My Quarantine Diary #coronavirus

I am reposting this post – I decided to stop at 60 entries starting from day 0. I lost track of the days a couple of times 🙂  

We’ve now been in the lockdown for more than 12 weeks since March 23. I wanted to document my days and what I was doing, so that when it is over, I can reflect on what I learnt.

The lockdown is continuing and there may be a second wave, however it feels like the worst is over. I am lucky of course, safe at home and financially ok. My thoughts go to everyone affected, health wise or economically.

* * *

I’ve been writing a quarantine diary to stay sane 🙂  limited to 5 or 7 lines a day.

Day 60 and onwards. Hold on to your hats.
My quarantine diary experiment is over.
The lockdown is a mess, 50,000 deaths is a shame, we should have done better.
I don’t feel as awfully panicked and lost as in the first 2 weeks.
But I still feel anger, helplessness, I am often depressed, low on energy and feeling stuck.
The cooking, the feeding, the washing up – the chores seem never ending.
What has this big lesson from the Universe been?
I sense the wind of change – emptiness practice is over, things will start moving very fast…

Day 59. Heart-soul experiment.
Guru and the rainbow 🙂
A giant slice of vegan cake.
I finally find baking supplies, in a vegan shop.
I am reading about entropy.
And I started RuPaul’s class on self-love on Masterclass.

Days 57-58. Showers every day mean summer.
I finish Jane Austen course on FutureLearn – MA in Jane Austen sounds lush 🙂
Queer Eye season 5 is out soon.
First BBQ of the year.
First strawberries of the year.
Next week is half-term! Homeschooling is a nightmare.

Day 56. Live fearlessly.
I overwater the plants because I forgot to switch off the tap 😦
PMS induces rage, I try not to fall for it and fail.
We still have not found a house, third time lucky?
BBQ arrives and food stuff is ordered.
Me and little one in the bathroom gowns in the garden staring into the night sky – ISS is flying by!

Day 55. “The truth lies not in more answers but in less questions.”
I wake up from an exhausting sci fi dream where everything was not as it seemed.
A waft of brown bins lining the street, filled to the brim with 6 weeks worth of compost, on a warm summer day.
The little one wants to go on a walk voluntarily, thanks to Pokemon Go.
How do you restore the same aliveness of spirit as when you were 20 when you are 40?
It is only ego that needs a purpose… all questions are created by the egoic mind.

Day 54. “My soul drifts light upon a sea of trees”.
I watch a film about inspiring Zen monk, Ittetsu san.
How he does the deathbed exercise blows my mind.
He sees depression as an awakening, a birth of a butterfly out of a cocoon.
Emptiness is not empty and I am a dancing emptiness.
Sushi anyone?

Day 53. “Soul Path World Servers”.
Today I decide to do the “watch the watcher” meditation.
And see that I am emptiness – it is terrifying and exhilarating.
Be the synchronicity in the lives of others.
The Universe needs people with the strong “why”.
Do not work through, walk through.

Day 52. “She gave it her best.”
Last couple of days are a blur of chores, grey cold and doing nothing.
I start a 7-day living from the soul, loving everyone challenge.
Cat spends a night in the garden.
Do not start a Saturday morning by chatting to a heavily depressed person.
We finally find a great Chinese takeaway and I make the first okroshka of the summer.

Day 51. Cold always bothered me by the way!
Sitting and sunbathing in the park is allowed, but not picnics.
Reopening of the local Burger King causes a stampede.
We have recreated McDonalds chicken sandwich quite successfully at home.
We decide to meet with my sis in the park, with the boys, while distancing.
Pizza always wins.

Day 50. “That which was on fire has all turned to ash.”
Kimchi avocado rice bowl is pure bliss.
Yet for it to happen, many things need to come together.
There needs to be an avocado, not too green, not too ripe.
Ready brown rice (frozen rice prepared in advance warmed up in a microwave).
Fresh kimchi, an oxymoron, I know, and a splash of soy sauce.
For something divine to take place, many things need to come together first.
I attended the first positivity circle and I feel energised.

