Relationships

How Are You Today?

I had a few different post ideas for this afternoon, but, honestly, what I really want to know is, how are you?

Tell me: How are you faring? What are you eating? What are you watching/reading/doing? What are the views from your windows? What is making you laugh? What is making you cry?

I’ve been getting emails from people around the world in different situations. One that has stayed with me: “I’m 30 and live alone in a tiny studio in NYC,” wrote a reader. “I desperately need a hug and physical human contact and don’t know what to do to handle that. Maybe I’ll get a weighted blanket? I’d love some solicitation for loving vibes!”

We’re hanging in there. We made zucchini muffins, watched The Talented Mr. Ripley and have been playing lots of rounds of Memory (Toby crushes it every time). We’ve also had major kid meltdowns and moments of what-is-even-happening, followed by times, usually in the evenings after the boys are in bed, where we feel more buoyed. These days are intense.

FaceTiming with friends and family helps so much. My psychologist friend Lina (remember her from this post?) said: “When talking to your parents over FaceTime or having a Google hangout with your friends, you’re going to get that emotional regulation that comes from seeing someone’s face. When you you lock eyes with someone you love, you feel calmer. Facial cues are so important and extremely healing.” So, consider FaceTime over a regular phone call, if you’re in the mood. I’ve found them so comforting.

Lina added: “It’s only going to get easier. We’re incredibly resilient as human beings. People return to their happiness status quo. We’ll adjust and get into a rhythm and flow.”

Here’s to that. Sending love.

How are you? What are you doing these days? What’s making you feel good? What’s hard? Tell us everything. (Side note: A bunch of readers said the book is even better than the movie!)

P.S. A 175-square-foot apartment and this made me laugh.

(Photo by Stefany Alves.)

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  1. Hannah says...

    Thanks for taking this seriously from the beginning–I so appreciated your March 11 post. I’m out in Montana, so I always enjoy feeling part of this community (from afar), but I’m especially thankful for it now!

  2. Stranger says...

    Downtown Toronto is eerily quiet. The police were out at major intersections today, and it all felt strangely tense, like we are anticipating the first volley in a war.
    I’m wfh with my two babies, 7 and 19 months. Long walks are the only thing keeping us from feeling very cooped up.
    I was doing pretty well (exhausted but mentally ok) til today….on our morning walk we came across a looong queue of people lining up to apply for employment insurance. So many people have lost income, or their jobs. So many small businesses will not survive. So many will not make rent, or be able to buy groceries. Our food banks have lost their volunteers, and the blood banks are running dry. Our frontline health workers do not have adequate PPE.
    I am so grateful to have income, and a roof….and that we are healthy, and have responsible, conscientious government. But what is happening economically is absolutely BRUTAL. To all those in precarious circumstances, this internet stranger is rooting hard for you. For all the rest of us, let’s get through this in one piece!!!! With love from Toronto

    • Rusty says...

      Blood banks!!! 😳 I forgot about them! OMG!!!

  3. Sarah says...

    I’m in the midwest and we’ve been isolating for 10 days. I’m on week 2 of home schooling my 3 kids (ages 9,6,3). We’re lucky that there is enough space got us to get outside for walks, bike rides and hikes. My husband started working from home this week. We’re lucky that we don’t have to worry about a paycheck or childcare. We are healthy and have everything we need. Very aware of how lucky we are.

  4. Azlin says...

    Meanwhile, imagine all those people who have been living in “quarantine” in West Bank, refugee camps, Syria, Muslims in Myanmar and concentration camps in China. We the whole world especially the developed nations are guilty of apathy. Myself included 😢

    • Kay says...

      This has been on my mind constantly as well. Hopefully our planet is taking time to heal and it’s citizens can develop empathy for the oppressed and stand up to the oppressors, even if they’re our “allies”. Hopefully this is a wake up call for all of us.

  5. Christine says...

    I just found out I am pregnant two days ago. My husband and I have been trying for a few months now and I am so excited BUT being stuck in the house all day and not being able to unwind with alcohol after putting our almost two year old down for bed is NOT COOL!

    Lately we have had a lot of time together as a family to just hang and have slow days. I love our new routine but it’s making me think a lot about my daughters second birthday which is coming up shortly. She has grown up SO fast; I truly don’t know where these last two years went. I want to freeze time. It’s making me really sad and I’ve shed lots of tears over it.

  6. Colleen says...

    Am struggling a bit. Am a nurse at a cancer center in Colorado and just want all of my patients to be ok. They are so fantastic trying to abide by the social isolation rules and guidelines but they still need their infusion. Wish people realized how fragile some of these people are.
    Hard to do my job with rationing of masks and supplies.
    I love my career choice as a nurse and feel fortunate every day. I will do the best I can.

    • B says...

      Thank you so much, Colleen. Very grateful that the world has people like you to provide this type of care. Wishing you good health.

    • Kate says...

      Your patients are fortunate to have you! Stay strong and be well. Thank you.

    • S says...

      I admire and respect nurses so much!! Sending you love from Seoul

    • S says...

      I admire and respect nurses so much! Thank you for all the work that you do. Sending love from Seoul.

    • Erika says...

      Thank you so much for your service! Both of my in-laws are cancer patients in California and their nurses have been angels.

    • Emie says...

      Medical personnel are real heroes. Thank you for what you’re doing…. but mostly for caring.

  7. Rose says...

    Hello from Nashville, TN. We just weathered a horrible tornado a couple of weeks ago which impacted a lot of homes, lives, and small businesses. I’m a mental health therapist working at an agency treating people in early recovery with mental health/trauma/addiction. We just made the move to telehealth this week so now I’m working from home alongside my husband and young child. I feel many things. SO grateful to still have our jobs and our health. Frustrated at having to quickly and chaotically learn how to provide therapy via video chat and not in-person (it’s hard). Exhausted from holding space for my clients who are reeling from the tornado and now are isolated and not able to go to support meetings and terrified of relapse. Sad for my son, who turned four today and didn’t get to have a party and get hugged by all his loved ones. I’m a highly sensitive person/empath and can easily get overwhelmed thinking about and worrying about how this is affecting so many other people. My heart just aches reading through these comments and hearing what other people are going through, but it makes me feel less alone in all of this. Thanks for creating this space for all of us.

    BTW, for any healthcare professionals out there, Headspace (meditation app) is offering free access to their premium subscription for the rest of 2020. You just have to fill out the form on their website and send verification of your credentials. May it bring you moments of calm and oasis as we all work to help others during this crisis <3

  8. A says...

    We had plans to have a large summer solstice garden party this year. Now I don’t know if it will happen. Not a big deal really. But I do know that when this is all over we are definitely having a big champagne party, with lots of hugging! :)

  9. Angela says...

    I’ve been sick for 4 days. I cannot get a test, though I have every symptom but a cough and fever (so far). It’s confusing because I’ve been home for 12 days. 2 people in my office were confirmed positive, which is what sent me to work at home. It’s so frustrating that I keep hearing the numbers increase, even those that are asymptomatic! I realize tests are in short supply and high demand but more than wanting to be counted, my husband is an “essential” worker, and doesn’t get released from working until someone gets a positive test. So I’m left to care for myself and 4 year old twins, in between running to the bathroom and being extremely tired. I’ve called my state and local health department, my work hr, 2 hospitals, my state rep, the local PC office and everyone keeps pointing me to talk to someone else. Ohhh and my 70 year old parents have heeded no warnings and now my mom has a fever. Indiana’s stay away home order is meaningless- go to work and go home. Life is grand here in the wealthiest, most powerful country.

    • Johanna says...

      I’m so sorry you’v been feeling sick, Angela. I have had a very similar experience here in Los Angeles.

      Sending love <3

    • Sarah says...

      This sounds really tough. Sending you so much love, Angela. I hope you can be tested soon.

    • Dear Angela,
      I have been thinking about you since I read your story last night… This online test from the CDC may be something that can help define your symptoms and get you the proper care you require. Its worth a try. Bonne chance xxx
      The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just launched a new publicly available bot capable of analyzing symptoms and recommending the best course of action.
      The bot’s name is Clara, and the CDC calls it a “Coronavirus Self-Checker.”
      https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html

    • Angela says...

      Oh wow! What a surprise to see your lovely responses. Last night was definitely a valley for me. Thank you so much for thinking of me, I can’t explain what a balm to my soul it is. I do know no matter how dark this is, we are all in this together, in spite of the distance. Thank you for reminding me. Sending love and wishes for good health!

  10. Maddie says...

    When I am going through hard things, I like to award myself little personal merit badges. I’m staying hopeful by thinking of the “get through a global crisis” merit badge that we are all earning. It helps to recognize that we are doing our best to get through something really, really hard.

    For me, the COVID-19 world feels like a ride on a giant roller coaster. I feel deeply grateful to be near family and to have a lot of the relative comfort that I know not everybody has. It brings me joy to see the that people are coming together in creative ways. I am learning that humans are resilient. I also feel big lows, like frustration about government responses and fear about all the unknowns. I am trying to piece together these highs and lows by reminding myself that things will be ok, even if “ok” doesn’t seem possible right now.

  11. Madi says...

    I’m surprisingly good, actually. My almost-two year old got sick (normal kiddo sick) two weeks ago, before the pandemic really hit our area, and so we inadvertently started the sheltering in place before everybody else I know. We’re both working from home and taking shifts on childcare duty, and we have a really excellent routine now.

    At the beginning, I felt very anxious trying to “do it all”- WFH and caring for our daughter and keeping the house and ALL THE THINGS. But my sweet husband reminded me that both of us working from home is actually kinda what we’ve always wanted. No commutes. More time together. Naps in the middle of the day during “lunch time”. Lots of work-related flexibility.

    Since he said that, I’ve really been enjoying myself! We’ve stayed away from the public, which is inconvenient in many ways, but also easy to adjust to for us introverts. We’ve done some really lovely family things that we would have never had time for in our “normal life”. We take walks & bike rides together every day. I’m re-discovering cooking, getting to be creative in the kitchen and even making cookies and cakes with my toddler. And I love being able to spend TONS of time with my daughter, who is normally at daycare- I feel like I’m getting to delight in her in a totally new way.

    The anxiety and grief starts to spill in when I let myself think about the wider world. We’re mostly staying away from the news, but I know that this is a scary, tragic thing for so many lives- not only the health side of it, but the economic downfall, the mental health concerns, the list goes on. I try and give myself bits of time to feel all those feelings and remind myself that I’m doing what I can (text a friend, buy an online gift card, say a prayer, STAY AT HOME).

  12. Ashley says...

    I work in Human Resources at a factory that has been deemed essential in Ontario. So I am still going to work every day. It is a little chaotic right now. People are very stressed and A LOT of people don’t want to work (which I fully support). Yesterday two people got in a screaming match about masks. It was awful. So, I am hanging in there, but I will definitely need a nice long vacation once we get through this.

  13. Martini says...

    A mastectomy in the morning. I’m 70. Shingles a few weeks ago. A blood transfusion last Monday. My husband and I are alone. Go only to drs and hospital and Target. No Target visits anymore. We’ve lived pretty much home isolated for years, we’re used to being alone.
    A dental filling fell out Monday and our beloved dentist was kind enough to see me and heroically repair it.
    Baking bread, making biscuits. Eating well. Husband making a carrot cake as I write.
    Books and music galore and plenty of movies and youtube. Google for game ideas, even templates of games!

    Our hospital is closed to all visitors, patients only. ER entrance and exit only. I applaud them.
    Hang in there, Everyone. Hold good thoughts for one another. Treat others as you’d like to be treated. Bless all.

    • Denise says...

      Sending you so much virtual love and positive thoughts! <3

    • JenniferinAustin says...

      Sending big hugs to you and your husband, Martini.

    • Connie says...

      Blessings to you and your husband. You sound like such good people. I hope your surgery goes smoothly. Please update us soon. 😘

    • AJ says...

      All the best with the procedure Martini x

    • Christine says...

      Sending you love and healing reiki. So blessed to be with your hubby at this time.

    • Martini says...

      I thank each of you for your kindness. Thank you so much.

      Surgery went fine, I’m home and feeling remarkably well.
      Hospital was eerily empty. No visitors allowed and no elective surgery left the halls empty and this is in a Wash. DC suburb.

      Continue to share what you can…kindness or material items. Kindness alone goes a long way and kindness comes back to you.

  14. Kelly says...

    I feel you “I’m 30 and live alone in a tiny studio in NYC”! I’m 35 and live in a studio in Portland. My friends and I regularly give each other “20 second hugs” and I haven’t had one in weeks! A weighted blanket is a good idea, but I will never take a 20 second hug for granted again!

    • Anonymous says...

      Kelly – I am the NYC woman and…same! I can’t wait to hug my friends again and will do it often and cherish it! Hang in there!

  15. A happy introvert, I’m usually content to spend as much time as possible by myself, but I’ve been surprised at how pleased I’ve been to see other people, the few times I’ve gotten outside over the past week and a half. I’m like amazed by every individual, noting their humanness and how they might be doing right now. Every little interaction feels like a delight, and full of meaning.

    • AJ says...

      :) I feel this too

  16. Teddy Nykiel says...

    How are you faring? Up and down. Some days I feel positive and optimistic, other days I feel closer to hopeless. I normally work from home, but not being able to socialize after work/on the weekends has been tough!

    What are you eating? Lots of healthy, pescatarian meals! I’ve been cooking something fresh every night (more than usual). I look forward to the routine, the way to mark the end of the workday at home, and the opportunity to sit and talk with my husband while we enjoy the meal. Our favorite meal I’ve made so far was red Thai curry with chickpeas and green beans, served on rice alongside roasted, chili-lime broccoli.

    What are you watching/reading/doing? I’ve been working on a 750-piece jigsaw puzzle for the last 9 days — it’s so hard!

    What are the views from your windows? My backyard, where my cute puppy (black lab mix) is currently playing.

    What is making you laugh? My husband, who’s forever a goofball.

    What is making you cry? Talking to my grandma on the phone. She’s sick (not with COVID), and you can hear it in her voice. With everything else going on in the world, another piece of bad news feels unmanageable.

  17. Lindsey Stewart says...

    My husband is 20 years served me divorce papers on March 10th. Utah had an earthquake 5.7 earthquake last week. I currently feel like I’m living through multiple traumas, trying to keep it together planning a quiet birthday for my 4-year-old, while also trying to do my part of divorce proceedings. A process my whole body and soul is rejecting. We are quarantined as a family, but the emotional divide is so wide. We do the family walks and movie nights and I’m mourning a partner to process this with. Every once-in-awhile though, while I yo yo between the world is ending and my world is ending, I get the smallest glimpse of brighter days and happiness again and see the potential of me and my children’s future.

    • Kate says...

      Oh, Lindsey, I’m so sorry that all of this is happening at once. Take care of yourself, mama. Sending love.

    • JenniferinAustin says...

      Oh, Lindsey. That is so much. Sending you strength and hugs.

    • Merry says...

      ❤️

    • Mariah says...

      Lindsey – thinking about you and sending you a big hug!

    • Emma D says...

      Oh, Lindsey, how truly awful. You are strong and will get through this. But it sounds so hard, and my heart breaks with yours.

      Sending you so much love and strength during this challenging time.

  18. Minke says...

    I am grateful for the birds I can hear out of the window now that the level of traffic noise has decreased.

    I am reminding myself that I’ve lived through worse times. I grew up in the former Yugoslavia during the civil war in the 1990s. In Serbia, our problems were hyperinflation, a shortage of everything (food, gas, toys, pensions, coal), and the awful chance that our dads, uncles, and brothers would be drafted into the army. We got used to it and made do, and we’ll get used to this too.

    • Ibti says...

      There is a restaurant owner in our neighbourhood who is from Yugoslavia. I was thinking about this too.

  19. maywyn says...

    Over 70, blood type A, asthma, daily reminders my age group is more likely to die from COVID19, news saturated with coronovirus, the soaps interupted by special reports has quarantined my last nerve. I miss the sound of a newspaper wrinkling in my hands, and reading the funnies.

    • Margaret says...

      I wish you good health Maywyn, and comfort too. Hang in there!

  20. Sarah says...

    I have a 4 month old that is still in the NICU. I’ve had so much stress trying to decide if I should still go visit him. I’ve only been once in the last 2 weeks. I used to go every day but I’m worried about bringing something into the hospital and we no longer have anyone to watch our older child. (I know we were lucky to have someone watch him in the first place). I now feel like I’ve abandoned our baby and I’m missing out on even more milestones like him rolling over for the first time. When he does come home I know that I’ll be even more worried about anything or anyone coming into the house and about required doctor visits out of the house. This is such a stressful time for all of us for so many reasons. If I could just hunker down in our house for the next few months I would feel so much better but feeling like I need to leave to go visit him is hard.

    • Sarah says...

      Wow, this is heartbreaking. You are a strong mama. I hope you get to be with your baby soon.

    • Natalie says...

      I’m sorry, Sarah – that sounds so difficult! But what a lucky baby to have a mom who loves him so much! Sending hugs.

    • ana says...

      Oh man, Sarah that is a lot. I’m sorry it’s all happening at once.
      Sending love to you.
      Remember it will all work out and he will come home and won’t remember any of this but you will and can guilt him forever with the story.

    • E says...

      That sounds impossibly stressful for you and your family, Sarah. As difficult as this situation is, I’m sure that your immense love for your son for the rest of his childhood, evidenced by your concern and worry now, will more than make up for this period in his very early years. Sending love and support your way.

    • BB says...

      You are a lioness and every woman reading this is giving you a standing ovation. Trust the strength of your love. If I can feel it from the otherwise of the world then your baby can feel it fiercely

    • Lenae says...

      This is such a tough time we are all going through, and everyone has their own unique situation that makes it feel even harder. What a time for you to have to manage so many worries and emotions. I echo what Sarah said before me: I hope you get to be with your baby soon. Sending you love and virtual hugs.

    • A says...

      Oh Sarah. NICU is so hard even under normal circumstances. I really feel for you. It must be heartbreaking for you to be feeling so torn at this time. Of course you haven’t abandoned your baby. You are doing your best in these very uncertain times and unchartered waters to protect your baby. I really hope you get to visit soon and that you all stay safe and healthy. X

    • Kelly says...

