Sept. Now I’m not sure what is going to happen.

The library being closed is a particular blow for me. I’m considering starting a google doc of books I have for folks to borrow, but I worry that folks would be nervous to even borrow a book. I’ve been working on a novel of my own. Planning to get back in to it once the girls are well. If I really kicked it up, I could finish a first draft in a month or two.

Thank you for this blog, David. I’ve been a long time reader and lurker. You feel like a friend.

Priscilla March 17, 2020 at 7:25 am

Hi Kate,
Come on down to VA. It’s lovely!
Sincerely, Priscilla

Joanna Schoff March 17, 2020 at 6:59 am

Good morning
I live in Rochester New York (400 miles from NYC.)
I am a teacher and mom to 3 school age boys.
Our schools closed yesterday for 4 weeks.
So I am now distance teaching via computer and homeschooling my boys.
I have a plan! I am grateful I am a teacher or I would have no idea what essentials should be taught.
My family …well my dad and sisters live on Long Island and brother lives in Queens.
We are all quarratined. Im grateful for texting and technology to keep connected with people.
Quite ironic as last week and months before i was trying to limit phone time. As you said David, all changed instantly.
Be well all.

Clint March 17, 2020 at 7:09 am

Hi all, Clint from Melbourne Australia in a funny way its good to read your posts, Australians are usually fairly easy lay back race but we have gone crazy, no toilet paper or food in supermarkets. But I see we are not alone. We have just had a massive fire season and the love was flowing and everyone chipped in to help and now this it seems everyone is out for themselves, however I can see a change and a few people coming to there senses. I have an idea its going to be a long haul till things get back to normal but if we all stick together (just not to close) we will make it through this Cheers All and may your god be with you.

Sinead March 17, 2020 at 7:10 am

Hello Raptitude community. I’m Sinead, mum of two young children (who are still at school – for how long we don’t know) I am a occupational therapist for adult social services in an outer London Borough. I am lucky that I can work from home in between home visits. I am sitting today in my nice safe comfortable living room surrounded by my plants, unsure of what my work will look like over the coming days, weeks, and months. It is likely that rehabilitation services will be stopped and we will focus on running an emergency / all hands on deck service to protect our vulnerable residents. I am finding it hard to focus on my “normal” work and I am waiting on further direction from our managers. I am worried about those in our community who are going to suffer more, who might not be able to feed their children if the schools close, who might not be able to get to work and have no sick pay to fall back on, for those who rely on food banks that are closing. My family are in a place of privilege as we both are likely to be able to keep our jobs and pay our bills. I am trying to find ways of providing practical support to others in the community outside of my job. Keep safe everyone

Camilla March 17, 2020 at 7:10 am

Hello everybody,
I am a Norwegian high school teacher, currently working from my home south of Oslo, teaching Norwegian, religion and academic writing. In Norway all schools are now closed, but I find comfort and community in staying in touch with my students and coworkers through video conferences, e-mail and phone calls. There is also lots of good things to be said about reading, knitting, watching great movies and cooking at home, and in daily walks and trekking (in a safe distance from other people, of course).
Thank you, David, for providing yet another community, and for your great posts!
Take care, everyone!

Sunny O'Neil March 17, 2020 at 7:10 am

Hi! I’m Sunny from NYC. I live one block from Times Square. The usual crowds are thinning but not yet gone. My daughter’s school is closing – that’s the most significant change. We don’t know when it’ll reopen. Glad I’m a vegan – food is much less an issue. Day by day is the best way for me.

Pam March 17, 2020 at 7:16 am

I am sitting at my laptop in a quiet room of the house. It’s early morning. The sun is just coming up and I can hear the birds outside. As far as my cats are concerned, nothing about their world has changed. They still get brushed, petted and doted over.

We live in southern USA. My husband works from home all the time, so his routine is much the same. My employer has stated that no one is to be at home unless they are sick. I have a lot of feelings about that, but I’m tired of hearing myself talk about it at this point. I updated my resume and I’m applying for remote jobs. Fingers crossed!

I like reading funny memoirs, and if you’d like to recommend one, please reply! I could use the distraction!

Montyne March 17, 2020 at 8:34 am

Pam, try any of Nora Ephron’s! I do books on tape during my commute, so almost everything is better when it is read by the author, like hers are, but they are so funny and relatable! Also recently enjoyed Sally Field’s, Alan Cumming’s and Amy Pohler’s, but I wouldn’t call them funny.

I hope your employer comes to their senses soon. Pet your kitties for me, and take care!

Amy S. March 17, 2020 at 7:19 am

Hello! Amy from the Finger Lakes region of NY. Home with two elementary school aged daughters for a while (sigh). I’m an introvert. I love my people immensely – but sometimes I need them to go away. This situation will require a bit of creativity on my part. I am part-time, small-town government employee with, luckily, a very flexible schedule. I am currently cozied up with my coffee, watching the birds in the backyard, trying hard not to be distracted by the news and instead make a fun/productive/creative/educational plan for my girls. Left to my own devices this cloudy and cool weather day would consist of gazing out the window, napping, reading and endless warm beverages.

Priscilla March 17, 2020 at 7:20 am

Hello David,
Thank you for this. I love your blog, have been reading on and off for years, but believe this is the first time commenting.
I’m Priscilla, an anesthesiologist in Virginia, with kids at home who think they are on a very extended spring break, and a husband who lives/ breathes his office job but is trying to pull off some semblance of normalcy from his home desk.
Public life here has pretty much shut down here, with humans reduced to Maslow tasks -> procuring consumable/comestibles.
Since Dr. Li Wianliang sounded the alarm, I have been alarmed and closely following SARS-CoV2 as it treks across the world, urging the people around me to prepare. Last weekend was spent arguing 1. with my mom/siblings to get our 70’s yo mom out of an epicentre (now safe/quarantined/isolated with her own plumbing/land perimeter) and 2. arguing with my MIL to not get into an epicentre (no worries, POTUS made the decision 4 days before her flight into Germany). Now that pretty much everyone is on the same level of alert, I am more calm.
I have always detested my kids spending time on screens. Ironic, now I am so thankful their school will start online learning and lectures tomorrow.

Since we as a family have been prepared pantry-wise for awhile, my biggest worry now is what I will face as an anesthesiologist working for a busy hospital system. Making sure my affairs are in order (as well should everybody over the age of 40). It is not likely, but a very real possibility, for me, a 40’s yo physician, to die from COVID-19. This is the uncertainty that is biggest for me right now. Because I expect to face multiple patients with SARS-CoV2. Some will need to be emergently intubated. Some will need to be managed in the ICU. My hospital system has been amassing extra supplies since Jan, but healthcare delivery is intensely carbon-rich. Will it be enough?

I think it is most important now, for each of us to take care of ourselves and our loved ones, not the prepping part, but the human part. Taking care of our inner peace. Thank you again, David, and best wishes/stay safe.

Ann March 17, 2020 at 7:22 am

Hi, Ann here from Dublin, Ireland. Happy St. Patrick’s Day all!
David, thank you for your blog today. I work in the public service in Ireland and we were told to work from home if possible from 6pm on Friday last. My son is also at home, doing his school work online, opposite me as I work. However, we have a national holiday today, as it’s St. Patrick’s Day, so I thought I’d share my experience.
Spring is just starting here, so we are grateful that this situation developed now, rather than in November or December, which is dark and miserable in Ireland.
We have hung an Irish flag on our balcony. All the parades are cancelled and the pubs have closed (not that it bothers me, as a non-drinking Irish person!).
I have found it really helpful to keep to a definite schedule every day, as if we were physically at work and school. It helps that I have been having Google hangouts video calls with my team at work and using Zoom for virtual meetings (which can be recorded and helps with minuting!) Who knew?
I see lots of benefits to this time – the world will pause for a while (remember this is temporary and will pass). People are already looking after each other as never before. In Wuhan, people in a big, noisy city are listening to bird song. There will be fewer flights, trains, cars, etc. moving around – that’s got to help the carbon levels. We have Netflix, all sort of ways to communicate and be virtually together, making this time a lot more bareable. It’s very quiet outside; however, my son and I have been disciplined and getting out for a daily walk. We are lucky enough to be within half an hour of gorgeous beaches, parks and mountains and we are making full use of this access.
We are doing well. Meeting up with people at the recommended social distance of 2 metres (6 feet). As an introvert, my life is not too different at the moment, as I’m not a party person anyway and don’t enjoy large groups! So hello to all the Raptitude community – hope you are all doing well. Remember this situation is temporary. Life may never be the same again after this but let’s use this pause for good.
The Irish minister for health says “so that we can stay together, we must keep apart”.

Anne March 17, 2020 at 7:25 am

Hi Everyone!

I’m a middle-aged high school teacher from southern Alberta, Canada. I’m currently working in a building empty of children, which is very odd. We are pulling together instruction for our students during this unusual period of shutdown and plan on leveraging technology to continue to support our student’s learning. I will miss these kids but am so glad they will be safer. When I’m not at work, I’m enjoying spending time with my family, taking a walk outside in the snow and hanging out in front of the fire with my terrier and a good book! This is a lovely community and I really appreciate the thoughtfulness of the writing! Thanks!

Ellen Bell March 17, 2020 at 7:27 am

I am a 75 year old retired (recovering) lawyer from NJ, currently living in a senior citizen community in Bethlehem, PA. My present husband and I met in 2002 and married in 2005, and we are surrounded by people who have been married for astonishing numbers of years. But we are in a comfortable cottage. Out the den window, across the Lehigh River, I can see the old furnaces and smokestacks of the late Bethlehem Steel. Bethlehem benefits by tourism, especially near the winter holidays. There is a long-standing tradition of a pilgrimage from Nazareth PA to Bethlehem, PA, culminating with a lantern-lit procession to the Moravian church and singing. I really enjoy reading your musings, David! Thank you!

Vicky March 17, 2020 at 7:27 am

Hi. I live in Woodbury, Connecticut. My husband and I are 66/65 and we have been self-quarantined for 5 days. He is retired, with risk factors. I am fortunate to have a remote work option. I have been and continue to be very distressed about the political situation and the (obvious to me) fact that the republicans have an economic interest in making this crisis as bad as it could be. (The democratic establishment is no great shakes, either.) In this country, neighbors are pitted against neighbors. In my office, we fortunately don’t talk politics but I am aware that I live in a totally different reality from my clueless and willfully blind co-workers. It’s became hard to interact with and trust people. Everything has been politicized. Try talking about the weather! Americans have been emotionally quarantined for quite a few years now. During this time, I going to think about how to live my best life in my own way with people who deserve my time and energy. On the plus side, with everyone staying home, the environment will benefit.

Janele Smith March 17, 2020 at 7:31 am

Hello From Ocala Florida…
I am 57 years old, and have COPD and Asthma Overlap Syndrome therefore I have to be extra careful in going out and being with people. My family was to have a get together this weekend to celebrate March Birthdays, my son, daughter and husband. But we have postponed it until all this blows over. Not worth the risk of getting me, or anyone else sick including my 7 year old grandson who has asthma. I have not panicked and begun hoarding toilet paper, or food, or anything else. In my corner of the world, stores keep replenishing and keep doing all they can to keep the stores open and clean. Restaurants are offering free delivery. I am scared but I am hopeful.

cami March 17, 2020 at 7:33 am

Hi everyone, I’m a nurse currently sitting in a bus on my way to a shift in at the university hospital in Zurich, Switzerland. The health system seems fairly well prepared so far in my canton (state), but I’d like to send my support to other health care workers, around the world and especially in my home canton, which borders Italy and is getting the worst if it so far…

Steve March 17, 2020 at 7:34 am

I’m living the retirement dream now that my wife and I are both retired. We travel the globe often from our home in the Greater Toronto Area, often with friends, a dream come true. I read Raptitude and find that it grounds me every time, but I never knew there were readers of Raptitude across the planet. How amazing is that.
I’m currently in isolation as we just returned from the Caribbean after 10 weeks of sunshine and tasty food. All this to say “it’s great to be back home” meaning of course our nest, but also being in Canada itself. So many wonderful people from all walks of life live in this amazing country.
To those who do nothing but complain, be aware that you are surrounded by good positive people who find that behaviour boring, we expect it, and it’s boring.
Covid19 will soon be a bad memory and I hope our collective world will have learned from it.
Be safe
Steve

MarthaW March 17, 2020 at 7:34 am

Hi all. I’m a retired equine veterinarian living in north-east Pennsylvania,USA. I live on 40 acres on a dirt road off a dirt road, so social isolation is not too difficult for me to maintain. When I look out the window today it is cloudy, and still very monochromatic, as it is in winter around here, but my snowdrops are up, and there is a downy woodpecker checking out the tree outside the window. The wood stove is going, and the dog is curled at my feet.
My brother and his wife outside of Philadelphia are both sick and have been waiting for test results (for 5 days now!), but they are getting better. My sister is visiting from NYC, she’s on spring break. She has a lot of anxiety and nervous energy, so I try to help with that. But she’s also a chef, so I’ve been eating better than I do by myself! And I work with fiber (spin, knit, weave) so I have plenty of projects to keep me busy. I do worry about many of my neighbors, who work hourly jobs. There is a lot of rural poverty here – people who live on the edge and don’t have a lot of cushion.
And I’d like to add, David, that I do no Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc etc, so I REALLY appreciate your posts and blogs in the ‘old fashion way’. They are a little outpost of caring and rational thinking that we all need, and not only in crisis times. Thank you!

