Rue du Onze Novembre applauding the essentials. I don’t know why it’s sideways.
It’s Friday — woo hoo, so what. Yesterday I completed my 10th day of online classes. The kids and I are making the best out of it, but of course it’s not the same. I did get to have a few educator friends join my classes for a fun guest day (so that was cool). Today is a meeting/office day, meaning I catch up on meetings with colleagues and students who need extra help. My front guest room AKA my closet (with a daybed for when I need all 4 bedrooms) is now my classroom. It won’t be next week because it’s cramped and uncomfortable. That was part of my plan, so I’d move around more in between virtual sessions. But, I quickly grew to dread going in there as much as I used to dread waking up Monday mornings.
Oh wait … next week is Spring Break. Normally, I’m so excited for my two-week escape from it all, but now I’m here, in my apartment (thank God it’s a lovely place). We’d escape to the Ardennes or a Belgian beach, but that’s also not allowed (and they have the police and fines to back it up). Technically, I should be writing this from my hotel room in Ireland since I should have landed there late last night. Good news is no hangover for me today, which I’m almost certain would have been the case as well.
Again I’m very well aware that I am one of the lucky ones. Belgium’s numbers are now 16,770 confirmed; 1,143 dead, including a 12-year old girl. As you all know globally there have now been more than one million confirmed cases and more than 54,000 deaths. The U.S. and Europe are racking up some numbers, and it looks like it’s only going to get worse before it gets better.
Joe and I, our loved ones and our friends are all still healthy — a bit more pudgy with less muscle tone, but healthy nonetheless — and we have plenty of food, water, toilet paper and internet to keep us going. I’m also finally working on two online classes I signed up for last school year. I’ll finish one of them this weekend, and then I’ll dive into the other. There’s another course I’ve also signed up for, so I’ll be busy building those last few credits I need for a bit of a bump in my salary. Oh and that’s another thing I’m super grateful for: I’m still getting paid.
My big plans for this weekend are to take more silly pics of Badger, so that I can finally post something new on his blog. A friend is loaning us her car (ours is so lonely at the mechanic’s), so that Joe can go to the commissary to buy more American comfort food. We’re also planning on a long walk around the lake near Mons on Sunday. We’re hoping Badger can do this — he has his good and bad days, so we’ll see. Since we’re not allowed to use park benches anymore (the parks and benches were sealed off with police tape last weekend) there will be no more sit and rest breaks for the poor boy. The weather has been beautiful. This past week was cold, below freezing at night, but oh my goodness the sun has been out every damned day. She just waves at us while we drool on our windows. Our local memes remind us that as soon as the lockdown is over we’ll go back to rainy days.
While it’s awesome that we’re allowed to go for walks and runs, it’s, sadly, not as enjoyable as you would think. It’s good to get out, don’t get me wrong. But, every time we leave the house the threat of coming into contact with the virus is very real. Sometimes strangers just come up too close to you — it’s rare, but it happens. Sometimes we touch things and forget to wash our hands before touching our face. Sometimes we bring the groceries into the house and remember oh shit we should have washed off the packaging before putting food away.
I’d also give anything for a case of lysol disinfectant spray, so that I could de-germinize my couches. Hell, Badger is one big swifty mop every time he goes for a walk. How much is attaching itself to him? He coughed the other day and we were all oh no, did we give him the virus? Turns out the hoover choked on his own hair and doggy biscuits. These are the things we stress over now (again no where near the truly horrible things others must stress over).
On the bright side there are the 8 pm applauses on the street, my teddy lamb is in the window for any kids who might look up to the third floor, happy hour video chats are happening, and I’m reading/philosophizing the fuck out of my reading corner. So all is well, even if one day is beginning to blend into the other — technically that’s always been the case; I was just always too busy to notice before.
And, since I’m eternally optimistic, I do look forward to the fun things I get to do. Speaking of which it’s about time for me to make a refreshing gin and tonic to get ready for our zoom Friday happy hour.