Day 49. The smell of freshly cut grass.
When I wake up happy like this, I want to bottle this feeling, to capture this state!
In my dream, I painted atoms – painted circles around them, it was beautiful.
Need to watch less physics documentaries 🙂
Lockdown continues.
Reflective listening is hard.
I use a trick for the carrot and coriander soup – fresh coriander frozen in water.
I watch a film about single dads in South Korea and their struggles, bawl and donate.

Day 48. Faces.
I decide to start a 7-day challenge where I do what my soul tells me – fck the to do list.
I watch a sci fi romcom (Upload on Prime) and write a poem.
I sign up for a psilocybin conference in the fall.
When sis drops by, we throw dumplings and kimchi to her to keep the distance 🙂
If I were to organise a chaos exhibition, I would have shower screen splash paintings, matter and antimatter colliding in the vacuum, sped up decomposition, Mandelbrot sets and sped up BZ reaction in a giant petri dish.

Day 41… or 47? (May 8th).
I am watching a cloud.
The weather is a summer mix of just the right warm with a nice cool breeze.
75th anniversary of VE Day – street parties everywhere.
Mini cakes and mini ice creams 🙂
Summer tops unpacked!
BZ reactions in a documentary on chaos – mind blown.
Fractals are beautiful.

Day 40. Update your death folder.
Card making kits arrive and we have fun with the foam stickers.
I have a strong dislike of quizzes, jigsaw puzzles or being told what to do.
I want to overcome this desire to be liked, to be wanted.
I want to see everyone like trees, like God’s creatures and love everyone.
With meal planning, when in doubt, freezer is your best friend.

Day 39. Emptiness is exhausting.
Sitting and doing nothing is the hardest practice.
Change of scenery is key to the passage of time.
Chores take way more time when they are the main focus and not just a side activity.
Seeing empty period in life as productive and fun is hard, self organising and self disciplining is exhausting, carving out your own path, deciding on the “why” is difficult.
It is easier to live according to somebody else’s structure and mission.

Day 38. Heart-soul experiment.
I finish a paper version of my book and press Publish.
Margins, paginaton, section breaks are a torture if you are not good with detail or patience.
I was afraid to talk to people who were suffering.
Now I still end up feeling drained but I also know I will be replenished.
Follow your soul and do what it says, mind concepts like time and money are illusory.
A 7-day experiment – I throw away my must-do lists and do what my soul says.

Day 37. A holiday for the soul.
What can one feel grateful for when they have a bad headache all day?
(because they’ve watched a teen romcom into the night)
Head massage, fresh air, helping partner, good food, good chats, shower, early bed…
We always have a choice of what to focus on and what to think…
An experiment – loving loved ones mindfulness exercise.
No snarky comments, routine sulking or tiny stabs, just support, gratitude and love.
I remind myself (again) to view this time as a fun break, a holiday for the soul.
Not the drawn out, uncertain, terrifying emptiness.

Day 36. Garlic and vinegar.
Cherry aphids and rose aphids attack my plants – the war is on.
Vinegar solution works a bit, garlic water is better, husband complains on the smell.
Is he a vampire?
Shaving off hair challenge is proposed in the family Skype chat.
The first ad I see in weeks during my daily walk is of Kipling mini cakes – all desert should come in mini size!
I make a “what makes me alive” bubble diagram.
I watch “Half of it”, a teen romcom, the lead is Asian – represent!

Day 35. Carbs are stalking me. Send help.
Neighbours decide to have a front garden street party for the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
I buy mini cakes, order art supplies and watch a video on how to make bunting.
I remind myself to focus on “have’s”, not “have nots”, if I want to expand the right thing.
Loving kindness is not there when fear is – we can not be compassionate when we are afraid.
Chanting with Krishna Das.

