Quarantine Woes

By Nicole Parnis

Tomorrow I might paint, or draw
Tomorrow I might sew
Tomorrow I should mend a skirt
Or fix myself a bow

Today I did not near enough
To bring myself some pleasure
I didn’t even exercise
Or read at my own leisure

The truth is, being stuck indoors
Sounds better than it is
It feels like life is standing still
It’s lost its shine, its fizz

No one knows just quite how long
This strange old time will last
This week it seems is dragging on
Can’t say it’s passing fast

Tomorrow I might dye my hair
With peroxide from the drawer
It’s not like anyone
Will even see it anymore

Tomorrow I might get to work
On sorting out my clothes
And put aside some dresses
Why I’ve kept them, heaven knows

Tomorrow I should really craft
Or write a play— just DO
With all this time here on my hands
It’s time I saw it through

Perhaps you’re feeling quite the same
It cannot just be me
Who’s sitting home here eating
Watching Boris on TV?

The New Social Life

Friendships during the Covid-19 outbreak

2020. Coronavirus COVID-19 is spreading at a breathtaking speed. People everywhere are feeling the consequences. Each country applies its own measures of trying to slow the spread of the virus. In many places, people have to stay inside. In quarantine. In lockdown. Urged to practice social distancing. Stay away from public places. Schools are closed, events cancelled. 

During this terrifying time, friendships are more important than ever. Yet they are harder to maintain. If ever there was a time to be thankful for the internet with its countless possibilities for communication, this is it. Social media platforms are filling with support groups for all sorts of situations. Lonely? Anxious? Overwhelmed? Working from home with children around? Homeschooling? Isolated? It is now easy to find groups of friends and strangers who are in the same situation, to exchange tips and tricks, encouragement and messages of support.

Chat groups emerge, which serve simply to check up on each other and build each other up. 

One group who might be particularly affected are children who are too young to write and read, and hence are too young to keep in touch via chat, email or social media. Chances are, they are also too young to fully understand why they are kept away from their friends and family. 

Many parents are setting up regular video calls between classmates. Schools are uploading photos and videos, encouraging children to record show and tell sessions and share them with their friends. Years from now, our children will remember this crisis by how their home felt during the days of lockdown, rather than by what was happening on the news.

Another group who is at particular risk of loneliness are elderly persons. Not only are they amongst those who are most at risk, and hence must urged most strongly to stay in isolation, they are also less likely to comfortably navigate technology and keep in touch with their loved ones in a virtual way. It is up to all of us, to check up on our friends and relatives, neighbours and acquaintances to make sure they are okay. This might be the time to teach Nanna how to answer a video call and to ask the elderly neighbour for his phone number and give him a regular call to check if he needs anything.

It is now more important than ever to uphold, create and nourish support networks and social connections. It is important to keep in touch, even if it doesn't come naturally for some of us. It's important to check up on each other. It's important to put our ego aside, to leave pride and judgement for another day and just be here for each other. 




Day Ten

By Frederike Schier

Why is there so much laundry??

Oh how the dishes pile and stack.

My god...what will I feed them?

It's time AGAIN for snack?!

Help! What was I doing

Before these tears I wiped?

I think it was some email

Or messenger? Or Skype?

I got up oh so early

For a minute on my own

Be a bit productive

Be a bit alone.

But oh the sound of footsteps!

And cranky sobs and snot!

It's hours before sunrise!!!

Oh well...it matters not.

I stayed up oh so late

To finish this, catch up on that

And take a breath and eat a snack..

Oh! They're here, back out of bed!

I forgot to eat my dinner.

Did I have lunch? I can't recall.

Oh no what did they do now??

There's screaming in the hall.

Oh god please no more tantrums

Please god! Just no more fights!

How are we meant to do this

Morning noon and night?

I just want to check my emails,

Just get something done!

I just want to send a message,

A phone call, only one!

I will not watch the news.

I will not read them no no no!

I will not read the comments.

Oh they will scare me so!

My kids ask many questions

And answers I have none.

I never knew how lonely

My home could once become.

I should call myself so lucky

To still have a job to do!

To have a healthy family.

I should not be feeling blue.

I should call myself so lucky

In the safety of my home!

To spend time with my family

And not to be alone.

After all I wrote a poem

And I ate a healthy meal

Life will go back to normal

One day the world will heal.