Relationships

What’s Your Life Like Right Now?

seagulls by lena corwin

My darlings, I’d love to take a pause to ask: What’s your life like right now? The other day, when we posted about quarantining with a partner, readers left really beautiful comments about other situations — juggling work with little kids running around, struggling with infertility and wishing little kids were running around, living solo and craving a hug, working outside the home, actually enjoying quarantine because introverts, etc. And it made me curious about what your days are like right now.

Here are some questions, if you’d like to answer:
* Where are you in the world?
* Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
* Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
* What’s hard right now?
* What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?

My answers are:
* New York
* Hunkering down with my husband and two rowdy little boys
* Working a few hours a day on Cup of Jo and wishing I had more time!
* What’s hard: Feeling fine right now, but during these chaotic times, I’m worried about my depression returning. I’ve been thinking of all the other people with mental health issues; this is not easy.
* What’s bringing joy: Any and all signs of nature (I’ve never loved nature so much! that first gust of fresh air when you open a window, leaves growing on tree branches, daffodils poking out of the soil), watching Curb Your Enthusiasm, reading magazines and blogs (I’m especially loving Jenny’s new series), devouring comments from Cup of Jo readers, and baking Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies. Alex also made chicken parm the other night and then we watched The Hangover because we wanted to turn our brains off. Both really hit the spot.

I’d love to hear from you! Sending so much love. Please weigh in below…

P.S. My boyfriend weighs less than I do, and wholeness vs. happiness.

(Photo by Lena Corwin/Instagram.)

  1. Angie Pearl says...

    I just discovered a cup of jo last night and I’m really enjoying it.

    Where am I?
    I’m in Wheeling, Wv.

    Who am I quarantining with?
    My daughters (16,11,8) and 3 cats

    Am I working?
    I stay at home with my girls and have been helping them with their schoolwork.

    What’s hard?
    It’s hard being single and not having a partner to talk to when I get worried or upset.

    What’s bringing me joy? I am enjoying the slower pace of life and not having outside obligations. I’ve been reading and watching shows on Netflix with my daughter’s.

  2. kate says...

    1. I’m in Atlanta, GA.
    2. I’m with my husband and 1-yr-old AND, as of one week ago, we joined isolation bubbles with my parents (hail mary – i am not catholic nor footballish, but hail mother$*@^ing mary)
    3. I’m working my tail off, from home.
    4. As of getting help from my parents, things have been ok. For the last week, the hardest thing has been feeling guilty that I have it so good. But before that, things were much darker (though I still felt guilty that I felt so dark even though we were healthy and employed). Watching a 1-yr-old while working full-time is not sustainable. I don’t understand how people are doing this. I felt like I didn’t deserve my salary, like I was letting my coworkers down, like I was letting my child down… My husband felt the same pressure. Now I feel like we can do this, with my parents’ help, but what about all the other parents that are still struggling? I wish I could help them. And to think, we’re the lucky ones!
    5. Spending extra time with my baby is amazing. I’m getting to watch her grow in ways I never thought I’d get to see. I was so sad every Monday (in the past) to send her off to daycare, but now I get to watch her learn to stand, learn to use a sippy cup, learn to talk. Honestly, it’s going to be hard to go back to the way things were. It makes me rethink how much time I spend away from her.

  3. Who doesn’t want to feel more connected and share a bit of their story right now? I’ll play along!

    * Where are you in the world? Granada, Spain (not my country of birth, but my current home)

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? with my husband

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Both, I’m fortunate enough to have quit my regular job (teaching English) at the end of 2019 and have been focused on my writing career solely since then. Thus, to others it may seem that I’m dedicating 100% of my time to ‘hobbies’ and ‘passions’ (which, I suppose, is true) but it’s also my definition of work.

    * What’s hard right now? Reconciling all of the different reactions from people / countries that I love. Living in Spain, we fell somewhere in the middle of the COVID-19 wave and so we were really living in the eye of the storm when my friends and family in the US still didn’t realize how serious it all was. That was really hard because I was having emotions and experiences that they couldn’t understand. It’s still difficult for me to go on social media and see that some people I care about “don’t believe in” something that is so real.

    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Having time to really dedicate to cooking healthy and baking delicious. As well as online courses (one in English, on in Spanish, both about well-being and happiness), Yoga with Adriene every morning, online live Zumba classes to stay active, and getting lost in TV shows when I don’t want to be active.

  4. jaime says...

    Here are some questions, if you’d like to answer:
    * Where are you in the world? Kitchener, Canada
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? Living solo
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Working in national public health communications, which (as you can imagine) is a little bonkers right now. We’re extra busy because it’s also the federal year end, but I’m incredibly grateful to still have a regular paycheque.
    * What’s hard right now? Realizing that I am making most of the effort to schedule FaceTimes with friends. I work from home after years of working abroad, and I don’t have as many close friends as I’d like. There’s a point in your thirties where a lot of people retract into the families they’ve built, which is beautiful for them, but hard if you’re single and were living far away for years. (I suppose some of the hard things were things that were hard before all this happened.)
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Honestly, the extra effort from my coworkers to connect now that we’re all working from home, rather than just me and a couple others. I feel less alone now that I’m not the only one feeling lonely and isolated working from home. Also, walks — they’re the greatest.

  5. AC says...

    I feel so much better and more positive after reading other people’s experiences throughout the world. I feel for you all! thank you also to everyone who is helping out in different ways.

    Rusty: My family immigrated from Australia. Its such a beautiful country! One day my husband and I will go back and visit. It is fun to read about people living there.

  6. AC says...

    * Where are you in the world? We live in Northern California.

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? I live with my husband and 12 year old tabby cat.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? working, still going into work as I am deemed essential. Its hard. Most people I know are able to work from home. I work in property management so I have to be here. We are closed to the public though so its been really hard. My depression has been awful. I am crying a lot and truly only feel ok when I am home with my husband and cat.
    * What’s hard right now? Work, being at work in a dark and empty building with nothing to do for 8 hours a day. I feel so hopeless here right now and lonely.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Being with my husband and kitten. Talking to my parents over the phone. Texting my friends. Watching cookie shows on tv with my husband while we eat. A good cup of dark roast coffee on my upstairs balcony in the morning while watching the sun rise. I live for weekends more than ever now! Right now its just get through the week as best I can and enjoy the weekend. I feel so stupid and weak but I am in survival mode right now with my depression and anxiety.

  7. * I’m in Cyprus, a small island-country in the Mediterranean
    * Living with my cat in a family-owned building so in the same floor as mine lives my sister, and 2 floors below us live our parents. We get to see each other from afar, but it’s better than only online!
    * I had 3 jobs, and all of them are now on pause. I used to be an event planner-decorator, a translator, and teacher. No events are on, nobody really needs official translations since all deadlines and procedures are off, and schools are out.
    * It’s hard not knowing when I’ll be able to hug and kiss my family and friends, or knowing if I will have a job to go back to sometime soon.
    * I try doing new things here and there, like trying new recipes which is always a creative and rewarding task. I also started trying to get into yoga for the first time in my life, and I fixed my bike and go on short rides without having to worry too much about getting ran over by a car or bus. I’m also happy to get to spend all day with my cat, and that I’m able to have long dialogues with him. But most of all I play with make up every day which makes me extra happy because it’s make up playtime all day, every day, and I’m grateful I have a place to call home, and food to fill my belly, and my family close and healthy (so far).

  8. Kim Gray says...

    – I’m in Toronto!
    – Bunkered up with my husband who I’m loving self-isolating with. And we have one more little house guest – a baby in my belly!
    – Working from home four days and going into my office one day a week – I’m a property manager and we’re considered an essential service
    – Not being able to see friends and family and enjoy the pregnancy the way we had hoped and planned (we had to cancel our baby moon and baby shower – but I know in the grand scheme of things, these are just small disappointments)
    – I’m loving all the extra time we have to bake and cook together. The pregnancy is also a wonderful, exciting distraction. And it’s such a blessing to have so much time with by husband before the arrival of baby.

  9. ETB says...

    -Living in Dallas, TX
    -with w/ my husband and our old dog
    -We are both working (so thankful for this) from home. He normally works from his home office, and now I have invaded his space. It’s going well so far (knock on wood). My advertising job has kept me busy so far, but I am worried about the inevitable downturn. My company already did salary cuts at the beginning of all of this.
    -What’s hard? Honestly everything related to politics stresses me out. I worry about the election in November, the vote-by-mail issues already upon us, the dictator in the white house and his utter lack of regard for science and how it will ripple across the nation for years. It keeps me up at night, but I try not to think about it or watch too much news.
    -What gives me hope: I saw a Biden yard sign last week and while he was never my top choice, it gave me an odd feeling of hope, like “we do have a chance…we do…” Ironically his site is not shipping yard signs because of CV19 so we can’t support that chance.

  10. shade says...

    – Brooklyn, NY
    – Husband and 6 yr old son
    – Working and homeschooling our kid at the same time. Or trying to.
    – There’s a lot of tension in our house being cooped up all day with one another in a small apartment. Our already hyper kid is going even crazier and not listening to anything. It’s so hard and driving my husband and me insane. Especially today.
    – I’m excited for the trees outside our window to bloom their green leaves. I’m predicting it will happen next Wednesday. That bit of nature brings me SO much joy. I also look forward to chilling out and watching episodes with my husband at night. I’m loving Unorthodox right now.

  11. Alex says...

    Thank you for the incredible work you are continuing to do.

  12. Charlotte says...

    * Copenhagen, Denmark
    * With my boyfriend
    * I’m a hematologist so unlike many my job takes up even more of my time at the moment. Our patients are vulnerable and scared so even when I’m not at the hospital I spend time emailing my patients trying to give them some advice and comfort.
    * The obviously answer would be my job, but ironically this all happens at the same time my boyfriend and I are struggling to have a baby. We have been trying for some time and just when we were getting to ready to seek help, all fertility clinics closed down due to the virus. I’m trying to focus on my job but the longing for a baby is taking over my brain. Especially now where I can’t see my friends and family. I’m either working at the hospital or staying home in the apartment with my boyfriend and the hole in my heart just keeps growing.
    * That hairdressers are allowed to open for business again next week! My boyfriend has a big, curly hair and it has gotten so long. He is so excited to be able to see again :)

  13. Natasa says...

    -Skopje, Europe
    -living with my 2 boys
    -my husband is in Germany, working
    -I am at home, but going to work once in a week. We doo homework from home , i do all by mayself. They understand the situation, but they want to play with friends.
    -Iam scared about my husband health, he wants to came home, but the borders and aerport are closed. I dont think about the future, Iam concentrating only about present. because is PRESENT but it is hard time for me.

  14. Ludmila says...

    * Kosice, Slovakia, Europe

    * my husband and three kids (boy 2 months, boy 2 and girl 4 years old)

    * I’m on maternity leave for almost 4 years and my husband joins me when the youngest was born.
    * don’t get crazy because of the kids :D we are trying to entertain, educate them but sometimes all we can do is serve the food and prevent them from hurt themselves.
    * thought that husband does not need to leave us because of work (god bless or social system) :) sunny weather and drinking coffee in the garden.

  15. Sofie says...

    I know I’m late to the game, but better late than never;

    * Where are you in the world? I am currently in my hometown of Geleen in the south of the Netherlands

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? I am living with my boyfriend of 18 years and our two cats

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? I am working from home and he is too, it’s not always easy but we make it work :)

    * What’s hard right now? Everything it seems; since the first week of staying in the following has happened; in the first week his grandmother died of Covid-19, she was 93 and was going to die sooner than later but it was still hard. Since it was the beginning of all new regulations etc. there wasnt really a funeral wich was sad. Two days after the funeral my boyfriends dad, who had been taking care of grandma, was hospitalized with Covid-19. He spent a week in hospital but returned home safely in the end. The day after he got home we got word that my aunt wasnt going to live through the week. She had cancer and had decided against any treatment so she was now at the end of her journey. She died last friday and yesterday was het funeral. Here in the Netherlands there are only 30 people allowed at a non-Covid funeral and since my dad has seven brothers and sisters the only people who could join the funeral were direct family members, my boyfriend couldn’t come.
    So, hopefully we get some rest from now on…

    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? I have been baking things again and ordered a nice embroidery pattern to work on, but my favourite thing to do right now is to sit in the sun and read. It transports me to a totally different world and apparantly I need that right now :)

  16. Jenn J. says...

    Where are you?
    Carlsbad, Calif., previously Santa Monica
    Living with?
    I was solo for the first month in my tiny (400 sq foot) apartment but relocated to my parents this past weekend. Gracie the Boxer dog is also here.
    Passing the time?
    I’m working from home. I’m a video game producer so our 300+ person team is now transitioned to working from home. It’s sort of crazy but also much better for work-life balance. I also feel immensely grateful to be employed. Sending love to anyone whose employment was impacted by the pandemic.
    What’s hard right now?
    Gosh, at first everything seemed so much harder. Grocery shopping required many outings because all of the stores in Santa Monica were nearly wiped clean. It was overwhelming and I felt so unprepared. Now, I’m trying really hard to not get anxious over how long this may go on. I’m almost 35 and I had a lot of trips and dating planned. I’ve cancelled one trip thus far and may have to cancel at least two more. I’m an extrovert so the lack of physical interactions with people has also been difficult. Thank goodness for Facetime and other video conferences!
    What’s bringing joy?
    I’ve been enjoying baking, knitting, catching up on TV shows and movies. I’ve been trying new recipes and baked goods. It’s been nice to not feel like I’m in a race and always falling behind between work and home.

  17. Carlota says...

    Where are you in the world? Terceira, Azores (middle of the Atantic), Portugal
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? Living with my husband and two daughters (8 and 9).
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Working, homeschooling the girls, cooking, cleaning.
    * What’s hard right now? Not spending time wth my parents and friends, not running with my best friend (used to run every weekday at 6 am).
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? extra family time (just us 4), cooking, baking, wine, gardening, watching Ozark.

  18. Annie says...

    * Where are you in the world? American in London!
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? Living with my husband
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? I lost my job not long before this all happened, and COVID has certainly made it more difficult to find a job as so many companies are on hiring freezes.
    * What’s hard right now? Not having a job/income/ways to fill my time and days
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? planning all of our meals and spending a ton of time going through recipes and watching cooking videos! Lots of cooking and baking happening here. Also, sitting in the sun, exercising daily, walks to the river and looking at all the beautiful flowers :)

  19. Katt says...

    * Where are you in the world? – Seattle
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? – My lovely husband, my BIL, and my adorable pupper
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? – I’m thankfully still employed and working from home, but I work in theatre, so working from home is pretty impossible. I’m thankful for the work I am able to do. I’m also doing a lot of reading, napping, and walks.
    * What’s hard right now? – Not being able to give friends hugs! I made a cake for a friend who is an OR nurse to bring to work last weekend and on my way home from giving it to her, I cried. I’m an introvert and truly have been fine through quarantine, but my soul misses hugs.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? – Reading, taking walks with my husband and puppy, knitting, baking new things. I’ve baked three new recipes in the last three weeks. Looking forward to what I decide to bake this week.

  20. Meredith says...

    * Nashville, TN
    * Living solo
    * Still working
    * Not being able to touch people. I didn’t realize how important touch was to me until the past few weeks.
    * I’m currently painting all the rooms in my apartment, and that makes me happy. I’m also learning how to pencil shade and taking lots of walks. A couple of weeks ago I felt like I was spiraling so I’m reading through the Book of Psalms every morning. It’s helping and I feel like I can start my days a little more grounded.