Ramona March 17, 2020 at 7:34 am

Good morning yall, I live in Alabama, work in Montgomery. Our governor shut us down, to just essential employees. And everybody in Alabama either thinks we are all over reacting or is trying to their best to stay home. I am at work, but most of my folks that work under me are rotating the work load to make a smaller social footprint. I have a daughter on the front line, and it is terrifying. This is no joke, but we can do more to be kind. I have been reading raptitude for many years after ‘stumble upon’ found it for me. I love your calmness. Yall take care <3

Jane March 17, 2020 at 7:36 am

Hi. Jane from Winnipeg, Manitoba. David, I loved your post a while back when you mentioned the chocolate temptation upon seeing the mural at our local grocery. I shop there. We are retired and staying home. And are grateful to have the option to do so. Everything seems to be changing/closing down here moment by moment. There are many homeless people in this neighbourhood. I am concerned for them.

Andreas Wenzlaff March 17, 2020 at 7:41 am

Hi all in the state of corona, my name is Andreas and I live in Düsseldorf / Germany. Right now I am contained in my “home office” fully supporting my company measures to help to reduce the spread on the virus. And I am amazed how many people are able to write such long comments in the morning already. Just now there is a public announcement on the radio asking people to not go out if not necessary. It is still allowed to go out, but, considering the development, it might soon be only possible to get some food. My father turned 90 today and we plan to go to see him later today, making use of an dose of disinfectant. All the best for all of you! Cheers!

Nancy March 17, 2020 at 7:45 am

Good morning from Dallas Tx. The sun is about to rise, though obscured as it has been for days (weeks?) by cloud cover…March is rainy and unpredictable here. My 10 yr old is watching cartoons, my 8 yr old is still asleep, and my husband reluctantly kept his appt for a CT scan of a mystery pain he’s been having off and on for months. We are about to start ‘online school’ today, we’ll see how that goes. My husband is working from home and my work as a yoga therapist and yoga teacher has come to an abrupt halt. But we are healthy and waiting it out…starting to feel a little like we’re whistling through the graveyard. Sending a virtual hug and good thoughts to everyone out there!

Paige March 17, 2020 at 4:10 pm

Hello, fellow Dallas reader. Would love to know where you teach yoga! When this is all over, maybe I can come to a class. :)

Fiona March 17, 2020 at 7:52 am

I’m Fiona. I’m from Winnipeg but I live in Florida right now. I’m on a contract to teach at a private college, which of course has now turned to online learning. This leaves me in a bit of a mix up of where I live. Do I go home? Can I go home? I was already socially isolated in a new place being alone here, and perhaps that was good practice for where I’m at now. Florida weather is beautiful and on the upshot this could be a time to explore more of the natural beauty – the everglades beckon. My apartment faces out on a courtyard and I’m blessed by birds. Most recently I have started to see cardinal couples. There are a handful of stray cats and one that recently had kittens. She stops by to let me know it’s dinnertime and I give her some kibble while my own cats protest. I watch the news. I pray for Italy … Europe. I am obsessed with wanting to know when it’s ‘over’ there as some indicator of how long this all takes. I’m glad both the US and Canada have instituted such precautions. Still, I feel scared. I would love to dig into my work but I am arrested by this. I’m just doing my best and hoping for the best for all.

miss agnes March 17, 2020 at 7:55 am

Hello David and all,

I’m Agnes, from Western France. Our country is in full lockdown since noon today. All schools were shut down last Friday night, but despite all warnings to stay confined as much as possible, the municipal elections were maintained on Sunday. We’ve had mixed messages for weeks now, but finally last night, president Macron stated that ‘we are at war against an invisible enemy’, and clearly instituted the mandatory confinement. If we have to go to work, shop for food or go to the doctor, we need to fill a form explaining the reason for our venturing outdoors and carry this form with us at all times, as the police will start patrolling the streets and can fine people who have no reason to be out.
I’m a work from home mom of two teenagers, so staying home all day is something I’m pretty used to. My son is autistic (mild, thankfully) so he’s quite happy to stay in his room all day. My daughter will suffer most from it as she won’t be able to meet her friends. My husband can work from home so that is settled. We are thankful to have a small garden that will keep us occupied outside. After months of rain, the sun has been shining beautifully since air travel has started to decline.
I’m not particularly anxious, we’ve started a preventive cure of colloidal silver a couple of weeks ago and followed social distancing and hand washing recommendations. These past few days, lines in front of and inside stores were reminiscent of Soviet Russia, even though there is no food shortage issue. The whole thing seems surreal. We are following the news just to keep abreast of what is recommended, but shut it down quickly. No need to create more stress than needed.
Thank you for this call to comments, and the oasis of quiet that your blog and articles represent. We need calm. When I feel stressed, I pray and remember Jesus’ words to not be anxious about anything.
I’m an avid knitter, so the extra knitting time will be welcome.

Laura March 17, 2020 at 7:59 am

Greetings to all from Glendale, Kentucky. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed receiving David’s emails over the past couple of years, they always seem to have the right message just when I need it. We are currently working from home and trying desperately to keep our teenage children sane since they can’t hang out with their friends and are out of school. I’m finding it’s a great time to to think outside the box and engage in activities you wouldn’t normally stop and take the time to do. We can still go outside and enjoy nature, so I am trying to take advantage of all the things we can do and not focus on what we can’t. I’m actually enjoying that this has slowed the pace of life. I am not commuting 2 hours a day and I have time to enjoy things like exercising and cooking without feeling rushed. I’m afraid I am not going to want to go back to the “real world” when this is all over. I am struggling with a bit of guilt that my family has the privilege of being able to stay home while others still have to physically show up for their jobs and brave what is going on out there. I can’t imagine the obstacles with childcare and other things people with small children are having to endure as well as the financial burden this is going to put on people. Sending love and peace to all, stay safe.

han March 17, 2020 at 8:04 am

Hello world, from western Manitoba, Canada.
My kids are sleeping in a little this morning, as I’ve pulled them out of school a few days ahead of schedule. They’re excited about this time “off,” but I’m a master list-maker, so they’ll be doing daily schoolwork…
I’m working almost every day at our local grocery store, and it’s been busy. Record sales, shoppers coming out from a nearby city because their shelves are bare, rumours are flying. Literally every person buying toilet paper tells me “I’m not a hoarder! We are almost out! I promise!” My feet are sore, but so far I’m healthy.
I’m grateful that my kids don’t need daycare and I can go to work. I’m grateful that so many people are taking this seriously and staying home. My neighbor, who’s in her 80s, is going to use me as her personal shopper. She remembers polio. She’s staying away from crowds.
I have big plans to spring clean, to go deeper into learning Spanish, to bake bread, start seeds for our garden, to play more games with the fam, practice yoga, knit a baby blanket for a friend, cook… We will see if time allows. My husband works for a food producer and has been busier than ever as well.

Brian March 17, 2020 at 8:05 am

I’m a family physician in Calgary and at risk occupationally and age-wise (69). Times like this emphasize that medicine is a calling and my responsibility and privilege is to help others with their health (or lack thereof.) I choose to put my profession first; I am not seeing my sister because she’s a nanny for 2 little boys. For me, this is a time to reflect on how fortunate we are, generally healthy and safe in a country whose values I cherish. So I’m not letting some little virus take over! Time to be grateful, kind and humble–yes, we think we’re so omnipotent and all it takes is one little virus to bring us back to reality. On the plus side, carbon emissions are down measurably and will continue to drop as people stop flying.

Cindy March 17, 2020 at 8:08 am

Good morning from Madison, WI!
Currently sitting at my work desk after my company ordered everyone to work from home for health and safety’s sake. I’m amazed at how quickly we went from ‘nothing to see here, folks!’ to everything being shut down. Thankfully we can still leave the house for groceries and get exercise. I’m not so worried for myself as I am for my parents who are in their 70s and a higher-risk group.
This experience is going to force me into the ‘Depth’ project; probably not a year, but however long this thing lasts. I now have the time to learn that difficult piano piece, finish the knitting project, watch the shows in my Netflix queue, and read the unread books on my shelf.
Stay well everyone!

Jessi March 17, 2020 at 8:10 am

Hello! I’ve been following this blog since 2012. I’m 31 years old in Birmingham, AL. I own a business that helps people find an apartment in the city. I’ve got four cats and a hubby.
I just woke up and am still in bed. My husband has already left for work. One of my cats has a routine of sleeping on me all night and then helping me wake up when my alarm goes off. So she’s currently talking to me and making biscuits on my chest. The first thing I did when I woke up was check my email, and I saw this post! What a fantastic idea.
We’ve had about 30 cases confirmed here, and everyone is really freaking out. There is not much left in any of the stores. All restaurants have been ordered to close. Most businesses have closed. My business is transitioning into a video only service versus in person.
I’m doing OK. I constantly feel like I’m either too chill or worrying too much. Sometimes at the same time. It’s surreal.

Ellen Symons March 17, 2020 at 8:11 am

My wife and I live in the countryside outside the town of Almonte, Ontario. Last year I sold my massage therapy clinic and retired, so we are bowled over now with empathy at the financial difficulties that massage therapists and others whose income is dependent on face-to-face encounters are experiencing, as they close their practices and businesses.

I also think about people who are already on the edge financially, about people who live in shelters or on the street, about people who do contract this virus, about health care workers who show up every day, and about the fears we all can tap into.

However, I recently lost a dear family member to a different illness, so I’m going through that grieving; and now I am mainly preoccupied with supporting and caring for my 88-year-old mother-in-law and my 90-year-old father-in-law as my mum-in-law goes through cancer treatments. This does result in me feeling that the rest of the world is at a remove from my daily life.

Keeping physically and mentally healthy myself is crucial as I support my family. Thank goodness I still have my sweetheart, my meditation and journal practices, a cuddly cat, the outdoors, some exercise equipment at home, the love of friends, and, so far, access to the horses at my riding barn.

Naomi S Wittlin March 17, 2020 at 8:19 am

We are in Houston and I am trying to balance my own introvert needs for space and quiet with my daughter’s need for learning, activity, games, etc. I was thinking how much reading and writing I could do if I had all of this free time to myself… I suppose my “work” is to appreciate this time together instead.

Barbara March 17, 2020 at 8:20 am

Hello everybody,
here is Barbara from Lombardy, Italy. We are lockdown since more than a week. I am with my three children. Two of my them are doing homeschooling since Monday last week. The oldest one, who studies in Germany, was here for her semester break. She studies from home, and we just knew yesterday that all examinations are postponed. I am teleworking, too. We are allowed to go out only to shop. We can still have sport activities outside, but keeping a safe distance. Fortunately, we have a garden and the weather is gorgeous. Birds are singing, trees are blooming. We had breakfast on the balcony this morning.
We established a routine: waking up, work, lunch, work, sport activities, dinner… and scheduled a sharing of home chores. This helps to maintain a rhythm.
I keep my morning routine of Tibetan exercise and 20 minutes meditation, and joined an on-line yoga class in the evening.
Here in Italy many sport classes are going on-line.
As well, we try to keep in touch with relatives and friends via internet.
We are planning a large virtual family gathering for next Sunday.
Sometimes the feeling of isolation is overwhelming. But, as all children are writing in bright colors here in Italy, “tutto andra’ bene” (everything is gonna be alright)

Nikki March 17, 2020 at 8:21 am

Hi everyone, my name is Nikki and I am from London. I work as an Intensive Care doctor so I am preparing myself, along with my whole department, for what lies ahead. Right now though I am sitting in my apartment in North London, with a cup of ginseng tea, tending to my plants. My husband is working from home and I can hear him pottering around in the kitchen. There is an odd sense of calm and quiet at the moment, and I am trying to be present and enjoy it fully. Thank you for all the comments on this group, it has been lovely to read, and I am sending happy thoughts to you all x

Marnee March 17, 2020 at 8:22 am

Good Morning, all! Marnee chiming in from Toronto. What wonderful company to be in… thank you, David, for calling this circle around the globe together.