      Sarah, I don’t know you but I love you and your sweet baby.
      I’m so sorry that this is happening to you. It’s not fair.

    • AJ says...

      Oh Sarah. What a heartbreaking situation. I just can’t imagine but it sounds so hard. I keep thinking it’s hard to picture life being normal again… but it will be. It really will. For now, you and your baby are physically apart but you are holding him so tight in your heart. It’s impossible to read your note and not be so touched by this. I hope you are all together safely soon x

    • Lindsay says...

      Bowing down to you in awe. There will be a time in the not too far future when this is all in the rear view mirror. You will be surprised at your strength and never again question your abilities in anything; as you will have SURVIVED and THRIVED. You and your family are SO loved and truly being cheered on from afar. You’ve GOT this!

    • Elizabeth says...

      That is heartbreaking. I am facing giving birth for the first time alone as my NYC hospital is no longer allowing laboring mothers to have anyone with them. But this was such a good reminder that you and I have the rest of this baby’s childhood to be together. The important thing is that both of you stay healthy. Sending you love and light. x

  21. Julia says...

    Just wanted to thank everyone who shared their current situation, emotional state, etc. It was cathartic to read through all these deeply personal experiences and remember that everyone is struggling with this in one way or another (and mostly remember how privileged I am that being restless is my biggest issue). But also, I was buoyed by many of you who are able to find joy and laughter amidst the uncertainty, anxiety, and fear. Sending love and hope and appreciation to all of you, especially those of you in healthcare/industries that are not able to WFH.

  22. Kristin says...

    Reading: The Library Book by Susan Orlean
    Watching: old movies I never saw, like Bridges of Madison County (highly recommend)
    Making me laugh: old episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm
    Making me cry: my failed frozen embryo transfer last week, the fact that I have no little one at home to comfort and nurture, the fact that we have no idea when we can pursue treatment again because fertility services are “non-essential” and all clinics are closed indefinitely.

    • Sarah says...

      I’m sorry to hear that your FET was unsuccessful. The unknown of IVF can really hurt, I can only imagine that not having a plan as to when you can resume would be incredibly difficult. Stay strong, it’s really tough but you’ve got this.

  23. Lauren says...

    I read an article today in Harvard Business Review titled “That Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief” (https://hbr.org/2020/03/that-discomfort-youre-feeling-is-grief) and it definitely resonated with me. If any of you have the chance to read it, I hope it resonates with you as well.

    Stay healthy, safe, and sane everyone!

    • Kara says...

      Wow! Thank you for posting this article. Was trying to articulate how/what I am feeling. This is it. Such a helpful read, I so appreciate it.

  24. I’m in San Francisco and vacillate between panic-doing and remembering to steady. The panic-doing I think comes from wanting to ‘control what I *can* control,’ but I saw a video recently of a psychologist saying that instead of control maybe the better question to ask oneself is, “What can you choose?” So instead of choosing more worry about my kids and my parents, instead of choosing more facebook and more news, I’m choosing what a hospice-care friend of mine calls “Radical Care.” I’ve decided that my Must-Do list has on it: Meditate, yoga, walk, read, art, nature, music, water, sleep, friends (virtually,) fun tv, games and snuggles with kids, and work-that-helps-others. Those are the things that my kids and I MUST do, and anything else comes after, if at all. I don’t have to find the latest news, the important stuff will find me. I don’t have to find the most useful recipes and the right time to order from the store, that will emerge. Oh and about every 12 hours I worry that I might be losing my sense of taste or that maybe what I think is my usual hay fever actually isn’t, and so far I emerge out of that cycle too. Thanks for asking. Onward, Friends.

  25. KC says...

    In my usual life, I work outside my home in a career I love, and my husband works from home. We are very active and also fairly social. But that all changed almost three months ago when we had our first child. Our whole world shifted home when she was born, and we’ve basically been practicing social distancing since January to protect her during flu season. This really hit immediately after she got her first vaccinations, when our pediatrician had just given us the go-ahead to get out a bit more. It was a blow to this extrovert to not be able to get out now that we can!

    I know it could be worse, and that I’m so lucky to have my little family and (for now) our health. But this is not the maternity leave I envisioned. I have two more months off, and we were finally going to get out, go on little outings, attend the mommy and me classes I’d signed up for to connect with other moms, and visit my grandma once a week. Instead we are home. My parents, grandma, and sister are not able to see or hold their new grandchild/great grandchild/niece. I know that happens with plenty of families, but we structured our lives and made choices on where to live to be by family right now. We can’t get any outside help, or make the memories I’d looked forward to. There will be no Easter with family for my daughter’s first Easter. My 85 year old grandma, who is in poor health, is missing out on time with my daughter.

    I’m lucky to still have a job, and honestly to already be on leave. But when I go back in two months, I’m considered an essential employee. I’m terrified of possibly bringing this home to my baby.

    I know I’m lucky, really, but I’ve been so down and overwhelmed. It’s been challenging to adjust to motherhood in the middle of all of this.

    • Liz says...

      This resonated with me – not the same exactly, but I just finished my first trimester and am feeling sad that I can’t go out and enjoy all the things I was too tired and nauseous to do before. My husband and I wanted to take a baby moon and enjoy some movies, dinners out and live music before the baby gets here.
      I’m so grateful for our health, jobs, and this healthy pregnancy, but am also sad to miss out on these experiences during this time.

    • Megan says...

      The post natal yoga studio I love is doing virtual classes with live participation – may be something fun for you to look into! https://www.utahprenatalyoga.com/

  26. Caroline says...

    I live across the country (US) from my family. My mom, dad and sister are all sick (mom starting to feel better) and someone else very close to me had to go to the ER yesterday because she couldn’t breathe. I feel so sad, scared and far away. Work is insane and concentrating is nearly impossible. I am really struggling to manage my anxiety around this. It feels like there’s been more focus on the inconveniences this pandemic has caused vs. health and well-being – starting from the very top of our government. It’s appalling and upsetting and I just wish I could hold those that mean the most to me right now.

    • Margaret says...

      Oh Caroline, I’m so sorry! I’m thousands of miles from my family too, but they are all still health (so far). My heart just goes out to you; you’re living my anxiety right now. Hope your mom’s recovery has continued and everyone else’s will follow soon. Some virtual hugs: OOO.

  27. Julie says...

    ….I’m due with my first in 6 weeks and I’m scared about what kind of environment I’m going to bring this baby into. What is the hospital going to be like? Am I going to have to wear a mask during labor? Is there going to be the same amount of staff as usual? My appts are all going virtual which is good for safety, but am I/my baby getting the best care?
    ….On top of that my husband just got laid off last week.
    My baby shower was cancelled and I’m almost certain my parents will not be able to fly out for the birth. It could be so much worse, and I know all can ask for is a healthy baby. But there is already so much anxiety/uncertainty with birth, and the current pandemic/economic situation is just adding to it. Desperately trying to control what I can and let go of the rest…

    • Mel says...

      Julie! I am sending you all the positive vibes I can muster and if I could, I would send you a care package. I wish there was a way to do that. Sending love!

    • Sarah says...

      That’s a lot to deal with. Sending you strength!

    • Julie says...

      Mel and Sarah: Thank you for taking the time to write your kind words. Your acknowledgment and support makes me not feel as alone.

    • Shelley says...

      Caroline, I am sending you so much love. I have thought so much of women who are expecting their babies in this time. All I know is that you will surprise yourself no matter what happens, you are stronger than you realise and your baby is so incredibly lucky to be meeting you soon – no matter what the outside world is doing.

  28. Ramya says...

    It hasn’t been easy balancing work, 100% single parenting/homeschooling my 6-year old son (in Spanish at that, which I’m also just learning myself), and managing our household (so much more cooking to do though I enjoy it! keeping the house clean – especially important in current times, and our housekeeper can no longer come). What has been giving me life is going to our local park in the afternoons (we hang with the same 2-3 kids and their parents, no one else) – kids play, adults chat and even work (one of them brings a mifi, I bring my laptop and have taken various calls from there) and we are able to breathe and spend precious time outdoors. In the process, my son has even taught himself to ride his bike without training wheels! I am so grateful that we are still able to do this where we live.

    Other things that have helped:
    Sticking to a schedule/routine during the work/school week, virtual happy hours with friends across the globe, virtual DJ streams/dance parties, watching Love is Blind and Ugly Delicious on Netflix, easy reading (currently reading ‘Catastrophic Happiness’ before moving on to some chick lit), some more elaborate cooking/baking projects over the weekends (I made a Persian tahdig on Saturday!), lots of lots of wine and the occasional cocktail, unlimited screen time for my son on the weekends and virtual dates with a guy I started seeing literally right before the shutdown…

    Like many others, this whole situation is teaching me to be kind with myself and my son. He’s generally been amazing with his resiliency, cooperativeness and patience during this time. Challenging though it is, I’m appreciating this chance of spending more time with him and teaching him. I’ve also learned to be grateful – for good health, for a job that allows me to WFH and for a warm and loving community that is just a Zoom/What’s App call away when the going gets rough.

  29. Megan says...

    Thanks for opening this space. How do I feel? I’m scared. 6 days ago, just 2 days into our lockdown, I started running a fever and feeling very ill… and exhausted. So, so, exhausted. Because I’m not a healthcare worker or elderly, I can’t get a test.

    My husband and I are supposed to be working from home while watching our rambunctious 3 year old. I can barely walk 10 feet without needing to lay down, short of breath. I can’t care for my son. I haven’t been able to work other than to keep up with emails. My husband has to watch our son and though he’s doing his best to work at the same time, he missed a critical work deadline today– no one can really work while caring full time for a cooped up 3 year old.

    So I’m scared. I’m scared this is COVID-19 and I’ll get even sicker. I’m scared my son or husband will catch it. I’m scared they’ll catch it before I feel better and I won’t be able to care for them. I’m scared we’ll lose our jobs.

    I’ve been told to self isolate at home so I don’t put health care workers at risk unless I really can’t breathe. How do I know when i should go in? When is too soon? When is too late? And what if I’ve got a different virus, not COVID-19, and go to the hospital and am exposed to it?

    So right now, I’m scared.

    But I also, in the hours where breathing is easy (this thing, whatever I have, comes and goes, giving lots of false hope of full recovery), i have this weird feeling that if we get through the next week or two, and we’re ok, I’m going to build something stronger. Before I got sick, when lockdown started, I just wanted life to go back to normal. Now I have this (potentially fever delirium) feeling that what’s happening now has exposed so many faults in how we’re functioning as a family and as a larger society. And I don’t want to paper over those faults and get back to normal. I want to figure out how to make things better, stronger, more solid somehow.

    I’m praying for the chance to do so.

    Thanks for the invitation to let my fever-addled mind release some pent up feelings.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’m so sorry, megan. that sounds really hard. sending love to you and your family xoxo

    • Lynn says...

      Thank you for sharing this, Megan. All the best wishes to you for a full recovery. Please keep us posted on things. xoxo

    • Megan says...

      Thank you, sending love back! Hoping you and your beautiful family stay safe during this scary time.

    • Tammi Dower says...

      Can you give us an update? I am worried for you…

  30. CaraM says...

    I volunteered on the NextDoor app to be a “Text Buddy” and check in daily with a Senior or person feeling isolated/lonely. This has the added benefit of making me feel less alone. I currently have 3 buddies and it is a great way to stay connected to different members of the community that I wasn’t in-tune with before – someone with a disability, an immuno-compromised Senior, and a singleton missing human connection. We’ve had fun swapping pictures, sharing fears, swapping music, and dishing on ways we’ve been keeping busy. I highly encourage others to consider doing something similar – it also gives you a sense of control!

    • Natalie says...

      What a great idea! Thank you for sharing!

  31. Jules says...

    We do have a bit of excitement here: there is a family of foxes living pretty close to our house. We know where the den is and on our walks we can see the (at least) 3 pups playing outside the den and the adult fox(es) keeping an eye on them. Earlier this year we were listening to Roald Dahl read his “Fantastic Mr. Fox” on CD in the car on repeat (which is great because he has a very soothing voice). So, my three young boys are very excited to have a fox family in the neighborhood. Not sure the 5 month old is as excited….she hasn’t had much to say about it yet.

    • ana says...

      Love this!

  32. Caroline says...

    My fiance and I officially cancelled our May 15th wedding yesterday, and plan to elope with his parents who live near us, while facetiming in my family. I feel like I honestly don’t know how I should feel. I think of my wedding day and want to cry and not in a good way. At the end of the day I just want to marry my fiance and who knows when that would be if we have to wait just to have a party – but the thought of likely not being able to even hug his parents even though they will be there (they are older and it feels risky), not having anyone from my family there, and then my wedding day ending with going back to my 700 sq foot apartment is just sad. AND YET at the same time I’m soo so grateful for my family and friends health and the fact that my fiance and I have stable jobs that will make it through this time so I know it could be so much worse and it doesn’t feel fair of me to be sad about this stuff.

    • Mimi says...

      Whatever else it is, grief is intensely personal. Your feelings of sadness are fair – they’re feelings, not thoughts or manifestos. You get to feel how you feel. It’s completely fair to grieve the loss of what you hoped your wedding would be. I believe it will be wonderful, filled with joy and hope for all that’s to come for you and your love. The grief you may feel for missing loved ones is really just your love and longing for them, so love will abound. Congratulations!

    • Em says...

      Oh Caroline, I am in the exact same situation as you, and I feel you *Hugs*
      You’re allowed to feel really sad about it. Yes some other people are facing big problems, but this is a significant loss for you and your partner, and it sucks. You will be happy on the day no matter what. You will, trust me. My only suggestion is to spend some time planning ways to make it a joyous occasion. Could you get a photographer/videographer to have memories of the day? Can you live stream it to everyone (zoom meeting!)? Can you buy the most amazing bottle of champagne to celebrate with afterwards? Can you cook your favourite meal together for dinner that night and start some sort of tradition together? Go home and plan the honeymoon you want to have when this is all over. Lastly, remember that you can have a big celebration (and even a commitment ceremony with vows etc) eventually.

  33. riye says...

    I’m doing okay except for occasional bouts of anger/disgust at misinformation being spread around and hoarding–both of which are still going on in my town despite repeated pleas from pretty much everyone to stop. I’m the only one in my office so maintaining the 6-ft rule is not a problem. Trying to text and e-mail good friends plus doing yoga wellness check ups with one friend to try to keep us doing yoga. The bf and I are cleaning out our vegetable drawers and making curry or soups for dinner. Once sad thing that happened this week is that our eldest cat might be getting ready to leave us. He’s had a long, good life with us but I’m dreading that we might have to “help” him along at the vet’s if he starts having a bad time.

    Sending out best wishes and kind thoughts to all the CoJ folks out there! Stay safe.

    • Margaret says...

      I’m so sorry, Riye. How awful to worry about your cat’s health at a time when we need our loved ones more than ever. Sending you good thoughts.

  34. J says...

    Gosh, I hope not to bring anyone down, but can I please use this as a safe place to vent? I’m very, very fortunate. I have a safe home, income, I am well, and my employment can be done indefinitely from home. My cupboards overflow :) But ya’ll, I’m tired. I’m tired of watching my older relatives drive from store to store each day to alleviate boredom, picking up one or two items here and there. What can I say? I’m tired of my mother, who I live with. She is an alcoholic (in denial), narcissistic, loud and often angry. She doesn’t grasp that I need to work when I’m home, and that I have to be on video calls which aren’t a great time to make noise and shout obscenities in the background. I’m tired of the near constant rain. I’m irritated by the repetitive corporate COVID-19 check in / status / WFH check in calls (at what point, exactly, will ya’ll leave us alone to work here?). I think I just need a good scream.

    I know that’s hugely privileged, but if you are at home with an unpleasant housemate, I feel for you, and know you aren’t alone.

    I’m grateful too, for Marvel movies, free home workouts, Barre3 videos, precious dogs, friendships. Time, and peace when it comes. I’m grateful, but goodness, my nerves are gonna get a bit ragged by the end of this.

  35. Erica says...

    We are doing ok. Luckily my husband can work from home and we have all been staying out since the 13th. However, yesterday the youngest came down with a fever (no other symptoms) so of course my worry and anxiety is off the charts 😔

  36. Jen says...

    My life has not changed except for no baseball. I already work from home. Everything I like to do is in this house. No problem social distancing. I’ve been social distancing my whole life. Good to be an introvert right now.

    • Carrie says...

      I am the exact same regarding social distancing, and so is my husband (a gamer!)

  37. Shenoa says...

    I’m in week 2 with 5 kids, ages 14 months to 8. It’s a lot. I had a moment where I had to decide if I was going to come completely unhinged or be the wartime president of this house.
    I usually work outside the home 4 days a week and we have a wonderful nanny, who we love. This has been hard in lots of ways.
    But I think we are all so much stronger and more resilient than we imagined. My heart is really full, even if my patience is depleted.

    • J says...

      “wartime president of this house” = ha! Too funny!

    • Jules says...

      Wartime president! This history nerd loves & appreciates that comment!

      I stay at home with my 4 (5 months to 6 years) and have been social distancing since my baby was born in October. Wasn’t planning on doing it this long though. My husband is an essential worker, so this is basically like summer break for us. Praying everyone stays healthy!

  38. Megan Johnson says...

    For the most part, I’m actually doing quite well. I’m very introverted and have been really thriving at home. I wake up each day, walk the dogs, do 10-20 minutes of yoga, drink a cup of tea and eat breakfast SITTING DOWN, catch up on the news, and then get to work at the dining room table. What I’ve been struggling with is actually all the extra time with the fam. I’m used to enjoying an hour+ commute and the work day away from them. I snapped on my husband this morning, who asked if I wanted anything from the store–“A snack? A drink? Nothing? Are you sure?” Don’t get me wrong–it’s been lovely but also grating LOL. I guess it’s kind of like how those with curly hair want straight and those with straight want curly… we all want what we can’t have!

    Watching: Outbreak. Seems counterproductive to quelling anxiety but it’s just so farfetched and outrageous, it actually puts things into perspective a bit.