  21. Emilia M says...

    * New York City!
    *Living with my boyfriend
    * I work as an editor at a trends forecasting company and it’s been full-on since mid-February when every single event we were going to attend got cancelled and had to totally change our calendar for the year. I was supposed to be writing about luxury product design, instead I’ve been writing on how the travel industry can survive, which is alternately inspiring and soul-crushing.
    * I’m lucky that the small things are hardest, like missing out on spring, choosing whether to watch another episode of GoT (we’re just working through it now) and convincing my boyfriend to stop playing video games and help make dinner (which, to his credit, he always does!)
    * I’m loving all the livestream exercise classes and it’s been great to have time to read all the loooong books I’ve put off. NYC apartment buildings are also on point with their flowers this year and I’m loving spotting them on early morning walks.

    Hope you’re all doing well!

  22. * I live in Worcester, MA, USA
    * I live with my husband and our roommate (shes’s one of my best friends, and yes, we are adults who all like living together!)
    * I’m working 40-hours week as a development manager for a nonprofit but from home
    * What’s hard? Rethinking/redoing/reimagining everything we had planned for work this spring. Searching for non-profit funding in a very uncertain world. I’m also constantly feeling guilty about how relatively unaffected my life is. I don’t have kids, and my husband and I can both work from home (which we have the space to do). Everyone in my household still has their job. I have a LOT of hobbies (reading, cooking, house plants, embroidery, correspondence) so I can keep myself very entertained. But I know how many people are making sacrifices, working so hard, and getting sick. It is so unfair that the most that is asked of me is I stay home. I also want to bail out every person/business who needs help right now, but I know my money doesn’t go that far.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Observing nature, immersing myself in cooking projects, hourly kiss breaks with my husband, sending mail to my families and friends, weekly zoom calls with my college girlfriends.

  23. Teresa says...

    Oh, my god … I forgot to write here over the weekend and now I’m scrolling through all the comments and had to cry. Because with all this chaos it is in a way comforting that we are all in this together and I feel so close to people I don’t know.
    – I live in Munich, Germany
    – normally I live alone, but my boyfriend and I decided to do home office together. We are planning to move in together in the summer, so that’s the best test now ;)
    – I’m an editor for a magazine and luckily we are able to work from home. I miss my colleagues and our talks, but I’m grateful that I can work from home and don’t have to worry about money like some friends
    – I find it hard to not see my mother and my sister who live 400 km away and I miss my niece and my nephew. And I worry about the next weeks and months, if a lot of things will change.
    – seriously, reading cookbooks brings me joy. And I really like to plan meals now and find baking so calming. And to look for a new series, I can recommend Babylon Berlin :). Also: Pilates and the little moments like the birds outside, the most wonderful sunset yesterday and finishing a dress I started sewing 5 years ago. And running. A friend of mine always says it’s the best psycho hygiene and right now I fell it helps me when I have a bad day.
    And thank you for this blog, it is the best now to browse through old articles :)

  24. joana says...

    a little late to the party, but!
    * lisbon, portugal
    * kind of a mix! my boyfriend and i decided to move in together but for now we still have 2 places, so i work at my place (we’re both working so it’s easier for the 2 of us this way) and go to his when i’m done, sleep there and come back the next morning. it actually helps me get into work mode (it’s really hard to work from home for me!)
    * working, i’m lucky!
    * it’s hard not to see my grandma (the rest of my family i “see” on videochat and stuff, so it’s easier…) and it’s hard that my sister is far away (london)…
    * baking, cooking, finding and testing new recipes, playing scrabble, reading, going for little walks :)
    thanks for asking!

  25. michelle says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Hasselt, Belgium

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    My husband and our two cats.

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    I am working 3 days a week, and we are getting technical unemployment from the Belgian government for the other two days. This means we will get about 70% of our salary for two days, paid by the government. As an American I do not take this for granted and am extremely grateful for the relatively well organized reaction to Covid.

    * What’s hard right now?
    I feel out of touch and out of control for my parents and sister’s health and well being back home in the US. They are spread far and wide, all in different situations.

    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    I recently bought an apartment friendly electric cello – I played throughout my childhood.
    I am going on “bookmark” walks that start and stop my workday and capturing a little diary of stunning morning and evening photos around the old Abbey we live- a swan and her nest, the cows getting fed, a pheasant, insane sunrises.
    I’m tuning into Y7 yoga studio on instagrams, reading a thick book “Gentleman in Moscow” and cooking more dinners than I ever have.
    I have more work-life balance now than ever before as I’m used to working 13 hour days and commuting to a bigger city. I don’t know how I will go back when the time comes.

    • Charlotte says...

      Hi Michelle,

      I read A Gentleman in Moscow last December and loved it – not realising then what a beautiful book it is to teach us about confinement …

      Charlotte

  26. MB says...

    * Where are you in the world? London, England
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? With my husband, 3.5 yo daughter and 15 month old son
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Full-time parenting, baby
    * What’s hard right now? First and foremost we’re so lucky to all be healthy and I’m so grateful for a roof over our heads, a small garden, and my husband’s job not being affected. I’m finding it hard though as I do need me-time in order to be the best mum I can, and I’m barely able to eek any out with the kids full-time, tidying, cleaning, preparing meals, cleaning up after, etc. It’s pretty full-on and I’m exhausted while still trying to be so grateful.
    * What’s bringing you joy? Slowing down, being more observant of the little things in every day life, sunny days, getting an online delivery slot :) And reading before bed, always one of the highlights of my day

  27. * Where are you in the world? In a pocket-sized city in the centre of England
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? Living with my boyfriend in the house we brought 10 months ago.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Working from home, which is quite nice. Getting so much done!
    * What’s hard right now? Not seeing my son. He lives in a different town and works with vulnerable adults, so I can’t go see him. On a much lower scale – buying my lunch from one of the nice sandwich places near me!
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? My allotment, planning and planting the vegetables we hope will grow. Learning Spanish. Practicing yoga. Cycling through an almost empty city. Taking up a pen and starting to draw again. Reading reading reading!

    I’m very lucky. I live with someone I’m great friends with as well as being his partner. We have food and money still coming in. None of my family are ill. As a natural introvert and bookworm, I’m better able to cope with not being able to go out, but even then it’s hard at times. When it is, I chat to friends remotely and plan our big holiday for next year (Paris to Bordeaux!) – it helps to have things to look forward to.

  28. Divya says...

    * Where are you in the world? Gurgaon, India
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? With my husband and father; My father lives a few hours away from us and luckily (unluckily at the time) he was feeling unwell for a few days and so we brought him home, and a few days later the whole country went into lockdown. Without any help, it would have been extremely difficult for him to manage so I’m glad for his hypertension!
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Working, and work was very hectic in the initial weeks. Slowly getting into a normal state, but I find myself at my least productive self these days with little motivation.
    * What’s hard right now? Chores! In India, most of us have part time help to help with utensils and cleaning (it’s dusty and daily broom and mopping is an essential routine in any Indian HH) Doing all these chores plus cooking, even when split with my husband, is too much, especially when you are not used to doing it at all. The first week of lockdown was the hardest, and now we’re getting into a routine, and have also reduced the number of times we mop in a week.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Gardening. I have about 20 odd plants in the balcony and taking care of them, trying my hands at propagating and watching youtube videos of gardening is relaxing.

  29. * Where are you in the world?
    I live in Prague, Czech Republic

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    I live with my partner in a tiny studio.

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    This week I just returned to work full time, but last few weeks I had home-office and was working only about 3 days/week.

    * What’s hard right now?
    As we can not go out freely these days it feels quite suffocating in our small studio. And since our studio is so small and both of us had home office we were stuck together literally 24/7 in there.

    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    I’m using all this extra time that I have at home to try new recipes, baking really brings me a lot of joy. I’m also picking up new hobbies – most recently I’m enjoying hand embroidery and sewing, so these days I’m providing my loved ones with handmade masks with personalized embroidery.

  30. Where are you in the world? Los Angeles.
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? Thankfully quarantineing with my husband.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Yes I am thankfully able to work from home although things are slow right now at work and am not hitting 40 hrs a week.
    * What’s hard right now? As someone who is struggles with very serious mental health issues this is incredibly difficult. Not being able to see people especially my niecephews is killing me. Each day is so hard and I don’t know how I am going to survive this. I am here if anyone needs to talk.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Harlan coban Netflix thrillers, books, blogs and magazines that I get through my digital library!

  31. C says...

    Canada

    Living with my husband and our teenager.

    I am a teacher working from home (go into school every now and then, as little as possible). My husband still works out of the home. My teen is studying gr 11 at home.

    What’s hard: Not being able to have family gatherings. Worried about the elderly people in my life (my mom and others). Learning to teach remotely and finding ways to engage the students. Worried about my husband and hoping he doesn’t catch Covid. Feeling bad that my teen has to be isolated from friends.

    Joy: spending time with my family every day. Regular walks in the neighbourhood. Being at home… I like working from home. Feeling like I am slowly figuring out how to teach from home and slowly reconnecting with the students. Eating (too much)… It has become my entertainment! Catching up with friends and family on the phone. Comedies on tv. Baking and cooking simple things.

  32. Amy says...

    Where are you in the world?
    -A small town in the mountains of central Colorado
    Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    -Living with my husband and 18-month old son
    Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    -We are both juggling working remotely and watching our son. My husband has gone down to 50% for the next three weeks and I’m now at about 80%.
    What’s hard right now?
    -Working without childcare is exhausting and leaves us little time to rest or really process the emotions of this situation. We are grateful to be working but we fantasize about daycare reopening!
    What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    -Lots of things! Our son is hilarious and makes us laugh all the time. We are also fortunate to be able to spend time outside in our yard, neighborhood, and the trails around our town. And yesterday, a couple drove around town with one of them dressed in an Easter Bunny suit and hanging out of the sunroof. They honked as they drove down all the streets in the neighborhood so the kids could come out and see. That warmed my heart.

  33. Kate says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Northern BC, Canada
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    With my husband and our 2 daughters (aged 6 and 3)
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    I still haven’t gone back to full time work after having the girls, so our days are not all that different from what they were, except a) there’s no school for Lila (the 6 year old) and b) there are far fewer available outings (library, pool, etc.)
    * What’s hard right now?
    In the grand scheme of things this feels very small, but I’m really struggling with the knowledge that my daughter won’t get to finish kindergarten. You only get to do it once, and she loved it SO much. She’s missing her friends, her teacher, and her routines, and knowing that she’s not going back feels awful.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    Spring! It’s finally here and the sun is out and we’re outside every day looking for new shoots in the gardens and watching the birds overhead carrying twigs for their nests. Baking, Easter egg hunts, watching my daughters become closer, listening to them giggle, watching them deal with their own boredom, having time to be still, to think, to read, and to connect with friends that I don’t reach out to often enough.
    Thank you for this post. Judging by the number of comments, we were all looking for this outlet! xoxo

  34. Sam says...

    * Where are you in the world? In Melbourne Australia.
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? Moved into my girlfriend’s sharehouse that has three other housemates – bringing the total number of people in the house to five.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Completing my last semester of my Masters with an online course, an online placement and a couple thousand words to write on the horizon.
    * What’s hard right now? Finding the motivation to do uni work, feeling so behind in my placement and the cold temps here in Melb
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Being able to wake up next to my partner, cooking a lot of delicious food for communal dinners and puzzles.

  35. Meg says...

    I live in New York City.

    I live in a two-bedroom apartment and I have a husband and three kids, ages 8, 7, and 4. Our cat died earlier this year, not long before quarantine started.

    I am working, but went down to four days a week from five given the situation at home. My husband’s job has been suspended. He is trying to do childcare for all three kids while I work and we all share a relatively small space.

    Today was a very rough day. Not every day is this bad, but when it’s bad, what happens is my husband is sick of the kids and ignores them for hours, they fight constantly and scream and I listen to it for hours, and I try to work 5 feet away from the chaos and just feel the frustration rising and the futiity of trying to concentrate. The kids can be nice, but when they are stuck inside for so long, they lose it. I think we are all losing it. And at work, my boss who is usually nice to work with is now being very irritable herself so that doesn’t help.

    Exercise is key to bringing joy, and the good outdoor time we can get as a family is especially precious. I am also buoyed by all the cheering that happens every evening at 7 pm to thank all the people working outside of their homes still to keep our society running.

  36. CE says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Toronto, Canada

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    Just me and my partner who moved in on FEB 1

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    Both working, Zoom’ing from home. I’m in Marketing for a luxury travel company. He is a graphic designer in the beauty industry.

    * What’s hard right now?
    Finding time to go outside for a walk right after work. Not being with my first nephew who was born just a few weeks ago.

    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    Facetiming with family, receiving random pics of my nephew throughout the day. Just hearing my partner Facetime with his friends across the room is bringing me joy. Dozing off in bed while my partner is reading his kindle. The prospect of baking my way through a cookbook.

    • Kristina says...

      I want to hug every single person who commented!

      * Where are you in the world?
      Chicago

      * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
      My husband, my one year old daughter, my doodle, and my parents (who quarantine with us and watch the baby part time and quarantine at their house the other part)

      * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
      Working – as a partner at a big law firm, it feels like I’m never not working

      * What’s hard right now?
      What’s hard for me is seeing people who actually have it hard, and also feeling guilt that I’m enjoying this time with my family so much and, in some ways, dreading that it will end and “go back to normal”

      * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
      Taking my daughter out in the jogging stroller, family dinners, being home in the evenings to enjoy the magical hour when the sun gets low, seeing the good in humanity

  37. Alison says...

    – living in Boulder. CO
    – living with my fiance
    – working from home- it’s actually very busy right now due to COVID.
    – what’s hard- not being able to go home to the east coast to see my family- i was supposed to be traveling there next month to spend mothers day with my mom and get my wedding dress in for a first fitting and all these other fun things i’m really sad to cancel. I worry about my Mom who is an ICU nurse. I worry about our wedding getting cancelled. It’s hard being only a few months into a job and working full time remotely (although I am SO INCREDIBLY grateful to be working!!). It’s hard not seeing people. It’s hard that we moved across the country to have an adventure and now we can’t do the things we planned to and I feel even more homesick.
    – The joys- knowing I can spend all day/night with my fiance and not get sick of each other. Cocooning at home with him. Cooking big meals and fancy desserts. Relaxing. Still being able to get out in nature and enjoying it even more. Everyone connecting more on Facetime/Zoom etc.- I see my friends from home now more than ever since I moved. Not commuting 2 hours a day.

  38. L says...

    * San Diego, CA

    * Living with family! It’s been so nice to be back home, constantly surrounded by my strongest support system, when I would otherwise be so lonely during this time.

    * I’m wrapping up my last term of grad school via online classes. I really don’t mind not having in-person classes, since I can now tune into class from the comfort of my bed.

    * I guess I wouldn’t label anything as “hard” right now, but I get uneasy thinking about the lack of communication from the people at the job I’m supposed to start this July. It’s frustrating that there’s been little follow-through and I’m left to wonder how nervous I should be about the viability of my employment.

    * Certain facetime sessions with hilarious friends are bringing me so much joy. I’ve also celebrated a couple birthdays over zoom with well-planned agendas lately, which have actually turned out to be so much fun. Doing at-home workouts with my family each day has been a great kick in endorphins (not only from the exercise, but also from the laughs we all have when someone is really slacking in form) and I love watching movies once/twice a week with them.