It’s a cold and wet day here, and my husband and I are bracing ourselves for this being a longer-than-we-may-think experience. We are in the restaurant business and so we’ve seen an immediate impact from the calls for self-isolation. We have a lot of family in Italy who are thankfully all healthy and in complete lock-down so we are grateful to still be out and about. Our daughter is out of school for the next foreseeable future and that’s a really scary feeling for her. Last night as we cuddled for bedtime gratefuls she shared how scared she was… what about Nonna, what about school and since she’s a May baby, what about her birthday party? Would she still be able to have one? This was so poignant for me. Reminded me to see through her eyes, and remember to consider a child’s experience. We talked for a long time, sharing what I could. She said that absolutely everybody was talking about this virus, at all times, in every conversation. We have turned off radio and don’t have mainstream TV, so keeping that media assault to a minimum. We keep informed and our feeling is that there are gifts within this time that we are required and permitted to stop and be. That we have our own accountability to find those gifts. And, that we must and can still take action. We’re making a daily schedule, daily outdoors outings and a family fitness goal tracker. And! Going to make 10 years worth of photo albums. Steady on. We must be in this moment with acceptance and gratitude. Lots of love out to each of you. Marnee xo

Dawn March 17, 2020 at 8:26 am

Age 55 in Atlanta, GA. Home from work bc not sure if sinus infection is indeed just that. Self quarantine until I know I am not infected with virus bc I don’t want to take the chance of spreading it. I’m on antibiotics but waiting for them to kick In before going back to work, near my kids or my 85 year old mom and… well everyone. This is a scary world we live in. Thanks for reminding us to be grateful for things we do have such as technology and for tips of ways to reach out to people bc it gets lonely fast. Be cautious everyone and good luck!

Jennie March 17, 2020 at 8:26 am

Hi everyone, Jennie here from San Francisco where we ALL are “sheltering in place”. I live alone and have for many years, even though I am used to being out every day, going somewhere, French conversation class, museums, movies, parks. Thank heavens for books, the internet, Skype and the people still working very hard to keep the grocery stores and pharmacies stocked with our needs. We are allowed outside for walks as long as we maintain “social distance”. We are all in this together and we will get through it and we will look at life very differently when we are free once again. I am so very grateful that I am healthy and safe and secure.

Shannon March 17, 2020 at 8:29 am

Greetings from the SouthCentral Wisconsin, USA. My husband and I live in a small town near the state capitol. We are both working from home for the next 2 weeks and our 7th grader is also off school. I am thankful that we both have jobs that can be done remotely and we are doing what we can to support local businesses by buying gift cards and getting take-out from the small local restaurants. The community of support here has been great; from schools offering expanded food pantry/meal options for families, to the grocery store offering free delivery to high risk people, and facebook groups forming for people to offer and request assistance. It is very early spring here. No daffodils yet, but the snow has melted and I am looking forward to walking state trails and parks with my family in the sunny weather. We are taking the situation in stride and trying to make the best of it.

Yvette March 17, 2020 at 8:36 am

Interesting times, and having a hard time adjusting. I’m a 34 year old working for the provincial government. My husband and I returned from a massive 6-month whirlwind trip around the world at the end of January, and were only somewhat affected by the COVID-19 outbreak at that time (airlines were only asking about travel to Wuhan at that time).

It’s been really challenging to reorient back home in Edmonton, Alberta from such a meaningful experience. My job changed while I was away (somewhat by choice) and I am not so happy with where things have landed. It’s been tough to adapt, and the pandemic response has more or less extended the independence and isolation from our friends and family that we felt while travelling for so long.

I’m hopeful, though. My husband has been putting a lot of effort to make our condo a haven so the time spent at home has been amazing!

Kim March 17, 2020 at 8:37 am

I’m Kim. I live in Longmont, Colorado with my husband and two daughters. When I look up I see my quiet household before everyone is awake. My sweet puppy, Pepper, playing with her toys. I’m watching the sun slowly brighten the morning. My community is doing well and I’ve seen so many wonderful ways people are coming together. There are three restaurants providing free meals to children (now out of school for at least several weeks). Churches are connecting online and reaching out to those home alone. I’m still working as a clinic nurse and wondering what will come over the next few weeks. Thanks for offering this opportunity for connection. I always look forward to your posts.

Cara March 17, 2020 at 8:38 am

Hi all, Cara here in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where it’s currently grey and damp and snowing sideways, and the world outside my door is eerily quiet. Thanks for this David, great timing as usual. I am self-employed and already work from home, so in that sense the impact on me could be considered minimal. However, with gyms and cafes being closed I’m trying to manage quite a bit of anxiety at the moment. The gym is my first social connection of each day and my mental yoga, in addition to the obvious physical benefits. I often work from cafes just to get out and be around people. Not being able to do either is tough, and is exacerbated by the fact that work has totally dropped off, so I don’t have anything to keep me busy and I’m worried about how my cash flow will be impacted. Meditating, organizing, working on my Spanish, trying to stay occupied.

Sorry, I didn’t at all intend for this to sound so depressing! It’s just what came out. So there it is. Hang in there all. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, don’t stockpile, be kind. xo

Alisa March 17, 2020 at 8:40 am

Greetings David and the Raptitude community! I’m here in southwestern Connecticut (about an hour outside of New York City). The world feels more foreign than usual these days. Schools are closed here for the foreseeable future which my teenage son is thrilled about…for now. Cabin fever will hit sooner or later. People are definitely on edge, but there is also a feeling of community, neighbors wanting to help neighbors, friends and family checking in on each other more often which I haven’t seen since the aftermath of 9/11. Sometimes it takes a crises to remind us of our shared humanity.
Stay well and take care of each other.
XO
Alisa

Deanne March 17, 2020 at 8:42 am

Hi David, I always look forward to your emails but especially so this week! I’m in the Netherlands. My company has had us working from home as much as possible for the last two weeks. On Friday, the government implemented national measures, so many of us are working from home, large events are cancelled, and we can’t visit cafés or bars. It has been a huge shock for many of us, and yet…we are adjusting. Life goes on in its way. The weather has been beautiful and I have had a chance to take a lunch time walk in the countryside near my home nearly every day. There are still beautiful things to enjoy, even in a very scary time.

Isabel Schneider March 17, 2020 at 8:45 am

Im a college student – a senior – on the east coast. My entire world has been upended in the past week. One week ago we were told classes would be moving online and students would be forced to move out of dorms, and since then I have had to say so many tearful goodbyes, had to reconceptualize what classes would look like not in person, had to be scared for so many students who didn’t have places to go or who were from countries or areas with much higher rates of corona virus. I feel lucky to live off campus, and to have supportive family and friends who are healthy. But it still feels like my world is crumbling. And all I can do is gather the few friends I have still here and try to forge a new reality.
Trying to stay positive, establish a routine, get outside a little and get some exercise, maybe use some of this extra time to do art or learn an instrument or get better at a language. I’ve been bowled over by the incredible support offered to people who need it. Although our university administration didn’t do much, students immediately began setting up forms for people to offer and ask for help with anything from moving to food to places to live to money, and the outpouring of support was incredible. We really are all in this together, and social connection and empathy has become more important than ever.

Kevin March 17, 2020 at 8:46 am

Hi everyone!

I’m Kevin, and I work for an airline (at least for now anyway…). When I look up, I see a terminal that’s almost completely empty. It feels like we’re hosting a party that no one is showing up to.
I’ve been seesawing between anxiety and a weird sense of optimism, and am trying to find joy where I can. Listened to the birds yesterday, and this morning’s sunrise was amazing.

Kevin March 17, 2020 at 9:07 am

EDIT: After reading through the comments, I am amazed at from how far and wide the responses are. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but this is fantastic!

Going the other way, it was awesome to see several fellow Wisconsin people in the thread. For those of you in the Madison area, maybe I’ll see you on the Lake Loop soon!

Paulo Roberto March 17, 2020 at 8:48 am

Hi there! I’m writing from Brazil. I live in Goiânia, a city almost in the middle of the country. I don’t know why I felt like commenting, I’ve never been a social person, not even online. Anyway, I’ll just share that this virus thing is begining to spread over here too, schools are shutting down and all that. Certainly the same cycle that’s happend in other countries will take place here as well, so…
But I came accross some readings about the minimalist way of life and found myself so empty, empty of life itself! A strange thing! I’m married and have two little girls, just so you know.
Sorry about such confused thoughts. Might be the midlife crisis. By the way, I’m turning 40 in about 4 months. Not that I’m implying anything, just stating the facts.
Have a good day y’all.

Deborah LaPorte March 17, 2020 at 8:51 am

Hi Dave and all. I’m Deborah, a retired English professor living in Louisville, Kentucky. Our schools, bars, and restaurants are closed, including my niece and nephew’s gorgeous, chic, new restaurant, and I worry how this will affect them and their staff. My children are able to work from home thankfully. I give classes in mindfulness and had a very busy schedule for this week to present at a family health center, a program for young mothers, and a city agency’s worker training, etc. All cancelled. Suddenly there is nothing on my calendar. I recorded a short audio meditation and emailed it to the organizers in case they want to share it with their participants to help them manage this quickly changing, unfamiliar situation. I believe in the power of meditation to help us keep perspective and deal positively with stress which can make things worse in so many ways, including suppressing our immune system, making us more vulnerable to illness. My husband and I are both in the over-60 crowd so we’re self-isolating except for taking long walks through our mostly quiet neighborhood and park. Like so many on this thread, we’ve been using the time to read more, cook more, sit and listen to music, and watch movies we’ve had on our list for a long time. Yesterday, my book club (consisting of the women in my family) had a wonderful facetime session. My mindfulness group’s regularly scheduled “Salon” (educational/social meeting) is going on Zoom. A class I’m taking will be live-streamed…so in many ways, the people around me are rising to the occasion and making it as good as possible. Louisville is chilly and rainy right now, but yesterday as we walked, we noticed flowering trees bursting with bloom all over the place, as if they were ignoring nasty weather and terrible news–and determined to celebrate and live. I like the metaphor. Best to everyone.

Marc March 17, 2020 at 8:51 am

Despite the severity of the situation we face, we will be better off when this experience is behind us. There are many good things we have done. These are important lessons for us.
Let’s remember that cooperation is possible and beneficial for the well being of each of us. Where silos existed, they have dissolved for a common cause and a greater good. When motivated we are a very adaptable species. Most of our usual leisure activities have been shut down, yet we adapted and remain focused on the goal of helping slow the spread of this unrelenting virus.
We are also able to learn very quickly. A few short days ago who knew terms and associated guidelines for; flattening the curve, health care thresholds, social distancing, proper hand washing, mask wearing, panic buying and many more. We learned what they all mean and we incorporated them in our everyday lives to save each other from further harm. We are not done, there is a long way to go. We should be optimistic given what we have learned and accomplished in a short time frame.

David Cain March 17, 2020 at 9:57 am

I agree and I this is a common theme in many conversations I’ve had recently. This is teaching us that we all care about the same things ultimately, and that we are a very resilient species.

Francine Delorme March 17, 2020 at 8:53 am

Bonjour de Montréal!
My name is Francine and I am almost 68 years old. I have been reading Raptitude since 2015 and have mostly all of them archived! Review them once in a while. Good for the soul.
My dog Mia and I are keeping close to home but I do venture into stores for the usual. I am not hoarding as I live close to stores and believe they will restock at some point.
Everybody! relax at home and wait it out. It just takes some insight into solitude and calm. I’m sure David may guide you through this with his techniques of meditation. Alors, bonjour et bonne chance de Montréal!