    Reading: Animalkind by Ingrid Newkirk

    Doing: Lots of long walks around the neighborhood (while we still can)

    Views from my windows: Squirrels and birds. They seem to be doing well.

    Making me laugh: Marc Maron’s new Netflix special End Times Fun

    Making me cry: Schools will remain closed through summer, and that’s really effin scary. No joke.

  39. Anne Elliot says...

    I am essential personnel for an institutionalized population, but not a healthcare worker. The positive is that I am still able to go to work daily and have avoided the isolation issues people have experienced from sheltering in place. The negative is that my job has never been more stressful or urgent, and frequently the best path forward is unclear because none of us have been here before. I am trying to take care of myself so I can help to take care of others, but I don’t know how much longer I, my colleagues, and others similarly situated will be able to burn the candle at both ends.

  40. Julie says...

    I’m constantly fighting off waves of panic attacks. I had a big one last week and was doing ok, but after reading about how this garbage administration is placing the stock market over people’s lives my chest is tight again. I have asthma and am terrified of being told to go back into Philly, on my daily bus, to get to work.

    BUT. My husband and I have been having so much fun together. Both of our 40th birthday celebrations have been canceled, so we’re making the best of it. So far we’ve had a Golden Tee tournament on his arcade cabinet, played Scrabble, chess, cornhole (to get outside), poker, and blackjack.

    Sex also helps. A LOT.

    I’ve read three books, cooked and baked, have watched lots of good movies and tv like Uncut Gems, Halt and Catch Fire, Picard, and The Hunt, and have been participating in video calls with my closest friends.

    It will all be ok.

  41. My husband is very introverted, and I’m very extroverted, so of course we’re handling the stress and isolation right now very differently. (And the exhaustion of a 3yo who chose the WORST TIME EVER to stop napping 😂🤦🏼‍♀️) We’re currently alternating days for who is on childcare and who is working, which is tricky but doable in a 750 sq ft apartment. Right now, We have two rules:

    1. If you need something, say something. The only way we get through this is with LOTS of communication.

    2. After our kid goes down for bed, we hang out until 9:30 to give me the interaction and conversation I need. At 9:30, I peace out and go get in bed so he can have the solitude he needs.

    • Sarah says...

      This sounds very much like my situation! We also have a nearly 3 year old who skipped nap time the other day and again today. I’m seriously hoping they were anomalies!! He usually naps for 2 hrs!

  42. PB says...

    My husband’s family owns a chain of restaurants. We’ve had to furlough thousands of people and are not set up for take out or delivery because we rely on fresh fish coming in everyday. We have lost everything and will need to start over once all is said and done. I feel like people just pass over the restaurant industry, taking it for granted because there’s one on every corner. Buying gift cards and ordering take out is not enough to sustain most of us in the business. Communal eating will change after this and the entire industry will need to reinvent itself and adapt. We are still figuring out our way as things change moment by moment.

    • Katharine says...

      I’m so sorry to hear this, it sucks so much and you’re not alone.

  43. Danielle says...

    Thank you for providing your content! In these challenging times, it’s even more uplighting. Not going to lie, this has been trying. It’s hard to work from home (for the first time), encourage my older parents to take this seriously and missing the normal things in life (happy hour, shaking hands, and coughing freely!). As a New Yorker, it’s hard to see all the emptiness but glad to see people are taking this super seriously and hopefully one day we will all be together again soon.

  44. Jillian says...

    Joanna, An idea: videos of your grandmother giving tutorials on embroidery making her “millows” while she’s having tea, or how to make marmalade, any history on the boats or seaside life in Cornwall. They could be very simple videos if she and your aunt would be willing to share. Besides their lovely British accents, I find it soothing to watch these sorts of things especially when done by people of her generation which rarely get the spotlight. And Cornwall has been on my list of places to visit!
    Everyone continue to take good care of yourselves and each other, friends and strangers. ❤️

    • Sara says...

      Love this idea! Would definitely enjoy listening and watching.

    • Jane says...

      Love this idea!

    • Jodi Eckhardt says...

      love that

    • J says...

      I too would love this. That beauty uniform with your aunt is one of my favorite things.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love that idea! i’ll ask my aunt :)

    • Rusty says...

      Love this idea!!!

  45. Nicola says...

    Hello from Northern Ireland! We went into lock down yesterday because so many people were treating it like a bank holiday and congregating en masse in parks and beaches. I work for an arts festival which was due to take place in May, now postponed to whenever. We are working from home and trying to repurpose our funding (non profit) to ensure our projects and our participants can still benefit. My husband is in IT so working from home is fine for him. My daughter’s university has closed and all classes are online. She has left her uni halls but still has to pay rent! My son was due to sit exams but they are all cancelled and schools closed. He has work to do but its tricky getting a 17yr old to set routines for himself!
    So far we are all healthy. I am really sad at not being able to see my elderly parents who are in isolation 50 miles away. I phone every day and text but its not the same. Also my dad has Parkinsons and a bad chest so he needs to stay well.
    The one family member who is delighted is our cat Gracie who is loving having a house full of people!
    Hopefully this will all pass in time. In the meantime, we light a candle every evening and put it in the window, as do other neighbours. Just a little light in the darkness.

  46. Aggs says...

    Wouldn’t you want to support your readers by actually posting some of the blog ideas you had? I have a feeling lots of people would love to read some lighter content CoJ usually provides. I feels so slacky of you and your team

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      We have tons of posts coming up this week that I hope you’ll enjoy!

    • Maren says...

      Part of the loveliness of COJ is reading all the comments & truly feeling a part of community. Thank you Joanna & team for all the hard work you do and the thoughtfulness that goes into each post!

    • Rebecca says...

      I am happy to see this post, especially since I have been doing so much reading and research for the past few days, and have had no human connection. So, while I look forward to other content as well, I think it’s really sweet to see this community checking in on one another. There is a lot of encouraging, light-hearted content floating around Instagram and other platforms, but this blog is special because it’s a community, not just a collection of fun content.

    • M says...

      Yikes Aggs you are clearly having a bad week! Hope you feel better!

    • Denise says...

      In these times especially, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Aggs, I hope you have a good day today.

    • Eva says...

      I really appreciated the break in normal content. It seems necessary these days. Thank you, Joanna.

    • KJ says...

      My advice like so many others here is be kind, if you can’t do that then refrain from commenting. We are all dealing with our own personal rodeo, circus- pushed to limits we were once complete strangers too. I am a solo parenting because my husband died. So to be able to come here and read such humbling comments that remind me we are not alone in a time when some of us very much feel otherwise— is far more important.

    • gina s says...

      are you freakin’ kidding me?
      accusing anyone of being “slacky” right now is over the top bizarre.

    • Denise Blust says...

      KJ, I am a widow myself, albeit with older kids. I have several friends who are young widows. It is incredibly hard. Let me know if you need to vent. It’s especially tough for us right now. <3

    • Shelley says...

      Joanna, `I often joke with my friends that I want to be like you when I grow up…your gracious, calm response to this just shows how golden you are inside.

    • Rusty says...

      I love THIS post!!! It’s so wonderful to have an update from the previous. I’ve been telling EVERYONE about this community and THIS topic. I give my partner a daily update on the CoJ people.
      Joanna, don’t be put off, please. xxx

    • Liz says...

      I don’t think they are slacking at all. They are just asking how we are doing during this incredibly stressful time. It would be strange if they didn’t. CoJ has always cared a lot about its readership. Thanks so much, CoJ team for checking in with us today.

    • Kylee says...

      I can’t see how this post is anything but supportive. Joanna and the Cup of Jo team, thank you for always providing a safe and connecting community. Oh, and Joanna you are as gracious as they come.

  47. Em says...

    We’re lucky to be healthy so far, but it’s been tough! With everything closed my toddler son is home from daycare and I’m WFH full-time, but my husband is still working full-time outside the home (life-sustaining job). We’re in a “stay home” state and self-isolating, and it is impossible to get work done and look after a restless, frustrated two year old at the same time. I’m in a group text with a few other working parents of toddlers and we’re all sharing how many times a day we cry out of sheer frustration. On top of all of this I’m pregnant , extra tired, and worried about what all this anxiety is doing to the baby. The only things that are helping right now are getting outside and escaping into my book (The Dutch House) when I can steal a few minutes. Sending love to all of you! Extra love to health care workers and their families on the front lines!

    • MM says...

      Hi Em,
      For what it’s worth, I had bad anxiety all through my pregnancy, and was also quite worried about what it would do to the baby. But I now have my easiest, most peaceful and content baby yet. You have a lot on your plate right now, but all shall be well and there are good days ahead!

    • Annie says...

      You’re doing great! Sending hope and strength. <3

    • Shelley says...

      Me too, MM!

  48. I usually paint plein air around NYC, now I’m doing a lot of painting fire escapes out my windows and working on paintings from photos from home (@ramblingsketcher on instagram if you’re interested!) Trying to paint something and do one big household chore every day to help stave off existential dread. Also stress baking! 😂

    • Gina says...

      Ive been following your IG forever. I absolutely love your work and it inspires me to keep drawing

    • Katie says...

      Oh my gosh, thank you! I’m so glad you find it inspiring! Just keep drawing 😊❤

  49. Flo says...

    I have been working from home since last week, and have only gone out to take the trash. Which thankfully is across the building’s garden.
    My mood has been fine, but not so much the last few days. I separated and moved out of my home a few months ago, and the arrangement with the kids is that they spend one week with me and one with my ex at my ex house. This week they were supposed to stay with me, but due to the virus, my having to work still and limited space, ex and I decided they should stay with him.
    That said, then, I feel quite miserable at times. Lonely, sad. I feel like time is passing us by and I miss seeing people, my parents, etc. This morning, upon learning of Albert Uderzo’s passing (he was one of Astérix’s authors), this uncontrollable sadness overcame me. My whole childhood was spent reading Astérix in French with my father, who I can’t visit.
    I appreciate your blog so much, I feel it’s a wonderful space. Thanks for allowing to share my feelings.
    Love to all from Santiago, Chile.

    • Courtney says...

      Sending love to you, Flo. 💛

  50. Clare says...

    Lonely? ADOPT A CAT! Cuddly, easy to care for (you can leave them alone 3-4 days with enough food/water out) & you’ll never regret it.

    • Andrea says...

      Adopt two cats, since they need social interaction. I also don’t think it’s the best to leave cats by themselves for days on end. Get someone to come in, feed them and clean their litter.

    • Bridget says...

      Ditto to what Andrea said! At the very least, someone should check on them a couple times a day to make they’re OK. But yes, cats are amazing and great comfort in these times.

    • Karen says...

      Adopt FOUR cats!
      Just kidding. I love the comments section here. Sometimes the comments make me laugh. We all have so many thoughts and feelings. Especially in quarantine. ;-)

    • Erika says...

      Karen, lololol!

    • Kate the Great says...

      I wish we could. We had a dream about it as a family. But as soon as my in-laws moved to the same state we live in, my husband decreed that we couldn’t own a cat because my father-in-law is deathly allergic to anything with fur. So now we dream about ducks… But it’s just not the same.

  51. jane says...

    It’s never been a better time to practice meditation for all those stuck indoors: deep inner reflection and silence is so blissful.

    I feel very fortunate, hearing the stories of those in city apartments, to have a woods at the end of my road where I can walk in nature. I go in the mornings when there is almost no one there and it sets a tone of grounded peacefulness for the rest of the day.

    As for food I’m focusing all my attention on immune support just to be as prepared as possible. Medicinal herb teas, healthy choices x10, etc.

    Also, personally, I love this quarantine routine that people are apparently loving mocking, lol, but I am a Virgo too so . . .
    https://twitter.com/plntbasedcutie/status/1240043969116901376

  52. Carrie says...

    I am 11 weeks pregnant and desperately wanting to stay safe and protect my sweet baby. I believe in the law of attraction so I don’t even let my mind wander to the negatives out of fear that they’ll come to pass. Whenever I’m tempted to ruminate on what could happen, I offer up prayers of thankfulness for all of my blessings. Focusing on gratitude makes me feel warm and happy! I absolutely love my life, and this virus will (hopefully) soon just be another memory.

  53. Diana says...

    I’m 36 weeks pregnant and I am starting to get really scared. I keep seeing articles about hospitals barring partners from delivery rooms and am terrified that I will have to labor alone.

    • Bobbi says...

      Diana, my heart aches for you. I am 19 weeks along, and I saw the news yesterday as well. Sending you good thoughts.

    • Katharine says...

      I can’t imagine how stressful that must be right now! Most L&D nurses I know say that right now, partners can be present. What they’re trying to limit is extra people. And they may ask parents to wear masks around the baby if either of you show any worrisome symptoms or have been recently exposed to someone with covid-19.

      Take care if yourself! Sending lots of loving thoughts your way. ❤️

  54. Anne says...

    I’m a healthcare attorney and let me first acknowledge that my stress-levels PALE in comparison to those of my clients (and all healthcare providers), whom I’m trying to help stay afloat and prepared during this time. That said, for a job like mine that already struggled in the area of “work-life balance,” my work has become even more inescapable. And adding to that, now, all my supervisors (I’m only an associate) know that I’m pretty much available 24/7 (after all, where else would I be but home and near my computer?) and they act like it. There’s no question that these are crazy times requiring all-hands-on-deck. And I’m really passionate about helping our clients navigate this. I just don’t know how long I can handle this type of work situation while maintaining a semblance of sanity. It’s all adding to the usual anxiousness over the pandemic and feeling stir-crazy. My goal this week is to find ways to respectfully draw some boundaries!

    • S says...

      Yes I would encourage you to draw some boundaries: “I will be available between x and x hours, but not after…” It’s only reasonable and that’s the kind of thing we will all need to get through this!
      Sending love.

    • Laura T. says...

      Anne, thank you for the work that you do! I’m a nurse at a large NYC hospital. Due to a chronic medical condition, I am immune compromised. Governor Cuomo passed Matilda’s Law on Sunday, meant to protect those over 70 or immune compromised. My hospital says it isn’t a true law, merely a recommendation, and therefore doesn’t apply to healthcare workers. I am not alone in feeling that the hospital systems are not protecting their workforce. I think so many of us will be seeking legal advice when this is all over.

    • M says...

      This is to Laura T. I am sorry you are going through this. A friend is a nurse and immune compromised. She decided never to work in a hospital for all the viruses through there on a regular basis, even though she makes less money working at a non-hospital. Based on speaking with her I’m surprised an immune compromised person would work at a hospital if they were able to work elsewhere. Can you take sick or personal leave? Use FMLA? Good luck and thank you!

  55. Sending love to all of you. We’re at a time in history that we’ve not been at before.

    For me, we’re meant to get married in July and I don’t know if the wedding will happen.

    Also, I’m a coach and it’s asking me to pivot what I do and how I serve. I guess that’s a good thing.

    Things that are helping—
    Livestream dance parties that are now happening on the web. Dance Church is one, and there are many. It’s a killer way to move AND feel a part of community.

    I’m spending extra time in prayer and meditation, and allowing it all to move through. John O’Donohue and David Whyte’s work have been particularly comforting.

    Lastly, if anyone need to talk, feel free to reach out to me. It’s what I do. ❤️❤️

    • jane says...

      Livestream dance parties?? YAY, thank you!

  56. A says...

    I was having a good day until my husband came home from work at the hospital to tell me they are building another morgue and that there were multiple suspected cases on his ward. I’ve been self isolating for almost three weeks as a precaution but with young kids it feels scary to think how devastating this will be for our community. Hope everyone is staying home and keeping safe x

    • jane says...

      But isn’t it important to remember that most people under 60 are very unlikely to suffer at all beyond basic symptoms of the common cold? And from which they recover? Start taking echinacea now, stay hydrated and remain proactive.

    • Julie says...

      Jane, that is wrong. Please don’t spread misinformation, it’s so dangerous.

    • Karen says...

      So grateful for the informed comments here. And so disheartened by the rampant misinformation being peddled out by our leaders— misinformation that will literally cost hundreds maybe thousands of lives.

    • A says...

      Jane I appreciate your optimism and sometimes I envy others optimistic point of view. I really do. But as others have said this isn’t like a common cold. And I’m afraid echinacea is not going to protect him. My husband has to examine people’s faces at very close contact with minimal, if any, protective clothing. Where I’m living 25% of health care workers are currently infected and we haven’t even reached the surge yet. It is a real worry. I’m grateful that in my country my government are taking decisive action and are treating this with the seriousness and severity it requires. I’m grateful that they are the ones running the country in this crisis. I’m grateful that financial supports have been put in place for people who have unexpectedly lost their jobs. I’m grateful that that they are putting people before the economy. I’m grateful that I live in the countryside and can enjoy outdoor space without crowds of people. I’m grateful that I have a happy family. I worry for my elderly parents with health conditions. And I worry for my husband who is going to work to save others. And he is worried too.
      But tomorrow, if I’m lucky where I live, the sun will shine.
      Stay safe and stay home x

  57. MJ says...

    My home is nestled in the woods in a little corner of NW Philadelphia. The trees, blooms, birds and general arrival of spring is keeping my spirits hoisted. The Prozac helps too.¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    As an introvert, I’m honestly faring the stuck at home thing quite well – as well as that I’m not alone, but with my husband and two preschoolers, so it’s never dull. I already work from home full-time and my small company has been very accommodating with the kids being home. My husband is also working from home for now so we’re both juggling work and childcare. It’s a lot, but being full-time working parents has always left me with a sense of guilt for not being with my kids more in these early years (they are 2 and 4), and so part of this feels like it’s the way our family is supposed to be: together. So I’m mostly feeling grateful. My parents each live alone so I worry about them and call every day – and very thankfully so far, so good. We have close friends across the street from us and it’s HARD to stay away. But she has a baby on the way and we have some kind of cold virus (this is only slightly nerve-wracking) so we take it seriously. Like so many others, we’re keeping in touch with community in new and creative ways through our screens. The kids get out for a daily nature walk. My husband and I are watching the Fx series “What We Do In The Shadows” on Hulu – highly recommend for fans of Jemaine Clement. Stay safe and healthy, everyone!