  39. Briel79 says...

    * Where are you in the world? Carlsbad, CA
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? I live with two roommates, my two cats, and one of my roommates cat. I really wish I lived solo (with my cats of course! :])
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? I’m still working full time as an administrative assistant at a construction company. We do work with the government so we are considered essential. I can’t work remotely so I have to go in to work every day like I usually do. At most we have 10 people in the office and everyone is spread out. Some people have been working from home occasionally but people mostly come in which I don’t get. I’d work from home if I could! Really grateful to still have a job and not have much changed in that respect!
    * What’s hard right now? I was hoping to move to Portland Oregon in July so it’s hard not knowing if that will happen now. I need to find a job there first and I think that will be difficult given what’s going on. Companies are already reluctant to hire administrative assistants who live out of state since they can easily find people who already live in Portland. Other than that not much is different in my day to day life. I miss seeing my cousins and sister but that was rare anyways. I am a homebody so staying home and not interacting with people much is normal for me. It is hard living with two roommates who I’m not friends with. I stay in my tiny room and watch shows (currently re-watching Angel) and try to use the kitchen when they are in their rooms.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Before this started I had been going on long walks in my neighborhood and I was loving that. I still do but more people are out walking now which can make it more unsafe.

    Thanks for this post! It’s interesting to see what everyone’s life is looking like at the moment!

  40. Libby says...

    Houston, Texas.
    Quarantining with my husband, and a brother who has autism
    Working full-time
    I’m worried about our very elderly dog, whose health is failing fast. In the next 1-2 weeks, he’ll either die in his sleep, or we will have to take him to the vet if his pain meds stop working for him. Our vet is closed, so I’m making phonecalls right now to figure out what to do, and when.
    What brings me peace is painting in the morning. I’ve been painting a bird a day, and find that this small interval of time that I take for myself is very meditative (you can see my paintings over on Instagram at @Greenpocketprotector). Sometimes I think that if it weren’t for my painting, I wouldn’t be able to get through this.

  41. Lu says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Currently living in Prague (CZ), but originally from Germany
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    Husband and 3 boys (8, 6, 3)
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    Trying to manage the kids (reading, playing boardgames, doing homework and our creative output is crazy ;-)), loading the dishwasher 20 times a day, cooking, cooking, cooking…
    * What’s hard right now?
    Being talked to and having people around me 24/7 (I am aware that this is a luxury problem, but still…)
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    Singing!

  42. Luce in the hoose says...

    I love this! I’ve loved reading everyone else’s experience!

    -Glasgow, Scotland, UK
    -Living with my husband and 2 year old daughter.
    -I’m supposed to be working from home 4 days a week but am due to start a new job in a couple of weeks (a three month notice period has felt like eternity) so I’ve been able to take my foot off the pedal (God I really need to do those handover notes). It will be strange to start a new job remotely with a team I’ve not met properly, but I know how lucky I am at the moment.
    -What’s hard right now? My daughter will be 3 next month and she has been excited about birthdays so much recently, she presents us with pretend birthday cakes and sings the song. I’m gutted not to be able to give her a wee party with family, or surprise her at nursery with cake and candles for her pals like her classmates have done and she’s raved about at home. I hope we can show her a good time anyway, and might make her half birthday more exciting if we are able by the time that comes around. At the same time OOF it’s hard work.
    -What’s bringing you joy? We managed to move from a one-bedroom flat to a three-bedroom house with a garden just in the nick of time. We must have been one of the last house sales allowed to go through in the UK before the market was practically forcibly closed at the end of March. I am SO so delighted, we would definitely have killed one another in the flat by now, the garden is a god-send and I am LOVING having our own grown-up bedroom again where we can hang out, read, and listen to podcasts/audiobooks/The Archers rather than creeping in the dark and trying not to wake the toddler. We’ve also been enjoying the National Theatre streaming plays every week (One Man, Two Guvnors was as good as the hype). Sourdough is next on the list, and I haven’t yet christened our new bath! Most importantly, we are taking our weekly Thursday evenings 8pm clap for the NHS very seriously, standing on our doorstep and joining our neighbours clapping, whooping and banging pans with spoons etc. It does get super emotional each week and knowing everyone up and down the country is doing it at the same time is really lovely. THANK YOU NHS, YOU ARE FUCKING HEROES.

  43. lily says...

    Did you stay in Brooklyn or leave for upstate?

    We are still in NYC, and it’s so eerily quiet here. The clapping at 7 PM is such an amazing affirmation of life and love here.

    *NYC
    *With my husband and kids
    *Working
    *Just started my own business before the quarantine, so finding ways to nurture it
    *Baking sourdough for the first time

  44. * Where are you in the world? Letchworth Garden City, England

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? I’m at my partner’s house with him; we are moving in together and so I sold my house and moved all my stuff into storage in February. Then he got stuck in Saudi Arabia (where he works) for over a month, but managed to get home 2 weeks ago. Obviously, moving into the new house is going to have to wait!

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Working, for now, although I think I will be furloughed shortly.

    * What’s hard right now? My nasty, alcoholic father is (finally) dying, and my mom has left him and is feeling incredibly guilty. It’s hard for me to help her keep hold of what’s important (taking care of herself!) while 3,000 miles away.

    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Queer Eye, Smitten Kitchen’s pizza beans, and long walks. Also working from home means that I can hang the laundry out to dry on the line rather than having to hang it indoors.

    • Pizza beans are so good!! Thanks for the reminder I haven’t made them in a while…

  45. * Where are you in the world?
    Portland, Oregon
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    My husband and I. We live part-time in Montana and part-time in Portland. When the shutdown happened a month ago we were in Portland and had planned to return, but we have twice postponed our flights to return to MT. The CDC shut down my husband’s business there and so he is working from home in Portland, managing what’s going on there. Bu we’ll eventually have to go back.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    He is working from home, remotely. I do contract work from home and am still working about 8 hours a week since it has slowed down considerably because of the virus.
    * What’s hard right now?
    Having to cancel lots of travel plans that we had for spring. Miss seeing our family and friends. We miss going out and one of our favorite hobbies of seeing live music. But then we remember that we are really fortunate and have our health and have a lovely home to be safe in.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    The weather in Portland has been spectacular and warm. We love seeing the flowers and trees blooming and we’re able to get outside and talk walks and bike rides away from other people. I also have been enjoying reading, knitting, and sewing. I am focused on making nice dinners for us to enjoy. We love sitting on our deck under the Douglas firs in the evening with a glass of wine and sit by glow of the gas fireplace. I try to remember how lucky we are.

  46. Patti says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    South Bend, IN
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    I’m with my wonderful husband and silly goldendoodle. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather quarantine with!
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    I have been working from home for the past 2 years and I’m so very lucky to still be working and have loads to do from 9-5.
    * What’s hard right now?
    Not being able to see our close friends & family and especially not knowing when we will see my husband’s parents again.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    Forming an architecture and design focused book club with a friend of ours, learning to bake bread & making my own sourdough starter, planning a vegetable garden and seeing the seeds coming to life!!! And discussing future plans with my husband. It’s so wonderful to plan for our future and see how aligned we are.

  47. Laura says...

    * Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    * Living with my husband.
    * I’m a teacher, and working from home with remote lessons for my students, and occasionally popping into the school for package prepping. My husband is laid off, and he is definitely starting to go stir crazy.
    * Personally-I have a chronic autoimmune disease, and lack of regular medical appointments has been really hard. Professionally- I really miss spending the days with my students, and am incredibly sad that I won’t see them in person again for the rest of this school year.
    * Tons of joy from playing lots of board games with my husband, and reading lots of books!

  48. Erin says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Wellington, New Zealand.

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    Husband, cat and newborn baby.

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    Just started maternity leave and soaking up every second in our little family bubble.

    * What’s hard right now?
    I had our son the first week of lockdown. He was breech so born via c-section. My husband got to spend an hour with us as we were in recovery, then had to leave as baby and I were moved to the postnatal ward. It was heartbreaking and the hardest time not seeing him until he met us in the carpark days later to take us home. We didn’t spend as long in hospital as most do during recovery so we could be together as a family, but I have so much admiration for the nurses who helped and comforted all the new mums and babies on the ward as they transitioned into this new part of their lives without their partners and families able to visit and provide support. We were so grateful to receive their care, even though they were run off their feet with shorter staffing numbers and higher workloads. Our extended family has struggled not being able to visit to meet our baby straight away after having booked flights etc months ago, but we video call and send photos every day. Not being able to pick up supplies such as maternity bras, baby moisturiser, and some medications for myself and baby have been difficult though – we needed more smaller sizes in clothes than we had, so baby has been a bit swamped in some of his outfits!

    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    Being able to have this uninterrupted time to just spend with our new baby and appreciate every little moment, milestone and snuggle.

  49. Maddie says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Brooklyn – I just moved here from San Francisco in early March. One week before the quarantine..!
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    Solo, for the first time ever.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    I’m working, and spending every other waking minute either buying furnishings online or assembling furniture on the floor. It’s been nice to spend so much energy nesting.
    * What’s hard right now?
    1) My mom is immunocompromised. She’s safe and sound at home in SF, but she says she feels like a sitting duck. I wish I could be with her, but I’m also glad I don’t have the option to, because I could accidentally expose her.
    2) Moving across the country during a pandemic makes me feel like I’m in limbo. I was already braced for change, but this was not the change I was expecting. It feels like a bit of a false start. But boy, does it put NYC on an even greater pedestal. The day I finally get to explore the city, and not just see it from my window, will be a very nice day.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    I feel calm when I think about how the whole world is experiencing unparalleled levels of empathy. All at once. This whole pandemic has made me really really love humans. That thought brings me joy. Also, open windows, morning light, coffee rituals and silly TikToks.

    • DJ says...

      I relate to this so much! I relocated the first week of March, had about a week in my new office, and then was delegated to WFH. I’m so grateful to still have a job and be working remotely, but it does feel like a bit of a false start. I am eager to explore the place I moved to, that I sacrificed A LOT to get to, but right now I’m trying to find contentment in walks outside with my dog around my apartment complex.

  50. Lauren says...

    * Denver, CO
    * Solo. Ack!
    * Working from home. I didn’t like my job before, and I still don’t like it. I’m so so grateful to have one and also grateful our network can’t support videoconferencing so I can make angry faces and give the middle finger at will to release some of my anger. :)
    * I miss hugs!! It’s been four weeks since I touched another human being and it’s BRUTAL. Also, I have a pixie cut and some wild shag things are happening.
    * We howl at 8 pm every night in Denver. It is glorious.

  51. Hi Cup of Jo community! I LOVE the idea of this, so I’m jumping in here.

    * Where are you in the world?
    I live in Portland, Oregon.
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    SOLO. Very single.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    I am not! I was temporarily laid off by my job (I work in food service), but it’s been so delicious to be able to take the time to slow down, pull out my watercolors, read, and do the things that the normal pace of life doesn’t always allow for! Oh, and LOTS of audiobooks and walking.
    * What’s hard right now?
    It’s hard to sleep, honestly. Thankfully I’m not feeling too anxious about the situation, but I don’t know if my body feels otherwise. Thankfully the last few nights have been better as far as sleep goes but that’s the one thing that is especially hard. And, of course, I miss having my friends over!
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    So many things! There’s been lots of sunshine in Portland this week, and warm weather. Also, I have jumped on the bread-baking-train and have been loving the journey of it! I received a sourdough starter from one of my friends a few weeks ago and it’s been fun to figure it out! And like I said earlier, art has been really soothing during this time, as well as going for runs, doing yoga, or even just having a dance party! I always forget how important it is to move your body!

    I hope y’all are hanging in there! There will be light on the other end of this, I can feel it. Sending love to you all.

  52. Allyson says...

    * Michigan, USA (a hotspot)
    * Living with my parents, because I was traveling long-term (doing the “digital nomad” thing until a few months ago)
    * I was mid-job search when the world turned upside down. Almost all opportunities disappeared overnight. I’m doing what I can to make life easier for my parents (who are working remotely).
    * I feel like ALL aspects of my life are on pause. Job. Poof. Dating. Poof. Building a community again. Poof.
    * Gardening! I didn’t know weeding was so rewarding. And a full Harry Potter reread and watch (the ultimate comfort content for me!)

  53. AnujaV says...

    Such an interesting conversation starter! I found a lot of comfort reading other comments.
    * San Diego CA
    * My husband
    * I work as an ICU doctor and my husband is a kidney doctor, so we both have to go to work every day
    * The anxiety regarding exposure is hard. My friends and colleagues understand that I (along with other frontline workers) am at the highest risk of exposure. When I place a breathing tube into the lungs of patients who are not breathing (a procedure I have done countless times), I find myself feeling like I am staring down the barrel of a gun. What is harder is watching these people suffering through some of the toughest days in their lives with no family to hold hands at their bedside. It is heartbreaking!
    * I bake for sanity! I make a hundred macarons yesterday to take to the ICU, hoping to bring some cheer in this dreary Easter.

  54. Anna says...

    I am from Germany

    I am married and we live with 3 kids (12, 10,7) in the countryside

    I am working( luckily) as a midwife.

    It‘s hard bc we can’t see our friends,,especially the kids miss theirs and home schooling in Germany just sucks. I am also worrying about money, economy, my parents, etc..

    What gives me joy is nature, our dogs, music, meditation, sunlight, faith and friendship. And the realisation that we are one and connected and that we will rise above this, eventually.

  55. Lisa says...

    * Where are you in the world? London, UK
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? In isolation with my husband and two children (aged 2 and 4)
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Working FT, which is VERY challenging with no childcare, but somehow stuff is happening. It’s just exhausting.
    * What’s hard right now? I was wanting to reduce my job from 5 to 4 days a week, and I was effectively told no, so I’m trying to figure something out. I’ve been interviewing for a new job, but it would be weird starting a new job when I’ve never actually met the people I would be working with. This is another big disappointment that I’ve had in my current role, so I’m feeling very demotivated but too scared to move roles / companies at a time when the economy is about to fall over.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Baking, watching my babies dance around our living room, getting cuddles from them and getting to spend time with my husband! Normally we’re so exhausted from work / commuting / kids but we now finally have some time to hang out

  56. * Where are you in the world? Beaverton, Oregon
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? with my life partner (June will be 13 years together!) and our beautiful golden retriever.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? I’m privileged to be able to work from home (our dining room table is now my desk). Tomorrow (Monday 4/13) will be the 5th week of working remotely. My partner is retired and does most of the cooking. He’s also an amateur photographer and our dog is his reluctant muse. Lastly, he has also mastered the mysterious realm that is TikTok (we’re in our late 40s and I just don’t get it).
    * What’s hard right now? Living on the opposite coast from my 78 year-old widowed mother who has asthma. I worry about her a lot. Overall, just the uncertainty of how long we will all be living like this–where going to the grocery store has become a meticulously-planned expedition and so far a fruitless search for toilet paper, rubbing alcohol, a thermometer, and Clorox wipes. I feel terrible about the surging number of unemployed and also anxious about if I will one day join their ranks, the healthcare workers who are on the front lines with limited equipment (what a disgrace–we are the richest country on earth), the families who can’t visit or say goodbye to their loved ones in the hospital.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? My dog. He is thrilled I’m home everyday all day now. He lays at my feet, snuggles with me on the couch, gets me to walk outside several times a day. The canine love of my life. And yes, I’ve never appreciated nature, fresh air, flowers blooming, and trees as much as I do now. Even with layers of pollen coating everything outside all the time, I don’t mind.

  57. Cali says...

    * Just outside Boston
    * Living with my husband, four year old, and 5 month old.
    * I’m in charge of the kids (I’m a SAHM) while my husband works from home.
    * This feels alot like being back in the newborn period which I feel like just ended! We’re so busy. Everyone is so needy emotionally and practically. We’re not going very far from our house. Everything is just a little bit harder than usual. The biggest difference is I can’t call a friend or my parents to come help take the edge off the hard!
    * Even though it makes me feel like a secret service agent working the inaugural parade route, I love getting outside for big walks in our neighborhood. The fresh air does wonders for all of us. Also, weekly Zooms with my college friends really helps me reset! It’s amazing how talking with friends who have known you forever and are experiencing similar days really helps.