David Cain March 17, 2020 at 8:56 am

Thank you for all of your stories everyone! I will not be able to respond to them all but I’m am reading every one and I hope you have a chance to read them too.

Linda Lesperance March 17, 2020 at 12:16 pm

This was such a great idea, David. I have read most of them, too. It makes us feel so much more connected in this divided world.

Katie March 17, 2020 at 8:59 am

North Carolina checking in – schools are cancelled, work is remote for several weeks, public activities are cancelled. We’re self-isolating in our apartment and waiting for the pine pollen to wrap up so we can sit out on the back porch again. We’ve done virtual DnD with friends a few times now, converted two tables into our “offices”, and set up a VR “gym” in what was formerly the living room.

I’m getting into birdwatching, since you can do that out a window and pretend you’re still outdoors. YouTube’s been a great help – I’ve learned so much more about our local bird species in the last 24 hours, and I can now identify several birdcalls I’ve been hearing all my life. It’s been a good exercise in staying present and staying off of the more fearmongering sections of the internet.

I do worry about the kids I tutor, who relied on the school system for their lunches. We’re in a position to stay home and live off groceries for the next few weeks, but I realize that not all of my neighbors have the same luxury. I hope that everyone in a position like ours is giving thought to how they can help others. We’re going to need a lot of compassion to get through the next few months.

Fran March 17, 2020 at 9:00 am

Hello All,

I’m sending this from Regina, Saskatchewan Canada, sitting in my favourite living room rocker chair (I always have to have a chair that rocks ever since I was a little kid… seems soothing for some reason.) I am in my late 50s and currently am doing a second university degree after completing my Masters last year… love learning but sometimes find my memory and stamina is not able to keep up with the 20-something students and certainly not like when I was younger. This Saturday our University sent notice that they were cancelling all face-to-face classes and is transitioning to online teaching for the remainder of the semester.

My MA focus, and my life for that matter, has been animal welfare and animal ethics so I am concerned how this most recent outbreak will affect them of course. Will workers be available to go to the shelters to care for them? While adoption numbers drop… most likely unfortunately? One rescue that I volunteer with manages and cares for ‘community cats’ (semi-feral/hard to adopt or put into a foster home), and I worry about those little ones too, especially with the spring litters around the corner here. I just hope that people don’t forget about our fellow creatures in all of this.
My Best to everyone!
Fran

John March 17, 2020 at 9:01 am

John here in Chicago. I’m at home with my wife who’s office is essentially closed and daughter (age 11, grade 6) who is in her second day of online school. So far she loves it! I’m semi retired so used to spending my days mostly at home. What’s different now is my wife and daughter are here with me and all of my out-of-home activities, of which I see now were many, are canceled. Today I’m hoping to come up with a plan for how I’m going to approach the next weeks/months of COVID-19 life. Being a bit more thoughtful and strategic on how I spend my time seems like a good thing right now. This can be an opportunity to explore books, ideas, projects, whatever with greater depth and focus I might not otherwise have had the chance to do. This might also help me stay sane.

Bill March 17, 2020 at 9:02 am

Hi folks
I’m Bill and I live in Edinburgh, Scotland. We are experiencing the same sort of shutdowns as everyone else. Our local supermarkets have not had the long queues that I’ve seen on TV in some cities such as London. but there are shortages of some key food staples and also, bizarrely, toilet rolls.
My wife and I are retired, with some health issues, so we are being careful. We were due to go to Spain on holiday this Friday, as a welcome break from a long, wet and dreary winter in the UK. That’s not happening now, or any time soon. The reality of just how long the shutdown may last, and the extent of the impact on the economy and our relationships, is only slowly becoming clear.
I think it’s important to give thanks for our many blessings – we are loving companions, our house is comfortable and warm, we have a nice garden (and lots of seeds to plant in the coming weeks!), and we have a good stock of freezer food and alcohol. It could be worse!

terriczt March 17, 2020 at 9:02 am

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Today everyone is Irish! Life in south Texas is slowing down. They finally put a restriction on the number of items one may buy and 24 hr grocery stores are open from 6am – 8pm. My husband and I are boomers but neither of us have any health issues. I try not to dwell on the current situation, just watch enough to be informed. After reading many of the posts here I am reminded of the Walking Dead, where a photo journalist video tapes people to hear their story. That is what we are doing here; recording our stories for future generations to know our history, our world wide history. What is happening now is preparing us for what may or may not come in the future. We need to listen and pay attention. We are using Zoom to visit with our family around the country. So many things are cancelled for everyone so there is no time to have little pity parties, just carry on and adapt the best you can. We take so many things for granted and those little things like dining out, visiting nursing homes, celebrating weddings and hugging an old friend are now the big things. We will continue to look toward the future knowing that our way of life is about to change. Be kind to people and hold the little things in your hearts.

Penny March 17, 2020 at 9:03 am

Good Morning! I am Penny from Sherwood Park, AB, Canada.
As I look around me, I see a 2m tall cat tree thing that came with my new cat. It landed in the middle of my living room a few days ago when I adopted the cat and he seems to like it there. He can see everything in his new kingdom and he can see out the window and watch the birds. This is the first cat I’ve had in many years. I’m a dog person.
Our dog passed away in January. It was actually my daughter’s dog. The dog didn’t like cats and I couldn’t have a dog in this apartment so we sort of shared her.
So now I have this cat. I stare at it a lot. He doesn’t seem to mind this quiet attention. He seems to think it’s due him.
I’m thinking a bit about the social isolation we are going through these days. It’s wonderful to have all of the on line connections but it’s also not. Real connection is always in person, I think. I have a list of people I am allowing in. We’ve discussed it and have determined that our group can absorb, can handle the risks. None of us are old or compromised, and we are all taking the same level of precautions with others, with strangers. All of us recognize the need to maintain these connections and I think we are all treating it respectfully. One is a cat person and I am glad to be able to ask him questions. Most questions are, “WTAF is this cat doing?” and the answer is almost always, “Who knows, he’s a cat!”
Take care, All. Stay safe.

Simona March 17, 2020 at 9:09 am

Hello Everybody,
I am Simona, I am 46 years old writing from Italy.
I live close to the Lake of Como, Lombardy region where there is the epicenter of Coronavirus epidemic in Italy and world.
Everything but groceries and pharmacies is closed since 1 week until March 25th (by now). We are not allowed to exit our houses but to go to work or to the grocery/pharmacy (meant to be the ones in your town) and provided you bring with you the official form distributed by authorities where you declare and sign the reason why you are out. There are road blocks and police is checking and more than 20.000 thousands complaints have been already filed.
The real concern to me is that all hospitals in Lombardy are saturated and the number of infected is not yet decreasing. My parents, 72 and 80 years old, live 40km from me and I can’t go visit them. Same for my sister and my nephew who are in Florence and have been put in quarantine.
I try not to panic but sometimes it’s so, when you hear ambulances and medical helicopters every now and then.
I find relief in practicing yoga, refreshing german language, cooking, praying, cleaning and of course hugging my husband and petting my cat.
I hope these restrictions will make the virus spread decrease, so at least hospitals will be able to return to regular operation.
For the rest, nobody knows when we will be able to go out again without worrying about the 1mt distance. For sure it won’t be earlier than Easter, so still 1 month to go.
Thanks for this opportunity David. I might write again in the next days, it helps me lightening these unforgettable moments.
Ciao!
Simona

Steven Schrembeck March 17, 2020 at 9:45 am

Stay safe and stay sane Simona! Perhaps a good time to “Go Deeper, Not Wider”? Hah.

Thanks for sharing

Simona March 17, 2020 at 11:00 am

Exactly Steven :-)
Thankyou

Mary Jo Oxrieder March 17, 2020 at 9:14 am

Hi, from Whidbey Island in the Pacific NW. Out the window in front of me, the Olympic Mountains are just catching the first of sunrise pink. We’ve been practicing “social distancing for a week” (with the hand washing/etc) but yesterday it became much more serious. Our gallery is now closed as well as most other businesses and we’re asked to stay isolated for at least the next two weeks. We’re also in the middle of packing to move and unsure how this will affect any of our plans to sell the house/buy another. Totally weird times.
On the bright side, my husband and I are introverts and artists as well as Nature lovers – there’s so much (besides packing) to keep us busy and happy on this beautiful Island.
And watching (through social media) the immediate services people are putting in place to take care of the vulnerable is uplifting.
But like the person above, definitely “seesawing between anxiety and a weird sense of optimism.” Working at staying out of fear.
YAHOO! to this fabulous eleven year blog, David!

Jackie March 17, 2020 at 9:15 am

This is a lovely idea, David – thank you. I have read almost all of the comments, and do feel more connected as a result. I live on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I am at home, social distancing with my husband. We have one confirmed case of Covid-19 in our county. We are not in the high-risk categories (though my husband is 65, he’s very healthy), but my mom, who lives a few towns away is 83, so that’s a concern. We are spending our time on our creativity – oil painting for my husband and sewing/quilting for me, walking our neighborhood trails, and trying to stay connected to family & friends through texts, Skype and phone calls. Love to everyone who reads this.

Mary March 17, 2020 at 9:16 am

Hi David and all, Thanks for this opportunity to connect. I basically NEVER comment. I am in Ohio. I am retired and one of those thought to be most vulnerable. (Although my doctor said I don’t qualify as elderly!) Our world is shut down, our primary election postponed, and we are sheltered in place. Thankfully we have so many ways to stay connected. I am regularly texting with family and friends. Stay safe out there.

Mary Anne March 17, 2020 at 9:17 am

Hi David! Thanks for this post and your invitation to introduce myself. I subscribe to Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits emails, and on Friday he recommended your post on gratitude. I was deeply moved by the gratitude practice you recommend and read the article to my husband, who was also moved and inspired. We’re not big subscribers/followers (e.g., no social media accounts), but we both decided then and there to subscribe to your emails.

We currently live in the city of Santiago de Querétaro, MX. We left our jobs and sold our home and car in Chicago in December and plan to live here for at least a year. We’re observing what’s happening in other countries that are further along the path of contagion, hoping that Mexico responds with reasonable measures to contain the spread. We’ve decided to opt out of most activities, including Qi Gong class, symphony concerts, and a series of free movies on “mujeres del cine francés” (missing those movies really breaks my heart).

On Saturday we watched a dharma talk that Leo Babauta and Susan McConnell live-streamed about fear and fearlessness. They talked about recognizing our own fear and how it might be manifesting in our behavior, as well as having compassion for others’ fear.

They proposed that extreme behavior, whether it’s panic and hoarding on one end, or denial/minimization on the other end, is a manifestation of fear. And that our judgment of those extreme behaviors is a way of distracting ourselves from our own fear.

Leo’s Zen Habits website has lots of really useful information about how to build a tolerance for uncertainty, how to notice when we’re caught up in a narrative that’s fueling fear, etc.

Yesterday I was sitting on my terrace and a red wasp got closer to me than usual. Even though I knew that it wasn’t interested in me, and that if I sat still it would fly away, I could not contain myself from jumping up and running away. It was a great moment of recognizing a visceral fear turning into action before I could stop myself. I’m not sure if I’m ready to engage in a daily practice of communing with red wasps, but I would like to find some way to experience visceral fear without exacerbating it by creating a narrative or acting precipitously.

Sending love and “buena onda” to the community of David’s readers.

Mary Anne March 17, 2020 at 9:19 am

I mean Susan O’Connell!

