IMG_20200216_161054Things I have done.

I ran the vacuum cleaner for the first time in about 50 years (hadn’t done that since I was first married). Mopped and dusted and even made my bed one day (threw my back out, so since then I just pull the covers up).

I bought a whole chicken and made chicken and veggie soup (now I have to see what I am going to do with all that, but I guess Salomé will be delighted to share it with me).

Cleaned two shelves in the corner of the living room that is my office, and organized a Twelve Step Codependent Women’s group (in Spanish) over Internet. Threw out a lot of old papers and organized the ones I wanted to keep in new folders.

Whatsapp-ed everyone who I care about at least once every two or three days. Watched uncountable videos, cartoons and jokes over Whatsapp. Have finished two books, one on the Patty Hearst trial back in the 70’s (not worth the time), another American Pastoral by Phillip Roth (good). Just ordered Walden by Thoreau by Kindle… will tackle tonight.IMG_20200221_104425

I have finished the first revision of my Proustian memoires (1386 pages at the moment) and realized I will have to let them sit for a while. Feel frustrated because I am not writing, so decided to hammer out a blog post.

Watched three chapters of the short Netflix series “Dirty Money”; got depressed and disgusted… decided I didn’t need that. Watched a Turkish movie today because Netflix recommended it and it is the best, the very best movie I have seen in years (The Miracle of Cell Number 7).

Have bought and consumed a croissant every day in honor of all the ladies on the Titanic who didn’t eat dessert that last dinner so as not to gain weight. Bought a pint of Häggen Dazs ‘macadamia nut brittle’ and ate the whole thing watching the movie (tch, tch).

IMG_20200306_094958Salomé and I go out four times a day every day so we’re getting our exercise. She has finally given up going straight to the coffee shop. Have hopefully watch Spring burst forth on each walk, in spite of the bitter cold wind this afternoon. It would seem that the winter we didn’t really have keeps trying to stick its foot in the door.

I check the mailbox every time I go out even though I know the post is not passing now (oops, wrong: just ran into mailwoman and she says she comes three times I week… Yea! I can order a book over Amazon. I cover my hand with the sleeve of my jacket to open doors; if it is cold enough, I wear mittens.

I have washed my hands dutifully every time I come back home. I leave the latest meal’s dishes in the sink and wash them at the same time: two for one. Even that way, my hands are so dry they hurt. I have not found a way to take off the semi-permanent nail polish that has grown out half way and is all chipped, so apart from dry, my hands are a mess.

My son called four days ago to say he had the virus and was isolating from his wife (they were caught in a very small apartment rented while they finish the remodeling of their new house). He spent three days with bad fever and now he is better. Feels good in the morning, gets worse towards evening, but the high fever has not come back so he is getting better. He has dutifully kept me informed and I am taking it in my stride.IMG_20200309_212522

I am surprised how good I have gotten at controlling my mind and, therefore, my emotions. When I first heard the news –from him- my mind immediately said ‘What if he dies?’ and I stopped it right there. ‘Nothing has happened yet’ I told myself firmly, ‘he is a sturdy, middle-aged man in good health; there is no reason he would die… and anyway there is nothing you can do about it so take care of yourself and let life take care of him.’ It is surprising how calm I have been, not bothering him every five minutes for updates, waiting for him to offer the news, not even doting on the subject all day or bombarding myself with negative thoughts.

I downloaded a game of Dominoes on my phone and play against the computer all the time. Many times I win. When I am not playing dominoes, I am playing Scrabble against the computer. I bought two newspapers and have played Sudoku in both of them (I can’t do crosswords in French); not too interested in the news.

Things I have not gotten around to: cleaning any drawers; organizing books on shelves and getting rid of those I have no need for anymore.  Writing the second half of my Proustian Memoires. Cleaning out my filing cabinet. Taking out summer clothes (waiting for the warmer weather). Ironing a couple of pairs of jeans I washed. Baking a cake… (no way I am doing that!)dav

So I am being good, I am taking care to not breathe on anyone, to cough or sneeze into my elbow, to wash my hands all the time, to take sips of warm water all through the day, to keep my defenses up, to get a good night’s rest…

And yet today I was suddenly on edge. I think I was tired… tired of trying not to be sad, tired of trying not to feel how strange everything is, tired … just tired. I snapped at my personal trainer with whom I do exercise over Skype and refused to finish the class because I was so uptight. I snapped at Salomé when she took too long to come down the stairs on her last walk. I felt my chest heavy and sad as I walked in the silence of the night. I felt the aloneness, not only of myself but of everyone in the world as we sit out this strange, silent, invisible war. I longed to find myself on a sofa somewhere, with someone loved and let myself be held; I longed to sit at a table with my family sitting around and laugh, or joke or just chat while we ate our meal; I longed to hop on a plane and fly to Mallorca and visit my brother; I longed to take my car and drive to Madrid and have lunch with my best friend there… I longed…

So I try to be gentle with myself. I will help me into my pajamas and crawl into my bed, snuggle down under the blankets, lay my head on the pillow, close my eyes and drift off. Tomorrow will be another day…

7 thoughts on “DAY 18 OF LOCKDOWN

  1. Hi Brianda I hope you are okay! I guess many of us feel like you. Some days good and others lonely and sad. I live with my daughter, her husband and right now my grandaughter and a friend of hers are here. They came for a vacation and couldn’t go back since college was closed. So I am not alone. Still there are so many things I used to do , took for granted and were so much part of my life that sometimes I find myself missing them. In fact I was planning to go to France. I had tickets to go on the 5th of this month and I even thought I could see you. I hope your son is doing okay. Maybe after this is over we can get together. Take care!Stay safe! Love you! Yolanda. Keep on writing. It helps to read your blogs.

    • Brianda, I have written you several times, but Have a feeling you have never received them. Well, I will try again. Yes this is a terrible time for the whole world.. sometimes I think it is a bad dream, but I can’t wake up from it.
      Other times I think that this cannot be happening, but it is. So, all we can do is take care of ourselves and help,whoever you can and wait for it to be over.
      I understand your feeling of loneliness.I also feel so with all my family in the US. My husband is quite old and has lost his hearing. He is like a little child, so most of my day is looking after him and trying to get a conversation out of him. Pero esa es la vida. I love to read your blogs and it seems like yesterday when we were together. Take care of yourself and I hope I get an answer from you.

  2. Hi, Brianda–I’m enjoying your posts a lot. Our life isn’t much different from yours: lots of dog-walking, household chores, more dog-walking. But I’m also blogging like mad about this stupid virus as well as writing for The Tyee (, which has switched to virtually 100% COVID-19 coverage. I’m immensely proud of the team, most of them kids in their 20s and 30s, doing a great job while sheltering in place all over Vancouver.

    All seems well with my brothers; Linc’s been a semi-recluse for years, so this is no big deal for him. Starr and his family are coping well. Last I heard from Mike Butler, he and his countless sisters and relatives are all OK. Keep writing, and keep blogging! Cheers, Crawford

  3. Ánimo, son momentos en la que la vida nos prueba, a veces nos debilita y en otras ocasiones nos fortalece. Todo pasa, mientras tanto, hay que seguir adelante. Ánimo!

  4. I so enjoyed this latest blog Brianda and can so relate. Thank you for putting so many thoughts I share into words. They weave us all together in a way we are not in a normal situation and so are blessed.

  5. And don’t forget the ones who are not alone, but who can spend lovely hours with their children, get to known their mate maybe for the first time in many years or communicate with authors they have longed to know. We are never alone unless we think it so. The Spirit teaches otherwise. I hope you will feel it. Thanks for writing,.

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