Day 34. Foil baguettes and bored princes.
Fresh baguettes are yum but dangerous for the waistline.
I discover it can keep for more than one day if wrapped in foil.
A friend asked to review their post on ayahuasca experience, fun.
In anticipation of the mental health crisis, plant medicines should be decriminalised.
When I am rich, I am hiring DNA and forensic experts to create a true portrait of Jane Austen.

Day 33. “Thunderbolts and daggers!”
“Violent sorrow”, “continual raptures”, “unceasing delight”. 
I love how Jane Austen describes feelings. 
I don’t do much and finish “Sense and Sensibility”. 
I talk to someone who lost their loved one to Covid-19 and acutely feel their pain… 
Tiny virus, huge suffering… 

Day 32. Three weeks of rain. 
I wake up and both of my boys are fine. 
Little one gives me a morning hug and the cat comes through with a meow. 
I feel happy and abundant – I have everything I could ever wish for. 
I start reading Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility”. 
There is a sandy beach somewhere in Lowestoft. 

Day 31. Dumped During Lockdown. 
I talk to a man stuck on an oil rig – at least sunrises and sunsets are beautiful. 
Someone I talk to calls Trump “Mango Mussolini” LOL 🙂 
Maybe he should inject some disinfectant in his brain… 
Little one glides on a scooter into the sun under the canopy of chestnut trees. 
Tree branches pat me approvingly on my head.  

Day 30. Dancing emptiness.
An enlightened friend sends me a film about samadhi (nirvana). 
Emptiness is not the opposite of form, it is one of its types. 
“Stillness is not something separate from movement.
It is not opposite to movement.” 
I have an epiphany – I am emptiness. 
So much for trying to transcend it! 
My little one plays ball with an adorable cockapoo in the park and now he is in love. 

Day 29. We need more Pete Davidson content.
Distance walking in the park with my sis and her dog – how strange. 
My lilies of the valley are in bloom and their aroma is so pure. 
Money comes out of nowhere and I spend it on another Trigger Conversation.
A delightful online meet-up with random strangers. 
I realise that I need to be braver this year because I deserve only the best.

Day 28. Lotus out of mud.
Squeezing a half empty dishwashing liquid bottle launches a flurry of tiny soap bubbles 🙂 
Emptiness is not empty, it is creative. 
Sisters who make delicious pies and drop them off at your porch (from a distance) rock! 
We live in the monk times, now is the time to slow down and face our stuff. 
We can dwell in anxiety, fear and suffering, or use them as a fodder for growth. 

Day 27 (I think). What’s even the point?
Walking is best when talking (on the phone) – I hit 8,000 steps without even noticing. 
Many people are grappling with some major existential questions now. 
Including the ones I consider “enlightened” or “awakened”, perhaps even more so.
I finish my “Thank you NHS” art project – a rainbow coloured garland.
And attach a “Thank you” flower card to the rubbish bin.  

Day 26? I am losing count…
Lilacs are in bloom, I stop to smell them on my daily walk – heaven! 
Coronavirus is making anti-vaxxers revisit their beliefs about vaccines – good!   
Cirque du Soleil’s “Luzia” features an aerial straps guy whose performance is… wow. 
Water, muscles, tattoos, straps and a fake tiger. 
What is it about aerialists?
Elon Musk’s satellites flew in a formation in the night sky.
It upset astronomers and UFO enthusiasts but will apparently give us better Wi-Fi.  

Day 25. Filling emptiness.
Semblance of structure – I wake up almost on time, do yoga, read, yay!
I turn house upside down looking for coloured paper for the rainbow art project.
I notice how dusty the house is and I dust, for a while.
While shaking the duster in the garden, I realise I need to water the plants.
The kitchen sink smells, husband opens the plughole, we gag and I clean it, thoroughly.
This causes a leak under the sink and it takes a while to tidy and dry everything.
A couple of hours later – still no trace of that paper!

Day 24. Burn baby burn!
I, the least fit person ever, support a sporty person who lost their motivation to exercise.
Structure, joy, connection, self-compassion, supporting others is how we get through this.
We need to practice the “muscle of generosity” (Scott Harrison).
Give it all away (Wayne Dyer).
The big project is to start going to bed on time again and not beyond midnight.
Lockdown extended for another 3 weeks.
We are burning through stuff (Ram Dass), no turning back now – burn baby burn!