  58. Where are you in the world?
    Chester Springs, PA
    Are you living solo or with other people?
    Living with my family on our dairy farm.
    Are you working or passing time in other ways?
    I am working, pretty much non-stop. You see, I’m a cheesemaker for our family dairy farm. The farm never stops, it follows the rhythm of the seasons. Spring has arrived early here and there’s much to be done.
    What’s hard right now?
    This is a loaded question… So much is hard right now for so many people. At our farm, I make cheese that we sell to restaurants, retailers, specialty shops and to our customer’s at farmer’s markets in the region. That changed overnight. 80 % of our production was sold to restaurants and we’ve lost the bulk of our customers. I’m also so concerned for our restaurant partners and for their workers, they are more than just customers, they are our partners in feeding people and our friends. Any income stream from restaurants stopped overnight, which is understandable. So, we’re trying to be nimble and transition as much of our wheels of aged cheese into retail wedges. I’m making as many fresh cheeses as I can so that customers have options for their family. When I’m not making cheese, I’m cutting and wrapping cheese. Cheesemakers have stringent regulations on food safety, so the transition during this pandemic for food safety has been strictly adhered to in our facility. I’m fortunate that my family is very supportive; we all pull together with the common goal of caring for our animals with the highest standards, producing great milk for cheesemaking and working together to get our cheeses to consumers, friends and neighbors. You see, dairy farmers are under tremendous stress right now. We’ve been deep into a financial dairy crisis for four years. Farmers can’t see any relief in sight. The fact that many grocery store dairy cases are empty and not stocked with milk while farmers have been asked to dump their milk compounds the stress. Farmers are worried. This weighs on me heavily as we all try to figure our how to continue our life’s work. We need help. The hardest thing is to ask for help.
    What brings you joy?
    The sun, the green grass,the soft breeze of fresh air on my face, the sweet smell of flowering trees, and song birds singing brings me joy! It’s the simple things. I feel joy at seeing the birth of of a newborn calf and feel so fulfilled when the calf begins to find its way in the world. Standing on shaky legs as her mother nurtures her and and encourages her to stand is joyous. I also feel joy when I’m making cheese. I love the cheeseroom first thing in the morning, everything is sparkling and fresh to begin the day’s production. The milk filling the vat is a reminder of the work of the farm, cows milking and our family caring for our girls. There is a quiet peace to cheesemaking. Balancing craft and science to make amazing cheese from one of nature’s most versatile ingredients (milk) is very zen. It give me balance and is meditative in an otherwise hectic week. It gives me joy.

    • Rusty says...

      Unfortunately, I feel more sadness about the birth of a new ‘boy’ calf, since they’ll be sent to the abbatoirs within a few weeks.
      Not being nasty. Just stating the other side of the coin.
      I still drink milk and eat cheese, BUT I think of this every time.
      Maybe I’m too selfish to pull the plug and be vegan??
      Maybe I need to face the reality and just do it!

  59. Hannah says...

    •Paris, France
    •living with my husband, daughter (age 6), son (age 3), and cat (age 4)
    •my husband is working from home; I do not work
    •my parents were supposed to arrive in Paris yesterday for a two week visit, and I miss them a lot and am mourning the trip that will be postponed indefinitely. We live in a 62 sq meter apartment (about 675 sq feet) and that is HARD with two very social kids. Paris has pretty strict lockdown measures and we can’t go more than 1 km from our apartment, and I find myself getting jealous of friends with yards, cars, and lots of green space to walk around in.
    •but, we live in Paris!! Honestly not the most terrible place to be on lockdown because we still have access to baguettes ? We live a block away from the Seine and sometimes I take my allotted time outside by myself at sunset and marvel at the chance we’ve gotten to live here. We are healthy, our family members in the US are healthy. We all talk a lot more! My kids play together so well now and have been the best example of resilience and growth mindset.

  60. keri says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Perth, Australia

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    I live with my husband and our dog

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    We are both still working, we are both physical therapists and work in private clinics which at this stage are still open and classed as essential. My husband is picking up casual shifts to help cover in the aged-care homes which are in desperate need of physios right now.

    * What’s hard right now?
    I’m 6 months pregnant and working in direct contact with patients. With no PPE. There are not many cases here but my anxiety still gets to me at times.
    All our family live in Canada. They were supposed to come out later in the year to meet the baby – but plans to visit have all be postponed indefinitely.

    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    Our dog always makes me laugh. He loves the beach and loves other people and dogs – explaining social distancing to him has proven rather difficult.
    On weekends we pick a local restaurant to get take-away from and binge watch something on Netflix.
    Facetime/zoom/all the video chats. It makes being on a different continent from our support network just a tiny bit easier.

    • Rusty says...

      Howdy to another Perth person!
      Stay safe. Perth is doing so well in flattening the curve.

  61. Christina says...

    Where are you in the world? I’m from Nova Scotia, Canada and I live on the Gold Coast, Australia.

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? Live with my Australian husband and three-month-old daughter Anna.

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? I’m on maternity leave!

    * What’s hard right now? When the COVID-19 stuff started ramping up, I was in my hometown Halifax, it was my daughter’s first trip (and across the world at that!) to meet my family, and my first time home in over two years. I’d been so looking forward to the trip. I feel like the virus took away my family and friends’ time with my then seven-week-old baby, they were all so excited to meet her, and no one got enough time. I’ve been homesick my entire time in Australia, so when I had to fly back to Australia early as they were shutting the border, I was brokenhearted. My daughter and husband don’t have healthcare in Canada, so we couldn’t stay indefinitely, though I wanted to. I don’t know when I’ll get to go back, so my family won’t get to see Anna as a baby again (other than FaceTime) and my husband is using the rest of his leave to make up for reduced work hours, and who knows when international flights will get going again!

    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.) My daughter. Her first seven weeks were miserable, she cried non-stop and I hated my life. However, it’s like a light switch went on in Canada (maybe she likes the cold!) and she’s now a very cheerful, easygoing baby, so for the first time I’m enjoying her, and not wishing myself back to work. To be honest, otherwise, quarantine and self-isolation just feel like what my life has been like since January anyway!

    • Keri says...

      Fellow Canadian here in Australia (Perth). Just wanted to send some love. I am in the same boat – due with our first baby in July and all plans for the family in Canada to meet the baby have been postponed indefinitely…. Just trying to be grateful for video chats.
      Gold Coast is beautiful, I lived there for over 2 years and miss it dearly.
      Take care <3

  62. Gemma says...

    -From Cheltenham, England
    -With my 9 year old son
    -Working my full time finance job at home
    -Quieting my mind and keeping my anxiety at bay. Worrying about the mental health of my nan, who is 84 and used to being surronded by her 6 children, 14 grandchildren & 16 great grandchildren with 1 more on the way. Trying to work with my son at home all day, and worrying that this is going to cause him mental health issues in weeks & months to come. Not being as close to my family as I thought has caused me so much sadness this week.
    -Facetime calls with my closest friends. Can not wait until we can all be together properly. Hug and clink our glasses. When the weather was slightly cooler, 10 days ago, and I could wear my favourite clothes, big snuggly chunky knit sweaters. Spending time at home and realising what I need to make my home a safe peaceful haven & what I already have.

  63. Rebecca says...

    +Wichita, Kansas
    + Living solo as far as human companionship, but I just adopted a puppy who is keeping me busy!
    +Trying to work from home which is difficult as a teacher. I miss my kids and am so sad that our time together came to (in person) came to such an abrupt end. The academic loss is tough, but the loss of connection is tougher.
    + The hardest part of this is not being to be with my grand babies. I miss their squishy, sweet selves in the worst way.
    + Other than that, I find myself enjoying the extra time to train the pupper, garden, read, and make plans for a new position as school librarian in the fall. I also have committed to reaching out in small small way to people to encourage them during this time.-which actually probably is helping me more!

  64. Chelsea says...

    New Haven CT
    At home with my husband, three year old son and I’m 8 months pregnant
    I was laid off from my job as executive chef when restaurants were mandated to close by the governor.
    Most of the day I spend cooking, cleaning up, sewing projects for the new baby, trying to walk once a day, looking forward to the weather getting a bit warmer so I can work more in the garden.
    Money is something that creates anxiety for me, My husband had a traumatic brain injury 5 years ago and he hasn’t been able to return to the work he used to do. He’s been a stay at home dad the last 3 years which works out great usually but both of us not working with a new baby on the way makes me so nervous about the future.
    What brings me joy is spending more time with my son before the new baby is born, being able to slow down a bit.

  65. Janan W says...

    * Oahu
    * Living with my husband, high-school son, and 2 of my 3 daughters home from closed colleges.
    * I started online college last fall so that is still on-going. Only took me 20 years to go back to school:)
    * The time-line uncertainty is probably one of the harder things right now, more and more keeps getting crossed off our calendar. Next week the whole family was going to meet up in San Francisco to explore the city and go see Hamilton. A nephew’s wedding can’t be attended. Not being able to hold a friend’s new baby. It’s hard for my college kids to plan/prepare for the fall. And really making any plans right now seems useless. And on top of that I miss the beach.
    * Joy right now comes as we play games, cook, bake, and watch movies/shows together.

  66. M says...

    * British Columbia, Canada
    * I’m living solo with my 10 year old cat.
    * Not working right now. I had just moved to a new city the week before things started getting serious, so all hiring has ground to a halt.
    * What’s hard… the man I thought I was going to marry ended our relationship of 5 years out of nowhere a few months ago. The last few months were the most excruciating of my life, and I truly don’t think I would have survived them without the constant care of family and friends. Now that I’ve finally gotten to a place where I felt I could start fresh in a new city, the lockdown happened, leaving me jobless and isolated when I still feel really fragile. My 30th birthday is next week, and not only does my life looks really different than I thought it would even 6 months ago, but I’m separated by a border from all of my family and friends (I’m originally from the States). I’m trying to stay positive, but the loneliness and loss are really highlighted by current circumstances. Oddly though, other than that, it almost feels like the world has slowed to my pace. The strangest feeling for me before was that everything else just carried on as usual while my whole world had come crashing down and I felt stuck in place in my grief.
    *Joy is a little hard for me to reach right now, but I’m finding solace in really long walks exploring my new neighbourhood, baking, starting vegetable seeds, cat cuddles, yoga, late night comedians filming from home, knitting, and cocktail hours with friends over zoom.

    • Susan says...

      Hang in there, M!

    • M says...

      Thank you so much, Susan <3

  67. Margot says...

    Right now, I am sitting at my old cream metal writing desk in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada! I spend my days living in a lovely home alongside my husband and our 17 month old kid. I have one month of maternity leave left and then I will be staying home to raise my son. Teaching Montessori is my specialty but I know I can always go back into that world once my kid is in school. So I suppose its safe to say that I am well-seasoned in the stay at home department so to speak. Natural to me. What’s hard right now? I am aching for green pastures to let my boy loose upon!! Explaining to a child why it is we cannot play with friends or touch the playground right now is hard! Plus, I am missing the freedom to touch, play and explore together in a way that feels natural and good. Right now we are exploring inside. Hiding! Seeking! Tunnel building! Reading! Playdough! Painting! Practical Life! Did I say reading!? So much reading. Fellowship / solitude with good books. Like many in the world, I am missing our community of family and friends–especially for my kid’s sake. I can understand the importance of staying put presently, but he cannot. A global pandemic is a wildly abstract concept to explain to a young child. Looking so so so forward to setting the gears in motion toward a life lived in the countryside when things settle. What brings me joy? Well my little barnacle friend of course! He is in a delightfully curious phase which makes the doldrums of household chores feel special and purposeful. He is also wicked and hilarious and keeps my senses SHARP these days. Good climber! My husband makes me laugh every goddamned day! As mentioned previously, books are saving me. Currently deep into Thomas Hardy’s ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’. The countryside of the story is so fresh and picturesque in my head as I read while bathing. The characters seem SO dishy and the entire rolling picture of it as I read through just gives me HOPE for the life I am striving for! Lastly, a good friend of mine recently taught me her method of baking bread. So, like everyone and their dog, I too am loving the intimate practice that is sourdough bread! Is there anything more satisfying / comforting than biting into a warm piece of bread, butter and honey dripping through the crum and down one’s chin? I think not. I have been so lifted these days by carefully delivering loaves of bread to the people I know who are not making bread at the moment. Make two loaves. Eat one, share one. All in all, life is rich for my little family. We are safe and loved, with bellies full of homemade bread! Take care, all!

    • Laura says...

      hi Margot! I’m also in Winnipeg…fun to see another Winnipegger comment. :)

  68. Anna says...

    It’s so fascinating to read answers from all around the world, thank you for this community, Joanna.

    * from Oslo, Norway
    * Living with my husband and children (8 and 11).
    * Grateful to be working from home, even more grateful to get to return to the newsroom in a week or so, being a reporter working from home while homeschooling 2 kids is a challenge for sure.
    * A lot of this is hard. We’re having some financial worries, my husband is a musician. I miss my friends a lot, and our kids miss their friends even more. I’m worried about some of our family members that are ill, and I’m worried about some children I know of that are locked up in bad environments these days. On an emotional, more selfish note: I miss our remote and very beloved family cabin in the mountains, we were supposed to be there for easter break, as we always are (but the Norwegian government have forbidden all cabin trips, for good reasons, but still. There are tons of snow right now, there is no electricity, water is in the pond, huge mountains everywhere, it’s just our favourite place in the world. It’s hard to explain, probably a Norwegian thing?)
    * We treasure all this time together, reading stories, playing games, walking in the woods, listening to music, having slow meals and long conversations with our kids, realizing that they are turning out to be great people… Who knew!

  69. Ingrid says...

    Where are you in the world? Indianapolis. We just moved here from a small town two hours away, so we could be near our three daughters.
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? I’m here with my husband of 51 years.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? We are retired. My husband passes the time doing needed projects. I read, cook, and do what I’m really good at: wasting time.
    * What’s hard right now? It’s really hard to be so close to my daughters and grandchildren without being able to see them. My youngest daughter is in labor right now, and I can’t be with her. I don’t know when I’ll get to hold the baby. That breaks my heart.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? The thought of having a new grand baby any minute .

  70. Piia says...

    Where are you in the world? Germany
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? Living with my partner, our son (17), our daughter (13).
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? We were send in quarantine for 3 weeks after our son came back from a school ski trip to Italy on 3/6. We work from home now but it‘s very relaxed (I‘m a kindergarten teacher so basically I read books or sew masks).
    * What’s hard right now? Thinking about our summer vacation, not being able to go to Sweden as usual. This time last year we went to Mt. St. Michel/ France. It‘s hard to stay away from family and friends.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Health insurance, our health care system. It feels very safe to live in Germany right now and I’m very thankful for it. My garden, the sun, spring flowers, birds. Telefon calls with family and friends. Getting up without an alarm clock. Spending so much time with my family. Slowing down. Time to just think.

  71. Gabriela says...

    * Where are you in the world? Marseille, France
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? Living solo with my plants as the only other living things in my flat! Also an extremely confused introvert who really misses people.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Working… a lot! and also baking/cooking/gardening/trying to work out/eating on my pilates mat pretending it’s working out
    * What’s hard right now? Loads of things… running lockdown solo, being a planner at a time when it’s impossible to plan, the general anxiety of being in the rare era of a global pandemic… but I also work as a humanitarian emergency manager and this is the first time I’ve felt that I’m in an emergency where my loved ones are affected as well. I’m working on Covid 19 remotely, but the anxiety for my circles makes it difficult to be as focused on my work as I would usually be… not to mention I feel like I’m watching a train wreck waiting to happen but in slow motion as the virus starts circling the countries I usually work in. It’s going to be a catastrophe for countries that are stuck in crises, hosting refugees, have poor health care systems and I worry that there’s not enough being done about them because the entire world is struggling to cope.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Since we’ve hit the third week of a lockdown, surprisingly a lot of things! I’m picking up a routine, learning new skills (like keeping an urban garden alive or baking – something I always used to mess up!). And a lot of time to think about myself, which felt like a luxury when things were normal. It sucks that it took a disease to slow things to a halt, and at the expense of a lot of people who can’t afford it, but I’ve figured out that as I do my part to stay home, I can figure out how to reset myself from the rat race.