Darek March 17, 2020 at 9:19 am

Hey David and all the rest. Crazy busy here trying to figure things out. Mostly financial survival and taking care of clients. Restructuring my psychology practice. Otherwise well the world is in a lockdown. Weird feeling. Sending luv to all living creatures. Darek

Donna March 17, 2020 at 9:20 am

Good morning! It’s around 10 o’clock and I just finished my run. I live in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and today is finally a sunny day after quite a few cold and wet days. I have an art studio in downtown Staunton so I can go and paint whenever I want. However, I generally lead Paint Parties, and that won’t be happening for a while . I am nearly 60-years-old. a married woman with my three adult children nearby. At least for now, my baby just came home from college which is online for three weeks. I have two dogs, a yellow and a black lab. And a very fat cat. My husband works for the state of Virginia and as far as we can tell, because this office is very small and his work we have to continue he will not be working from home. Things are very calm around the house. We have a small townhouse in the neighboring town that our daughter and her husband were living in. They bought a house and will be moving out soon so we have lots of projects to keep us busy. I went to Lowe’s on Saturday, it was difficult to not feel creeped out. Right now there are no cases here in Staunton but there are in the town we are the Lowes is.. But it doesn’t matter, I know with the incubation period . We were planning on visiting with my elderly father next week, and going to a wedding in Alabama. Obviously those two activities are called off. So sad for our friend who’s daughter is getting married and for her and her future husband. I don’t know what they will do. All of the schools are closed for three weeks and my daughter and daughter-in-law are both teachers. So they’re trying to manage figuring out how to do online teaching. My daughters husband just went to Texas on an airplane. His best friend and he had planned a visit together for a long time and he couldn’t bear to not go. We are imagining that he will Rent-A-Car and drive home. Assuming that the airlines shut down domestic travel. I’m OK with the self isolation model. I think it’s a good idea. And I hope that the spread of the virus slows down. Like a number of readers have said, there’s a silver lining. I’m grateful for my family and the opportunity to slow down and get some work done around the house. So today I’m going to do a lot of painting at the house. Hoping not to have to go to any stores, and then maybe I’ll have some time before to want to go and sing with my painting at the studio. I’m very grateful for technology right now. Who knows? Maybe next week the neighborhood will all get out on their decks so we can sing together. :-)

Sandy March 17, 2020 at 9:22 am

I’m enjoying all these comments! What a lovely idea to share our experiences.

My name is Sandy and I live in Salem, Oregon. Through my dining room window I’m watching the sunrise over Mt. St. Helens right now, looking NE. The sky is pink and orange and cream and the mountains are a purple-y color. (I never understood purple mountains majesty until I moved near the Cascades.)

I broke my leg 4 weeks ago today and am in a cast from hip to ankle. I was certainly ahead of the curve on social distancing as I have been off work for 4 weeks as I am in a wheelchair. Life has been distinctly topsy turvy for several weeks now prior to the virus hitting Oregon, and as I observe all this chaos while I’m housebound it has been a surreal experience. I envy those who can go for a walk in the fresh air to clear their minds. However, I am thankful I am in my own home and not a hospital at this time.

I remember even in this world chaos and my own personal medical troubles there is so much to be thankful for. I’ve had to go down my list of gratitude during these last four weeks and I will continue to do so. We can only control our reactions to this situation (personal and worldwide) so lets react well.

MarthaW March 17, 2020 at 9:25 am

Wanted to add, after reading through all the wonderful comments, that it would be really fun to set up one of those world maps so people could mark their locations! Not sure how complicated that is…..

Gary Allemann March 17, 2020 at 9:29 am

I am reading this from Johannesburg, South Africa. As I read it my wife is close to landing in South Africa having been repatriated from Washington DC where she was supposed to be working for two weeks.

In my spare time I am an active member of the Mankind Project International which is an international non-profit organisation providing developmental training and support for men.

Cheryl D Garcia March 17, 2020 at 9:33 am

Wonderful of you to open your space and heart to all of us, David. My name is Cheryl and I live with my husband in Albuquerque, NM. We are past 60 and very healthy, and we are fortunate to both be retired. Thankfully we are supplied and comfy in our own home, continue to exercise and just finished a cruise right before this C-19 rose it’s panicky head. We’re headed to my Cardiologist’s office shortly, since he did not get back to say we could meet via phone (it is one year since my heart attack and we went whole food plant-based afterwards and all my lipid numbers are much lower and in the low-normal range, so there should be no further issues). Your charming, delightful and spiritually-uplifting site has been a blessing – keep up the great work!

Tom March 17, 2020 at 9:36 am

I am 68 years old, married, and retired in Alameda California (SF Bay Area). I have always enjoyed your columns David and often share them with My children ages 25 to 32. At any rate, we are locked down in the Bay Area now. We can still go out for walks which my wife and I do, but we are asked not to go to bars, restaurants etc. there is some hoarding of products at the grocery stores, specially toilet paper, paper towels and wipes. But overall, we have been able to get whatever we need. The schools are closed so my grandkids are home with their parents who are both required by their employers to stay home. I find myself doing more reading and playing the piano. My teacher is now offering lessons by Skype which I will probably take him up on, as we are discouraged from going out for non-necessities. At the beginning of the year you talked about going deeper. I think this is a good time to do so. Wishing you and all your readers well during these challenging times.

Sonya March 17, 2020 at 9:39 am

Hello from Escondido, CA. We are in the northern part of San Diego County. I’m a 49 year old teacher and schools are closed for the next 4 weeks. My husband works for the cable company and he has to work from home, but the company is giving their hourly workers 12 extra days of sick time to use if needed. We are good financially. My 22 year old now has online work for college too. My 19 year old is in the Army and stationed in Louisiana. Right now he’s at the San Ysidro border waiting to go back. I worry about him and how our military personnel will get called into service. But I will have to wait and see. The gyms, fitness places, bars, libraries, and museums are all closed and businesses are closing one by one. Restaurants are on take out and delivery only. We are asked to do social distancing. Not a problem. I’ve gone shopping and have food for the next 2 weeks at least and I have the outdoors to hike. Everyone is good and healthy. I hope for the best with my 74 yr old mom but she is staying indoors. My sister and niece work at the hospital though so they’re some more to worry about. We had our first case in our city yesterday there. But I’m in bed reading and waiting to do my online workout that my gyms owner will do through Zoom. I will keep on hiking and walking and keeping healthy!

Steven Schrembeck March 17, 2020 at 9:42 am

Oh, I’m just chillin’. Family is all at home, but I work from home anyway. I’ve gotten four times more writing done than usual!

I write fantasy and horror. I also write software for a living. The kids are about to play in the backyard. We’re all re-learning how to have fun indoors once the TV and computer lose their candy-like appeal

Jane March 17, 2020 at 9:42 am

Hi All — Jane from Ripon, Wisconsin, USA here. I am sitting in my sunroom watching the last of the snow melt off our deck. The season’s first robins are competing with the cardinals for food and nesting materials in the lawn. I’ve been out for a walk this morning, where the streets and sidewalks were eerily quiet. Schools and our small local college have been canceled for the foreseeable future. I love Alisa’s comment that sometimes it takes a crises to remind us of our shared humanity. There is so much good in the world. We just need to realize that we are all in this together.

Patti March 17, 2020 at 9:50 am

Hi all! I am in a suburb just north of Denver and still allowed to work. We own 10 lumber yards in CO and so far all are remaining open, so as long as they are open I am working. We have the option to work from home but we have a pretty self contained office (no public drop ins). My basic monthly shopping will feed us (just 2 of us, 3 dogs and a cat) will feed us for a few weeks if necessary. My husband is in construction and finishing a project today and its an unknown as to where or when he will have another assignment. Many projects are cancelling so the company needs to step back a regroup. We can go a few weeks if needed without him working and I see a lot of home projects getting finished, finally!
Nice to meet everyone!

Sara Nevius March 17, 2020 at 9:51 am

Hi there, I’m 36 and in Oakland, CA. I’m a psychotherapist and have adjusted my private clients to video sessions; I also work at a methadone clinic and am still going to work to support my client’s via phone. They are a vulnerable population and for now, it gives me ground to support others through this.
I’m also getting outdoors and hiking in quiet parks nearby my house. Noticing how nature and animals continue to live on despite the chaos in human life helps me have perspective. I also picked up Steven Hawing’s A Brief History of Time recently. It’s been sitting on my shelf and something about getting really meta about our existence helps me zoom out from anxieties about what we’re going through. The universe will go on, despite what’s happening here in our lives. Over the past couple of days I’ve felt a fleeting desire to run away, and immediately remembered that there is no where to run to. We’re all in this together, some more affected than others, but as humans, no one is really immune. Globally, and nationally we’ve been so divisive recently, I wonder if we might be united through this in some way.

Dan March 17, 2020 at 9:54 am

Hello David and everybody from Holland Landing, Ontario, Canada!
I have been following your blog for last two years, forwarding most interesting (from my perspective) to my grown-up kids, receiving ‘wow’ from them occasionally. So thank you for what you are doing !
I work from home starting this Monday and consider myself lucky since I am being paid. My wife less fortunate. She is self-employed, and stay home without pay.
It is opportunity for our family to stay together and enjoy each other company, including our cats and dogs. Since we just started this new routine, it will take some time to adopt to the new reality and find new ways and new opportunities.

Stay healthy and positive.
Thank you all for being together
Dan

Evi March 17, 2020 at 9:58 am

Hi there! My name is Evi and I’m a 24yo living in West LA, a few miles from the beach where it’s been raining all night.

I’m still laying in bed, for a moment I forgot about everything that was happening and it all rushed back. It’s been a bit strange for the past couple days now working from home. My 2 roommates are also working from home so it’s been interesting being around them all day. We try to make light of everything and will take breaks throughout the day to go for a walk.

We’re also documenting part of our “quarantine” everyday to check in and see how we’re doing. I am worried for my family, while I want to see them I don’t want to spread in case I’m a carrier. But thank you for creating this community, it’s been great to hear other stories and how we can still all come together.

I’m excited to start new projects and write some music!

Caroline March 17, 2020 at 9:59 am

I’ve been a casual reader of Raptitude for about 10 years now, and it seems like a good time to chime in. It’s humbling to read your posts – so many people are suffering so much right now but making the best of their situations, and it’s a reminder that gratitude never runs out, no matter how much any one person has (maybe that’s because we create it ourselves!).
This week should have been the start of the six-week countdown to the end of my doctoral coursework at music school. Instead, the faculty and TAs are spending this week learning how to conduct our classes and lessons online. It’s been sad seeing our undergraduate students return from spring break merely to pack up their rooms and go home, and none of us are quite sure how playing music to our phones in rooms with questionable (or no) wifi will enable our teachers to adequately help us learn and refine our repertoire and technique.
I entered the school building yesterday for the first time after having been away during spring break. It’s quiet there, but people are around, video-conferencing in alcoves and nodding to each other in passing. After I wiped down the keys of the practice instrument and began practicing, it took awhile for my brain to settle, but once it did, I was reminded of why we make music in the first place: to express, to connect, to create meaning in times where it’s hard to understand what is happening. I hope we can all do that for each other in platforms like these, and I’m grateful that these things that seem most important are still abundantly present.

Aspis March 17, 2020 at 10:03 am

Hello World! I’m a 37 yo frontend developer from Norway. Things haven’t changed much on my introverted gaming piano-playing part, except for working from home, S&P and the news. “Low information diet” is especially useful nowadays.

One guy in the convenience store that saw me walking in his direction, quickly grabbed a random bag of potato chips, and hurried to the counter. A bit of extra scepticism, but thankfully we’re already well trained in keeping our distance around these parts. Stay positive! ;) <3

Rani Goederee March 17, 2020 at 10:04 am

Hi everyone, my name is Rani, 53 and living in a tiny village in the north of the Netherlands. My husband and I are both sitting at the kitchen table, working at our laptops. Writing, phoning, conference calls. Nothing out of the ordinary for us.
We live in a quiet place, at the edge of the woods, the roads and streets are empty in winter months, so from the outside it all looks the same as before.

But it doesn’t feel that way. I’m worried. Schools, restaurants, café’s, bars are closed. I know some of these entrepreneurs personally. I hope they will be oké. Events are cancelled. Part of my work is event related. People I work with are out of work. I hope they will be oké.

And yet. This morning I took a nice long walk through the woods. The sun shining through the trees. Birds singing. Wind blowing. The herd of sheep and lambs walking, running, jumping. Two vipers warming up in the sunshine. My body becoming more energetic. My mind a bit more quiet.

I wish everyone here the best! This also will pass. And let’s learn something from this :-) !

Vikas March 17, 2020 at 10:06 am

Hi everyone – Vikas from Virginia here. I’m a senior in college and just flew home for the rest of the semester. It was disappointing to not have a true spring break and the last couple of months of senior year, but I’ve come to understand the importance of doing so. I was really hoping to travel after graduation, but I’m not sure how likely that is now. The biggest thing was definitely having to say good-bye to the friends I’d made over the last 4 years. I don’t really know how the next couple of months will play out, but I’m going to stay optimistic and work on the goals I can from my house.

