It would be weird if I did a post on anything other than this right now. And a lot of us are over talking about it.
Honestly, I don’t know what’s happening in the States. I hear the news, I’m told stories, but I really don’t know what everyone is going through. I’m hearing limits will soon be placed on national travel, that there are still a few places I could enter the states from Europe etc.
I’m hearing that schools are being shut down, stores and businesses are closing. People are losing money, stores are empty.
It’s so hard to hear all that because in Brighton, England, it’s a beautiful sunny day. People are out and about, children can be heard playing in schoolyards.
I’ve already made the (what I thought at the time was an easy) decision to stay in England and not make the trip home. It’s over 30 hours in a minimum of three airports and then to get to quarantine at the border. Y’all know we put people in cages at the border, right?! It all seemed like the worse decision to just staying put where I am.
Then I got sick.
It may not be Coronavirus, but I’m sick. Yesterday, after a full week of being sick already, I started to feel feverish. I don’t think I’d be allowed on a plane. I don’t know that I’d want to subject people to that anyway. Just in case.
I’m part of a few online travel communities. Travellers are some of the most level-headed people in times like these. Of course we’d rather be out there doing the damn thing, but we’re not stupid. We know when it’s time to stop, time to listen. And not just that, we’re hearing from travellers all over the world.
I girl wrote last week about Italy, saying that it must be so easy to dismiss the reports because we’re not in quarantine, because we’re not watching people die. The morgues are full. Bodies are being held at churches until there’s room. The body count doubled overnight.
Another girl wrote today saying her visa’s expiring next week and she’s in a lockdown country. She might be illegally in the Schengen Zone, and not legally able to leave it.
A Canadian English teacher sent a video today saying she fled a police control city in Spain. That Barcelona’s roads are cut off, and people are fined if they leave their homes. And she went back to Canada where people were still going to parties.
I know your friends seem safe, your hometown seems safe, your communities feel safe. I know the stress makes you crave connection and relief.
It’s always hard to tell when to pull the trigger on panicking when this kind of fear is going around. I’m hearing that even if you’re not sick, stay home. So when you are sick and you don’t actually have a home, it’s a little spooky to know what the right answer is. Some people in the travel community encouraged me to go home as soon as possible. Other encouraged me to stay right where I am. That if you’re sick, don’t fly. If you’re healthy, don’t fly. Stay put.
So I’m in an AirBnB for eight days under quarantine until my sickness goes away. I’m going to be fine. All things considered, my body has been through a lot worse (I’ve had shingles twice. Like, I’m gonna be aight).
If you’re at a loss for what to do, then let me tell you this:
Last night I started to feel feverish. A little dizzy. It totally freaked me out. TOTALLY FREAKED ME OUT. What if I was just being stupid this whole time, choosing to stay when I could go and then after remaining positive despite the circumstance, I died alone in a country far away from home. (I’m not the only one who gets dark in those moments just before you fall asleep, right?)
Today I moved to my AirBnB, got settled in and went to the grocery store. My bnb left me two rolls of toilet paper, but I’m congested, so I knew I’d be using it to blow my nose too. The store of course had none. No tissues, no napkins, no paper towels. They also had no Tylenol. I got home, had lunch and was feeling really, really uncomfortable about the pressure in my head and the way my body felt.
I reached out to my travel community. “What do I do?” Someone sent me to the Brighton community FB page. I posted that I needed TP and Tylenol and within twenty minutes, two people had come to my house and given me both. One person slipped Tylenol through the letterbox on the door to avoid contact. I don’t even know what she looked like.
Life is always crazy. It was last year, it will be next year. This virus is scary, but we will make it through and we will deal with the repercussions because there is nothing else we can do. In moments of fear or stress, try and see the other side. See that one day this will be over, we’ll recover and we’ll move forward. Until then, spend and save wisely, take care of yourself and your family. Find new ways to get the things you need. When this is all over you’ll be stronger, more resourceful and have a more fierce community.
If you’re healthy, if you don’t know what to do with yourself right now, you can help people. A girl who’s completely alone in a foreign country might greatly appreciate your kindness.
Y’all we can do this.
I would like to say that if you’re one of the many people who aren’t concerned, or think this is possibly an overreaction, tune into some local Italian, Spanish or French news.
These areas (including many, many more around Europe and the UK) have been hit hard. People are sick. But on top of that, people aren’t able to leave their homes, people are losing friends and family, people are stuck (hi) and people aren’t getting the resources they need to be safe and comfortable.
Think of retirement homes where people need constant care, hostels where people are living their lives as travelers or budget living. Low-income families who were living pay check to pay check. Many many people are suffering financially from not being able to work. This isn’t just the sickness. It’s everything. So take it seriously, even if it’s obnoxious or scary.
Talk on the phone. Everyone needs to communicate right now. How you’re doing with the virus, how you’re doing with quarantine, how your town and your friends are doing. Don’t sit alone at home watching the world fall apart around you. There are people (hi) who would love to hear from you.
Being home isn’t so bad. Man, if I were living in a place right now I’d be crushing all the projects I never got around to. Read the books, sew buttons back on, downsize all the birthday cards you keep every year from your family. If you’re healthy and just stir-crazy, Hit. Me. Up. I have JACLAND list coming out of my ears of things to do in times of boredom.
Also I blacked out last week and bought five books, totally on accident, but would love to read them to you over the phone. Call me. Call your mom, your best friend, nan, someone online who seems to be struggling a little bit.
We’re really really all in this together.
I wish you luck this week.