  72. Steph says...

    * Where? Portland, Oregon
    * Solo or with other people? With my wife and two kids
    * Working? My youngest was born in mid March, so I’m technically on maternity leave. I will resume working remotely later in April.
    * What’s hard? The sleep deprivation that comes with caring for a newborn. This has nothing to do with COVID, and I try to appreciate it for the distraction it is.
    * What’s bringing you joy? Running. Baking another loaf of banana bread every 36-48 hours. Newborn snuggles.

  73. steph says...

    * Where are you in the world? Suburb of Tampa, FL
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? Solo
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Working, overtime, at the place of employment (essential, not healthcare)
    * What’s hard right now? Worry about the future, disappointment in cancelled plans/trips (one to NYC!), people disregarding safety of others, questioning how long this is going to last.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Fat paychecks thanks to the OT, grateful that I have a job to make OT at, the fact I had TP in stock when this started, less traffic on the road.

  74. Suzanne says...

    1. Philadelphia
    2. Living with my boyfriend and two snuggly cats
    3. Working from home -I’m am elementary school principal
    4. What’s hard? See #3…our state just announced school closed for the rest of the year and it’s sad and scary thinking about our students and families. This is a very hard time for educators as we scramble to figure out how to teach online, what format is best-access, security, new ways of teaching—all with tight timelines because we know our students need is now. My school is in an under resources area and this crisis further highlights the inequities in public education in our country.
    5. Where am I finding joy? Lots of baking…attempting a sour dough starter, zoom happy hours with friends, living room dancing, runs/bike rides, and lots and lots of deep couch sitting with cat snuggles and bad tv.

  75. Hello!
    * I live in Jakarta, Indonesia
    * I live in a house with my son and my husband, an anaesthesiologist who works in an ICU treating covid 19 patients.
    * I’m an ophthalmologist but currently staying at home.
    * I’m basically fine, but I sometimes worry about my husband’s and parents’ health. I also miss my parents but we video call everyday. I try not to check social media too much to avoid anxiety.
    * I love playing with my son, cooking (and eating) pasta, and reading romantic comedy novels (just finished Sophie Kinsella’s Christmas Shopaholic)

    • Rusty says...

      Yet … on the scale of Indonesian patients, it states that none are critical or serious??!!??
      I don’t get it!

  76. Reina says...

    I know this is going to sound crazy but reading all these comments and reading most of the people are with their husbands made me so anxious! Like: it’s not fair they have someone to be with and I don’t even have a boyfriend! Why everyone apparently can find themselves a husband and I can’t? I’m hard to love? I want a husband and I want a dog! ARGGGG! Is this the quarantine talking? I hope so…

    • Anonymous says...

      I just had one of these moments yesterday. Started crying after hearing about my friend’s multiple Hinge dates – I feel like I am getting the same people on apps that I was before, which weren’t people that I was interested in anyway. Have never felt more single ?

    • Joanne says...

      I’m super grateful to be with another human during this time, HOWEVER, on the flip side, I’m longing for alone time, and we’re starting to get on each other’s nerves. (See: needing alone time & not having secondary places to vent or find community.)

      That said, if that’s what you truly want, you could always use this time to work on yourself/read books/analyze past stuff. Or not! And if you really want a dog, can you just… get a dog?? (I realize landlords and other things may stop that from being a reality of course. Just a thought!)

    • A says...

      Oh girl, I feel you! Same situation here- at new year I confidently declared to my family that 2020 would be my year of dating and holidays… that didn’t age well!
      I’m 32 and took a few years out of dating to focus on myself and my career which I have loved and I’ve never felt so fulfilled. However I’ve been feeling super lonely over the past 6 months (Sundays- I’m looking at you especially!). The quarantine has definitely amplified the fact that I’ve neglected a whole area in my life, and combined it with an anxiety about life being put on pause (I’m also worried about whether I will find a relationship in time to be able to have children). However I do know deep down I would much rather be comfortably quarantined alone than with someone that wasn’t 100% right.
      I recommend podcasts while you cook dinner and plenty of solo dance parties. Go easy on yourself x

  77. Susan says...

    * Where? Bangkok
    * Solo or with other people? With my husband
    * Working? I’m a teacher. Going back to some version of online teaching on Monday after a two-week spring break.
    * What’s hard? Thinking about how many people have lost their jobs as well as the doctors and nurses treating COVID patients
    * What’s bringing you joy? Good books, making chocolate chip cookies, listening to Wooden Overcoats, making matching games for my nephew

  78. Laura says...

    * Where are you in the world? Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? I live with my boyfriend, plus his brother, sister, and sister’s boyfriend! Phew.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Just got laid off yesterday. It’s a good thing.
    * What’s hard right now? Not seeing my sister and her 4 week old baby. My sister is my best friend and this is the longest we have ever gone without seeing each other.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Sleeping in! Evening wine! Playing the game Planet Coaster with my boyfriend! Going for walks every morning after breakfast, with coffee.

  79. Tammi Dower says...

    * Where are you in the world? South Carolina, Charleston
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? Solo and I am thankful for being a single pringle
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Working for local CSG program that delivers groceries weekly to local residents.
    * What’s hard right now? the closing of all my favs; restaurants, gym, church etc. Hugging my parents, smelling my daughters hair (21 and not isolating for real but half assed…we only meet outside for tea and keep 6 feet apart)
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? New projects I set as goals every week; herb garden, new baking goal, new dish goal, cleaning or purging goal, walking bridge alone listening to podcast. reaching out to 3 people everyday in my old contact list that I haven’t talked with in a very long time…just to say hello.

    • Susan says...

      I love that you’re contacting people you haven’t spoken to in a while :)

  80. Anne says...

    I live in Salt Lake City

    I’m in my home with my Mom who had an injury just before I began to work from home and stay at home orders.

    I am a professor, I’m lucky to still be working full-time from home. Work is busier than ever trying to help students and other faculty who I mentor make the transition to remote teaching/learning.

    What’s hard is worrying about my students -many of whom are marginalized, still working in food service or very far from home as international students or recent immigrants. I worry about my family who are spread across the country, especially my sister and bil whose mother just died of organ failure, I worry for those who don’t have resources for food or essentials. I’m anxious that I’m not doing enough to help others who are less fortunate than me.

    I am so grateful to be sheltering with my mom who is in beginning stages of dementia. I am grateful that I don’t have to worry if she is safe and taken car of. I am enjoying making yummy and healthy meals for her. she lost a lot of weight this year so seeing her eat well makes me so happy. Taking walks in my neighborhood and seeing people being so careful to social distance, seeing their cute dogs, loving all the daffodils, crocus, and blossoms, the blue sky, the fat robin on my fence outside my kitchen window. Rewatching Poirot and Miss Marple series with my mom, a fun game of mad libs with my friends and their kids on zoom. A huge family FaceTime call with all my siblings and even my adult nieces. A FaceTime call with my 3 year old nephew where to told us all about his experience during the “earthshake” (earthquake) we had here a few weeks ago. So, so thankful for my health, my family is okay, and so far my students are all safe, too. Grateful for so many things right now.

    • Susan says...

      You have so much to be thankful for :)

    • RR says...

      I am also a professor and have the same concerns about students. It feels good to be there for them right now. I’m glad you are with your mom :)

  81. Amina says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    West Hartford, Connecticut!
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    Living with my husband, Matt, and our 3 year old miniature dachshund, Francis :)
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    Working! I am a Physician Assistant working at Planned Parenthood in Hartford and we are still providing care, both in-office and through telehealth.
    * What’s hard right now?
    Wondering when (if?) I will be exposed, either through my work as a PA or because of my husband’s job (Emergency room PA). I also manage our health center and we are likely going to have to layoff/furlough some of our staff, which is completely heartbreaking. These folks have dedicated their careers to helping women (and men!) access affordable, essential health care services and the thought of having to lay them off is gut wrenching.

    Also, Missing my family in NJ, PA (two cutie Nieces!) and Spain

    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    Trying new recipes, learning to play the Ukelele, watching the Office (again) and free home delivery from our neighborhood package store, The Wise Old Dog :) :)

  82. Sigrid says...

    * West coast of Norway
    * Living with my boyfriend…who is spending easter writing his master´s thesis, so… not exactly alone, not exactly with company
    * I am working from home! Right now I am enjoying a very slowwww easter break.
    * The weather! It’s basically been raining since January and I NEED the sun! We had a wonderful day on Monday and it really lifted my spirits, but it seems like it will be a long time to the next time I see blue skys according to the weather forecast. My boyfriend is very happy with it though, because weather like this makes it a lot easier to focus on his thesis.
    *Our meals! Haha, it’s the highlight of the day, and we probably eat a little too well these days, if you know what I mean!

  83. Grace Catherine says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Victoria, Australia

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    Living with 3 housemates

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    I work as an ED doctor- it’s been a pretty crazy and mildly alarming time be a frontline person

    * What’s hard right now?
    I would like to say that we’re all brave and ready to face the COVID-19, but there is a genuine undertone of worry at work. I would say, not so much worry about contracting the condition, but the difficulty in managing these patients because we want to assist them while still containing the virus in a secure environment. The steps for PPE and figuring out how to get them the care they need, that’s the big problem

    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)
    I take joy in the little things- favourite TV shows like Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, Charmed (the new reboot), rewatching all faves like Parks and Rec. I love that a lot of theatre and musicals are slowly being available for streaming. And online shopping, a lot of online shopping. Skylar Astin has been posting great videos regularly on his IGTV-Instagram page, and it’s inspired me to buy a piano-keyboard so i can start playing again

    Hope you guys are staying safe!

    • AnujaV says...

      I am an ICU doctor in the US. I worry about my ER colleagues the most, you do so much! Stay safe and sane:)

  84. I’m currently living in Berlin, Germany (originally from Canada) with my boyfriend in a sublet apartment. We’ve been here almost a full year, and still don’t have a permanent place to live so we’ve been moving around to different sublets every few months, our most recent move happening during the height of the initial Covid-19 outbreak in Europe. Aspects of our daily life were stressful before all of this – my boyfriend has struggled to find full-time work, we’ve moved five times since last July, and the winter in Berlin is dark and depressing. A global pandemic outbreak on top of everything else felt almost like a cruel joke, and will likely result in us having to return to our home country when our visas run out in a few months. Stubbornly coming to the realization that nearly everything is out of my control has been my saving grace during this time. The darkness of everyday life has brought levity back to the forefront, and now my days are punctuated by the simple and absurd things my boyfriend and I do to make each other laugh. I’ve come to the realization that so much of what scares us is going to make us stronger and more emotionally intelligent individuals on the other side of all this, so it’s important to just laugh at what you can and not demand anything from yourself.

  85. Erin says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Phoenix, Az

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? With my husband and our old cat Miles and hound Lil Bill

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? I am a hospice social worker and the majority of our patients live at home so I continue to work in our community . Hospice care is considered essential so we will continue to work.

    * What’s hard right now? Some of our patients are in assisted living homes who are not allowing any visitors. We are on the outside trying to support and presence family members who have loved ones who are dying and they can’t visit. It is a whole new experience, a completely different type of grief.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? My husband has has been making dinner most nights. When I get home and take off my mask and dinner is almost ready my heart leaps with joy. I also love to cook and delving into a Minimalist Baker recipe is comforting and fun. Showering and putting on makeup and bright clothing each morning had been an unexpected joy. I feel like the folks I am seeing aren’t crossing paths with many people and I love the idea of bringing a bit of color to the bedside. We have also been spending time making some improvements around our home. I feel joy to have a safe, comfortable, cozy and modest place to call home.

  86. IC says...

    – Belgium
    – living with husband and 2 children (4 and 1 year old)
    – both still working. Me partly from home, partly in the office, depending on when my husband has to work. He is not able to work from home.
    – the uncertainty of not knowing how long this will take. We’ve been in kind of a ‘lockdown’ since March 17, schools propably won’t open until May. And then what? What should we do with the children in summer holiday (9 weeks here), will there be any summer camps or not? How will we be able to arrange that? Also worried about my mom, who will retire later this year but works in a hospital, with covid-patients, and worried about my grandmother in a nursing home. She’s 91 and we could video-whatsapp instead of visit but that’s not possible anymore now. Talking by phone is not the same.
    – spending more time with our children is a delight. The 4-year old became an expert in riding a bike alone. We are also lucky enough to have a garden, and the weather is fine now. We enjoy this as much as we can.

    I also really like the solidarity. In every street, every evening at 8pm, neighbours come out and applaud all who work in hospitals, other healthcare institutions, supermarkets. For children, everyone puts a bear behind their front window, so when you take a walk, you can go bear-hunting (it’s allowed to take a walk with the people you live with). So lovely to see!

  87. ML says...

    * Raleigh/Durham, NC
    * I’m sheltering in place with my husband and young boys
    * I am running a company that serves the federal government and parenting 24/7
    * My husband is likely to lose his job and I’m not taking a salary right now in order to pay my employees for as long as possible. How long can this last?
    * The only thing that seems to make anything better is cleaning, which is surprisingly hard to do with small children messing stuff up as fast as they can. We’ve been at home for a month and I am exhausted. My spirit is worn out. My brain is fatigued. I’ve never had less time than I do right now. I wake between 4 and 5 a.m. each day and every moment is accounted for until I pass out at some point between 8 p.m. and midnight. My husband and I have a fragile schedule of each working half the day while the other parents. And then we both catch up like crazy after the kids are asleep. People are having so many different experiences within these conditions right now and I find that fascinating. And, the people parenting multiple kids younger than 10 while working are in a class by themselves.
    * The advice-givers tell you to take breaks when your kids are little, especially if you have an intense kid or a kid with intense needs. They tell you to have a regular date night and self-care afternoon. They tell you to strike up a deal with a neighbor or have a regular babysitter or press nearby family into service. THERE ARE NO BREAKS and I desperately need one. And then another. And then another.

    • Margaret says...

      ML – That sounds really hard. I’m wishing you some hope, a light at the end of the tunnel. And I want to just give you the biggest virtual hug for foregoing your salary so your employees can get paid. What a generous, generous decision to make.

    • Meg says...

      I hear you and I felt great solidarity reading this. I did not see your comment until after I posted mine above, but our stories are similar and this working full time with young kinds home full time and the fact that all our usual options to get us breaks or them activities are no longer available makes this time just SO exhausting.

  88. Jamie says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Rotterdam, The Netherlands

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    Living with my husband and our 6-year old daughter.

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    I work in hospitality and the restaurant is closed right now. So most of the time it’s homeschooling and finding ways to fill the days.

    *What’s hard right now?
    My husband is a musician and all his shows are cancelled because of COVID. We both have no job for now, sometimes it’s hard to not get anxious about what the future will hold and if we will be able to survive financially. Also, not being able to hug the ones we love is a big thing.

    * What’s bringing you joy?
    Sunshine, slow living, more calls and Skype sessions with family and friends. Also seeing that there is more love and focus on the things that really matter!

  89. lauren pollock says...