Betty March 17, 2020 at 10:06 am

Hello, I am in the lower mainland (BC). I have only recently started getting your newsletter. I am single mom of two kids, and a flight attendant.
This all kind of hit me yesterday and I had a couple of crying bouts and got frustrated and swore at a “bad” driver (just inside my car though!) And I realised it was underlying anxiety that has built up, I was worrying about becoming unemployed, and about homeschooling, and maybe I didn’t have enough household supplies, and my local library was closing, etc etc. I went for a forest walk with friends later in the day, and felt better. So it was a reminder that the main thing is to stay centred and in the present, because right now, we are all safe, and I still have an income, and I have not run out of food or t.p. Oh, and I went to the library and stockpiled books, there was no limit!

Lowell March 17, 2020 at 10:06 am

I am an immune deficient, 71 year old who cried last Friday when I was asked to come back to volunteer at the food pantry until the pandemic is over. Now all church buildings in our diocese are closed. Period. But I feel neither bored nor isolated. I moved to the Kansas City area after most of a lifetime in Mississippi, so am in the habit of telephoning people regularly. I am cleaning the house, starting art and sewing projects, cycling alone along deserted trails, watching streaming services my husband does not like to watch during our shared time, and making inroads on that huge pile of books waiting to be read. I love it that so many agencies, groups, museums, etc have shared ideas online for people to entertain and educate their children and themselves. I am sad for the food challenged people I will not be serving, but that is out of my control. My joy level is within my control.

Karla Kaudel March 17, 2020 at 10:11 am

Hi, I’m from Coos Bay OR. Reading a lot of the posts made me cry. Just because among all the depressing news, it is so good to see how this crisis brings out the humanity in the vast majority of people. My husband of 38 years and I are healthy, mostly self quarantined, but I have to make sure all 20 coworkers in our small company are safe. As a born alarmist, I had made sure already 8 weeks ago, that we have enough masks, disinfectants and gloves for everyone. Oregon also supplies unemployment benefits to people under quarantine or when the 40 hours of paid sick leave run out. We take everybody’s temperature twice a day, I so have the overwhelming need to keep everyone safe. But everybody is anxious, especially me. I have health anxiety and a hard time to adjust to this. Also had worked in the medical field in my younger years, and boy, I just know too much!! Our daughter lives in London part time, but she came back a week ago, still under self quarantine until weekend in her little house on the side of ours. As of today all restaurants are closed as well, schools since Yesterday. The situation has such a surreal feel to it. Like I want to shout “this is not the movie I had planned to see!” Can’t even meditate right now bc my brain is just spinning. So I walk every day twice, once with the husband and once with my daughter just to use up the adrenaline. We are blessed to live here, it’s beautiful, you can keep your distance walking at the beaches, the shore and the marsh. I will do a lot of veggie planting in the next weeks. I hope all the good people Who have also posted here will stay safe and healthy as well as their families and loved ones

Victoria March 17, 2020 at 10:12 am

Hi,
I’m a 64 year old woman with a knitting podcast on YouTube. I occasionally use your blog posts on my podcast because I love your blog.
Here in Montana we’re seeing the usual panic. I live in a VERY small town (less than 1000 people), so we’re fairly isolated. Two of my grandsons live with us, ages 1 1/2 and 4. Our big challenge now is how to keep them entertained without activities at the library, the jumpy house in a nearby larger city, and with pre-school closures.
I feel nervous for everyone at this time. I think we’re just learning how serious this could get.
Thanks for encouraging community sharing. ❤️❤️

Johnny Sosnowski March 17, 2020 at 10:15 am

I happened upon this link this morning. I hope it might be helpful.

https://fordhaminstitute.org/national/commentary/resources-learning-home-during-covid-19-school-closures

Johnny Sosnowski March 17, 2020 at 10:12 am

I live in Central Pennsylvania. My partner is on a work-from-home arrangement and is chilling downstairs. Drinking a coffee from our local cafe which is on a takeout as the governor has asked nonessential businesses to close for two weeks (Restaurants and such are welcome to operate on a takeout-only basis.)

My crummy distribution job is still open. (Auto parts industry, so not as critical as, say, grocery.) If a doomsday meteor were hurtling toward the Earth, I think they’d still try to tell us to spend our final hours working overtime. But I say c’est la vie because it’s not my permanent career. I’m going to be a freelance copywriter, and try to incorporate more good causes into my working situation once I have my footing. It’s tough to figure out how to prospect in the current state of affairs without feeling trivial or exploitative, but I’ll figure things out.

I spent my teen years and up through college wishfully thinking that I could cruise along and life would hand me something. The majority of my 20s were spent reckoning with the consequences of this with a lot of meandering and false starts. I turn 30 in June and am confident this will be the decade I really get it together. My first song listen of the new decade was “I.G.Y.” by Donald Fagen to set the tone.

Sending my love to all my sibling in the human family reading this.

Linda March 17, 2020 at 10:12 am

Minnesota …. we are moving from winter to spring. I hear birds… the morning sun is warm. My windows need cleaning!! Gratitude and fear are fighting for their space in my mind. I am forcing myself to only think about today. I have a solid belief that our world will come though this but thinking beyond right now is too overwhelming. I see the best in humanity shining … I pray that continues.

Amanda March 17, 2020 at 10:14 am

Hey everyone!

Here in Las Vegas things got very real for us a couple days ago. About a dozen of the strip hotels closed entirely and schools have shut down. I work for a small catering company that services private planes and business has came to almost a complete stop. My boyfriend whom I live with is a full time bartender downtown. He is now on call with no guaranteed shifts. We are in good spirit but the financial toll is being felt by us and our community of industry workers very hard.

Becky M March 17, 2020 at 10:18 am

A friend recommended your blog to me. I appreciate reading it. I am retired and right now sitting in our living room, doors and windows open, and listening to birdsong. I am currently recovering from a knee ‘scope, so just enjoyed reading, writing, and scrapbooking.

Marcia March 17, 2020 at 10:18 am

I’m in rural Missouri, with a small business from home. The political/social polarization here in the USA has become so crushing, that a new focus really was needed to shake us up collectively. Unfortunately a flu pandemic is forcing the shake up. As we remind ourselves of what is really, basically important in our lives, we also can see our old delusions. That revelation is a gift, albeit a costly one.

Linda March 17, 2020 at 10:20 am

Good morning. It’s a beautiful sunny day here in Olympia, Washington. Normally I would be contemplating taking my two and three year old grandkids to the park on a day like today. I am 60 years old and my husband is 65. We both have some underlying health conditions that are making us take the self-isolation seriously. We are only going out for groceries when needed. My husband is able to work from home starting this week. I normally watch our grandkids but the youngest is running a fever and is coughing so they are at home for now. I’m looking at my dog waiting at the front door for them to get here. He waits patiently for them every morning. (Even on the weekends when they don’t come. Lol). He’s very confused as they haven’t been here in several days now. I’m very thankful they say the virus is not as dangerous to the very young as it is to the old. There are not enough tests to even find out if our youngest has it. They are just automatically having people with sick kids self-quarantine. Being just a short distance from Seattle and Kirkland (where this whole thing got started in Washington) is a little nerve wracking but I have faith this too shall pass. I’m just looking forward to the other side of it. Life is very quiet right now. I’m going to do a little yard work today to get some fresh air.

Dana March 17, 2020 at 10:22 am

I am in the Seattle suburbs and life has pretty much shut down here. I am a high school business and English teacher and am off for 6 weeks-teaching minimally online. I am trying to grasp this sudden new rhythm in life and the space to do other things that if affords-more time to practice music-I am a pianist and harpist, read, write, walk, hike, yoga, binge-watch, do taxes, plan garden, even wash windows so the spring sun gets in…….have followed this blog a long time, so nice to be part of the community.

Mirca March 17, 2020 at 10:22 am

Hi Mirca here, from the suburbs of Boston, MA. I am sitting at my desk and if I look outside I do not see much out of the ordinary because this little town is always quiet; mainly lots of squirrels and chipmunks and pretty birds. What it is indeed out of the ordinary is inside the house, because the 4 of us are all home, and will be for the foreseeable future. I usually work from home, but our two kids are home from high school and college, and my husband, who usually works 60 hours per week and travels all over the world, is home!! So I guess this is my silver lining, to have my whole family under the same roof for a while.
It is hard to keep calm and rational though. I am Italian and my family lives in Northern Italy, so I have been aware and worrying about this virus probably much earlier than most, and now I kind of feel I am caught between two fires, because in Italy the situation is still far from improving and here … it is what we all know. So thank you for creating this space of sanity.

Angie March 17, 2020 at 10:23 am

Hello all y’all. I’m a 66 year old do-it-all at a small town motel in Southern Appalachia. Clientele is mostly extended stays who can’t afford deposits on apartment utilities plus afternoon-delight Latinx immigrants. No, I will not be doing social distancing. I fog the rooms with Lysol and let them sit 30+ minutes before gathering the linens to launder and cleaning the room and I seem to live with a Clorox wipe in my hands these days. If my tenants stay healthy, so will I.

I have a good library of e-books so boredom is not an issue. As a former medical laboratory CSR, my sympathies go out to all of the lab specimen processors out there-a young person’s job and incredibly hard on health. Yesterday’s press conference stated that an enormous number of tests will be in labs by next week.

My neighbors have new businesses, a Tex-Mex restaurant and a convenience store, and I am scared that they will go under from social distancing and self-quarantining.

Ginella March 17, 2020 at 10:29 am

Hiya, in the UK, small town just outside London called Maidenhead.
I have been sick with suspected Coronavirus but testing is only going on for those hospitalised so I have no way of knowing for sure. Have been in bed four days now.
Most of my family are sick, just my 90 year old mother is well.
Things have changed so quickly here in such a short space of time. I have no idea what the shops are like as self quarantining, but I don’t have much, I live alone.
Spring feels like it is in the air, I hope change comes soon, it will in its own good time I expect. xx

Kate March 17, 2020 at 10:33 am

I’m Kate, 71years old, live alone, in the middle of a huge remodel. I’ve read your Raptitude column for years. My LR, DR, kitchen, hallways are all empty, and my laundry room has become my kitchen, with the refrigerator in the garage. Each day, I am grateful when the workers show up. What a time to have a house that’s torn up. BUT, I am learning that a remodel is not so very important. Yes, it’s nice, and I saved a long time for it, but here’s what I discovered about what’s really important: staying connected with friends and family, looking for places to be a helper (thank you, Mr. Rogers), and thanking God for all the many blessings in my life.

Micah Allen March 17, 2020 at 10:35 am

Hi all, I’m 43 and living in Golden, Colorado. My family lives in an cohousing community, inside of a small city, which itself is in the sprawling Denver-Metro region.
Our community is a mix of young families and older people which was a WONDERFUL thing two weeks ago and is recipe for disaster today. Kids are disease vectors that may never show the symptoms that will kill our other neighbors-friends.
I’ve been a huge fan of people living in close knit intentional communities. I believe that for almost everyone (I am an introvert) there is something wonderful about binding ones life to a ‘village’ that is rewarding in a myriad of ways. I get why people daydream about having their own isolated cabin in the mountains, but day-to-day, I find it so much healthier to see other humans each day when I step outside my house. However, this week and for the indefinite future, it’s clearly the worse choice. I wish all my neighbor-friends over 60 or have compromised immune system had their own cabin deep in the woods. The kids in our community still play together outside, but there is a growing sense that the healthiest thing to do would be bring them inside and let them spend untold hours watching screens.
What was once obviously good two weeks ago is now obviously bad. I’m having a hard time adjusting to it.

Helen March 17, 2020 at 10:38 am

Hi David, I love your posts and this one was particularly appreciated in these very scary times. I am in my mid-50’s and live in Toronto, Ontario. Our 20 year old son had to return home to Canada from his 3rd year in College in Maine. My husband drove down to get him this weekend and we are now all at home self-isolating. What keeps me sane these days are my dog walks with my sweet dog, an almost 13 year old labradoodle. I am seeing a lot more people on the streets walking/running/bike riding and everyone is very kind and friendly but keeping their distance. What is sending me over the edge is the constant and ever changing news. I am struggling to sleep well and remain calm. We will be okay, I know it, but we all need to hunker down and pray that what is happening in Europe doesn’t come here. My heart is so heavy for all the people on the front lines and all the people affected and I hope and pray we don’t lose too many more people. It’s good to try, despite everything, to keep a sense of humour through this too. I love all the clever and funny memes floating around the internet. This has not been a good start to the year or the new decade but we will be okay. What I am looking at right now is something I can no longer stall on (despite best efforts): our taxes! Here goes…wish me luck (smile).