  58. E says...

    I keep swinging through deep despair into moments of calm and then back again.

    I’m a PhD student so, while I feel lucky that I can work from home (read, write, teach on Zoom) and that I am still being paid (but only through the end of the semester), my responsibilities have shot through the roof. I had very little free time before and now I can barely find the time call my aging parents to make sure they aren’t coughing yet. I haven’t been this exhausted in years. All I want is to be able to log into one of the many Zoom yoga classes I keep seeing posted on instagram, watch an episode of some fluff tv show on Netflix, or crack open a novel for an hour. My fellow grad students and I are being told by our faculty advisors that this is a fantastic time to put our heads down and get good work done without distractions. But what bigger distraction can there possibly be than a global pandemic threatening to take away the people you love? I can’t focus. I am trying to tell myself that I do not have to be perfect this semester. I can produce sub-par work and if anyone ever says anything about what I did or did not write during this time, I will quickly remind them of the state of the world in Spring 2020.

    I’ve been a germaphobe my entire life but I’m not terribly afraid of getting sick. I just don’t want to get anyone else sick. So I’ve been home since March 12th. I live alone and, while I know that people are getting cabin fever being locked inside with their roommates and families, please know how lucky you are to have warm bodies around you right now. On top of everything (fear, anxiety, premature grieving for the potential loss of my parents), I’m terribly lonely. I haven’t been in a room with another person in 12 days.

    I’m currently stuck in a stranger’s house watching their two dogs. The plan was to dog sit for them while they were in India for six weeks or so – they left mid-February before all of this was widely known. When it became clear to me that soon international travel would come to a halt, I begged them several times to come back to the US. I so badly want to drive back to Texas to be with the rest of my family. But they said that they felt safer staying in India because the rate of infection was lower. Well, now they’re “stranded” in India indefinitely (they wouldn’t be stranded if they had paid attention) and I am stuck watching their dogs. If anyone in my family dies from this and I was unable to see them one more time because these people refused to return from India when borders were still open, I will never forgive myself (or them).

    • Rusty says...

      Can’t you take the dogs with you and go home to Texas??!!

    • Hilary says...

      Hi E, this all really sucks. Getting a PhD is rough enough and as someone who once pursued one before changing course, I can totally see how advisers would suggest that this is a great time to focus. Academia can be super weird and not always the most humane place. I often felt pretty powerless while there, in part because of the hierarchical nature and in part because I lived paycheck to paycheck which was stressful.

      I’d suggest you inform the family that you will be returning home in light of the global emergency and they need to find someone else who can care for the pups in the interim. This isn’t totally your problem to solve and I bet there are quite a few people, maybe someone trustworthy in your program? who would welcome the chance to hang out with some furry friends, earn some extra cash, and have free lodging.

      Quarantine yourself for 14 days once there, keeping away from family etc. to make sure you’re not unintentionally spreading COVID. Be safe, be smart, and go be with your family

    • Mae says...

      Wow, thank you for sharing.

      And, in case it helps to hear “permission” from a stranger on the internet–you can board the dogs and leave. Or take them with you. Or find someone else to watch them. Or, better yet, ask their owners to solve this problem and be with your family.

      You are allowed to take care of yourself and your community in whatever way feels best to you.

      Sending you best wishes for some solace.

    • Laura says...

      Hi! I’m also a PhD student getting a similar message to buckle down, catch up on reading and writing, etc. It’s hard to stay motivated without other students around. Some of my lab-mates are having virtual coffee dates during the week, so that’s something that I may try.

      I feel terrible about the dog-sitting situation. It seems unfair that they would expect you stay at their house indefinitely. I think they would be obligated to pay for boarding, rather than expecting you to just wait it out.

    • M says...

      Hey E! Sorry about all this. Get in contact with the owners and tell them you need to go home to a Texas. I would say give them a day (or you call a couple boarding places and see if anyone is accepting animals right now and then give them the information to call and give their credit card) to find either a boarding place or a family member to watch these dogs. Also vets have boarding sometimes so can you find any information on the vets for these dogs and contact them? You asked them to come back and they decided against it. If you read about India they are stuck there for at least another 3 weeks.

      If they refuse to do it I think you have to give them a time frame and then just go. If you feel guilty take the dogs with you, but again you told these people and they put their needs above yours and their dogs. Pretty selfish if you ask me.

      I think it will get worse and we will need to hunker down or the country and states will be shut down will limited to no travel (or it should be that way let’s see what the President decides). So I say do it now. Today. I know you are busy but call a few places and get a hold of these people ASAP. Don’t let them make you feel guilty. Say I’m leaving on this date here is what I found for boarding I can drop the dogs off but you need to call and give your credit card information. Good luck!

    • sheila says...

      E, you have gone above and beyond for these folks with the dogs. You are being taken advantage of, and I agree that it would be best for you to contact the owners and have them pay for the dogs to be boarded so that you can see your family.
      We are all behind you — take good care xoxo

  59. Sarah says...

    I am so sorry for your loss. It’s devastating. Sending you positive thoughts.

  60. Lana says...

    Yesterday, I was feeling the weight of everything despite being mostly positive through all of this. I have three children (9, 5 and 2) and the middle child seems to be taking it the worst. She needs social interaction and activities to stay happy and (semi) calm.
    In an effort to cheer everyone up, I told them that we would be “going out” to a VERY exclusive, fancy, local Italian restaurant last night. Around 4:30 I made spaghetti and meatballs with jarred sauce and frozen meatballs. I heated up some take and bake bread and popped the cork on a bottle of wine. I put our old, red, checkered tablecloth on our kitchen table and placed two tapered candle right in the middle of it. My husband put “Italian cooking music” on pandora and best of all—we ALL dressed up. My girls wore their best dresses and I let the (gasp!) wear eyeshadow! My two year old son wore a button down polo and I curled my hair, put on a LBD and wore bright red lipstick. Even my husband, who normally would think this kind of thing was silly, wore a nice shirt to the table.
    After the kids had all gone to bed, my husband and I curled up on the couch and watched, “Moonstruck”. The entire evening buoyed us all up a little, and I think we’ll try “going out” again soon.
    Nothing was fancy about our night, but my kids literally glowed with happiness. I’m so worried about their little hearts right now and I think they needed this more than I realized. I recommend it to everyone!

    • Rusty says...

      That is sooo beautiful.
      I’m sure your sharing will help a lot of people to give it a go.
      I got foggy eyes reading your comment. ❤

    • Heather says...

      Love this idea – thanks so much for sharing!

    • Jane says...

      I did the same thing on Saturday! My kids were bummed that we would miss out in our beach vacation, so we went to a restaurant instead – same setup, but we got our very fancy meal delivered from our favorite local restaurant who have been taking the lockdown here in stride, setting up a website super-quick where they sell and deliver the meals they had already started to prepare (and now they are offering an even greater variety) – so we had lamb shanks in thyme jus, dumplings, red cabbage and the likes and it tasted better than ever.
      My husband is like you describe yours, too, and he, too, was delighted with the evening!

    • Megan says...

      I love this dinner idea! My 4 year old son has been asking for candles at dinner but I think I’ll take it the next step and have us dress up and head to the hottest new restaurant in town 😉

    • Mims says...

      Lana, have you ever seen Ooba Butler’s piece on getting his “restaurant” The Shed at Dulwich to number #1 on TripAdvisors best in London list? Your kids might not appreciate but your husband would. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqPARIKHbN8

      I am totally doing this tonight and making spam musubi and listening to the Japanese sushi music channel on Amazon music (who knew there was such a thing?) followed by Jiro dreams of sushi.

      Our son is a just launched 21, and lives 800 miles away….we are lonely without any of our family around, even a couple needs to liven up the routine!

  61. Sarah says...

    I’m a resident Ear Nose and Throat doctor in D.C. and my fiance is “essential personnel” working at a waste water treatment facility here. On one hand we’re so lucky to still be working and have jobs and have our minds occupied, but I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a tiny part of me that wished I could keep us both home safe and sound (especially given the shortage of personal protective equipment). At work, I’m buoyed by everyone’s fearless commitment to our patients – from the environmental service workers keeping our wards clean to the nurses who are true HEROES and spend the most time at our COVID patients’ bedsides to the ED and ICU docs unwaveringly providing life-saving measures both for our COVID patients and for our baseline unremitting flow of non-COVID emergencies. So much has changed in the past week, but one thing I’m sure of is the human spirit is strong, and even though we can’t give each other hugs we are all there for each other. Love this Cup Of Jo community!

    • jane says...

      Here’s a question I’ve wondered about and will pose here for health care workers to address: with the shortage of masks and gloves in hospitals, wouldn’t the same type of microwave (or autoclave) steam sterilization that people use for baby bottles work to extend the life of masks and gloves? Obviously not ideal, but surely a phone call to the manufacturer’s could verify how viable the mask fabric would be after the microwave steam treatment. Would think gloves would hold up to sterilization at least several times until they tear or etc.

    • Sarah says...

      Definitely worth a phone call! We’re trying lots of different solutions to re-use or alter our masks – unfortunately there’s no real evidence to guide us on what’s safe or not. Luckily at my hospital, gloves aren’t in short supply and we’re doing ok on regular surgical masks, but N95s are definitely scarce so we try to just use only when truly necessary (aerosolizing procedures like ENT scopes or intubations).

    • Mims says...

      autoclaving? Ozone? The S0 Clean ozone machine for Cpap hoses and masks could disinfect several n95 masks at a time. My husband works in a clean room lab and since they are no longer able to work, all their PPE: booties, gowns, face masks got donated by their company to Seattle area hospitals. I wish I had a magic wand to make it so in every city across the country: plenty of test kits, knowledgeable caring hands and PPE for all!

  62. Rebekah says...

    Hi, from Oklahoma. It’s been slow getting to us, as things typically are. The number of cases we have is a drop in the bucket compared to NY but it is still affecting us. Small businesses are closing down, and I found out I will likely only have my job (based in construction) for a few more weeks. This is particularly scary since I’m our breadwinner after my husband started med school this year, a decision we planned and prepared for years to make. I’m also already missing my grandmother, who is isolating. I’m so worried about multiple family members who are healthcare workers, often on the verge of tears, and feeling hopeless some days, but I also want so desperately for my daughters 4 &6) to remember our time at home together as happy and whole. This is rambly. But thank you for asking. ❤️

  63. Rachel says...

    All things considered, I’m okay—albeit lonely. I was laid off, and live across the country from my family. I went through a break up two weeks ago, too. My days are okay, trying to stay busy and exercise (my proven magic pill) but it’s when I look forward and see the days becoming weeks then months that I don’t feet as good. I’m sending so much love to everyone, and I wish there was something I could do to make this easier.

    • Margaret says...

      Sending love back, Rachel! I’m really sorry for your recent losses – your job, your relationship. I hope you’re hanging in there.

  64. Birdie says...

    These are uncertain times for everyone. To be honest the uncertainty of the future can be overwhelming at times, so I am trying so hard to stay in the present. I’ve been unemployed since November after losing my job in a round of corporate lay-offs, and the current world seems to have intensified my circumstances. Thinking too far into the future can be soul crushing.

    But I just keep reminding myself to do what has been helping me each day:
    + Take a big, deep breath each morning, and thank my body for working hard to keep me healthy.
    + Take another deep breath and think of five things I am grateful for today.
    + Embrace activities my teenage self dreamed of being able to do every day, with the same amount of gusto and same lack of shame — collaging, ultimate playlist making, unrepentant doodling, dancing around the room. And reading – the kind of live-in-blanket-fort, binge-eat-toast, sprawled-on-couch – kind of reading.

    I also keep thinking of the instagram Eyes of Love, which is people from around the world gazing lovingly into a camera. It is incredibly moving, intimate and lovely, and just what we all need right now: https://www.instagram.com/eyesoflove_8/?hl=en

  65. Michelle says...

    Good days and bad days! I’m grateful to be with my family and for opportunities to get outside. I work in special education in a large urban district. I worry for my students. And feel overwhelmed at how to do my job remotely. Trying to learn how to have healthy expectations of myself. Every day.

  66. Julia says...

    Hello to everyone from Chicago! I’m doing a little better today then I was last week. My work as a daycare teacher is now online (as best as we can manage) my internship and grad school classes are also all online. I have never spent so much time on my computer! I miss seeing my friends, coworkers and children. Last week my youngest sister had her baby (my first niece) at 27 weeks and now she is in the NICU where no one is able to visit but my sister for months. The best thing I have found to help is group FaceTimes videos and tik toks! It is so entertaining and now I want to learn all the dances. Giving hugs to everyone who is living alone!

  67. Sherrie says...

    Have to be honest – I live in Florida with much less density – more space – than big cities. We walk, bike, sit outside enjoy Spring and the birds. It is therapeutic if you set your mind to it. The beaches closed, but sitting at the pool with lounge chairs 10′ apart is also ok and neighbors appreciate it. If cooking dinner every. single. night gets old – local restaurants are providing carry out and putting money in their pockets feels so GOOD. The biggest disappointment is cancelled college and graduate school graduations for me – I have waited 23 years to see my kiddos in these caps and gowns and that makes me sad.

  68. Lisa says...

    I’m keeping myself sane by calling a friend every evening when work wraps up for the day at 5. Last night I had a dance party to one song and it was incredibly lifting.

    As my favorite yoga instructor said goodbye when she moved to another city she told me and Molly (we met in this yoga class and are still friends 8 years later) we would reunite doing yoga on a beach some day on a retreat. Sunday we certainly were not on a beach, but we did reunite…on zoom. She’s hosting yoga classes and it was still amazing.

  69. E says...

    I’m pregnant in NYC, and absolutely terrified by the no partners in the hospital policy. It’s really, really hard to imagine going through that alone.

    • K says...

      Nobody can replace your partner, but nurses can be a wonderful source of support. You won’t be totally alone! And in the early stages of labor, you can talk or text, so your partner/family/friends can support you as long as possible and hold you in their thoughts and prayers. Wishing you peace at this difficult time.

    • Kellie P says...

      I’m so sorry! This fricken sucks. Sending you a virtual hug!! My sister just had twins and is feeling very bonded with the nurses right now. Nurses are angels on earth!
      Also… You can do this. You will do this. You are stronger than you know!

    • C says...

      I’m almost 37 weeks, and have been thinking so much about this. We don’t have this policy yet, but I feel for all the mamas-to-be in NYC <3

    • EK says...

      I hear you, me too. I’m a pregnant physician in NYC and have been scared going into work for weeks, but the new no partners in L&D/postpartum policy is a different level of terrifying for me. I just feel bottomless sadness. I still can’t wrap my head around my husband not being allowed at the birth of our first child. I can’t think of any comforting words and I don’t know how to cope with this myself, but I hear you.

    • Diana says...

      Pregnant in TX and feeling those same fears! Sending prayers your way.

    • Laura says...

      Oh my goodness! How far along are you? Do you have a good relationship with your OBGYN?

    • joy says...

      Oh, E. I am sending you hugs and sympathy. It sucks so much. SO SO SO much. But I know that the labor and delivery and maternity ward doctors and nurses are going to take amazing care of you. It’s not the same as your partner, it can’t be, and I ache for that loss for both of you. But you will not be alone. I still think of all of the nurses and doctors at NYU Langone who helped with my deliveries and then caring for my babies those first days with such gratitude and affection years later.

    • Emmy says...

      I am so sorry! Such a scary situation to be in.

    • Judy says...

      I’m praying for you today, E.

    • E says...

      Thank you all so much. The sympathy and commiseration really does help. <3

      It's our second, so I know how great the nurses can be, but I also was in labor for so long with my first that the shifts kept changing, new people coming in and out. And my OB is wonderful, but really wasn't in the room for most of my time in the hospital.

      Hugs to you, EK, and everyone else dealing with similar things. Such scary times.

    • AldenB says...

      I’m 30 weeks with my second and I’m so sad for all the mamas to be in NYC and scared that the no partners policy will come to my hospital by the time I deliver. I don’t have any great advice but you have my empathy.

    • Kay says...

      In today’s press conference, Deblasio stated that one partner can be in the delivery room during labor and delivery. However if they show symptoms of the virus they will be immediately asked to leave. So good news I guess?

  70. Molly says...

    I oscillate between scared/anxious, grateful, and angry. I live in Georgia where it is predicted if we do not take more severe precautions ASAP we will reach the point of no return. Governor Kemp (I refuse to call him our governor) gave a press conference yesterday after mounting pressure to issue a shelter-in-place order, and all he did was talk about what he has done so far and the efforts to expand our healthcare system’s capacity. The thing is, expanding the capacity will not matter in the slightest if we don’t take action now. It is frustrating to be in a situation where you feel like your local leadership does not care about the health of its constituency. I’ve been e-mailing, calling, doing what I can, but at the end of the day, I can’t issue the order myself. (By the way, if you live in GA and are also angry, the number for the constituent services office is 404-656-1776. You may have to hold for a while, but the more people who call in, the better).

    That’s the angry part. The grateful part is that I feel incredibly lucky to live with my partner and have someone to go through this with. I am a teacher, so I’ve been working from home, and I don’t have to worry about my income. My boyfriend also has a job where he can work from home. We have separate offices in our house, thank goodness. We’ll be celebrating our three-year anniversary in quarantine.

    And the scared part. I am terrified of what this means for so many people. I am not naive enough to think that as a young person I am not susceptible to this. There is a 12-year-old on a ventilator here in Atlanta. But I also realize this looks so much scarier for others. And like many of us, I am worried about my parents. My mother is a hospice nurse. She has no choice but to go see her patients. But due to the shortage of PPE, her agency was not able to secure masks for them, which is both a risk to her and her patients. And with that, I return full circle to angry.

    • C says...

      My goal is to still get fully dressed M-F even though my work doesn’t require video calls and I don’t have anywhere to go. It helps me feel more connected to my normal routine.

      I also really appreciated this article by Alison Green:

      https://slate.com/human-interest/2020/03/coronavirus-working-from-home-remote-workforce-telework.html

      As someone who doesn’t typically WFH, her advice has taken some weight off my shoulders by reminding me that these are very, very unusual times for us all.