Day 23. “An asset to the Universe.”
A groundhog day? More like groundhog days!
Amidst the endless house chores, I finally manage to squeeze in other things.
I volunteer for HearMe App and Extinction Rebellion.
In French version of “Persuasion”, Willoughby returns but Marianne turns him down.
Universe at work – I wanted to go to Cirque du Soleil and now they put free clips online! 🙂

Day 22. Jaya Jagadisha Hare.
Volunteering on HearMe made me realise we are all suffering and now more than usual 😦
I offer all negative stuff to Kali, to the fire, to the light – it works.
A good friend calls out of the blue.
She sounds like she is having a mental breakdown, or a spiritual epiphany – it’s hard to tell.
Emptiness, no-desire state, detachment, falling in between the worlds – whatever next?

Day 21. Conversations with Shiva.
Easter egg hunt! Chocolate!
Cat’s friendly head bumps 🙂
My new self-opening and self-closing umbrella rocks.
Little one chopped veg into a salad for the first time.
I cut his hair, he looks like Liam Gallagher.

Day 20. A walk in the cemetery. 
Chocolate eggs and elaborate plant watering systems. 
Clouds of blossoms in the park. 
I did not know that Jane Austen was reluctant to publish her novels. 
Long skype chats with family keep everyone’s spirits up. 
Give me your bad feelings and I will burn them in my light. 

Day 19. Where will we hide the eggs?
An addition to the cactus family – hello, baby cactus 🙂
Different flowers come into bloom like a symphony of colour and aroma.
I meditate on resilience of English ivy.
God knows what’s happening in the brown bin.
Easter makes me think of “Donnie Darko”.

Day 18. Nagarjuna’s emptiness.
I watched “Fantastic Fungi” and it made me want to grow mushrooms 🙂
Chatting to a friend is always great and inspiring, she is amazing and I am happy for her.
My first Trigger conversation – we are all so lonely and suffering in our heads 😦
Eating ice cream in the garden in the sun.
“Pivot” is my radio for walking.
To do list still seems mission impossible 😦

Day 17. Conversations with the void.
Cabin fever.
Dead pigeon, smashed into red, feathers all over the road – sad and horrible.
A fallen flower, pink with red lines – beautiful, yet also dead.
Hear Me chats are heavy stuff – red hot suffering, am I ready for this?
I manage to find a food delivery slot again, yay.
So warm, from coats to t-shirts overnight.
Intuitive singing and chanting mantras with a girl in the Andes.

Days 15-16. Pink moon. 
I’ve finally watched “Becoming Nobody“ with Ram Dass. 
“Fantastic Fungi” with Paul Stamets is next. 
My tiny cherry tree is covered with blossoms! 
Any fruit this year? 
I’ve applied for a job in psychedelics. 
I am now an NHS responder and a Hear Me volunteer. 
Daily deaths are approaching 1,000. 

 

Day 14. Spring is here.  
Minimalist Baker’s vegan chocolate muffins for breakfast, yum! 
Monthly allowance goes on books – physics, Buddhism, emptiness, isolation. 
It’s t-shirt, shorts and masks weather outside. 
Roast dinner. 
I’ve finished “The Big Bang Theory” 😦  
Wouldn’t it be great to be a tv show writer? 

 

Day 13. Fuck death. 
Thank you, Billboard.com. 
I am streaming Digital Mirage online musical festival live on Youtube. 
Silent disco in the garden at night – EDM tunes, me, the full moon and the stars! 
Reminds me of when I was in my 20’s. 
So alive. 
An old friend calls me “honey”. 
I donate to the music relief charity. 

Day 12. Walking live. 
I went for a walk with the little one, distancing, both masked. 
The world shone brand new. 
Flowers everywhere, spring does not care much for pandemics. 
The light in the sky said: “Do what you are doing, big things are coming”. 
I am on the last season of “The big bang theory”. 