Lisis March 17, 2020 at 10:43 am

Has it really been 11 years?!! <3

Theresa March 17, 2020 at 10:43 am

I’m in Vancouver, BC, Canada. We’ve been told to work from home starting yesterday. The shelves in Safeway have no eggs, no pasta sauce, no chicken, no frozen veggies, and very limited milk. The smaller grocery stores still seem to have a lot in stock, so head there if you’re looking for something in particular. BC isn’t allowing gathering of 50 people or more, so everything is being cancelled and we are being counseled to stick to places where we can be sure to have at least 1m (~3 feet) between you and any other person.

The number of cases are growing and I’m trying to act as though I am infected, because who knows, with a 14-day incubation period and the possibility of being asymptomatic, maybe I am. Best to keep away from others. And I’m lucky enough to have just moved in with my boyfriend, so we have each other around all day long.

Laura March 17, 2020 at 10:47 am

Hi everyone, this is laura from Los Angeles. I found out yesterday that my corona test was negative! I have a unspecified bronchial viral infection which felt very scary to be honest. It still does, but knowing that it will likely not be a permanent lung damage situation nor a trip to the ICU makes a tremendous difference. Anyway, things in LA are a bit crazy. Toilet paper is worth it’s weight in gold and it’s difficult to find anything at the store. Not that I have been… But I have enlisted friends who were not showing any symptoms and I also had delivery options. People are connecting via zoom and text and to be honest, I am not one who usually leaves comments anywhere. I am hungry for human connection. Wishing everyone safety and love.

Charlotte March 17, 2020 at 10:50 am

Hello David and everyone commenting. It is so fun to read everyone’s comment. I’m in Omaha, Nebraska. We have 20 confirmed cases and are very fortunate to have the University of NE Medical Center in Omaha. I sell meat in the foodservice industry so my world changed dramatically. I am normally on the road quite a bit but now of course am working only from home. My husband works construction so not too much has changed for him. Our 17-yr. old son is home indefinitely from school and our daughter is a senior in college in Kansas. I am wanting her to come home, I always feel “better” with my kids close. I struggled tremendously with how drastic things were changing on Thursday evening. I had the serious sense of dread. Since then I’ve tried to work on being mindful about each thing I was doing because I really felt like I was going down a rabbit hole that I wasn’t sure I could climb out of. Again I love reading the comments I felt transported to each and every area and I hope everyone knows I was glad to “visit” them if only for a moment. Thanks David your spirit shines through all your posts. Love from Omaha to everyone!

Alina March 17, 2020 at 10:50 am

Hi! Indeed I’ve been reading your blog for 5 years now and never commented. I guess I never think my thoughts and opinions are worthy of other people’s time.

I’m from Romania. 30 years old… Will be 31 in June. Looking up I see a black television screen. I’ve been avoiding the news for a couple of days now because I’m getting really anxious about everything that is happening in my country and in the world. Two weeks ago I watched the news thinking it cannot get to us. It all felt like we were untouchable somehow. Not that our country is really good at keeping people healthy. I just did not think other countries problems can become our problem too.
I’m home alone. My family is close by but we decided to stay apart for a while. Too many people in one small appartment can become tiresome really fast.

Everyone does their own thing here. Some people respect the advice of the authorities and stay inside..some don’t take things seriously even if they truly are serious now. It’s chaos in the supermarkets and pharmacies. I have friends in real need of the basic pills like vitamin c, for serious health issues and they can’t find it because of some fake news that if you stuff your body with vitamin c you can’t get infected by the virus. People bought all stock of this not thinking about others. I’m not saying everyone is selfish, but some are.

Everyone is scared on some level. I’m still sort of young and even if I’m a smoker… I might pull through. But I’m scared for my family. Mom and dad have their own health issues and I’m not sure what will happen if they get it. For two weeks now I’ve had poor sleep because I’m thinking about what to do to protect them and I don’t have any solution. The basic advice we get from the media and Facebook and all that are simply… Basic. Of course we wash our hands .. we’ve always done so. Of course we no longer take unnecessary trips and walks and all that. We can’t avoid public transportation because they still need to go to work. I am lucky as the company I work at let us work from home as much as we want. Their jobs do not allow that.

So, to your question of how am I doing…. I’m getting by, each day at a time. I’m waiting for something bad that I hope never comes to me or my family.

Welmoet March 17, 2020 at 10:51 am

Good morning and thank you for your many posts & thoughts shared.
Thank you to all the MANY who’ve posted their thoughts & experiences.
I’m in Santa Batbara, CA.
My household consists of 5 people and 1 little dog. We are varying ages 27 to 68 and the mix of characters is wonderful for all of us.
These days when I wake up, I make a daily effort to clean the areas we all use, and am considering doing everyone’s dishes to help them and to have a consistent approach to cleaning things. Truly any of us could do that but it’s a little way that I can do something for them, to ease their load a bit.
I have an aroma therapy device in my kitchen that sends off a fresh, nice scent all day.
There is a peaceful atmosphere in the house and we often have music on and a fire burning given that it’s been raining for several days.
I find that we all seek to get outdoors & walk, or run or do something physical to shift our minds away from being anxious. Being quiet in nature or simply outdoors, meditating, walking running ….seems the best way to restore mental, emotional & physical balance.
I wish everybody an inner sense of calm and an open heart full of kindness.

Stefano March 17, 2020 at 10:52 am

Hello,

I am Italian and have been reading your posts for many years now :)

My passion is traveling the world and I am now in Tulum, Mexico, writing this comment from my hostel room. AC is on making the room cool, while outside the heat is strong. It’s 10.51am right at this moment I am writing.

Ian March 17, 2020 at 10:54 am

Hi, I’m Ian and have been following Raptitude for a few months, recommended by my daughter Sarah. I’m 71 years young, live alone, cycle and run fit, live in Tonbridge, Kent, England, and the Coronavirus scares me. It’s a nice afternoon here and I’m looking out of the window of my study in a loft conversion of my small house. I look down on my back garden and a few neighbours’ houses, and woods and rolling countryside beyond. Like other posts, all large gatherings are being cancelled here in the UK, quite understandably. Like many commenters, I look forward to David’s posts – they really put thinks into perspective don’t they?

Ann Mcphee March 17, 2020 at 10:58 am

Hi! Ann from New Mexico, we have schools, events and smaller shops closed. 21 cases so far, in the north part of the state- I’m south. I’m hiking 2-3 x week in the desert with the dog or friends, catching up on reading, crochet projects and art. Calling more to friends and family. I’m 62, not worried, have had a wonder filled life and ready to stay or go anytime.

Christina March 17, 2020 at 10:58 am

Good day fellow Raptudians from overcast Vancouver, BC. I already work from home so self-isolation hasn’t been much of a challenge. I get out for walks a couple of times a day with my herding mutt Iris. While the streets seem quieter these days, there is still a generous amount of bustle. In my small world there is a man with a moustache who sits in the window of a coffee shop I pass by every morning. He is still there—COVID-19 be damned—scrolling through his phone, glancing up over his glasses as I pass. He still refuses to smile all these years later. Nonetheless, I manage to find connection with him and on the odd occasion when he isn’t there, I imagine him on a beach in Mexico with his wife. I’ve been obsessively checking the news and the markets. I should stop that. I know it doesn’t make anything better but it’s a car crash I can’t tear my eyes away from. I’ve been thinking of putting a big sign in my living room window that says something like “We’re all in this together” or “COVID-19 does not spark joy” in an effort to reach out to the other self-isolated folks in the four-storey apartment building across the street. I did something like that when Vancouver was poised to vote whether or not to bring the Olympics here in 2010. That sign said, “Don’t believe the hype”. Maybe my sign today should read, “Believe the hype”.

Lynn March 17, 2020 at 11:01 am

I’m near Toronto. I’ve been working from home since 2013 so I’m not feeling too much of a change with work other than doing things quickly and trying new things to help where we can.
My two teenaged kids are home and I haven’t yet made much of an effort to get them doing more than watching TV and playing video games. But I did order puzzles and board games so we can have some variety in activities.
I broke up with my boyfriend of 2 years 10 days ago – that timing was really shitty. Luckily, I have a few good friends who I talk to every day and that’s helping.
My mother is diabetic and self-isolating so we will facetime to stay connected. I’m also having virtual dinners with friends who I had plans with.
My son used to go to the gym daily and is now doing workouts at home which is great. I intend to add more movement to my days but for now I’m trying to being kind to myself for not doing much yet.

Jessica March 17, 2020 at 11:03 am

I am a nurse in Seattle currently quarantined in my home with my husband and our 5 year old son. I am awaiting results from my Covid-19 test yesterday, but they’re backed up and I’m told it will take 3-5 days. If it’s negative I can go back to work. I’m 24 weeks pregnant so my employer is transferring me to a location that doesn’t see patients so I’m less likely to be exposed.

Its very beautiful and sunny in Seattle right now. We’re maintaining a pretty decent existence from home. We’ve been doing all of our spring cleaning and returning to neglected art projects.

My mother owns a restaurant and I spent a few hours yesterday helping her upload her menu onto a meal delivery service website since all restaurants in Seattle have been ordered to go delivery only.

I will be grateful when life can get more back to normal. Being forced out of routines and everyday annoyances (like Seattle’s awful traffic) has already helped me see them for the minutiae that they are.

Mana March 17, 2020 at 11:10 am

Hi everyone!
At the moment I’m living in a small North East town in Scotland. I don’t know anyone with the virus as of yet but seems 55 have already died in the UK. I am worried for my family ( but only a little more than usual). Both my partner and I have to go out regularly to walk our dog so we are leaving our number with neighbours in the street, in case they need help. Best wishes to all who are struggling and kind hugs are shared.

Rachel March 17, 2020 at 11:17 am

Hi, Rachel from Portland, Or, US. I’ve been unemployed since October 2019 and self identify as an introvert. So social distancing is my most desired living model. I was just beginning to feel the need to get back to work both financially and for a steady life when this all hit. I’m going to hunker down and see if I can make it through the next few months. No one is hiring now in my industry or for a living wage. What has struck me most is that I haven’t blossomed into the creative artist I thought I would given the time and sanctuary of not working. I have space to create, materials and plenty of time. I’m not disappointed, just observing. Now I know that it wasn’t my stressful job that was keeping me from being an artist. I just don’t have the drive.
It was blissful being alone and not going out until the minute it was what I was supposed to do. I watched myself struggle and wiggle around trying to get off the hook of conformity even though I wanted to be alone. This is an amazing time to be alive and to observe how my individual mind and our collective mind react to something that is largely invisible and for many of us still just a state of mind. (not to minimize the real danger which is real) Mostly I’ve become more and more grateful for all of the abundance in my life. Thank you, former self, for striving so hard to create this life. Now I’m living it.
Also cherry blossoms, purple sunrise shining on Mt. Hood. Thank you, former self, for getting me this place of beauty. It was worth the struggle.

Barbara March 17, 2020 at 11:21 am

I am Barbara from Hamburg, Germany. It is strange to watch the city shutting down. However, I was surprised to get a sandwich at my favourite coffee shop around the corner for lunch today. The old lady working there smiled like any other day, wishing me a „beautiful day“

Emily March 17, 2020 at 11:21 am

I’m Emily – wife, mom, librarian – living in west Michigan. Husband still working, but we’re on lockdown at my library so I’m mostly off for three weeks. One son planning to go out fishing soon, the other hanging with friends across the street (hopefully washing his hands frequently). I’m getting some work done & eating lunch, then cleaning the kitchen is on the agenda. Best wishes & good health to everyone! I enjoy your emails, keep hope alive!

Marc March 17, 2020 at 11:29 am

Marc here from London… UK – GULP! At least we’re ex-Europe now, HAHAHA :o)
On a more serious note, it’s been a rough ride to watch what’s going on in the other countries close by (things to come…!), and it’s just weird to walk around the City of London (main office district), which is usually flooded by 3 million (!) daily commuters, and seeing virtually nobody on the streets!
I try to focus on the positives, lots of people offering help, and even some major corporations trying to do good (LVMH Group, which is usually producing luxury products that the world doesn’t really need, offered to produce hand sanitizers for free!).
Thanks for encouraging people to post something, David…

Shari March 17, 2020 at 11:30 am

Hello, I’m Shari (pronounced, it rhymes with “sorry” – great conversation starter). I’m a woman in my 30’s. I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA with my mom, my baby girl, and my two cats.

