I have a strange relationship with this novel corona virus. The virus first broke out in December in a Chinese city. I was in China, visiting my nephew who lives in the New Territories just forty-five minutes outside of Hong Kong. Then my sister and I flew to Mumbai, India for ten days. From there I flew to Germany for a few weeks before climbing back on another plane and heading to Costa Rica and Panama at the end of January. The pandemic and I had been circling one another around the globe for quite some time.
I got home at the start of March, finishing my longest concentrated period of traveling ever. It’s been about three weeks since the lockdown began. I thought I was coming back to my old routines after being on three different continents.
There were things I’d been meditating on while I was away. What did I want to do with my life when I got home again? Where should I focus? Instead, I’ve gone inward. I don’t mean contracting, or shrinking… I’m home, but the world I planned to return to is gone. Is it gone for another month? Longer? Forever? How do I mark the transition? Yeah, I feel myself going inward. This is the planet’s new milestone: before the virus, and after.
How can we honor earlier milestones? April 1st marked 28 years that I’ve been in Europe. A plane left America on March 31st twenty-eight years ago and landed in Frankfurt on April Fool’s Day. I’ve appreciated the joke (the joke on me, that is!) ever since.
This year is different. I’ve pretty much lost all concept of what day it is, much less what day of the month. The lockdown seems like it’s only lasted a few days – or an eternity. Such a long time; such a short time.
The other night I had no idea what the date was, the 3rd of April? The 4th? Maybe the 5th already? I thought it was the 5th, and that meant that for the first time I’d forgotten when our wedding anniversary rolled around. So I asked Uwe, “Isn’t today the 5th? Do you know?”
He had to check. “Sunday’s the 5th,” he answered. Uwe hadn’t seen the date creep up on us either.
After we established what day it was, we watched a film. It was my turn to pick, because we have to be really fair about this whole whose-turn-is-it-to-choose thing, there are so few things we can choose right now! I settled on The Tailor of Panama. It seemed like a good night for an escapist Le Carré thriller, because really his plots and writing are so damned good. I love his books but find him depressing, knowing that he describes a world all too close. Never mind. Geoffrey Rush, Jamie Lee Curtis and Pierce Brosnan are brilliant, you feel the relish they bring to their roles, I mean really they’re fantastic, and so is the film. The characters are all chasing lies, and money, and bodies: it’s pure escapism.
Nothing like the way the virus and I still play tag. I’m not going to be coming out for a while to see if it’s still waiting for me though.
Stay safe everyone. Stay healthy.
NOTES: © Jadi Campbell 2020. A To see Uwe’s animal photos and pics from our trips go to viewpics.de.
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8 thoughts on “Me and La Corona”
Yes, a devious virus, out there lurking. Stay safe, and happy anniversary!
Thanks Emilie. We couldn’t do anything special but then again, in the current circumstances every day feels extraordinary.
I too have lost track of the days. I think probably most of us have. It’s a strange time and I find I have a low-grade background waiting – for it to be over. But that’s the worst of it, and who knows what the world will be like then.
I think my new transition date for BC/AC will be March 21st when we just in time escaped Malaysia and got back to Canada.
Just like the world changed with 9/11 it will change with this.
I heard a lovely thing last night: the origin of the word pandemic = all people. Covid = together seeing. All people seeing together.
Alison, the most incredible part to me about all of this is that the entire world is experiencing it. No part is excluded, no place, no time, no peoples. We really are all in this together.
I enjoyed reading your post, Jadi. I too was in Mumbai, 3 days in January and 3 other days in February. I’d have loved to have spent more time there and I even thought of going back and staying there for a couple of weeks. But now, all travel plans are out of the question and it’s so darn far from my corner of the world (Montreal, Canada).
What a fascinating trip you took. Stay healthy.
Hi Carol, we are doing internal travel now. I agree, Mumbai is a fascinating city. We stayed with friends of mine (born and raised Mumbaians) [Bombayites?] and had a wonderful time including going to a 2-day wedding. I’m working on a photo essay but since Uwe wasn’t with me on that trip my photos are nothing as good as his would have been! Stay safe and healthy in Montreal.
Finally up to date blogged on your vivid writings that took me to India and other distant journeys. Glad to hear you’re in the creative space right now and there’s one positive thing about lock down. Lucky readers!!
Thanks Suzy Q – Writing is the one thing that gives my days any kind of structure