    • Angela says...

      Agree Agree Agree. I wrote and just now tried called. The line is busy. I hope that is a good sign that the office is being overwhelmed by citizens calling. I will keep trying today. I am scared. I’m angry too but right now I just feel scared and if I’m honest, paralyzed by my fear.
      Stay well everyone.

    • Molly says...

      Angela! Thank you so much for trying to call. I do think that the more people who speak up, the more of a chance we’ll have. I completely understand the fear, though. I’ve been in a hole of anxiety for weeks now due to the situation. While that anxiety led me to prepare a lot sooner, it also means I’m about a month into feeling like this. The anger and trying to do something, even something small, is helping me a little. I hope you stay well and safe!

  71. Trina says...

    Ever since your aunt Lulu mentioned Yoga with Adriene in her Beauty Uniform profile, I’ve been intrigued with the idea of it “feeling like [you’ve] just had a massage.” She radiates serenity so it seemed like a good thing to try this past week or so of shelter-in-place in the Bay Area.

  72. Catherine says...

    In mid February, my partner moved abroad for a year for work. I was already missing him terribly, and counting down the days until our trips to visit each other: one scheduled for March, and one scheduled for May. The March visit was, of course, canceled, and now it looks like the May one will be, too. It has been so difficult not knowing when I will be able to see him next, particularly since international travel bans will likely be among the last restrictions lifted. Maintaining a long distance relationship feels infinitely more challenging when there’s so much uncertainty.

  73. Ro says...

    I’m at home with my husband, who was recently laid off, and two teens who are 14 and 16. I haven’t been regulating them, we all sleep when we want, and eat when we want. I work in education and our district is working on work from home modules for the kids but in the meantime we’re just doing what we normally do. We live in a small rural community and don’t generally get many visitors aside from my kids friends anyway. They miss school and their friends. I’ve been alternating between reading, Netflix and playing online lol. Today I might put on some regular clothes and do some baking lol. It’s snowing today which kinda makes it feel like a snow day. Luckily we’re used to a slower pace in life.

  74. Jane says...

    My husband & I are both working from home. We’re eating a lot of chocolate chip cookies, lentil soup, tortilla chips, and hummus. We’re giving our dog Beau lots of head pats and going on several walks around the block to get fresh air and clear our heads. I hope everyone else is hanging in there!

  75. Alice says...

    Today I am feeling SO overwhelmed. Endless Zoom calls, endless requests for my expertise (I’m an online learning specialist at a university, I am IN DEMAND right now), but I’m due to start a new role in five weeks and I’m just desperately trying to complete all my current projects and help where I can and not go completely mad.I’ve just had to switch off Slack, and cancel a couple of meetings for this afternoon because I just can’t. I can’t.

    I’m in the UK and we’ve been told we’re not allowed to leave the house except for very specific purposes. Despite the fact that we’ve been doing that for a week already, I cried. I’m currently staying with my boyfriend (we don’t normally live together, but have been getting along as perfectly as always, which is so exciting and reassuring, given that we’re literally spending 24 hours a day together!), and that’s so wonderful, but I’m so far from my family. Daily walks are the only thing keeping me sane, and while we still have those for now, I’m scared they may be taken away soon. Two sets of friends have had to postpone their weddings. My mum lives alone, so she’s having almost no human contact (though she is a key worker so she is having some, thank goodness). I so, so badly want to give her a hug.

    But there are little moments of joy. Videos of my nephews laughing. Learning how to play a racing game with my boyfriend on his Xbox. Making each other cups of tea and giving each other massages. Losing myself in a book and forgetting all of this for a while longer. Facetime calls where friends share the news of their pregnancies. Putting on Dean Martin and dancing in the living room. FINALLY stopping biting my nails. Making delicious meals at the end of each day. The sunshine.

    I’m just hoping that I’ll wake up tomorrow feeling better.

    • Chasity says...

      Alice I work at a teaching center too, at a state university. And we are the folks who are helping all the professors teach online. I am very grateful for the sudden job security, but it’s a lot. But being buys working from home has stopped me from checking the news every five minutes which I was doing before.
      I feel the same about getting outside, its the only thing keeping me sane right now and I need it desperately, so I hope that isn’t taken away for either of us!

      Hang in there!

  76. Emma says...

    I thought I was doing fine until a few minutes ago when I got a notification that the company I work for is doing a company-wide call with the board members in about 10 minutes. I work for a medical device manufacturer. Our sales were already low in January and February, and we really needed March to help end the first quarter on a high note. But our product is elective and non-essential, so our sales have now hit a complete stand still.
    I know I could be overreacting, but I’m just so worried that I’m going to get on this call and find out that we’re shutting down and I’m going to be jobless.

  77. Janet says...

    I feel lonely, and I feel scared at how long I might be feeling lonely. Oh, to have another adult in the house!

    • Rusty says...

      CoJ is here and you’re on the receiving end of a BIG hug from Australia! 😊

    • Janet says...

      Thank you!!

  78. I am an American expat living in Rwanda. My husband and I both teach at an international school and are now in our second week of figuring out teaching online. We have a 9-month-old baby, and as of this weekend the country went into lockdown so now our nanny (normal to have here!) can’t come anymore. I do feel like a little baby is much easier right now than toddlers or little kids, so I am grateful for that!

    The airport here is closed, which is a little scary to know we can’t leave if we needed to – not just for ourselves, but what if something happens to our families? But understandable considering about 95% of the cases in country can be traced directly to a traveler arriving from outside the country (and most of the rest are direct relatives of those people). It was never really a question for us to go (America definitely does not seem less stressful right now!), but we had several friends – most of whom were planning on moving at the end of the school year – scramble to leave while they could. Sad for them and for us!

    Our crazy story is that we had actually gone out of town to a lake this weekend (trying to do something to make up for the Italian vacation we had planned for the first week of April!), and the day we got there the government gave the notice at 7:30pm that the country was going into lockdown (including travel between cities) effective at midnight that night. We were there with friends, and we had just put our babies to bed and it was raining and dark, and the road back to Kigali where we live winds across mountains, so we felt it wasn’t safe to try and drive then. We set out the next day, only to be stopped by a policeman about 6 minutes into our drive. After sitting for about 40 minutes, he let us pass, mostly thanks to the fact that my friend is pregnant. We drove about an hour to the next town, where we were stopped at a checkpoint and waited there for THREE HOURS. We finally were allowed to pass and finally made it home (although what should have been a 3 hour trip had turned into 7 hours!).

    We are grateful for Rwanda’s swift and decisive leadership, but mourning the loss of normalcy and being able to take walks and seeing our friends, of course. Aren’t we all? It’s humbling to know that many have it worse than we do. Sending love and hugs to all of you!

    • Rusty says...

      W.O.W! 😳

  79. Rosalie says...

    I live in The Netherlands and I am in my last year of high school. Today it was announced that all the final exams for graduating classes are canceled. This may sound weird, but I really wanted to take these exams. They are a big part of our final year of school and what we worked towards the whole year. After the exams I had planned a trip to Greece with my friends, which is also canceled. I don’t know what to do with all the time I now suddenly have. The scariest part is that I don’t know when all this will be over. Reading stories on here from people all over the world helps me. I wish everyone happiness and I hope we can soon walk outside again without any worries.

  80. lauren says...

    my husband and i own two restaurants. it’s a surreal, scary time right now, especially knowing that a lot of my employees aren’t going to get a full paycheck in the coming weeks and i feel incredibly responsible for their well-being during this time. we’re doing our best to stay afloat and give everyone that needs to work the most all the hours we can. our state/city is still allowing carry-out and delivery from restaurants so that’s what we’re doing. but everyday i feel torn between my obligation as a citizen to just shut it down, stay home and isolate and keep my staff from coming in contact with anyone, and my obligation as an employer and business owner, knowing that we have been told we can still operate and knowing that my staff need to work and need a paycheck. i have so much anxiety and constantly feel like i’m second-guessing myself and my choices. we’re just taking it one day at a time, literally. things are changing everyday in our industry and it’s great to see so much local support from people trying to rally around restaurants and small businesses. i know i’m rambling now, everything just feels so chaotic around me and intense. this whole past week my husband and i basically shoved emotions aside and went into action mode, trying to adapt and keep our restaurant going. but now it’s all catching up to us. we both cried together last night just from stress and all our emotions that we’ve bottled up. i know we’ll all get through this but it just sucks right now.

    • Jenni says...

      I can’t imagine what restaurants and small businesses are going through now. My husband and I are trying to support the restaurants in our Pittsburgh neighborhood by ordering take out a few times a week (making our way through them one by one). Also trying to support local shops who are able to sell online. sending virtual hugs your way.

    • Christina C Tuohey says...

      you are doing a great job. xo

    • Lizabeth says...

      Lauren, My heart breaks for you. Such a difficult time for restaurants. I’m in the Kansas City area, and I’ve seen lots of cars at restaurants here for takeout. We got takeout on Friday night from our favorite bar. My mom is alone, and incredibly bored and lonely. She had gotten takeout nightly, from a different local restaurant. Good for her to at least get out of the house, and helps the local restaurants in our fine city. I’ll be rooting for you and all the other small, local businesses during this trying time.

  81. This is so lovely being able to hear everyone talk about their isolation stories it makes it feel like we are closer than we think because we are all experiencing similar things. I’m at home in Canada in our small apartment with my partner who had to fly down to North Carolina last week because his dad had just passed. We are now in self isolation for 14 days monitoring our health. He might be coming down with the virus we aren’t sure so he’s probably going to have to go in to get tested. We all have stay strong in these times! <3

  82. Michelle says...

    My partner and I have been WFH for over a week but both of us are used to alternating WFH with WFW schedules. My 14 year old step son is home from school and has done a great job of setting some goals for himself, including exercise and using the Kahn Academy videos to tackle some of his school subjects he’s weaker in. We decided to foster a rescue dog as a pleasant diversion. Named her Charmin, because who doesn’t want a little of that in their house right now. It’s day three this morning and she’s slowly de stressing from the trauma of shelter and transport. It’s good to focus on calming her down with exercise, routine and lots of massages. I think the hardest thing is when you can’t comfort someone or something else. But we keep saying how lucky we are. We’ve ordered pickup form our favorite pubs and restaurants, with heavy tips when we learned they were passing them on to laid off staff.

    We’re in MN so not yet full shelter in place rules, but we’re ready as it’s expected every day. I’m finding myself addressing fear of scarcity, that ebbs and flows with the news. But it’s helpful to recognize that fear of uncertainty and the desire to feel control can be managed. So grateful my favorite blogs are continuing to publish. Stay safe and love each other. Xoxo

    • silly lily says...

      Charmin. Hilarious.

  83. Chrissie says...

    Waves of gratitude and panic with boredom as a baseline.

    I have three kids (13, 10, and 6) and, fortunately, a husband who already worked at home. I’m a social worker at a group home for teen boys in foster care so I don’t have the option to work from home.

    At my job, we try to view crises as opportunity for change and growth. That mindset is helping me at work but I’m not really able to apply it at home. I think I’m just too scared.

    Anyway, putting on a brave face- trying to play with my kids (and also ignore my kids and spend time by myself haha) and remind myself this time will pass.

  84. Louise says...

    I don’t know if this is helpful to anyone but I have Coronavirus and as a single mum who lives alone with a 3 yr old am getting through it. I’m 42yrs old and had a serious illness last year, was hospitalised and have been off sick since. My doctor advised me to do my best not to catch it but somehow despite being based at home I did. I’m about ten days in and when it was bad i did not think I could cope but I was lucky with it and I didn’t require medical intervention and its getting better and we have managed not to come in contact with others so haven’t spread it. I learnt we can do things we don’t think we can do – which applies to me and what I thought my son was capable of when i realised that i had it and wanted to call in all the friends who wanted to help. I have grappled with trying to control the fear of how i would fare and cope these last weeks and worried so much. The hardest bit is we don’t know and want to keep everyone we love and those all over safe – but not knowing is also good because we don’t know anyones outcomes. So try not to wear yourself out with stress and trying to control the uncontrollable. Seek out the love thats around and and bat back the fear. Don’t overdose on bad news. And keep inside! Take care everyone.

    • silly lily says...

      Alone with a three year old and sick? Good Lord. I just said a prayer for you. Best wishes. You are my new hero.

    • joana says...

      so much love to you, louise! i hope you feel better day by day. you’re amazing!

    • Elizabeth says...

      Take care, Louise–I’m glad to hear you are getting better. Thank you for the positive message that we are stronger than we know! xo

    • Cathy says...

      This is helpful to hear! You sound like an amazing mom and kudos to your boy too for rising to the challenge of helping take care of himself. I hope you feel back to normal very soon.

    • Meg says...

      You are amazing.

    • Emma says...

      Louise– thank you for this post! There’s so much scary news, it’s so nice to hear a story of someone with a normal, regular outcome (even though of course it sounds like it’s been incredibly hard). Love and good energy to you and your son! You sound like an amazingly resilient person!

    • Pru says...

      Dear Louise,
      I love your positivity. I wish you the best in getting better quickly.

      Pru

    • Ali says...

      So glad you’re ok Louise! Wishing you all the best from Australia. A beautiful reminder of the hard things we can do when circumstances call for it. I will remember your bravery in coming weeks as things continue to get scarier. xx

    • Lana says...

      Sending big move your way! Continue to get better and hang in there!

    • Jenna says...

      You are so right about learning we can do things we think we can’t do. Take care Louise ❤️

    • Lana says...

      LOVE not move. Hahahah

    • Lorraine says...

      Wow, thank you for sharing your story. You’re amazing! We are all wishing the rest of your recovery goes smoothly.

    • Amelia says...

      Thank you so much for posting this. I have been specifically interested in hearing about symptoms experienced by people who are not elderly, like yourself. And beyond that, people who get sick but still have to take care of their kids. Telling us that you are 10 days in and still fighting the virus is helpful so I know what to expect in case it happens to me, and I’m also inspired and proud of you that you have been taking care of your three year old through it all. Keep up the good work and all the best to you.

    • julie says...

      I hope you are back on your feet soon, Louise. Your strength is an inspiration. Sending much love from NYC.

    • Julie says...

      Thinking of you Louise, I hope you recover soon.

  85. Emily says...

    I’m pregnant for the first time (16 weeks) and my husband just lost his job. We are blessed that my job is secure and can cover the two of us for the next months of uncertainty. But I find myself so anxious on a daily basis – what if the economy tanks and he can’t find another job before the baby comes? What if more of my prenatal appointments and tests are canceled?I’m an anxious person to begin with, but carrying a child for the first time with all of this craziness swirling around me is so overwhelming sometimes.

    • Karen says...

      Congrats! Such exciting, amazing news. I have two kids, ages 6 and 8, and something I remind myself of as a parent quite often (pretty much daily right now) is the fact that “we will figure this out”. For me, every phase of parenthood has brought to the table new unknowns, new experiences, new emotions – and every phase, we navigate and continue on. Parenthood is a wild, incredible ride! Congrats again!

    • Kelly says...

      Emily, I’m so sorry you are feeling so anxious right now. I’m not a mother myself (but a bonus mom!) and definitely a person who struggles from major anxiety, I wish I could give you the biggest hug. You’re going to get through this! ❤️

  86. Danae says...

    I work for a hotel, right now we’re still open for business and we have a “skeleton crew” of about 5 people, myself included. I cannot afford to take time off and I’m considered one of the lucky ones as I still get some sort of income coming in. I couldn’t imagine being a parent with no income and no idea about how am I to pay my bills, feed my family and not get evicted. Times are scary, and there doesnt seem to be a bright side for people with low income like myself…

  87. L says...

    I was 20 weeks pregnant and my husband and I lost the baby, literally the day before this all started. I had surgery the day before all non-emergency surgeries were halted. We live in a small Brooklyn apartment still surrounded by the baby things we had gotten, a crib, a stroller, baskets of clothes. We’re trying to figure out how to grieve without anyone around us, how to process our own personal loss with this larger loss that’s affecting everyone. We’re so up and down, some days fine, some days not. The last few days I can’t bear to talk to anyone – it just feels too much to talk about the world right now when my life feels so torn apart. Things that are helping: walks (in Brooklyn’s quiet neighborhoods, not Prospect Park which is PACKED), watching the Great British Baking Show, eating regular meals, sleeping as much as we need, every time my husband holds me and says, “We’re going to be ok.” This world, and personal loss, are so scary, but humans are amazing, compassionate, resilient, brave. That gives me hope.

    • Heather says...

      Just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you, L. Eight years ago, I also lost a baby at 21 weeks, and it was one of the saddest, loneliest, most confusing times of my life. I can’t imagine going through that time and also dealing with all of this. So sorry for your loss!

    • Janet says...

      Sending you so much love

    • Kim says...

      I’m so sorry for your loss. I am sending you love right now.

    • joana says...

      sending virtual hugs and happy thoughts your way, L… i can’y imagine going through all that in the midst of all this, but i’m glad you have your husband to lean on. of course you’ll make it through, and the world will become bright and wonderful again.

    • Elizabeth says...

      I’m so very sorry, L. My first baby boy was stillborn, and I understand your grief. If it’s any glimmer of hope, we went on to have two healthy boys–now 10 and 13. My first baby boy lives on in my heart, and while out of nowhere, I still will feel stabs of sadness from time to time, I’m largely at peace. I know your world is dark right now, but please know that with time, the sun will shine for you again. xo

    • Chrissie says...

      Holding you in my heart, L.

    • Mel says...

      L, I’m truly sorry to hear of your loss. Sending lots of love your way x

    • Lauren H says...

      I am so sorry for your loss.

    • Chiara says...

      Sending you warm thoughts, L. <3

    • Meredith says...

      I’m so sorry for your loss and this additional, personal grief in a globally uncertain time. Be kind to yourself.

    • Charlotte says...

      Thinking of you and sending you all the virtual hope for healing. That is all:)

    • Annie says...

      I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • Meg says...

      I am so, so sorry to hear about your loss. Sounds like you have a supportive husband who will help share in your grief. Sending you healing from afar.

    • Kelli says...

      I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • Jenna says...