    *California
    *Myself and three children, 17, 14, 10
    *Working from home as a grief counselor for our local Hospice
    *What has been hard is balancing work and supporting my children. I am a full time single mother and grateful that I am able to continue working from home, but for six hours everyday, and sometimes more, I am locked in my bedroom with the sound machine on, supporting newly bereaved individuals. Taking quick breaks only to help with 5th grade math, give pep talks to my daughter who is missing out on her senior year and my son who is missing his first year of high school. It is taking everything I have to maintain my own mental health while continuing to provide this support to others. I am working daily not to sweat the small stuff and recognize my stresses, such as excessive dishes, extra netflix and video games are truly “quality” problems.
    * What is bringing me joy is walking with my children everyday after work. Even when they complain (which they do). We live in a rural area with plenty of space in nature, and at this point walking in the forest or on the beach is saving my sanity. My kitchen table which was once neatly set is now covered in butcher paper covered in doodles and notes and a sewing machine for sewing masks in our spare time. The creativity and time together is something I am grateful for. Our family went from being probably too busy to now an abundance of together time. As someone who talks about death and loss everyday, I know to cherish these moments when we are healthy and together. This time will pass and some type of “normalcy” will once again fill our lives. I am appreciating the slowness, the simplicity. While I can find the beauty in this time, I also recognize my privilege and am aware that many do not have the opportunity to stay comfortably in their homes, with plenty of food and a loving family. This knowledge more than anything keeps me humble. Also, I look forward to Saturday mornings with a cup of jo! Thank you for the inspiration and authenticity you share with the world.

  90. Nori says...

    /Bangkok, Thailand

    /Solo but with my cat Susu in a one-bedroom

    /Working quite regular hours but has been hard to stay disciplined. Very thankful to be able to keep my job for now but not sure how long it will last.

    /Changes every day but the one that worries me the most is how I worked really hard to dissolve many of my self-esteem issues, especially ones around social anxiety. And I made huge efforts to be the one reaching out to others and I’m afraid I’ll revert back to my solitary ways again.
    Also wallowing back and forth between should I be super productive and take advantage of this time to write a novel, perfect my French etc? Or can I just lie here?

    /The obvious things like streaming shows (Ramy, High Fidelity, Brooklyn 99 and Bon Appetit videos). I’ve also put Karen Lord pilates into my morning routine and in the evenings I like to follow The Cindies Ballet class with Isabella Boylston and James B Whiteside from ABT or the Dutch National Ballet have great classes on Youtube. I also bought a ukelele and an electric keyboard to get back into music and I ordered some fun lights to hang around my apartment to make the evenings alone a bit cheerier.

    big hugs to everyone x

  91. Debbie P says...

    Where are you? Spokane, Washington. Next door to Idaho. Nowhere near Seattle.
    Solo or with others? I’ve lived along since October 2018 when my husband of 36 years walked out. I miss spending time with my parents and sister and brother-in-law who live nearby.
    Work. My job as a legal assistant is considered essential as we serve as fiduciary for many disabled and incapacitated clients. I’m super grateful to still have an income.
    Hard stuff: I’m sure missing seeing friends in person, at church, my weekly Weight Watchers meetings, Zumba classes. Loneliness and a bit of depression come and go. It’s good to focus on the positive things and on all the things I do have. We all need to take gentle care of ourselves.

  92. Quinn says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Vancouver, BC

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    Alone

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    I am working from home for the time being, but we’ve been asked to take our vacation that we requested pre-pandemic so I’m also chilling

    * What’s hard right now?
    Lots, though I can’t talk to people about it. Worrying about family and not having the means/money to get to them or help them. Mother is diabetic, father is diabetic and immunocompromised, sister is immunocompromised, brother is a nurse in a heavily affected area.

    Living in an area that’s considered the biggest slum in Canada and worrying about the effects on its residents. Worrying about the consequences for charities. Listening to my resourced and well-off friends complain about boredom, cancelled vacations, dating issues and not asking me how I’m doing.

    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?

    Being alone, cooking, tidying, watching gentle and fun programs, chatting with friends who have caring hearts and a good sense of humour.

  93. Martha Patterson says...

    And one more thing that makes me happy….creativity! I am LOVING the online daily concerts, virtual art shows, museums….it’s amazing!

  94. Sarah says...

    -living in Indiana
    -nine of us in the household! my sister, her 5 kids, and my parents
    -working from my bedroom
    -the stress of packing and planning a move in the middle of the pandemic
    -starburst and snickers bring much joy

  95. Martha Patterson says...

    Where are you in the world? Silverdale, WA …a ferry ride away from Seattle.
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? Living with my husband and our 2 young adult children.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Yep..I’m a middle school teacher, and I am working from home. I miss seeing my students every day, but I am not missing middle school behaviors!
    * What’s hard right now? Worrying about my parents in California…are they taking the necessary precautions. Thinking about the future…what does it hold? And, a little disappointment…several trips and other things I was looking forward to in the next few months have been cancelled or postponed.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Being home! I consider myself extroverted and have a very busy life, but I am surprisingly enjoying the more relaxed and laid back pace of life right now. Feeling fortunate that my spouse and I are are both still able to work and get a paycheck. Enjoying having time to watch movies, Netflix;( loved Mar-rage Story and am digging Little Fires Everywhere) read, craft, bookmark new recipes to try.

    My answers are:

  96. Carla says...

    * Where are you in the world? New Orleans
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? Me and my beloved, incontinent dog
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? I’m a small business owner whose business closed March 12. At home every day since.
    * What’s hard right now? Being home with my dog is my perfect existence, plus, I have dreamed of having time off, so I’m actually enjoying being shut in. My house will finally, FINALLY be clean and thoroughly organized! That’s a dream come true. But any contemplation of what’s next is terrifying. Will the business I worked so hard to build over the past 6 years even be recoverable? Will I lose my house? Will my neighbors ever stop congregating as though they have no idea there’s a pandemic out there? Will we survive hurricane season on the heels of a pandemic? I can’t even begin to deal with reality beyond the moment.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Knowing that, for my dog, having me home 24/7 is heaven. That makes me so happy. And Leslie Jordan’s Instagram feed. Pure pleasure.

  97. * Where are you in the world?
    Philadelphia
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    Living with my roommate
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    I’m a flight attendant at and thankfully still flying. But it’s not the same as it used to be and I’m missing serving drinks and chatting with my passengers on full flights.
    * What’s hard right now?
    Facing furlough/unemployment at any moment and realizing that I could be a part of the problem by working.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    FaceTiming with my boyfriend (We’re long distance and he’s also in the industry), long phone calls with my parents, and board games with my roommate. I’m also getting to catch up on my Italian lessons.

  98. A says...

    – Suburb of Chicago, IL
    – I live with my husband and 2 dogs
    – I am a hospital administrator and am working many hours each week at my hospital, where we are constantly trying to keep up with new information about COVID and quickly implementing new initiatives to keep our patients and employees safe
    – the uncertainty about how the future will look is hard. I am constantly worried about my parents and family members getting sick. I worry about the impact this is having on mental health. The pressure to be productive during this time when I go in and out of phases where I’m able to focus
    – I am so grateful to have my loving and hilarious husband with me through this experience. I try to focus on what I’m grateful for in this moment – my family and friends are safe, my husband and I are both still working, the weather is starting to get nice, we’re getting things done around the house but still at our own leisure. I enjoy that certain aspects of life have slowed down, such as the constant over scheduling of my time that was my previous version of normal

  99. Rosie says...

    Where? Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
    Who with? Hubby and two kids
    What am I doing? Working from home -I’m a primary school teacher so learning about teaching from a distance.

  100. Sophia says...

    * Where are you in the world? Cambridge, MA
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? Living with my husband and two younger brothers
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Job searching and pursuing projects that I’ve always wanted to do like baking croissants, reading more nonfiction, and knitting a sweater.
    * What’s hard right now? I along with 50% of the workforce at my previous company got laid off earlier this week because of Covid-19’s impact on their customer base: restaurants. It’s not easy to job search now. And so many talented people were let go of. For the people who remain, they have a long hard road ahead of them. And for my manager, who is a first-time manager, had his first direct report in me, doubled our team, and had to watch leadership decide to lay us all off. It’s a heartbreaking situation for everyone.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Baking a blueberry blackberry pie and celebrating my husband’s birthday helped me pick myself up. The bonding of people who were laid off along with me. The outpouring of love and support from so many people. There are so many good people in this world

  101. Mel says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    – Seattle, WA

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    – Living with my husband and our dog

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    – Working from home. Luckily, we both have jobs that we can continue to do remotely.

    * What’s hard right now?
    – Not knowing if there’s an end in sight. The first month of quarantine was good because we’re both homebodies, and we loved the novelty of the three of us hanging out together all the time. But my anxiety has started to build up over the past couple of weeks, especially around food shortages and potential layoffs. I’m the newest member of my team, so if a layoff were to happen, I’m most vulnerable. I may have to increase the frequency of my therapy appointments from monthly to twice a month.

    – Finding it difficult to stay productive and motivated on the job, which is contributing to my anxiety. I have enough to keep me busy, but I worry that my bosses actually expect me to put in more hours than I did before the quarantine because I’m at home.

    – Having anxiety about one of us getting COVID. We live in a one-bedroom, so isolating will be impossible. If we both get sick, it’s going to be really hard to take care of each other.

    – Also, while this is pales in comparison to the other actually hard things going on, I’m sad that I had to push my cut and color appointment to July and that my eyebrows are growing wild.

    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    – Baking on the weekends, cross stitching, and expanding my skincare routine!

  102. Vita says...

    *Westchester, NY

    * Living with my husband and 11 month old son in a tiny apartment

    *Continuing to go to work as a social worker in an inpatient psychiatric facility while my husband juggles working from home and watching the baby

    *Feeling jealous that I can’t stay home with my family, help care for the baby or feel bored (id love to feel a little bored!). And feeling worried that I’m being exposed to the virus at work and potentially putting my family at risk

    *im enjoying baking Nutella banana bread on weekends and watching my husband and son bond in such an amazing way

  103. * Where are you in the world?
    San Diego, California

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    At home with my husband, our 2 year old daughter and pregnant with our second

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    I’m a photographer, but my priority has been caring for our 2 year old right now during this time

    * What’s hard right now? / What’s bringing you joy?
    My beautiful 2 year old had an unexpected major surgery two weeks ago and we had to be in the hospital for 5 days. During this already crazy time, she has been an incredible gift to witness her bravery and I am so grateful she is OK. We are back in the hospital the next few days as she is fighting an infection post surgery. But to watch her during this time and be beside her holding her hand is something I would do over and over. While everyone wants to leave home, bringing our daughter home after surgery was all we wanted, it was such a relief walking through our door. Now, being back in the hospital, only one of us can stay with her overnight and it breaks our hearts so much. COVID-19 has kept the hospital from allowing both my husband and I to be there at the same time. But watching our baby girl continue to persevere, dance and sing and laugh and hug her toys and babydoll and feed them and “check up” on them to confirm no “ow ows” anymore – she continues to amaze me with her spirit souring even during this time. We all could learn so much from her. Even in the pain she is in, she still grabs my face and kisses it when she notices I am worried. She still runs into the bathroom with a towel when she hears me turn off the shower. When we make art together, she screams “make dada happy! make him happy!” and runs into his office with her googly eye drawings and hands them to him and says “for you” and gasps with her hands over her mouth in complete joy when he smiles and thanks her. So, although this time is hard, it has also been the greatest gift to remember what truly matters, to slow down and soak in those moments together, even the really hard ones where I cannot comfort her pain and where I am so tired from pregnancy and caring for my sick child. But then I watch her and it fades away.

  104. Haylee says...

    *Where are you in the world?
    Los Angeles.

    *Living with my husband and our dog.

    *Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    Not working and passing the time resting, organizing, preparing for our baby that is due in June, teaching my dog new tricks.

    * What’s hard right now?
    Being still. I am a Registered Nurse, but had hyperemesis gravidarum for the first six months of my pregnancy. I ended up quitting my job at the hospital as a result. Now that I am feeling better and now that there is a healthcare crisis, I want to participate, use my skills, and help! But I can’t decide whether to return to hospital work (and thus accept a very short maternity leave as a new hire as well as risk needing to be separated from my baby as a result of COVID-19) or appreciate that I can be home safely during such a crazy time.

    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    Going on walks with my dog. Learning to bake sourdough bread. Listening to my husband sing/belt along to the songs he’s listening to on his headphones while he works (I doubt he does that at the office lol!).

  105. Katherine says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    -Albuquerque, New Mexico

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    – With my husband and our cat. Recently, I’ve had a lot of gratitude for marrying him 6 years ago. Even though we are driving each other crazy at times, there is no one else I’d want to be stuck at home with.

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    – Grateful to be working from home and reminding myself it’s okay to not be as productive.

    * What’s hard right now?
    -Dealing with the heaviness of the world and the emotional impact. There is a part of me that is always sad and unmotivated. As an introvert and a homebody I don’t mind being at home, but I’m finding it hard to reach out and connect with others (anyone sick of Zoom yet?). I haven’t struggled with depression in the past (my husband has), so I’m asking him to keep an extra loving eye on me. :)

    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    Gardening – we bought and moved into a home right before Covid-19 became a pandemic. I’m weeding, and in doing so, I’m discovering flowers and they are blooming!
    Hearing birds chirp
    Walks and bike rides with husband
    Reading

  106. Polyana says...

    * São Paulo, Brazil.
    * With my partner and our pup.
    * Working most of the time!
    * All the uncertainty. I have a travel business, and it’s been hard to imagine when we can start selling trips again. I also live oh-so-far away from my parents, so the distance is harder than usual.
    * How my team has been so resourceful in finding things to do to make our business better despite everything! Also, snuggles and walks with my dog. She’s loving every minute of having her humans home ALL the time.

  107. Ana says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    – LOVELY SMALL GEM CALLED SLOVENIA, europe

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    – I live with my two big loves: Igor and our son Aleksej, and some ants lately

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    – I am working xxx more times than ever, I work trought all day. I am a primary school teacher in 2nd grade…doing schooling online…

    * What’s hard right now?
    – My concern: what are the plans from the ones who run the world.
    all i see in common media windows and news is all about this big story about corona virus…each day is bigger and it is fascinating to me that majority of people does not think about for one minute what is behind that…what are those numbers…we just follow like sheeps….i would love to see on blogs like yours covering the other side of this worlwide story…i would love too hear not how to stay away frome eachother but thinking criticaly with much more wider horizons whats the plan behind this…so many experts has been censored these days and i am finding brilliant people who are not scared to think out loud and be heard …propaganda is making heroes from people who are donating – especially movie and other so called stars…where were all these people a few months ago and media….where were all those journalist reporting about millions of people dying from all other disease – right now and not because of corona …i do not agree with such a represion, in the name of…staying at home will cost so many living lives…the quality of lives across the world is rapidly going down the hill…more damage is caused by represion, the story and staying at home, that by this virus .and we have proves all over…
    now this is scary, not the virus:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aR7cz30chE
    and this: https://www.gavi.org/
    and this: https://www.biometricupdate.com/201909/id2020-and-partners-launch-program-to-provide-digital-id-with-vaccines
    i dont want me and my children to live in such world…freedom, democracy – there is not much left.

    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    – Being so close with my dearest two, having so many hugs and giving and receiving so many expressions of love, making all meals together and eating them together, listening to music much more than ever and thinking about ourselves, our lives, our future, our worth, our values, our reactions and thoughts, more than ever

    with love,
    ana

  108. Kata says...

    * Where?: Seattle, WA

    * Living with?: Husband and 11-month old daughter

    * Working?: I am a community college English instructor, and all my classes have been moved online for the quarter. My husband works in computer science and is also working from home.

    * What’s hard right now?: The buzz of panic before walking into the grocery store, everyone always home and on top of one another in 450 sq. ft., missing the smell of a stranger’s perfume as you pass them on the sidewalk, seeing warning tape around playground equipment, not knowing how to navigate feelings of relief and grief simultaneously, the massive volume of dishes from cooking and eating every meal at home, becoming a hypochondriac every day around 3:00 p.m., the inability to plan anything when real life resumes, worrying about real life never resuming, the stillness.