I work for something called Project ECHO, which is a tele-mentoring educational model that was created to connect specialists (in Hepatitis C, HIV, autism, infectious diseases, etc.) with primary care providers so that people can get access to specialized care and treatment from their local doctors and nurses. Right now, all of our efforts are being funneled into helping with the global COVID-19 response.

I just got off a video conference call with my coworkers. We’ve all been told that we are required to telework. We’re very fortunate that we have this option, and I’m fortunate to have my mom so I don’t need to worry about childcare. My baby was crying in the other room for the last half hour while I was on that call…It’s so difficult to hear her cry and not be able to do something about it.

Otherwise, I’m pretty good. Going on lots of walks, waving at my neighbors from afar. Oddly, I feel more connected with my community than usual.

Linda Lesperance March 17, 2020 at 11:34 am

Hi David:
I’m Linda, a professional painter, living in New Orleans and I’ve been reading your wonderful blog for probably 10 of your 11 years (congrats on that). As I am self-employed, my job hasn’t been interrupted per se but I’m sure it will suffer in the downturn like all business. My health is ok so far but I am self-isolating at home until this passes like most people. We’re a little stressed and anxious here in New Orleans because tourism, especially of the international variety is the bread and butter but, ironically, probably where most of our virus cases have originated. We are hunkering down, hoping for everyone’s healthy outcome, watching videos, reading books and doing some cleaning that has been neglected for a while. Use our time wisely and make the best of it. Thank you for the opportunity. I enjoy your thoughts.

Samantha March 17, 2020 at 11:35 am

Married 30 somethings, living in a big city in the US Midwest. It’s cold, wet and cloudy, and it does feel like the weather is matching the mood. All schools, restaurants, and everything is closed. Ohio even canceled their presidential primary which was today.

It’s very surreal. Trying to work from home as much as possible. Very weird times. No movies, no museums. Everything is shut down but grocery stores, basically. They have not implemented mandatory quarantine or anything, but there’s nowhere to go anyway.

Husband and I just keeping busy, controlling the things we can. Spring cleaning and watching Netflix to distract from the chaos.

Nina March 17, 2020 at 11:36 am

I’m a 25 yo Swedish trans woman and shut-in. Corona haven’t affected me to a great deal because I have agoraphobia and am barely able to go outside. But access to food delivery etc. has been restricted already so might get problematic.

I read your blog to learn and improve my mental-health. I almost never comment or post anywhere. Hope you are all doing well who reads this.

Lars Finderup March 17, 2020 at 11:43 am

Hi from a 60 something architect on the outskirts of Atlanta, GA, sitting in my office in front of the computer as usual. It’s a 127 step commute from my house, if I take the scenic route. We’ve had a virtual office for a number of years, so the daily stuff isn’t too different from any other week. We’ve become quite good at using video conferencing and remote collaboration tools. But, it all works only if you can get up and go to the coffee shop or meet a friend or coworker for lunch. This week that option went away. Walking the dog all of a sudden has become a privilege that I look forward to.
Haven’t been outside my neighborhood for a week, except to pick up my spouse at the airport. It was an ever bigger zoo than usual on Sunday night. She was returning from a trip to New York which caused all sorts of anxiety about her exposure while in the Big Apple. Due to my age, I feel particularly at risk, so we are maintaining social distance between us and sleep in separate rooms for the time being, but do share meals. It’s getting a bit strange but we have this intense desire to live! We’ll get through it, and so will most everyone else, I hope. Peace and kindness!

Becki Morrison March 17, 2020 at 11:45 am

Hi all, my husband and I are living in Santa Cruz County Ca, retired & under all the same conditions as everyone else. The skys are cloudy, much needed showers have come through & the air is crisp and fresh smelling. My millennial grandsons live in San Francisco and are feeling very uneasy about being house bound, and worried about us (vunerable age group) and their parents. I very much enjoyed perusing all these replys. Im an introvert so i would not normally join in but i felt connected, so what the heck. One thing i dont think i read, is a concern for the long queue’s at the gun shops. Hopefully now with the mandatory shutdowns that will abate but it concerns me that so many folks feel a need for a fire arm.
Thanks for initiating this David

Tatyana Davis March 17, 2020 at 11:51 am

I am in Cleveland, OH. Things are shut down here and the quiet feel nice. Personally, I am stuck between relief and panic. I own a yoga studio and run a private medical massage practice. All my income dried out for an indefinite amount of time. I contribute 50% of household budget so without my income we get to choose between not paying the mortgage or not buying the groceries. I am simplifying, of course, but the worry is real. There are no protections for self-employed small business owners. Additionally, I am responsible for the rent and utilities of my studio. I am also responsible for customer’s pre-paid yoga passes. I am torn ethically. If I pay my business bills, I must use the money my customers entrusted me. It feels like stealing. If I do not pay my rent, it feels like cheating. But what I need in reality is to use the money in business bank account to pay MY bills which will feel like both stealing and cheating. Otherwise, I appreciate the forced break.

Ashley March 17, 2020 at 11:55 am

Hi all, I’m Ashley – a Canadian citizen who lives in Scotland with her French husband. I work in local food policy, he’s a sourdough baker.
I’m at home, drinking tea and eating some chocolate, on my laptop reading all the news. Outside, most of the world goes on as normal – the UK has been slow to enact measures.
My partner and I have both been limited contact with others – we’re both wishing we lived somewhere more proactive, we’re considering coming back to Canada or France to be with family right now. Feeling uncertain. Stay safe everyone xx.

Mason March 17, 2020 at 11:55 am

Hello to all my wonderful fellow humans posting their stories here – so many interesting paths!

I’m a mid-fifties male, Toronto area, recently early retired (came here from MMM way back), at home with my wife, our two grown children out of the nest.

I’m sitting in my ‘home office’ trying to start today’s work on a contract I have picked up. Feeling very fortunate to already be isolated from my former busy hospital workplace, and to have had some time in the warm south, getting back just as the very first covid cases were emerging.

The community around us is doing well. Most people are compliant with the new restrictions. It is somewhat peaceful, actually, to see a return to a simpler time – people out walking, kids playing outside, the traffic very light.

David, thank you for your writings over the years – I always read your posts, and like how they open up my thinking in so many ways. Keep up the great work! And thanks for the prompt to give back a little something by telling our stories.

Jocelyn March 17, 2020 at 11:56 am

Hello David, and all of you wonderful fellow Raptitude readers!

David, thank you for giving us this forum to connect with each other and remember that, around the world, we’re really all in this together, even though we need to be physically distant.

I’m in Edmonton, Alberta, finishing my last year of a BSc in Nutrition and Human Ecology as what they call a non-traditional student (I’m 40, and I have a 1-year-old daughter). It’s very strange having classes in my office with my cat, and listening to my partner and daughter downstairs! A lot of things in Edmonton are closed, but we’re not at the sheltering-in-place point that so many people are. Alberta is up to 74 cases with 18 of them in Edmonton. Like so many of you, I’m marveling at how much I took for granted our connection with each other!

Be well, everyone!

Rob Thilo March 17, 2020 at 12:00 pm

Hi David,

Congrats on 11 years. I’ve been here since the onset, a silent observer, encourager, witness, and supporting cheerleader for your awesome journey. Retired psychiatrist, in Bend, OR, after 30+ years in the Seattle area. Mindfulness practitioner for a long time (nonjudgmental awareness).

I sent the following email to my inner circle as a means to skillful, simple action toward a “greater good”:

All,

I awoke to wonder what any of us can do. As I began my daily, solo routines and rituals, I pondered the simple means to be present for these moments, right here right now. What am I willing to do? I saw this NYT article (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/03/15/business/economy/coronavirus-worker-risk.html?te=1&nl=the-upshot&emc=edit_up_20200316&campaign_id=29&instance_id=16789&segment_id=22278&user_id=b37825fe83088aef788e8e140d7888bc&regi_id=7425383320200316) and moved to action (with this message to many, that you are reading). As a small action to be aware of a larger world, You can scroll over the various “bubbles” and see specific workers’ risk for contracting the virus. Can I bring to mind an image of each worker and be grateful for their presence and effort?

Stay safe, clean, and “in communicato”, (social distancing need not be lonely).

See fear for what it is, and act with wisdom. Here’s a primer I made as a reminder:

Fear
F@#$ Everything And Run!
False Evidence Appearing Real.
For Every Attack, React.
Feel Emotions And Recover.

Here’s a “go-to” topic I have come to appreciate. Many years ago I came to see that my ability to deal with fears in my life had a very large gap. These little phrases became the entry for me to examine fear from a different perspective. There are undoubtedly many more acronyms for fear (please share yours). My process was to first identify instances of fear and see the scale from the very smallest to most intense and “largest” circumstances where fear appeared.

Next, I needed to develop the skill to sit with it long enough to see the nature of this occurrence, which flavor of acronym was present. Subsequent observations were along the line of noting what made fear greater and what made it less. Here are some exacerbating influences I tend to invoke:

Exaggeration
Isolation
Clinging
Distortion
Rationalization
Secrecy
Vagueness
Explanation
Running away
Darkness
Excuses
Premature conclusions
…the list goes on. You are invited to add your observations.

Attenuating actions to disempower fear would obviously take the form of opposites of the above and might look like this:

Precision
Engagement
Letting Go
Accuracy
Expressing Emotions
Openness
Clarity
Possibilities
Moving toward
Light
Responsible Action
Tolerating Ambiguity

What would you add?

I list these attributes for stimulating a means of observing how fear might be approached. These qualities come from self-observation and attempting to clear some of the messiness that fear generates.

The exercise of noting, throughout the day, the continuum of intensities of fear (or any of its relatives) and developing a vocabulary to generate a meaningful expression of that intensity leads to some interesting changes.

What happens to an individual when an active examination of such a rudimentary and fundamental function becomes prominent? How does this change that individual’s thinking? How does this feel? What implicit processes can be uncovered? What ongoing developmental pattern would emerge?

The smallest actions, practiced with courage, compassion, and gratitude, benefit all. Share this with others, as you see fit…

May you be safe and free from harm.

Finally a poem,

Pandemic
~ Lynn Ungar

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

Rob

David Cain March 17, 2020 at 12:01 pm

Reading all these stories one after another is surreal.

My city has its first confirmed cases, and things are rapidly shutting down. Libraries and city facilities are closed. Concerts and events are canceled. Schools will be out by the end of the week, many businesses are voluntarily shutting down. I need a haircut but my barber announced he is closing today — it’s amazing how much we take for granted.

I’m working from home as usual, but suddenly without the frequent social contact in the evenings that helps me balance that. I get outside every day, for a walk if nothing else.

I have an unbelievable pile of work to do, which is good I guess, but it is not paid hourly work, it’s the behind-the-scenes scrambling of an online entrepreneur. Being self-employed is tentative at the best of times and it feels precarious. Luckily Camp Calm is a virtual and not a physical gathering so that will be able to go ahead in the coming weeks. I’m trying to shift the focus of my work to what will help people most.

Last Sunday I had my sister’s family and my mom over to have lunch and play board games. It was wonderful, but it felt like the last get-together for a while. I am keeping contact with friends via electronic means and that seems really important right now. My best friend is three blocks away, off work, and also socially distancing so I’m really glad for that.

Outside it’s overcast but bright. Traffic is sparse on the streets and sidewalks, but the squirrels and birds are having a ball.

Rob Thilo March 24, 2020 at 11:03 am

David,

I hear a poem aching to emerge from your reply.

Such a rich experience you’ve created!

Rob

Séamus Scanlan March 17, 2020 at 12:04 pm

I’m Séamus, 33 in San Diego by way of Philadelphia. Glad to read in on others experiences a bit. I’m an amateur musician and plan to use some of this quarantine time to play with live streaming my practice time. If anybody is using instagram, I plan to do an hour or so each day – @shayduhg . I’m hoping to see what others get up to creating during this! With all of the obvious downsides to the virus, I do believe some unique and inspired art will emerge from the situation, too. Be well! :)

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