      I’m so so sorry for your loss sweet lady ❤️ I will be thinking of you today from California. Take care.

    • cilla says...

      L, sending you love <3

    • AJ says...

      Oh L, sending you hugs and love.

    • Susannah says...

      I’m so so sorry, L. Hugs to you and your husband.

    • Colleen says...

      I am so sorry. Sending love to you.

    • Heather says...

      Sending so much love to you – take care!

  88. Ana says...

    Hy there, hello from SLOVENIA, EUROPE.
    I’m at home with my dearest: partner and our 4,5 y old boy. I am a primaryschool teacher, I work from home and by now it has been a nice new experience. Since I teach in 2nd grade, I can make really great activites for my students and themes are so realistic so useful.
    My partner is out of job and am really concerned about our financial future. Anyway he is our main Buda, he really lives live for the moment, he is soooo mindfull person, positive and we are both happy and aware that we all can focus and help eachother to live in diffucult times like this: be together, laugh, cry, hug…all together. There is ying and yang goin on.
    Our boy is helping us everywhere he can, we play together different kind of family games, he loves to create with play doh, we read books each day from the 7th day of his birth, we listen to good music, watch good cartoons (I really cant stand all those action cartoons) and last night me and my man just finished watching MORNING SHOW. it is a must to see it. Not just because of the insight of sexual misconduct….especially how many layers of human nature we poses, how our Egos can destory our lives and lives of others, how too many people put AMBITION on the 1st place rather to live and act human, with compassion …what are true values, human and family values…and HOW MEDIA MANIPULATE WITH US – think about situation right now…about this COVID chaos – this TV show really has opened my eyes, even though I’m the person who always has a distance to each info and process with wide horizons…
    I just hope the world will not get worse after this….I hope people will change their perspective on how to live your life with the ones you truly care, how to care for those who you do knot know in person, how to manage your stress and how to handle extreme situations and adapt in the ways that are healthy for mind and body.
    One more thing that I do and it creates peace in me: I really love to watch my plants in our living room…I call Aleksej (our son) to observe with me all those colors, patterns, new leaves and blossoms…such a joy :)
    I am sendig a BIG WARM HUG to this beautiful community at CUP OF JO.

    • Kelly Drummond says...

      “I just hope the world will not get worse after this….I hope people will change their perspective on how to live your life with the ones you truly care, how to care for those who you do knot know in person, how to manage your stress and how to handle extreme situations and adapt in the ways that are healthy for mind and body.”

      SAME. All the way from Detroit, MI :)

    • Angela says...

      Amen from Indiana. I love this so much I screenshot it. We’ve got to change. This was our wake up call.

      We can’t go back, I won’t go back.

  89. Christine says...

    We’re in a small town in Belgium. Things have been slow, but mostly alright. It’s been comforting getting daily updates from the government about the COVID-19 situation (rundown of no. new cases, recoveries, hospital capacity, etc.) Though the lack of school has been getting really hard to keep my 3 year old entertained. We’ve caved and let her watch an hour of Peppa Pig everyday (it’s in Mandarin, so educational? Lol)

    Funny story, during dinner a couple of nights ago. She didn’t want to eat. She pushed away her plate and turned to my husband and said, “難吃!/Nan chi!” He’s was like what does that mean? It took me a while to figure out because I never said that phrase to her before. A week’s worth of Peppa Pig and the only phrase she learned was That’s yucky! Lol!

    Besides that, we’re on the fence about whether we should go serenade Oma outside her window with candles and cake this weekend. She’s going to be 89 years old. She had to cancel her birthday party and the family reunion :( We don’t want to increase her risk, but I thought it would be nice to cheer her up. Yay or nay?

    • Christine says...

      PS: our 8 month old popped out his first tooth! He’s been fairly miserable all weekend. I finally got a look at his gums and there’s actually 2 of them! Poor little guy

    • Karen says...

      Hi Christine
      I would definitely go and sing for oma. Is it far away?
      Groetjes
      Karen (also from Belgium)
      Ps so funny, I scrolled through the stories and the word ‘oma’ just popped up:-)

    • Rusty says...

      Yaaaay!! Do it, if it’s not breaking the law.

  90. Anne Line says...

    We live in Germany and my son is in 3rd grade. School is closed for the next 4 weeks, but it may well last longer than that. One of the moms in my son’s class came up with a great idea for the children to stay connected during these times: We let her know if the child wants to participate and each day she will come up with a new pair of two that will have an appointment for FaceTime during the day (at any time convenient for the two – we agree on the appointment bilaterally with the other parents once we know who our son will FaceTime with that day). This way, they speak to different children from class every day – talking about everything that comes to their mind, which turns out to be a lot. Normally, they talk for at least an hour!

  91. A.S says...

    Yes to the Ripley books! The Talented Mr Ripley is great, but the books that follow are even better! It’s a series I’ve repeated a few times. And Patricia Highsmith is an interesting “character” herself.

  92. Christine says...

    I thought I was unaffected. I did. I just had a biopsy on the base of my tongue on Thursday – my second in two months – the pain is insane. On top of that (and the worry because no one knows wtf is going on with me) I turned 60 on Saturday. A new decade! It did not rain (it always, always precipitates on my birthday). Here I am with the hovering husband and my dear sweet cat, Wilbur. Poor hubby is weepy and scared of my pain and my mass they cannot identify. Me – who never lets pain take me down – I’m down. Off to the side is the knowledge that the world is falling apart and coming together all at once. I have no idea what to make of it and how to handle it. Some days I, too, am weepy. My kids call. Jason, in Maine, with Asperger’s syndrome. Scared and angry and not getting it. I can’t talk on the phone to reassure him and he has no email. His sister keeps in touch for me. His sister, who is fragile and scared herself. She lives in town but doesn’t come over, afraid her public germs will infect me. Tim, who had to shutter his tattoo business and worries about paying rent. There is so much worry. I can only go forward. Take each moment and breathe. Be thankful that for the moment, we are safe. We will get through this. Life will go on. We are all in this together, but alone. So I will say – I AM 60! I made it. I will keep making it. We all will. The Universe is resetting our intentions for us. Be well. Be safe.

    • silly lily says...

      Oh my dearest, you have a full plate. I seriously have to stop reading these comments cause I feel I have to reach out to everyone and that’s just not practical. Nor do I want to bore everyone to death with my “best wishes”, but that’s exactly what I’m sending your way. I hope things improve drastically for you in the next few days. Better yet, in five minutes! Directing love and hope to you. Take a deep breath and maybe you’ll feel it.

    • Allison says...

      “it always precipitates on my birthday” I am going to refer to rain as “precipitating” now, that made me laugh out loud! LOVE IT!

    • Natalie says...

      Lily, I feel the same way! I find myself wanted to reply to each and every comment saying, “I see you! I hear you! Sending hugs and wishing you the best!” Ha, I’m sure that would drive the CoJ team crazy!

    • Christine says...

      Thank you, Lily, Allison, and Natalie for your responses. As I said, we are all in this together and we WILL make it! Allison – the use of “precipitates” is because in some manner of precipitation – rain, sleet, snow, etc – it always happens on March 21! haha. We never know which form it will take. The true blessing is that this year – Not a drop! :D We take that as a really positive sign.
      Thank you. Thank you. I feel the love and the hope. Sending it back to the Universe for all of us to feel. We will make it!

  93. Erin says...

    Things are good for us; I feel incredibly blessed and I’m hanging on to those blessings tight. Our family is healthy and I’m praying we stay that way, while also praying for all those who aren’t and for the nurses and doctors who are caring for everyone. My husband and I are both able to work from home and we’re hopeful that we can continue that and can keep our jobs through this, and are hoping this doesn’t last long so that all those already feeling the financial impact can get relief. Our toddlers have a general sense of the world being a bit upended right now, but they are happy and taking advantage of all the extra PBS Kids shows they get during the work day. A thoughtful colleague sent us a cake baking kit yesterday. Last night the kids were endlessly fighting over a toy; my “reduced hours” workday had turned into 12 hours of phone calls; and all I wanted to do was get to bed time. But, my husband made dinner (thank you boxed macaroni and cheese makers of the world) and the kids and I made a chocolate raspberry triple layer cake. What! They’ll start the day with a little cake for breakfast and will immediately be insane but happy. We will get through this. Praying that all of you do as well and that today brings a smile – maybe in the form of a chocolate raspberry triple layer cake.

  94. I am at home with 3 males (2 of whom I gave birth too) and strangely, it hasn’t been too bad (yet). Yesterday I came across Liz Gilbert’s talk on the calm app. It’s 21 minutes long and I sucked up her every word like water in the desert. You can get to it thru her insta as well @elizabeth_gilbert_writer

    I woke up about an hour ago and was slightly panicked then I remembered her words and I was okay again.

  95. joana says...

    hi!
    to that reader who is feeling the deep need for human contact (i can’t imagine!), maybe a nice hot bath? talking to friends and family over videochat? playing games with other people, even from afar? (there’s this app my niece introduced me too, house party, and it’s so much fun!). it doesn’t replace human contact for sure, but maybe it’ll bring a feeling of coziness… and maybe she could also try, with someone she loves, closing her eyes and pretending they’re hugging? remembering their smell, their embrace, while talking to them? maybe it seems stupid, but i was trying to figure out how to “feel” and this came to mind…

    as for me, i’ve been reading, playing scrabble with my boyfriend (which is so much fun and we had never done! plus it’s my grandparents’ old game, which makes it extra special :), cooking together and baking together (which is something we already did, but somehow feels more special now), working from home (which helps keep me sane, even if concentrating is hard) and video-chatting with friends and family.
    on the less good side, i’m worried about my sister, who lives in london and is still working (we’re from lisbon), i wish she was here so badly. also worried about my dad, who is 76 and stubborn and doesn’t know how to be alone, and also my grandma, who is in a hoe (she has alzheimer’s) and whom i haven’t seen for a month… i don’t know when i’ll see her again and that really really upsets me.

    but! i figure we must find good things to do and experience in the midst of all this, and i also think we’re pretty lucky that we can communicate in so many ways and feel less lonely and anxious about all this.

    sorry for the rant!
    hope you’re doing well too.

    joana

    • Anonymous says...

      Hi Joana – I am the woman in NYC Joanna mentioned. Thank you so much for your kind advice. It means the world to me. Wishing you and your sister, dad, and grandma health and safety through this thing! :)

    • Anonymous says...

      Hi Joana – I am the woman in NYC. Thank you so much for your kind advice. It means the world to me. Sending my best wishes to you, your sister, dad, and grandma! Stay safe and healthy all of you!

  96. Melanie says...

    I’m not doing well. Lots of emotional ups and downs during the day. Home with 2nd & 1st graders- underwhelmed by info provided by the school & lack of communication by teachers. I’m figuring out (like so many) how to home school. Terrified my husband will be laid off (one-income household). Trying to create some kind of daily routine. Making plans to start growing as much produce in out yard as possible to be more self-sufficient. Trying not to panic that the president is going to ‘open’ the country & isn’t taking this seriously enough. Preparing myself that my 89-yr old father with dementia who’s shelter in place in assisted living is very likely going to die. Preparing myself for my 81-yr old mother who lives alone may die. Trying to keep me and my husband alive. Petrified to leave the house & go to grocery store. Sad that local businesses may not reopen. I live in MA & think Gov. Baker is doing a better job than many, but wish he’d close down more and had done it sooner. I look at Gov. Cuomo as an amazing leader. I see him as “America’s governor” (really, I wish he was president right now). I’m so scared for all medical workers. I feel no hope and try to distract by doing fun things with my girls. Planning ‘virtual’ Zoom birthday parties for both. I’m so sad.

    • K says...

      Hi,
      I am in Massachusetts as well. I have only been looking to my local leaders for guidance and reassurance, including Cuomo!!
      While no one knew this pandemic was coming when trump was elected. His inability to lead has always been evident and his behaviors and choices now should be of no surprise to anyone. He needs to resign!!
      I am home with a teenager and working from home too. I worry sometimes about getting food and possibly ending up sick….but i also am trying to remember gratitude…..the lovely little town we live in, our small grocery store, the walks we are taking everyday, my landlord(!), the ability to work from home(for now). The take out pizza in the next town, finally looking forward to reading comments again ha!! Reading bits from people everywhere really has helped tremendously.
      Peace from Massachusetts

  97. Emily says...

    I’ve been sick (not corona, normal flu!) and my birthday just passed. I put in for the day off from work in january, back when the story was just pneumonia in wuhan, but I almost wish I hadnt so I’d still have the pto. oh well. I work in an essential position, so once Im not sick Im going back to work. in some ways Im glad I get to leave my house and go and see people and so on, but I also know it puts me and everyone I see at increased risk. I found out that the pet stores are considered essential, which helps a lot, and for now the dunkin donuts is too. Im finding it harder and harder to watch tv and movies. characters just go outside and walk through crowds and touch each other.

  98. Chi says...

    Hi there! So here in South Africa our president declared a nation wide lockdown order last night for 21 days – most of us understand the need for this and we think this is going to be our only chance at facing the pandemic, but this is also going to be a very challenging time for us – our health care is basic, people live in extreme poverty – shanty towns, with no running water and facilities and we’ve all been trying to cope with an economic recession… So while I’m relishing the time I’m going to spend at home with my little daughter – maybe do some much needed DIY stuff, I can’t help feeling fearful and anxious – there is so many vulnerable people out there… my friend that’s a single 45 year old Amazon’s been battling pancreatic cancer that’s now spread and she’s decided to stop all treatment and live the last bit of her life “vomit free and hopefully with some hair” (her words not mine)… how will she cope on her own… I can’t even pop in for some tea and company! Is she going to be ok! All I can ask for now is to pray for us here in Africa friends – this is going to be a tough ride.

    • Amelia says...

      Your words about your friend really touched me. The global tragedy and the personal tragedy co-mingling feel just overwhelming. I hope she does get to live vomit free and find something to enjoy every day in whatever time she has left. I think it’s just so unfair that cancer takes our loved ones from us at any age, but especially at such a young age. I’ll be thinking of you from all the way across the ocean, here in New York.

    • Rusty says...

      Oh! I check a site daily that tables data about cases in each country. I’m in Western Australia and my partner is ex-South African (Capetown) and we are gobsmacked that the numbers shown/known simply cannot be so!
      I feel for you, for the tsunami that will hit the ghettos.
      Stay safe. x

  99. Ll says...

    I live in Sweden, were we don’t have a massive lockdown going in – people are urged to work from home if possible and to avoid unnecessary contacts, but you only have to stay home if you are sick or feel any symptoms. I have been home for nearly a week now, because I have a cold (pretty sure it’s a normal cold). I am studying and all universities are closed/moved to online work only, so I can continue as normal. Have a balcony, and live next door to a huge park so I go for a walk every day to keep my sanity. But yes, I make sure to stay away from people. Call my family and friends, lots of yoga and lots and lots and lots of cleaning is keeping me sane. It’s like physical work, like cleaning, makes more sense than sitting down studying? Maybe because I need to keep my body busy so my head doesn’t spin. But on the other hand, my apartment has never been this clean, and I’m trying to focus on the fact that the earth is probably thankful for all the cancelled flights etc. People are kinder too. Something good will come out of this. Hang in there.

  100. Marija says...

    We in Zagreb (Croatia), in addition to the Corona, have an earthquake. Snow is falling further this morning. The crazy wind has been blowing for two days.
    When the earthquake struck yesterday, I first wanted to go hug my family, my parents, my sisters, their children – BUT I couldn’t because of Covid. But I am grateful that my children are alive and well with me. Here, as I write this, there was another earthquake. But luckily, we are not hungry, we have electricity and heating and we are still in our home.
    We are united in bad times, so we should remember this, after these troubles have passed, that we are all responsible to make a good and humane society.
    I send everyone a big greetings from Zagreb and I wish you all a lot of health and that this all goes away quickly.
    Marija

    • Sarah says...

      Hi Marija :)

      I just want to say that I see you and I can relate. We had a similar size earthquake here in Utah last week and it’s very unnerving having two emergency situations simultaneously! And not being able to hug your family too! It is hard. It has made me wonder why this is all happening at once. But many here have also expressed what you did– it makes you appreciate the things that really matter.

      Sending love to you. I’ve always wanted to visit Croatia as it looks so beautiful.

  101. Jen says...

    Bit scared really. My husband is an ICU doctor and they are bracing themselves. New Zealand has just gone into lockdown but luckily very early compared with most places due to really good leadership. Community spread just beginning here. Having kids at home is hard work but wonderfully distracting and normalising. We’re sending love to you all in the rest of the world.

    • Rusty says...

      New Zealand is rocking it!!!
      I’m in Australia and while it’s a great place, I’ve found myself saying that NZ looks about as good as it gets!
      Your govt, especially Jacinda, is doing a fab job.
      Revel in the way your govt is preparing and managing this unthinkable situation. You’re lucky as.

  102. Sally says...

    I’m a self-employed worker, who has had my two, previously very profitable, income streams wiped out in less than a week.
    I’m in the UK, and we were asked to basically go into lock-down from today. Honestly, this feels like a very weird bad dream.
    I’m 35 and live on my own in a fairly small flat, and while I’m used to making my own entertainment, and doing my own thing, I am concerned how damaging this is going to be long-term. To all of us, not just me.

  103. Anja says...

    I have been channelling all my fear and anxiousness into poetry. There is a wonderful initative over on Twitter by Tara Skurtu called #InternationalPoetryCircle. Every day, countless poets read from their work or work of others and seeing and hearing this is quite comforting. I have started posting there as well and it`s helping me a lot to take my mind of things. Am in Germany, which is in Lockdown now, my son is 700 km away, my parents are in a home 600 km away. We talk on the phone, we send photos and books and love and virtual hugs. Love and health to everyone, Anja xx

  104. sarah from switzerland says...

    I live in Switzerland and things are pretty civilised here… My husband is a musician so he has no income at the moment, but I’m a government employee and we’ll be fine. We have a nice flat and balcony so we try to see every day how lucky we are. But yeah, there is so much anxiety…

  105. RME says...

    I am so bothered by Lina saying, “it’s only going to get easier.” She doesn’t know that — none of us does. That’s part of what makes this so challenging. We don’t know how bad it will get, how long it will last, or how it will impact us personally. Some have yet to lose their jobs, the roof over their heads, a parent or grandparent… For many many people, it will likely not get easier.