Day 11. PMS during coronavirus. 
Trust me, you don’t want to run out of hayfever meds in April when pharmacies are shut. 
Does PMS get worse with age? 
I have a panic attack, freeze and cry. 
We clap for the NHS. 
We order Chinese. 
I have not achieved much, again. 
You expand what you focus your thoughts on (Wayne Dyer). 

Day 10. Groundhog day. 
I get up, eat, sit on the sofa, watch Netflix. 
I achieve nothing. 
Friends forward me coronavirus jokes and I forward them to other friends. 
I feed the cat, I do laundry, I eat too many sweets. 
563 deaths in one day. 
Period during coronavirus – depression squared. 
Alan Watts says emptiness is what you see when you close your eyes.  

Day 9. A-tishoo, a-tishoo, in our lungs we drown. 
Grief is the emotion I have been feeling. 
Naming it does help. 
“Anticipatory grief” is the worst. 
Has anyone rewritten “ring-a-ring o’ roses” yet? 
Coronavirus edition.

Day 8. Affirmations and doing f-all.
I promise myself a self-loving, healthy, productive day full of joy and self-care. 
If you loved yourself, what would you do? 
I start well. 
But then the hubby feels sad and I absorb his feelings. 
I end up on the sofa depleted, eating sweets and watching “The big bang theory”. 

Days 5-7. A blur.
Too depressed to write.
Still worrying about food and obsessively searching for the usual supplies everywhere.
Low energy, not able to do anything.
Overeating, not sleeping well or on time.
Complete breakdown of any structure. 

Day 4. Walking in circles.
A barrage of messages from family and friends, everyone is lost and afraid. 
I walk 3 times a day in the garden, if I speed up, I get 600 steps each 5 minutes. 
I interview for a job and I am being me. 
I trim lavender bushes. 
My days are an unstructured blur. 
Tomorrow is another day. 
The cat says “meow” when she comes into our bedroom in the morning. 

Day 3. Miracles. 
Monkey brain keeps panicking. 
I have been reading the news obsessively, I need to stop.
I want to help and sign up as the NHS Volunteer Responder. 
I offer virtual chats to friends and have a group call with several family members. 
I stress eat, nothing like carbohydrates and sugar to fill in the void… 
This morning I managed to secure an online delivery slot in a Sainsbury’s app – miracle! 
D. Denkenberger is why I will buy a mushroom kit and a packet of crickets.

Day 2. A hypochondriac and a plague. 
I normally have masks, gloves, extra medicine – I am a hypochondriac. 
This is the sort of scenario I have been preparing for. 
Yet, I can’t stop checking the stats and scrolling through the news. 
Time stretches, mind is fuzzy, I plunge into chaos. 
Walking in a small garden inevitably leads to gardening. 
As I peel the reluctant ivy off a blooming forsythia, I feel in control. 
I hate parasites and I guess I hate viruses too. 

Day 1. Famine and Rationing. 
I have a mild food hoarding tendency rooted in generational Soviet fears. 
My great grandparents lived through famine, grandparents – WWII, parents – rationing. 
At school, we read a book about a boy dying from hunger during the Leningrad blockade. 
Post Soviet people don’t handle food shortages well.  
I obsessively research which online shops can deliver or have any food left in them. 
Why do I not have more flour, toilet paper and tinned veg? 
I re-watch all BBC versions of Jane Austen to calm down. 

Day 0 (Mar 22). Baby, if you give it to me, I’ll give it to you. 
Our 8-year old had a fever last night and it’s not going away.
Husband called his employer – I read the isolation rules and audited the cupboards. 
When he stresses, he bakes – my weight loss is going to be derailed. 
I write a self-isolation sign and tape it to the front door, like in the plague times. 
14 days of quarantine, here we go! 

About lolkin

the nomad of the Universe, sailing through the unknown, learning to be happy and give happiness back
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