    * What’s bringing you joy?: The way strangers nod when one jumps off the sidewalk and onto the street to maintain six feet, the sound of neighborhood kids yelling to other neighborhood kids, the rush of a fresh grocery haul lined up on the kitchen counter, the face my daughter makes when she gets her hands on blades of grass, never worrying about being late, the feeling at the very moment when the hand sanitizer dries, the distillation of priorities, the ability to work, the fact my legs never give out no matter how many walks I go on, the stillness.

    • Shell says...

      Your remarks are very thoughtful and interesting. Thank you.

  109. Erika says...

    I live in Pacific Grove, California (a sleepy beach town, about 2 hours south of San Francisco) with my husband, our lively 5 year old daughter, and our BUSY 1-year old son. Plus, Walter the wondermutt. After our son was born, I quit my sales job of 12 years – I traveled a lot and just couldn’t picture myself in that position any longer. I’ve been a SAHM (with a TEENSY bit of interior design work on the side) while I ponder my next move. Though I definitely miss our routine – the gym, the school, the park dates, plans with my friends, dinners out, etc – I keep clinging to this fact: I know I am so fortunate. We aren’t worried about loved ones afflicted by this horrible virus, we don’t have financial issues, and I live in a beautiful place with mild weather and all kinds of gorgeous walks just steps from our front door. Though I would never in a hundred years CHOOSE to homeschool, I’ve loved seeing my daughter’s face light up when she comprehends a new math concept, and listening to her read books to her baby brother is pretty darned sweet. There are a lot of unknowns right now, but for whatever reason, my anxiety isn’t triggered, and I can only (usually) feel grateful.

  110. Rita says...

    * Where are you in the world? Lisbon, Portugal
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? Usually it’s just me and my 3 year old daughter, but we started isolation in a country house that’s quite big and secluded, and I invited her father (we’ve been divorced since she was 4 months) to stay with us for what I thought would be a 2 week period, so that they could keep seeing eachother. It’s been a month!
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Working remotely in the mornings and sometimes Late at night, spending afternoons playing with my daughter and going on walks with her, and in the evenings we stick to the routine she had up until now: 3 nights of the week I’m in charge of bathing, dinner and bedtime, 2 nights of the week my ex-husband does it, and we Alternate weekends.
    * What’s hard right now? Sharing space with someone other than my daughter (specially since we have so much history); trying to be polite and friendly while maintaining boundaries; juggling remote work and having my kid around (as a single mother, I’m used to focusing exclusively on her when I have her, and dedicating myself fully to other things when she’s not around, wether it’s work, friends, family, errands, myself….). In the first week, I constantly felt like something was being left behind, now I just shrug at the feeling.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? The walks In the woods I take with my daughter; the few brief moments when I can do yoga outside, by myself, uninterrupted; seeing her laugh constantly; my weekly chats with my girlfriends; getting to know my daughter a little better and realizing how much (and fast) she developed these past weeks!

  111. Erin says...

    * South Carolina
    * Living with my daughter (10) and my husband
    * Thankfully both my husband and I already work from home. I work for a travel agent, so we’ve just been canceling and moving trips, which is quite depressing.
    * I am struggling with my state’s response to this virus and definitely the response nationally. I try to follow information from states I believe are doing the right thing and find hope there. I am frustrated by people not taking this seriously. I am terrified for my family and friends in health professions.
    * Time as a family! We are usually so busy that this time together with nothing to do has been a lot of fun! I’ve loved reading, hiking, baking, and finding creative ways to use the things we already have at home.

  112. liz says...

    * Where are you in the world? Washington, DC
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? I’m with my boyfriend of 4 years and my dog
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Working from home (I’m a lawyer) and job hunting
    * What’s hard right now? It feel like I keep alternating between feeling fine and distracted and well rested, and then having days where everything feels hard: getting out of bed, getting dressed, staying focused on work, missing friends and family and missing going places so much.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Keeping to my normal schedule as much as possible has helped! (even though I’m not really leaving the house), and I am sooooo thankful for my dog and the nice weather we’ve been enjoying this week. Our walks (staying away from people) have been the highlight of my day and one of my favorite things about dogs is how they’re never stressed out by the news. they help keep things feeling normal. aside from that: Dolly Parton’s America was a great distraction + I’ve been living for all the Tiger King memes. I’m also thankful you’re still blogging!!! this has been a great community/space

  113. – I live in Dublin with my partner and 2 children, my son aged 4 and daughter aged 6. I am 36 weeks pregnant and due at the beginning of May, another boy :)
    – I normally teach painting and learning Support to adults but all my classes have been cancelled so I’m minding the kids while my partner works from home. After 2 weeks of restrictions we are falling into a routine but by Friday I’m wiped from entertaining the kids, cooking, cleaning. The nesting instinct has kicked in so I’m actually cleaning almost obsessively, lol! I’m a practicing artist so still making work whenever I can!
    I’ve got really mixed feelings about this time…I’m really grateful my partner has a stable job that he can do from home after so many people have lost work and there’s so much uncertainty. I’m grateful to get this time with my kids before the new baby, as I know how a newborn can suck you down a wormhole of feeding and sleep deprivation! At the same time I’m abit remorseful to lose time they’d normally be at school/childcare to rest and prepare, and finish a couple of personal projects I’d planned to have completed. I’m also finding my son really hard work emotionally, I think he displays at least 10 emotions a minute, no kidding! I know kids cope with change in their own way, but if anyone has advice on managing boys emotions at this age I’d love to hear it? I am not from Dublin but from the UK and my family all live there. I am so scared for them when I watch the news, the situation is much worse there then here, but I’m completely powerless to do anything. We do FaceTime and I can see the strain in my parents faces. They are also sad they can’t travel to see us before the new baby, and afterwards for the near future at least.
    When I go to the hospital for maternity check ups the atmosphere is very tense, I wear a mask and all the medical staff are wearing masks and it feels very surreal. My daughter asked me today, when will it all be over? And I didn’t know what to say except ‘soon, I hope.’
    If we can all get through this in good health I will be so thankful.
    Happy Easter everyone ?

    • Laura says...

      Hi Nikki! I’m from Atlanta and my husband I got to visit your beautiful Dublin last September. It was such a wonderful trip and now I’m rather obsessed with your country. ;) I, too, have a four year old and she has two big brothers so I know this stage 3x over! Look up @drbeckyathome on Instagram. She has so many wonderful posts on parenting young ones during a crisis. I also heard her interviewed on the 10 Things to Tell You podcast (I think that episode is called Anxiety Always Has A Reason or something similar). She is so helpful and practical. I wish you and your family well!

  114. KC says...

    *In Los Angeles
    *With my husband, 3-month old daughter, and cat
    *I’m currently on maternity leave, which has turned out to be a saving grace. Most other departments at my workplace have had staff furloughed. But since my pay has already been accounted for from maternity leave, my small department is still working. I’m supposed to go back in June, though, so we’ll see what happens then.

    A month ago, I was trying to make the most of every moment of my leave. I won’t get to be a stay at home mom, so I was trying to cram in all the things I wish I could do with my daughter during the week into my leave. We’d joined a Mommy and Me class for babies, we took walks with my other mom friends, visited family nearby, and we were just looking forward to starting visits to the zoo and botanical gardens by us after she got her vaccinations – which happened the week everything flared up and the pandemic was declared. We are entirely indoors now, we live in a rare pocket of Los Angeles that is super walkable, and it’s so busy I’m not comfortable taking my infant out. It’s been an adjustment to shift to a life entirely inside.
    *What’s hard is thinking of all the suffering in the world right now, and worrying about my at-risk family members, especially my mother, who is in her mid 60’s at an essential job attached to the largest hospital in Los Angeles. I worry, too, about my infant daughter, and how hard the virus could be on her little system, since so much is still unknown. And I worry about the probable furlough ahead of me.
    *My 3-month old daughter is bringing me so much joy. This time at home is forcing me to slow down, focus on snuggles, and live on her rhythm. It’s beautiful and I’m lucky.

  115. *Sudbury, MA (outside of Boston)
    * Living with my husband, 8-year-old son and our dog, Molly
    * I am working and homeschooling
    * Things that are hard are the emotional ups and downs, the uncertainty, letting go of how I used to do things, how efficient ad productive I was, and how much I feel like a baby learning to walk.
    * What feels so good is knowing I can live with so much less, less scheduling, and less stuff overall. I’m also really enjoying walks in my neighborhood and not having a commute.

  116. C says...

    * Where are you in the world? Boston
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? Living with my fiancé & boston terrier
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Working nights as a nursing assistant in an oncology unit in Boston. Also working on online prerequisites classes in order to apply to accelerated BSN programs next year (left cushy pharma job ~6 months ago to pursue a career in nursing)
    * What’s hard right now? Things are changing so quickly in the hospital and our patients who are hospitalized are very very sick. Our goal right now is to keep them safe and keep their spirits up since they can’t have any visitors (making birthday banners, setting up FaceTime with families, hanging pictures and cards, offering as much ice cream & popsicles as possible). We also face a lot of uncertainty every day…Will we be floating to a COVID+ floor today? Will we have enough PPE to get through the shift? Does this patient who suddenly spiked a fever and has a cough test positive? And was I protected enough when I interacted with them over the past week? Etc. etc.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Avoiding Instagram has been key since scrolling through and comparing other people’s quarantine experiences (boredom, bread making, TV binging) to my own was making me resentful. Coming home to my fiancé and dog has been my main source of joy. Also, the new season of Terrace House.

  117. Caitlin says...

    * Where are you in the world? Somerville, MA (just outside of Boston)
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? Just me and my husband, no kiddos or pets (yet!)
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Still working full time over here, no shortage of things to be done!
    * What’s hard right now? The fact that so many of my friends and coworkers have either been laid off or furloughed – I work in the construction industry and its taking such a hit right now with shutdowns. My project team was cut in half and while I’m thankful I survive to work another day, my workload just doubled because my partner was furloughed indefinitely.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? My super soft new set of sweats that I just ordered from Lou & Grey. Working from home isn’t that bad when I get to wear such comfy clothes!

  118. * Where are you in the world? Geneva, Switzerland
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? SOLO… heyyyyy
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Working, but slowly, and distractedly.
    * What’s hard right now? A lot of the work I have to do right now is on COVID-19 and how digital technologies are being used for contact tracing. I find it very difficult to work on COVID, and worry that it’s ultimately too soon for meaningful reflection on what we’re all going through, and what the consequences will be. It’s also very hard to be away from my family in the U.S. and Canada. I was meant to be in Canada for Easter, and haven’t seen my father in over a year. It’s not fun to have no clarity as to when international travel will open up again.
    And it’s hard to feel these things and balance them against the heaviness of what it is that people, health systems, and governments are going through. I worry for the global economy, for global solidarity, and for global health. I hope that this pandemic does not lead to greater nationalism. I hope that there’s space for public debate and global support to those most in need.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Exercise. But also food. Homemade brownies. Ice cream. Cereal. Long walks by the rivers in town, or by the lake. Brene Brown Podcasts. The Bold Type season 4. Books. The Yale course on well-being. Facetime with friends and their pets. All the fabulous newsletters spreading joyful TikToks and links right now. Baths.

    • Nori says...

      Loving Brene Brown podcasts! the one on grief hit home

  119. Pia says...

    * * south western Germany
    * * my parents, our dog and my geriatric rabbit
    * * focusing on improving my french and doing all the cooking&co since my parents are both working overtime right now
    * * seeing my friends and grandparents struggle- I have a chronic autoimmune disease and am used to staying home or in hospital for months at a time/not hugging/ a lot of hand washing, which means my life isn’t really impacted, since for once the world is (sadly) living my life
    * * baking, decorating the house for easter, reconnecting with friends that are usually to busy and seeing how great this crisis is being handled in my community/city

  120. Emma Lewis says...

    Sometimes just seeing the sheer number of people responding to your posts make me cry at the moment. Thank you for continuing your work!

  121. Daybreak, Utah

    My partner, our four year old son and our two year old daughter.

    My partner and I are both software engineers and able to work remote. I work in the morning while he watches the kids (while sometimes simultaneously taking meetings via zoom in our garage using our son’s bike as his chair and the trunk of our car as his desk, while the kids play in the alleyway). Then we switch and I watch the kids in the afternoon while he works. I usually go on a walk with them around the neighborhood, which is very active, it’s bursting with gangs of kids on bikes and scooters, joggers, porch sitters, and families also on walks.

    Personally, nothing. I’ve been pretty well insulated from all of this. I’m a developer for a company who provides online services for our state government allowing people to renew their cars, driver licenses, etc online, so needless to say job security is good right now. My partner is in the same boat, working for an online education company that has hit its peak usage since this all started. I know that I am privileged and I don’t take that for granted. From time to time I do feel a sense of uselessness, like I’m just a bystander not knowing how to be of help.

    After seeing your post about the rainbows around Brooklyn, my family made a rainbow that sweeps across four windows using pieces of cellophane like a mosaic. I hadn’t thought about the light it would create when the sun hit it until we woke up the next morning to big rainbows all around the house. It felt magical and woke my sense of wonder. I haven’t taken the time to make something like that, or appreciate something like that, or even notice where the sun falls in our house in a long time. I’ve just been rushing through day to day. Waking up to that surprise was a great reward for nurturing my sense of creativity and a reminder to take notice of the little things, like the light that falls through your window.

  122. Jodi says...

    Where: San Juan Islands off the coast of WA state
    Who: I live with my partner, 2 cats and 10 chickens (no the chickens do not live in the house)
    What: I am working on my MA in mental health counseling through an online program, so pandemic or not, I’m busy writing papers.
    Hard: Focusing on my schoolwork in the midst of a worldwide pandemic is hard. I know I am lucky to be able to carry on, but honestly, it’s hard.
    Joy: My human & animal family bring me joy every day! My chickens are laying beautiful Martha Stewartesque eggs that I am sharing by the dozen with my older friends who are strictly at home. Also, I am fortunate to live in nature, so can walk out the door to visit the beach, the forest, or take a walk.

  123. Meredith says...

    * Detroit, Michigan.
    * Living with my husband, 7-year-old daughter, two dogs, and three cats
    * I work for a nonprofit youth program, and our whole team has been working around the clock to continue our academic and mentoring services to our students in virtual modes and fulfill basic needs for our families so they have food and cleaning supplies. And then at-home learning is taking up the rest of the time. Occasionally, I make some bread.
    * It’s heartbreaking to see this disease exact a cruel toll on populations that are vulnerable and do not have the privileges of working from home, accessing groceries, a safe place to stay, running water, and so many other things. This city has been climbing a steep road of recovery in recent years, and this is a body slam.
    * I feel joyful overhearing my daughter have virtual story hours with her grandparents and aunt

  124. Priscilla S. says...

    * Montreal, Canada
    * I live with my 73 year-old grandma and our 2 cats
    * I’m super lucky that my work can be done remotely, I work in an insurance company call-center and we are still here for our clients.
    * Overall it’s going well, before setting up remote work I was so worried about contaminating my grandmother, my chest felt like I had a huge weight on it. It has since lifted, as I stay home and barely go anywhere to avoid the virus.
    * I live by a huge park bordering the St-Lawrence river, so when it’s sunny I take a walk there and it feels amazing. I’ve also been ordering specialty foods from friends businesses (bakers, chocolatiers,etc) so in addition to helping them stay afloat, I’ve been indulging in delicious food!!!

  125. Aileen says...

    Where are you in the world? Aberdeen, Scotland

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? I live with my husband and my 7.5 year old daughter. My husband has just went to work away from home for 3 weeks as he works in the North Sea and is at present classed as an essential worker.