    – a psychotherapist who spent all day talking to very scared patients

  106. Becky says...

    In New Zealand we go on lock down tomorrow night. I’m on maternity leave so life has not been all that different for me so far. The baby is absolutely thrilled his dad is working from home and I find playing with him keeps us in the moment. But I worry about the future. I worry about my kids (I’m a teacher) who I know this is going to be a really tough time for. Kids whose parents struggle to find the time for them as it is. Kids who get breakfast and lunch at school every day. Here we are.

  107. Kay says...

    England is in lockdown but I was already in self isolation due to a medical condition. Honestly, I am absolutely terrified that I will get ill and die because the hospitals just don’t have the beds, equipment, or staff needed to handle all of this. On the plus side, I have a garden that I can go into every day so I do get some sunlight and fresh air. I also love to read and sew and certainly have plenty of sewing things stashed away. I know we will manage to get through this but I feel anxious and probably cry a couple of times a day.

  108. Hannah says...

    Every morning so far my three year old asks where we’re going today or if we can go to Granny’s house or preschool and I feel so sad every time I say we’re staying home today. Trying to do fun things that don’t cost a penny; baking and reading and easter egg hunts in the garden and Facetiming her friends and listening to audiobooks and painting. I’m trying to work from home whilst looking after my daughter and currently 25 weeks pregnant with my second daughter, and trying not to worry what the hospitals will be like in July and what giving birth will be like when kids aren’t allowed to visit maternity wards at the moment. And who’s going to look after her as both my parents have front line jobs and if I’ll have to give birth alone and trying to mentally prepare myself for that. That’s what’s keeping me up at night. I’ve started a gratitude journal to help me focus on what’s important and what I can control. One day at a time <3

  109. Tc says...

    Hello!
    Greetings from Zagreb/Croatia.
    All of my country is in a lockdown…we all feel a lot of anxiety from that and all I can tell you is: ” Please, stay inside and count your blessings”. One day and half ago we were all thinking how this (isolation) situation is tearing us apart..how it is hard, especially for small bussines owners and all health workers and similar.
    But, just when you think it couldn’t get worse…it did. On sunday morning we experienced 5.5 earthquake and snowy weather. A lot of people, from the city center (old houses) were left without their home and, in this time of isolation, had to sleep in the tents outside or in their cars… So, now we have double anxiety…isolation/covid + earthquake….it is not simple to stay cool.Well I just wanted to say…do, please, count your blessings (for every little thing you have) and try to enjoy everyday small things even in isolation. Dont want to be negative, but it can get worse…we can only pray it doesn’t. Not anymore.
    Sending you all bunch of good vibrations..positive thoughts…while I am happy in my warm bed reading my favourite blog/web (for 9 years).
    Xoxo

  110. Falina Stack says...

    I’m just in the early days of self-isolation and am already missing the easy conversations with friends that used to be so common. Instead, everything is COVID-19. Everything. So, I bought two copies of “Maybe You Should Talk To Someone” and sent one to a dear friend so we can do Slow Bookclub together. Rather than connect at the end of the book, we’re going to read short sections and have regular phone dates to talk about how we’re feeling about the characters, what they’re experiencing, what we think is going to happen. We’ll have something else that feels of the moment along with the relief of easy conversations and a new way to connect again.

  111. Kamina says...

    I’m in Sydney, Australia, where all places of public gathering have been shut down (pubs, clubs, restaurants/cafes, gyms, cinemas, places of worship etc). Most state borders are also closed so I won’t be able to visit my parents and siblings and friends in my hometown for months…they’re saying six months. We’re all reeling a bit as the first restrictions were only made less than a week ago and accelerated so quickly; the whole country has gone into meltdown practically overnight. Thankful for a happy marriage, work I can do from home and the fact that we can still go running.

    Faring: Okay today. Like everyone, having good days and bad days.
    Eating: Weird things made of pantry staples as the supermarkets have limited purchases to 2 of any product per person per day! We’re having fun being creative with it though. Tonight: roast potatoes and red lentil dal.
    Watching: The Cheer documentary on Netflix. The Crown. Elementary. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (over the phone with my BFF). Next up: Zoe’s Experimental Playlist and possibly Love is Blind. But I have a “no screens until after breakfast” rule.
    Reading: I’m finding books set during either world war super comforting. We’ve survived things like this before. Rilla of Ingleside is an old favourite.
    Doing: Attempting to work on my PhD. Mostly talking on the phone to my family and friends, helping solve logistical problems remotely and monitoring the news. Walking around in the sun once per day and yelling “hi don’t touch me” at the neighbours in the street.
    Views from my window: Every night at 7pm the couple across the street play a hymn and we all lean out our doors and join in. I live in a very narrow Sydney street reminiscent of one of those scenes from Europe where everybody is hanging out their windows – but no balconies, unfortunately.
    Making me laugh: Last night we played a silly game called “Quiplash” online with friends in 4 different locations and I laughed so hard I almost forgot the virus. My husband is also posting a lot of videos of marble races on facebook (for people missing sports) and people love them so much that we’ve started having live watch parties.
    Making me cry: You know what? I haven’t had a good cry since this started…and maybe I should!

  112. Ali says...

    For the person who emailed you and lives alone — I’ve heard that your body actually doesn’t know the difference between your touch and someone else’s, so if you need a hug you can give yourself one and it will have some of the same physical and psychological effects as if you were being hugged by a loved one. My friend Ruthie puts this into practice a lot and talks about it on her Instagram if you want to learn more. She’s @ruthielindsey

    Sending love. This shit is hard! xx

    • Anonymous says...

      Thank you Ali!! I am the woman in NYC that Joanna mentioned. I will try this! Sending love back to you! Stay safe and healthy xoxo

  113. Diane says...

    I work 2 shifts in the hospital everyday and am super worn out by the flood of coronavirus suspects. Cannot go home because I don’t want to risk myself bring any viruses to my family. I really miss normal days. Stay safe and stay at home, folks. And for you who find it’s hard to stay at home, remember us doctors and nurses and hospital workers all desperately want to go home and be with our families, but we can’t (no complaints here, this is our callings and this is what we have to do). So enjoy your home and your family.

    • Rusty says...

      Thank you. Really, thank you! ❤

    • Karen says...

      Our local hotels surrounding the hospital are offering free rooms for hospital workers and first responders who do not want to go home to their families and risk carrying home a virus. It’s not home, but a soft place to land with some peace of mind. Cheers to you working the front line!

    • Kay says...

      Thank you Diane for all that you are doing.

  114. SB says...

    I’m not sure how to phrase it, but in a way, I feel determined. I work for an international organization in Afghanistan and while a lot of international staff have repatriated, a lot of us have stayed here. There is so much work to be done, it’s crazy. The intensity and enormity of the task ahead helps to keep me focused.

    In a way, there is also less for me to adjust to – I already lived on a compound, without access to nature or freedom of movement, so that hasn’t really changed. I am already used to treadmill running hahaha

    What’s been fun and interesting for me, though, is that now that all of my friends and family are in quarantine or self-isolation modes – the calls and video chat requests are EXPLODING! So many group hang outs and check-in chats!! I have more of a social life now than I did before all of this!

    But on top of all of that? I’m also a bit scared. This virus is going to hit vulnerable communities HARD. I’m also trying not to worry too much about my family at home because if something bad happens, I may not be able to reach them. My father is a 60+ hospitalist in a rural community in the States that is yet untouched by the virus, but I’m worried about his health and exposure risk when it does…

    All of this to say – these be complicated times!! Sending love and strength to all xx

  115. Beverly says...

    to the 30 year old in a tiny apartment, foster a cat or dog if you can. It will help so much with physical affection. Forgive me if it’s been mentioned before. Be well.

    • Anonymous says...

      Hi Beverly – I am the woman in NYC that Joanna mentioned. Thank you so much for thinking of me. My apartment is laughably small, only one not-very-big room (certainly not designed for long-term quarantine lol), so it almost feels inhumane to have a pet in here! But I’m sure I will reconsider by day 15 lol. Thank you for the advice though! It means a lot. Stay healthy! xoxo

  116. Elizabeth says...

    Joanna, love this! To the reader who wrote to say, “I’m 30 and live alone in a tiny studio in NYC. . . ” I want to say that I’m also 30, and I live alone in a tiny studio on the west coast, and I get it. But promise you’re not alone—neither of us are! Love CoJ for keeping everyone connected. xo

    • Anonymous says...

      Thank you Elizabeth!! I am the reader in NYC that Joanna mentioned. This means a lot to me. Stay healthy and strong! xoxo

  117. Michal says...

    I am baking my feelings! I’ve been working out daily, but also eating baked goods daily. I am not going to make it out of this without gaining the #corona15.

    On the plus side, I made up what I’m calling Crazy Caramel Peanut Butter Bars, a mashup of millionaire bars and peanut butter oat bars:
    I pulse 1c peanut butter, 2 T maple syrup, 1/4c rice flour & 1/3-1/2 cup oats til they’re just coming together, and press into an 8×8 pan.
    Then make caramel by simmering 3/4c brown sugar with 1c coconut milk til it coats the back of a spoon or spatula. (20-30 min.) I added a few Tbps tahini yesterday to the cooling caramel, inspired by the latest Bon Appetit issue, and it was perfect.
    I coat the PB layer in a layer of caramel, fridge/freeze til thick, then spread on a layer of melted chocolate and fridge/freeze til set. (Although, tbh, I actually like them better without the chocolate, and I LOVE chocolate!)
    The leftover caramel is amazing on sliced bananas with a few chocolate chips sprinkled on top.

  118. jules says...

    90% of the time I’m in a surprisingly positive place – actually far MORE positive than usual. About 20 minutes a day, I feel very deep dread, fear or worry. My husband and I have already seen our respective businesses have major, sad impacts. Stocks, too. It sucks and it’s scary. Another 15-20 min a day, my kid drives me nuts. The rest of the day, I am in a deep Zen acceptance of what is knowing we can do very little and the worst is yet to come. Every time I feel a panic coming in, I imagine my grandparents. Fought/lived through WW2 and had very poor childhoods. I feel their bravery and tenacity in my blood. People have endured far worse. We will get through this. And I have to stay light and positive for my 5 year old son. I’m grateful for that.

    • Dilly says...

      I resonate with this. Yes I’ve accepted most of it, then I realize how long this way of life (or close to, far from what was a month ago) will last and I feel that really loud, weight of the universe waaahwaaahwaaahh sci-fi movie sound just descending around me…. then I come back to, and am accepting of what I cannot change and try to stay calm and even have fun with what I can control, like meals we have, activities with my son, walks around our apartment getting sun. I am grateful for what I do have. We will get through this, although the unknown is unsettling to think about and I want so badly to be able to picture the other side. I keep hope in place that it won’t be too different from what was, maybe even better!

  119. L says...

    Same boat as the poster- solo WFH. Grateful that I generally find comfort and inspiration in solitude and grateful to have a salaried job. I am trying to come up with ways to help others from a distance – older parents, friends with kids, teacher friends, etc since my day-to-day is “easier” logistically than many. Really really miss playing music with friends, a great passion of mine.

  120. NM says...

    Long-time reader but first time commenting. My 11 year old daughter has been really worried about the elderly being lonely now that nursing homes cannot have visitors. She decided to draw pictures with uplifting quotes and share them daily on Instagram in hopes that she can add a smile to someone’s day. This has also helped her cope with the chaos during this time.

    Please share her profile @coronakindnessnow to anyone who you think may need some sunshine.

    Thank you Joanna for this loving community!

    • LOVE THIS. please tell your daughter thank you- thank you for having a caring heart.

    • NM says...

      Here is the link for my daughter’s Instagram:

      https://www.instagram.com/coronakindnessnow/

      Please share with anyone who needs some extra love during this time.

      Stay and strong and healthy!

    • NM says...

      Thank you ASH for your kind words!

  121. Erin says...

    I am worried about my parents, who are in their 70s, love each other but also tend to drive each other crazy, and now can’t get enough space from one another in their small city apartment to maintain sanity. My only sibling and I both live 1000+ miles away, so we can’t drop off groceries or run other errands for them. I am also annoyed that they may not be following social distancing recommendations as well as they should, and then I feel guilty for being annoyed. It’s also the first time I have had to tell them they shouldn’t do something (stay off public transportation, please!!) and it’s really hard.

  122. Claire M Matthews says...

    Happy early birthday Stacy, from a fellow Oregonian :)

  123. Claire says...

    Oh gosh, it changes hour to hour…some days are better than others. I’ve been battling some intense chronic health issues on top of being temporarily unemployed. Worried about my body, my finances, lines for the grocery store, friends who are already high-risk, everything. Missing my routines and rituals.

    I’ve been spending time with friends in short doses, making pottery, gardening, doing lots of walking when I feel up to it. Being kind. Letting go. Spending time in the sun. Figuring it all out one day at a time. It’ll be ok.

    Sending love to all. :)

  124. I’m truly exhausted (Target team lead, here). I’m also sad and worried and terrified and incredibly angry, all at once. I live in an area with a LOT of kids (Catholic neighborhood) and these freaking parents who are bringing in their kids! To look at all the things! Play with all the toys! TOUCH ALL THE THINGS WITH THEIR GRUBBY LITTLE HANDS. Look I’m not saying your kids are gross, but come on, they’re not pristine and you know it. People do not seem to get the idea that they or their children could be spreading this even if they feel just fine, and it’s infuriating that I have to keep putting my family’s lives at risk because they’re bored and need something to do. Come in, get what you need, TOUCH ONLY THINGS YOU WILL BUY and then GET OUT. We are massively, massively exposed as grocery store workers and if everyone only thinks of themselves rather than their community and who they’re coming into contact with, it’s only a matter of time before we all get sick – and we’re not all going to make it, if that happens. It’s mathematically impossible. And so help you God if that comes to pass, honestly.
    On the plus side, my team has stepped up to help each other and other departments in a way that is truly next level, and I couldn’t be prouder of them, and of their grit and resolve. We are all in this together and I will fiercely protect this team with my life. Also on a personal note – I got an order for my Etsy shop tonight and in these tough times that is incredibly thrilling! (www.etsy.com/shop/JillianNicolaJewelry)

    • silly lily says...

      When we must go into the grocery my husband and I slip a produce bag over our hand and keep it on until we’ve left. It affords a small peace of mind…….of course we still disinfect when we get home. Cheers.

  125. Melissa says...

    My mood has definitely swayed over the last week or so but I keep coming back to the fact that I feel incredibly lucky to be sheltering at home with my favorite people – my husband and children 6 (also a Toby!) and 2. I’ve been doing a lot of comfort baking, including today making the zucchini muffins.

  126. Hilary says...

    I am officially pissed off and terrified. My home state of TX announced that abortions are now considered elective and that clinics need to hand over COVID-pertinent supplies. Coronavirus is hard enough. The economic fallout is hard enough.

    Last year I felt able to write off the bill seeking the death penalty for any woman who sought an abortion. But OMG what’s happening now has some actual teeth. Sharp ones at that. Monsters. Are women’s lives really so politically volley-able? If I’m following the logic, wouldn’t a pregnant woman be a greater strain on the health care system during a pandemic? But this isn’t about logic, it’s about power. And as a woman in Texas, I am terrified of what happens to women quarantined with abusers, what happens to women who find their economic footing precarious, what happens to women who simply want a choice, what happens to women if there are out of state travel lockdowns, what happens to the girls watching this?

    Does anyone in the community know if there’s something ordinary concerned Texans can go do?

    • Bridget says...

      Thank you for your comment. This is happening in Ohio, too. And I don’t really see much rage over it in the media or online…which saddens me deeply. Everyone is tripping over themselves to praise the governor here for his leadership during this time, and not many are mentioning that he used COVID as a way to get what he wanted and limit women’s access to healthcare.

    • Rusty says...

      OMG! Whaaaat?!?!
      I’m incredibly grateful to live in Australia.
      That’s insane (a bit like your president…I can’t use a capital for him).

  127. Rae says...

    NZ reader here! I’m feeling pretty positive. I appreciate the constant flow of info from our government, the fast moving response to this pandemic, and that most people aren’t panic shopping. I’m contacting friends and family that live on their own and making plans to support them from afar during the lockdown.

    • Rusty says...

      NZ is world’s best practice at what TO do in the midst of this thing.
      Count your blessings.

  128. Mary says...

    This is a weird time. I am a medical student on the verge of starting my clinical rotations, which were delayed by about a month (so far – could be longer!) due to COVID and, I suspect, the shortage of personal protective equipment that’s not worth using on medical students at this early stage of our training. My school is throwing together an online elective to keep us busy for the next month, but I don’t think anyone really wants to take it.

    I’ve basically been sheltering in place for the past two weeks. I plan out all my meals now so I only need to go to the grocery store once per week, which is hard because I live within walking distance of multiple grocery stores and I love taking a little walk in the evenings to pick up some herbs or fruit or cheese. I don’t do this anymore because I want to keep my community safe and interact with as few people as possible, in the unlikely event that I am asymptomatically carrying the virus. It’s hard to fill the time! I’ve been reading a lot (a hobby that brings me both relief and stress, because our libraries have closed til mid-April and I’m concerned that I’ll run out of books to read!), running on the less populated trails in my city’s parks, and keeping busy with kitchen projects. I made bagels for the first time using a recipe from Everyday Annie, and peanut butter/chocolate/pretzel cookies from Wood & Spoon. Half recipes of cookies only, because my roommate is out of the state right now and I don’t need to eat thirty while quarantined by myself. ;) I tell myself that this too shall pass, but it’s an isolating and scary time, especially with seeing how health care workers are putting themselves at risk to care for patients. I read a terrifying article in the New England Journal of Medicine today about rationing ventilators in the event that our health system becomes overwhelmed. Seems like a when, not an if, to me.

    Big hugs to the CoJ community, whether you’re working in a hospital or grocery store or staying home. We are in this together. Take care xoxo

    • Maddie says...

