I do not say this very often,
but drastic times call for drastic measures –
this blog is hereby announced ‘Safe Space.’
You can come over and read at your leisure without worrying about the infection. There are no handshakes here. The only human interaction is through the comments and those go through many layers of disinfection. So go ahead and make this blog your oasis. Rest in the shade of a palm tree as long as you want. If you read one post a day, you should have enough reading material for a year and a half (and that is not counting new/upcoming content.) Unlike other places, I am NOT shutting down. The show must go on!
From various chats throughout the past week, I know that a lot of you (like me) went to the store to grab a few regular things and found the stores half-empty. No matter how serious this virus is, people are overreacting. Will you really need a million rolls of paper? Do you really need to get into an altercation because of it? With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner (tomorrow), many people celebrated it this past weekend. With their houses filled to the brim with toilet paper, they stood in lines to get inside crowded bars. How is it that people are cautious about some things but not others? If you are petrified, stay home and do not go out. If you think all of this is blown out of proportion, then be my guest and travel to the most popular tourist destinations, shake hands with everyone, and drink beer from the same glass as others. Whichever camp you are in, be consistent. Otherwise, you look bipolar. (Yes, I know bipolar disorder is something else and is a serious condition, but I am an artist and sometimes use words creatively.)
While I am not much of a huger, I definitely am a handshake kind of person. It stems more from my upbringing and societal norms rather than from my need to touch people. As much as I enjoy good company, I dislike bad company. Times like now enable us to be slightly antisocial without being labeled ‘weirdo,’ ‘rude,’ or ‘recluse.’ I cannot say that I have anything to complain about. In normal circumstances, I find that not everyone respects personal space. If I can smell what you had for lunch, you are standing too close to my face. Please move. Why is it that anything needs to be said? Should it not be common sense? Apparently, NOW people are keeping their distance. Six feet seems to be the golden rule. That is as close to my comfort zone as it is going to get so I intend on appreciating it. But why is it that we wait until a health crisis to do so? Why does it take a pandemic for people to start washing their hands? My hope is that once this blows over, whenever it does, that we will KEEP on washing our hands routinely and will respect other people’s personal space.
Have you heard about the ‘Donut Guy?’ A man in Italy cut out a piece of cardboard six feet in diameter and then a hole in the middle, and then wore it outside. Some people call him a hero for raising social distancing awareness. Can I wear such a donut all year long? Italy is on lock-down, which means that many places are shut down (restaurants, pubs, and most stores). Those that stay open must guarantee one meter between customers (which is around 3.5 feet). If you want to leave your house, you have to print out a form from the government’s website and fill it out. Once outside, you can be stopped and your form reviewed. If your matter is not urgent enough or if you are found outside without a note, you face the potential of getting fined or even going to jail.
It is not all doom and gloom, though. Multiple communities in Italy have gone viral over the weekend when videos of them singing on balconies were posted on social media. I have to admit that it is pretty entertaining. Somehow, people managed to turn these dark times into an opportunity to socialize (and still keep their distance!). While some citizens sing, others play instruments.
“In the flat in front of me, a couple with a small child appeared,” he said. “The mother carried him in her arms while the father played a children’s musical toy. They waved over at us and we waved back. We’ve never met.” – a quote by Matteo Colombi
He also mentioned that he witnessed two elderly ladies beating out rhythms with the use of cookware. People who have never exchange words with each other before are now smiling and waving to one another across the street. The idea is bound to warm even the coldest of hearts. It is a wonderful display of solidarity. While these people are apart/isolated, they are also together in a way.
P.S. There will probably be a lot of Christmas babies this year.
Is your area particularly affected by the virus?
What precautions do you take to stay healthy?
Have you learned anything from this health crisis?
What would you do if you had to stay home for the next couple of weeks?
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