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Working from home as I work for our local University. It is 525 years old and whilst these are trying times, I hope it comes out the other end as it would be very sad for all that history to go

    * What’s hard right now? The sameness of each day whilst coping with the uncertainty of what is going to happen. Trying to make the days fun for my only child (I have never felt guilty about having an only child before but I do now as she has no siblings to play with), help with her school learning whilst doing my own work and not having my husband at home.

    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Watching my child deal with this. I am so proud of her. She is scared and uncertain like all children I think but she talks to us about it, she draws pictures for people that we scan and email to them (my Mum, my brother and my sister are all high risk and all live by themselves), we play boardgames together and just in general have really enjoyed each others company. I said to my husband that it was nice that after 21 years together, we could still enjoy being with each other. There are many others that are not so lucky.

  126. Lana Rowley says...

    Where are you in the world? Birmingham, UK
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? With my husband, our 14 month old daughter and our cat.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? I returned to work from maternity leave just before lockdown happened in the UK, i am now working from home (luckily I have reduced my Working hours so I have time to keep our daughter entertained!)
    * What’s hard right now? Keeping our daughter entertained! It’s making me tap into my creative side which I’m actually quite enjoying but it’s also proving quite difficult at times.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Playing with my daughter in the garden, baking cakes with a nostalgic twist (pineapple upside down cake anyone?), watching race across the world on bbc, and most of all spending time as a family

    • Tricia M says...

      Hi Lana,
      Yes, we are enjoying Race Across the World too. Who is going to win?My Mum used to make pineapple upside down cake !

  127. Denise says...

    * Portland, OR
    * Living solo-ish w my cat
    * I’m working at my office by myself. It’s been good to go into work everyday even if I’m doing so alone. Other people come to the office occasionally but we’re all fully separated and it’s good/silly to chat/shout across the building with eachother.
    * Uncertainty is hard & it’s hard to be separated from family but it’s mostly hard to stay away from Oregon’s amazing State Parks & beaches in the Spring! So many wildflowers unseen, so much sea-breeze unfelt, so cooped up in the city.
    * The joyful bits are: good health! steady work! A good patio sit in the sunshine gathering in the bits of nature close at hand. The love of the Fur Shark (cat) and feeding the hummingbirds. I’m pretty lucky so far. I could count my blessings all day long.

    Thanks for asking.

  128. MARIA JOSÉ HERRERO says...

    *Barcelona (so… 28 or 30 days… I don’t even know…)
    *alone
    *working from home… more hours than in the office… many firms are deciding that these are the times to be productive… and even when I understand that keeping the job is a huge privilege right know… I think we are really loosing sight of the people and their health. we keep working 10 or 11 hours a day… sharing the phisicas space with the kids, or the mental space with… all this… and is really exhausting. even when alone.
    *I am familiar with the stuggles of solitude, so ok there… but not being able to care for ANYBODY, is really hard. also.. having time, and being lucky to be healthy and in a nice place, thoug very simple… is making me fell TERRIBLY GILTY. comparative suffering is hitting strong… and I am having trouble feeling good and not having the same problems of many around me… call me crazy… :(
    *the sun. discovering that I have a good relationship with myself… the time I have to think, and take everything in… the daily health reports of the people I care for.

  129. LM says...

    * Philadelphia
    * Living with my husband and 2 boys (3-year old and 4-month old)
    * Working part-time from home (i.e. billing 21 hours a week), I split the day with my husband and work morning “shift” upstairs while he watches the kids, then we switch roles after lunch
    * The uncertainty of how long this will go on is very hard for my personality, living in the city is a bit claustrophobic especially with playgrounds closed and we don’t have a car to “escape to nature” like many of our friends are doing, my 3 year old is having huge emotions and tantrums every day and it is just plain hard to deal with
    * Seeing signs of spring on my daily walk, being around my two boys every day and noticing little things about their habits and personalities that perhaps I didn’t get to observe before, watching my 4-month old learn to smile and laugh and interact with his big brother

  130. Catherine Jullien says...

    -France (south west)
    -solo
    -not working (retired) so staying home
    -not knowing when I will be able to see my new grand daughter who is about to be born in Berlin in a few days
    -I’m lucky enough to have a big garden and Inever saw or heard so many birds !
    My goal is to recognize each song (sorry for my english )

  131. Jenny says...

    * Seattle
    * Solo (with a 15 year old pug)
    * Working – a lot. I work for a tech company that makes B2B remote work software…which is great right now! But it’s been very overwhelming and stressful. I find I can’t really talk about that, since I’m the only one out of my family and friends that still has a job. In fact, I got promoted last week. A lot of my coworkers have kids, so work schedules have been all over the place. It just kind of feels like all I do is work right now.
    * Being alone. And groceries – I haven’t been able to get or find most basics (flour, sugar, eggs, tofu, garlic, etc) since the first week of March.
    * The weather in Seattle has been amazing the past few weeks. I don’t have any outside space, so I’ve been going on really long walks around my neighborhood. Luckily, I live in a historic neighborhood with a ton of parks, well kept gardens, and cool architecture. I’ve lived on the same street for 7 years, and yet I’ve discovered so many new places!

  132. Tricia M says...

    I’m in the UK, in the North of England near to the lovely Lake District.
    I’m with my husband of nearly 40 year and our middle offspring who is isolating due to being in a high risk group health wise.
    We are all getting on fine, at the moment as my husband and I have been retired for a couple of years. My son was sent home from work fairly early on so he is not working.
    What are we missing? Most of all not being able to spend time with our granddaughters and other adult children. The grandchildren are quite young so it’s a difficult situation for them to comprehend. One of them sent me a message which made me cry.
    What’s keeping me going? Online Zumba tutition. Dancing each day reduces my anxiety and fills me with energy for the day ahead. That and hope for the future. Stay well everyone!

  133. HeatherL says...

    * Where are you in the world? – Central NJ, near the beach.
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? I am with my husband and teenage daughter.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? I am working, but my work is very, very slow and that is depressing. I was taking big hikes every afternoon but they just closed the parks in the state. So now I’m a streetwalker! (Joke)
    * What’s hard right now? It’s spring break and my teen is home and they closed the parks so my tiny plans of bike riding out to the lighthouse/walking some favorite trails are torpedoed. Teen’s mood is terrible. Mine is not so great either. We are still in the burbs and can still walk around our neighborhood-but closing the parks is a real psychological blow. I understand the why, but it just has really affected me.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? My little niece is 7 and lives in SC and she sent me a card that she colored that I think was from her church/sunday school-it said she was praying for our family, and Jesus loves us, and had a cross and rainbows. We’re not at all religious but it was so sweet! Really made my day. I sent out Easter cards to all of our older relatives who are stuck home alone. Believe it or not, I’m getting a good bit of joy from the fact that my house is completely immaculate these days, because I have a ton of time to clean. I am definitely feeling like I need some kind of hobby or paint by numbers kit or something, though!

  134. A says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Cambridge, MA
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    My husband, and our very rolly cat
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    I have been unemployed for a little over 5 months now. I have been fighting to pass the time in peaceful and low-anxiety ways, but it feels like faking it, really. Been spending a lot of time sewing, reading very indulgently, and making a lot of playlists.
    * What’s hard right now?
    Given that I was already in the market for a job, and trying to start my own business, every day of news feels like a fight with optimism. I’m worried about the health of my loved ones, but also the uncertainty for my own future feels multiplied by 100x
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    Snuggling my cat while he is peacefully sleeping. Walks around the neighborhood to see the plants poking their heads out. Working on projects that I have wanted to do for so long. Making teen-age style mood boards with accompanying playlists. The daily reassurance that everything is temporary [although, file that also under “what is hard”].

  135. Taylor says...

    * Chicago
    * At home with my parents and my sister. I moved back in after graduating from Boston College last spring, and currently I’m feeling thrilled by my choice not to move out yet. Something about being stuck alone in a 400 square foot studio doesn’t sound as appealing.
    * I’m feeling so so grateful to have a marketing job that lends itself well to working from home. In the nine months I’ve been working there, I think I’ve taken that for granted, but I won’t be moving forward.
    * I’m a homebody, so while I’m almost enjoying always staying in, I’m having a hard time imagining how this will all end and feeling a bit hopeless about it. I’m a planner—I like to know what’s coming up in next 6 months, 1 year, 5 years and so on—but now that just doesn’t even feel possible. I feel like I’m in a bit of limbo living as a mostly economically self-sufficient adult in my parents house (again, incredibly lucky that this is my reality). When will life begin? Will it ever?
    * In no particular order: Reading (The Starless Sea, Three Women, You’ll Grow Out of It, The Fran Lebowitz Reader—Thanks Cup of Jo team for some of these recommendations!). Learning to bake bagels. Re-organizing the pantry, fridge and freezer. Buying art prints. Cups of coffee. Tahini blondies. Hours of YouTube, especially Bon Appetit’s videos. Making soup. Cooking new things with success: eggplant parm!! Sitting in the sun. Watching Mama Mia while drinking a glass of wine. Just red wine in general. Facetimes with friends. Sending snail mail just for fun. Checking Cup of Joe after work :)

  136. Hi! Thought I would be a little more pro-active with commenting during this time of social distancing.

    I’m a first year medical student, currently based in Seattle WA (an early epicenter of the pandemic!) as everything has shifted online for the time being. But I’m home with family and have really been enjoying this new normal, honestly. I can’t wait until things settle down and my favorite places open up again so I can enjoy the other things I love about Seattle: the food, the coffee, the friends.

    Things that have been bringing me joy: the sunshine this week, Dalgona coffee (tastes like an iced latte with cold foam, so good), Zoom game nights with friends, seeing how everyone is coming together right now to support our healthcare workers and essential employees.

  137. SN says...

    — Upper East Side, NYC
    — Husband, baby & dog
    — Lucky to be working; job seems safe for now. But man it is hard to do work and try to watch an 8 month old
    — Hearing sirens all day long. Trying to comfort people who are feeling stress, anxiety, uncertainty or sickness. Managing my own stress, anxiety and uncertainty.
    — Bonus time with my baby. This is NOT an extra maternity leave as some people have (wrongly) said to me… but it is a gift in all of this madness, and I sure am soaking up every smile, sweet moment and laugh I get with her while we’re all home together.

  138. Kaylie says...

    * Chicago!
    * Me & my cat, right now. My roommate is isolating elsewhere. Which is nice, as I have less anxiety about unknowingly passing the virus along to someone else!
    * Working from home for some of my week. I was let go from one job, now working from home part-time for the other.
    * I’m struggling with motivation this week. I am so focused on a screen that unplugging has been difficult, even though I know it’ll make my feel better. Also worried about my mom’s finances — she has been partially furloughed from her job, but the way California unemployment benefits seem to work, she’s receiving literally an hour’s worth of pay in benefits a week. And she can’t get on the phone to talk to anyone about it to make sure that’s correct, so she’s stuck losing 40% of her income, and I’m stuck across the country, unable to help.
    * The Bon Appetit YouTube channel, lots of roasted vegetables, the birds in the morning and my cat’s response to them. Oh, and watching one of my plants unfold a new leaf!

  139. Gilli says...

    Where are you in the world?
    Berkeley, CA
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    Husband, 2 college age kids who are now doing online school, my daughter who is a 1st year Medical
    Student also doing online school right now
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    I’m working in my job as a pediatric advice nurse – pretty slow right now – suddenly no one is getting sick or going to the ER shows you
    many of the pediatric injuries come from school and sports !
    * What’s hard right now?
    Feeling lonely at work, we all wear masks have to keep social distance of course so it feels very isolated
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    Living 5 minutes from hiking trails and redwoods in my backyard , having all
    my kids home and eating dinners all together- no more empty nesters! Getting back in touch with old friends and talking on the phone again!

  140. Kate says...

    * Brooklyn
    * Living with my boyfriend – we moved in together 3 months ago. This has definitely sped up our adjustment to cohabitation! A lot of conversations about chores and how to handle our conflicting introvert/extrovert personalities. :) Luckily, we have a 2-bedroom apartment so there’s physical space.
    * Working from home. I start a new job (virtually) in 2 weeks and I am very thankful to have it, given the impending recession. But, I’ve been in my current job for almost 8 years – it seems surreal to be leaving without being able to say goodbye in person.
    * Compared to others, I have it easy – income, health, etc. But I do miss my alone time, my friends, and travel. Life feels so small right now.
    * Cooking everything Alison Roman (love her so much). Exercising every day. Talking to people I usually wouldn’t catch up with – I grew up going to sleepaway camp and yesterday, our camp held a virtual “camp sing” for alumni. We all sang along from our respective homes to songs we still know from memory. It was so fun and sweet.

  141. Charise says...

    *Where are you in the world? Columbus, OH
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? With my partner of 4 years
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? working from home full time
    * What’s hard right now? I have it about as good as it gets in the grand scheme of things, but I am really bummed to not get to see my extended familiy this weekend, and am having to start considering canceling some coming vacations. Also, just thinking about how hard so many people have it right now makes me sad and anxious.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? long walks in the neighborhood to see all the flowering trees and spring flowers, reading, baking

  142. Kiley says...

    * Ohio
    * Living with my husband, our one year old son, and our fluffy dog
    * Working from home
    * My husband is a classic introvert, and being together constantly is hard on him and our relationship. I try to take long walks or volunteer to go to the store to give him his space.
    * My son is at such a sweet age where he smiles, claps, and says “uh oh” at the appropriate time. I’m so thankful he’s not old enough to grasp what’s happening, and is just happy to play and snuggle with Mom & Dad

  143. Tshego B says...

    Gaborone, Botswana – Lockdown until end of April + 6mnths SOE

    This week my routine has been:
    1. Waking up around the time I hear my brother walking around
    2. Working out, breakfast, shower + feed pets
    3. Water and tend to the my little growing garden
    4. Lunch which is mostly leftovers from dinner
    5. An afternoon of mostly walking around, snaking, watching an episode of Broadchurch, chasing the pets around, listening to my brothers conspiracy theories, surfing the net, filling online shopping carts with clothes I’m never buying, thinking about the liqour stores not operating until October and finally searching for a dinner recipe
    6. Cooking dinner + eating it by 5pm + feeding pets again
    7. Wondering if its too early to go to bed
    8. Watching more Broachurch or on a much better day I’ll actually meditate for an hour or so
    9. Snoring away by 10pm

  144. Angela says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Sea to Sky Region, British Columbia, Canada
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    Living with my husband and our dog. We are in a great little town with lots of people our age in our neighbourhood. So while we still need to keep our distance, it still feels like there’s people around so it’s not too lonely.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    I am so grateful to still be working as a full-time teacher. Although now we have moved to online teaching. It’s been an interesting and fun challenge, but I really miss seeing my students in person.
    * What’s hard right now?
    I already live far away from most of my family who are in Ontario, Canada. But we have a beautiful “family of friends” that we aren’t able to see right now. Normally we’d be camping with them this weekend or I’d be planning a meal at our place for everyone, and with it being a long weekend, not seeing them is strange and both my husband and myself miss them tons. I also worry about my grandmother who is in a care home back East and there have now been a few cases of Covid-19 in her home, so she is on my mind a lot. I’ve been chatting with her a lot on the phone, which has been really nice.
    * What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    I am an artist and we’ve recently moved to a new house, so I’ve been busy setting up a new studio. I’ve actually really enjoyed having more “unscheduled” time to just think – to be present. To even be bored! These moments are so important for creativity. I’ve also enjoyed seeing how our nieces and nephews have been using this extra time to play, to be bored, to be present. As a Gen-Xer, I know that we had a privileged childhood with lots of boredom and time to play. Seeing this come back for today’s youth has been so wonderful! I hope it sticks after this is all over.