      I was sad when I saw local libraries closing! Have you ever used the app Libby? It is like Audible, but free and you can get e-books too.

      Hope the best for you!!

  129. Jodie says...

    I’m a second grade teacher in Vancouver, Canada and we are technically on Spring Break. I’ve been spending most of my time figuring out what and how to teach online. So thankful for all the ideas from teachers around the world who have been doing distance teaching for a few weeks now. When I let myself think about the fact that I may not see my class for the rest of the school year, my heart just sinks. The uncertainty is hard to bear. Thank you to all the parents out there who are helping to support your children with their school work. I know many parents are stressed or feel the pressure to supplement their children’s education by homeschooling. It’s not easy as I’m sure many have their own jobs to worry about. I remind my own daughter that her online learning will surely strengthen her independence, resilience and problem-solving skills. Something good has got to come out of all this!

  130. C says...

    Introvert with social anxiety here- I’m lucky in that the majority of my income already came from 2 WFH jobs, one of which is in rental real estate. So…I’ve been just as busy as I usually am. However, I’m also a professional opera singer, and my March/April show has been postponed and my June international show is still hanging in the balance. It’s about 6 weeks’ worth of pay for both gigs not including travel stipend (so nothing like my “day job”) but was definitely a blow. That sucks, but I’m lucky to have not lost the majority of my income, like every single one of my singer friends has! :( I can gladly stay here at home another month without talking to a soul, but I know I’m in the minority. Husband works as a tech in neurosurgery (mainly cancer), so he’s still doing his set of 10s every week, scrubbing up and scrubbing everything down. We’re both introverts, so we’re thankful to just have each other and our jobs.

  131. Joanna Schoff says...

    I read somewhere that its important to validate your feelings. Its common to say this is how i feel but at least im not dealing with ‘xxxx’. Yes be grateful but honor your feelings. If you’re sad or scared or afraid, honor those feelings.
    I am good for most part. Im a teacher and teaching my children from home simultaneously. Its hard to do both. I feel fortunate to know how to teach, how to do some work offered at school for my kids and how to skip what seems too much. Its a long hard day with little of the fun stuff.
    Its hard. Reading all your stories are a great reminder of the humanity. Better than any news story. Thank you for sharing. Wishing you all peace and good health- physical and mental. Be well .

  132. kelly says...

    my grandfather passed away early sunday morning. we knew it was coming, but it does not make the grieving any easier- especially with family scattered all over the country, not being allowed to travel to see him. he is being cremated tomorrow and i will never get to say goodbye. i told him i loved him on saturday over the phone.

    yet today is my husbands 36th birthday. life comes full circle. while i am saddened for losing my poppy, i am thankful for the 33 years i had with him and the chance to celebrate the birth of my very best friend.

    be kind to one another, and stay safe ❤️

  133. Carla says...

    Hi Joanna and everyone,
    We are doing ok. My husband is working from home, locked in our bedroom while I play with my son who is four years old. I have been trying to adjust a routine at home, sometimes it works sometimes not. Today it didn’t, we played outside in our front yard most of the time. I hope that we could entertain our neighbors if they watched us. 😊 I bought a few activity books for my son. It helps to keep a routine, to balance the day. (Tracing, cutting, uppercase letters, school skills….) Morning uses to be about academic skills+cutting+tracing. Afternoon, it is about games+puzzles+books. We try to go outside twice a day. Twice a day TV too. This is the best scenario!
    Tomorrow I will bake lemon bars if I get my eggs. The store ran out of eggs. My neighbor left a few lemons in front of my door, I want to make something special to remember that there are good things: friendship and lemons 😊🥰
    I was reading “maybe you should talk to someone” a few hours ago (I don’t know how my son ignored the fact that I wasn’t with him, I tried to hide for a few minutes having some me time) and thinking of cup of jo and all of you who joined the book club. It made me smile!
    I am today in a good mood.
    I am calling my parents to Portugal every day to make sure that they are fine; my mom is scared, I feel it…. they spend the day in front of the news. I wish that I could make them feel better. They are asking me not to go out while I am the one scared that they will go out.
    To all of you, stay safe and healthy! Sending you lots of hugs.

  134. Laura says...

    I am a nurse and keeping my emotions under wraps. Scared for people not paying attention or knowing where to look. Please follow directions and look at the center for disease control for answers to your questions.

  135. Sabrina says...

    My husband works for the UN in Kenya. We came home to the PNW a year ago because we needed some health care for one of our children, while he stayed behind in Africa. He was supposed to come and get us last week and take us back to Kenya but now we are stuck here, and he is stuck there. I am so scared and lonely and just want my husband by my side. But I’m also in awe of myself, single parenting alone in a pandemic. Completely isolated. I didn’t know I had such strength.

    • Maddie says...

      That sounds really hard, I think it is important and brave to recognize your own strength. I am proud of you too!

  136. Alice says...

    My 4 year old asked if we could go to another world because this one is boring. ( we’ve been at home for nearly 2 weeks at this point and home means a small condo with no yard ) Which is pretty much what I want too… I want to escape this reality but there’s nowhere to go.

    • Nikki says...

      Going back to a normal life is going to be sooo amazing! Hang in there! Meanwhile how about moving furniture around and building a fort? Sleeping in unusual places? Taking silly selfies ? Singing along?

    • Joyce says...

      Reminds of this quote by Edith Wharton: ““It was easy enough to despise the world, but decidedly difficult to find any other habitable region.”

      As someone else in a small apartment (no yard) with a child…solidarity.

      I started watching stupid TV shows just for the sake of laughing. And telling myself there’s nothing wrong or stupid about laughing. xoxo.

  137. Trina says...

    Though I work FT in an office setting, I’m lucky to be able to WFH, and although it has taken some adjustment *not* to have a clear boundary between work time and my time, the drastic change in routine has actually opened up, shaken up if you will, my sense of routine. I can find time to read those books I always meant to! I can work out regularly enough to adhere to a schedule! I can finally finish the edX MOOC on Italian! I do find myself getting snappish with my partner, though, which is how I know I’d better step outside and get some socially distanced walking in the surrounding Peninsula hills before I bite his head off unreasonably.

  138. Heidi says...

    I work for a vital service agency: we have two homeless shelters (which I manage) and a food pantry. The shelters are apartment-style, so I’m keeping in contact with everyone via phone/text/email and the food pantry has volunteers coming in everyday to box up food and then people come pick it up in their cars. I’ve never washed my hands so much in my life! It’s very stressful and I’m exhausted when I get home. On the plus side, it’s amazing to see all these people work so hard to take care of everyone in our community. I love the days I can work from home during this time, but I’m also glad I’m one of the helpers.

    • Beth says...

      Thank you so much.

    • Madi says...

      Thank you for being a helper! It sounds like a wonderful service to your community.

    • AMK says...

      Thank you and your team for all your work!!!

    • Stacy says...

      Thank you for your hard work Heidi! We are so grateful for all you do. xo

    • Maria Kieferova says...

      Thank you for all your hard work!

  139. Grace says...

    We are in New Zealand and how whole country is going into lockdown for the next four weeks. It’s a strange time and one that has been beautiful in many many ways.
    We are relishing our slow days together, and I can already see the change in my children (3 and 5.) Having quality time with both mum and dad has been just what their soul needed.

    Not all sunshine though, I’m 34 weeks pregnant and there is a lot of uncertainty at the moment. All our antenatal appointments have obviously been effected and birth protocols have changed. Everyone is doing their best to work out how to navigate this time but it’s been stressful, emotional and very teary sometimes.

    Much love to you all.

  140. Rachel says...

    I am a pediatrician who deals especially with child abuse victims and also 23 weeks pregnant with twins. My husband is a hospitalist and is taking care of the sickest people in the hospital. I am so proud of him (and me!) for still working but also anxious for our family. I have a 4/2 year old that my in-laws are having to watch while we work, and I feel that I am exposing them selfishly, but there is no one else I trust with them though. I am scared for my patients, kids in the country who are going to be subjected to more abuse due to parental stress and lack of school, and I am scared for my health and that of my unborn babies. I wish we could just shut ourselves in our house and ignore the world. It’s nice to be able to voice this somewhere and then gather myself together and go back to work. Prayers for the world and our most vulnerable.

    • Sierra says...

      In awe of you and your strength! Thank you for bravely showing up and doing what needs to be done, despite the risks. And thank you for reminding me what a privilege it is to hunker down in my house with my family.

    • Lisa says...

      May God bless you and your family for all that you are doing to care for others.

    • Keri says...

      I am also a pediatrician and 23 weeks pregnant. I care for pediatric Oncology patients and can’t even imagine the anxiety their families feel at a time like this – on top of the anxiety they already experience. I too am nervous for my pending arrival – I have put in such efforts to try to do everything I can to have a healthy pregnancy and this is a reminder of all the things we can’t control. I’ll take a few deep breaths and then put a brave face on because our patients rely on us. I feel such envy for those that feel bored at home – but so thankful people are choosing to stay home.

    • Robyn says...

      Thank you for all that you are doing. It sounds so incredibly stressful – you guys are truly heroes.

    • julie says...

      Thank you to your and your husband for doing this work. It’s so important. I’ve been thinking about the abuse situations that will get worse, too. Scary. Blessings.

    • Elena says...

      Rachel, thanks for what you and your husband do for your community. I am a nurse anesthetist who will likely transition into the ICUs starting next week and it’s generally all very overwhelming. We have a five month old at home and it’s so hard going to work every day knowing that I might bring germs back to him or my husband. Set your jaw, keep up the good work, and know that you’ll be able to get that down time when this is all over. Stay safe! <3

    • La Stevens says...

      Thank you for your important work and sacrifices!

    • Stacy says...

      Your family is giving up so much to save lives… THANK YOU RACHEL! xo

    • Lise says...

      So proud of you, Rachel! You’re doing an amazing job! HERO!

    • Inga says...

      You and your husband are doing so awesome, much needed work!!! Thank you so much!!
      Also, you are the best role model to your kid how to act upon your values and change this world for a better!
      Wishing you the best for your family and the little one!

    • Erin says...

      I just sent up a prayer for you, your patients, and your family. Thank you for all that you’re doing. I hope you do get a few moments of peace and that you and your babies remain in good health. Sending lots of love.

    • anne says...

      Thank you for your work and comment! I was a caseworker in foster care ages ago and when the schools closed, I had the same fear. There are so many other terrible things that will be allowed to sink further into the shadows but I am so grateful for people like you and your husband. I have to believe that this will be what brings us back together as a country. It is scary to think you might be risking exposure to your family but you are doing the best you can. I am considering volunteering with our local public health response teams (anything from temp checks, admin, funeral home support) and my mother was appalled, saying “you have a young child at home!” ALL the frontline workers have families and friends! We all have to step up in any way we can. Also, I’m not very religious but every time my family sits to eat, we light a candle, express gratitude, and pray for the safety of all the helpers, especially the healthcare workers. Sincere thanks to you!

  141. Amz says...

    I’m a little stressed. I just moved to a new city (Toronto!) which was daunting but so exciting. I’m very very lucky to have a few family members here but just as I was starting to settle in everything changed. I’m immensely grateful for the people around me and the fact that I have a place to stay but I’m worried about job prospects. I miss my friends dearly and would very much like a cuddle from my mom.

  142. Patti Brown says...

    I made zucchini bread! With walnuts!

  143. mi tía was recently hospitalized, and released from pneumonia (she will be 87 in a few weeks, what an amazing tough cookie, my favorite cookie<333) and it has taken everything to not just run to her side. she doesnt use facetime but hearing her voice everyday gives me something to look forward to, she can tell my mood even from my paused words or breathing within an instant of picking up her phone. we call our daytime calls –el coffee break– and usually talk about yesterday's Jeopardy since there are no sports, which we are both having serious withdrawals from .. <3 :/

  144. I’m in the same boat as the woman who emailed you. I’m single and live alone, so I haven’t had any physical human contact in at least 10 days, with no hope of a hug anytime soon. I turn 29 two weeks from today, and I’m sad that I will have to spend it isolated. I’m trying really hard to stay positive, but its hard. My state (Oregon) finally put out a stay-at-home order, which gives me some hope. I keep swinging from sad to hopeful. Trying to stay on the hopeful side of things more than the sad. On the bright side – my apartment has never been cleaner!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      What a love you are! I’m so sorry. Sending you the biggest hug through the internet.

    • Susan Nathan says...

      Sending you a hug Stacy. You are not alone. Happy early birthday!

    • Sarah says...

      Happy birthday! I have triplets and my house is nuts. If you ever need a laugh, I’ll happily FaveTime you! My kids think FaveTiming people is the greatest thing ever- they show off all of their coolest moves. My IG is @sarah_has_triplets. Feel free to connect!!!

    • Cynthia AS says...

      Thinking of you and happy birthday!!!

    • Midge says...

      Hi fellow Oregonian! I don’t really know what to say, but I’m so sorry you feel alone. eHugs to you and happy early birthday!

    • Melissa says...

      Stacy you’re amazing!!! Sending you a virtual hug and cheers from Idaho!

    • Hoiho says...

      I’m in the same boat, although we’re only just entering lock-down in New Zealand (effective midnight tomorrow). We’re already working at home on a level 3 alert, and I’m stuck in my tiny studio apartment. I’ve been video calling the people I love, for me that’s my family, everyday. I have also been absolutely inundated with work. I expect that it will get more difficult over time, but I absolutely identify with the psychologist’s comment. As soon as I talk to my sister, I immediately relax. Take care.

    • Jen says...

      Happy Birthday and lots of love to you from New Zealand. Pretty strange times to be celebrating a birthday in. May your next decade be full of the kindness and shared humanity that we will emerge from all this with.

    • Ancy says...

      Hey Stacy
      I am in the same boat as you are. Alone and isolated at home. I have my cats but I have been craving human company, a hug, kiss, someone to share a meal with, laughter… all of it makes me want to cry. My boyfriend is also not leaving his home and really taking a huge toll on my mental and physical health. I have been doing Yoga With Adriene, cleaning, working and watching all kinds of shows. I hope you feel better and I want to send you love and some hugs and kisses all the way from here (Middle East!).

    • Erin says...

      sending you a birthday hug Stacy!

    • Anne Sophie BIREMBAUT says...

      Hi stacy, let’s chat ! I left a comment (nb 5) if u want to make sure I’m not a weirdo !

    • Kate says...

      Sending you an early happy birthday hug from Canada :)

  145. Christine says...

    I’ve been in lockdown with my kids for a few weeks now and it is tough juggling working from home with mothering. Today we started the day with PE with Joe on YouTube and it was such a great way to start the day. He’s doing a free lesson every day 😊 https://youtu.be/Rz0go1pTda8

  146. Sarah says...

    This has been really tough and I’m trying to just take it day by day. I know how much you’ve shared your love of Codenames. Here’s a way to play with friends or family virtually: https://www.horsepaste.com/
    I know such a weird URL but it works great if you set up FaceTime/Zoom or Google Hangout on one device and then use another device for your family game. We’ve been playing with friends virtually after the kids are in bed and it’s almost like having an in-person game night. Of course wine and snacks are a given!

    • Tiffany says...

      Colonist.io is a great multiplayer online version of catan, if you would like to try..

  147. Mary Fiore says...

    I am alternating back and forth between feeling grateful, hopeful, enjoying the slowing down, and then suddenly I feel an onset of fear, anxiety and dread. It’s a rollercoaster. I am MUCH better when I limit my news intake.

    I’m especially grateful that I completed a yoga teacher training course just before the onset of all of this craziness. I’ve been diving into trying to create some online content that could potentially benefit people during this time.

    A little scary to share this, but I feel like I need to step into the universe as my yoga teacher self! I just created this video today for anyone that is struggling to fall asleep, or having difficulty getting a restful nights sleep during this time. Sending love to the Cup of Jo Community. Hang in there everyone.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wN57RyqFgvg&t=316s

    • Susan says...

      That’s wonderful! Thank you for sharing 👏👏👏

    • Hollye says...

      Thank you so much for sharing this! I’m going to start using it at night. :-)

    • E says...

      The weight of being far from my family has been very heavy the past few weeks. I have stayed at my apartment for nearly 2 weeks now (not even gone to the grocery store over the last 10 days) and am considering driving 19 hours to be with my family, who have also self quarantined, this weekend.

      There are people I love in the hospital and recovering from surgery right now and my anxiety for everyone affected by this global crisis is high. I’ve cried more times than I can count in the last few days.

      Due to sudden unforeseen circumstances over the last week, my boyfriend, who I live with, will be traveling to the other side of the world to be with his family for at least 3 months as soon as he can (probably within the next 2 weeks). We will also need to move out of our apartment in about 2 months (no idea where we will go yet), while he is gone. So there are a lot of logistics going through my mind right now, while also wondering when the world will feel safe and calm and less lonely again.

      We will figure everything out, but this has been a YEAR. Hoping and praying for the best for everyone. Hang in there.

  148. Amanda says...

    Oh Jo! Life is freaking rough right now! My mom just had a stroke, my son is homeschooling, my husband just got laid off and now we are shelter in place and can’t go to the park! Drinking wine and trying to see the bigger picture but it’s hard. ❤️

    • Alexandra says...

      Amanda, I’m thinking of you and praying for you. I know might not seem very helpful, but know your loved ones and strangers alike are gunning for you. Sending you light.

    • NH says...

      Amanda, that is so much to handle at once! Praying that you are able to have peace in the midst of the major life storms you are experiencing! Sending hugs!

    • Mrs D says...

      Hang in there Amanda, that’s a lot to cope with. I hope things take a turn soon.

    • Ancy says...

      Lots of love to you, Amanda.

    • Erin says...

      Oh gosh! I hope life starts serving you only good things to balance this moment out. This must be so hard right now. Sending you and your family love.

  149. Sarah says...

    My two year old is my best life coach right now. Hear me out. Want to know how to manage a crisis? Watch a toddler. She throws about seven fits a day, but never wallows. She lets out her frustrations then goes right back to the business of being a kid: being silly and playing and otherwise loving life. Its marvellous, really, and I’m definitely over here taking notes.