As the quarantine just goes on and on, I realized I need to split my diary into many. Thus, decided to go month by month.
This is not a diary of being sick with corona, at least not yet (as I start the diary). Just some notes about my life during the 2020 #coronageddon [Corona epidemic] in Finland.
Disclaimer: I write about my thoughts and opinions here; I am NOT a medical or political expert. I base my understanding of things on articles I read, and with all the contradicting studies and expert statements. I form my opinions and make my personal decisions on which ones I trust based on an overall picture.
[Blog posts about Corona can be found under the category #coronageddon – some in English, some in Finnish.]
Day 31 – Sun April 12 (Easter Sunday)
Full month of quarantine. Five weeks of stay-at-home for me tomorrow. Nothing new under the sun. In some countries, contagion is going down already, in others it’s only just ramping up. Too many people are dying of Corona, and state of emergency is in effect almost everywhere on the planet, also in every state in the US at the same time now after Wyoming declared it as the last state, which actually is historical.
EU leader Ursula von der Leyen is saying that restrictions for old people might be necessary until the end of the year. Some researchers say that only a vaccine will stop Corona and it may take up to two years before we have one. Some say that even a vaccine won’t be enough to stop it. We all hope that this isolation will not become a new normal – even though for many of us who are more adaptive, it already has – but some sort of caution will probably linger even after the restrictions have been lifted and life is supposed to go back to how it was. I doubt it ever will.
Maybe I even hope it never will. Maybe if this halts everything for long enough, people will actually start to slow down. Maybe even my hectic work life will slow down – other than that, I live as slowly as one can. Maybe we could, as people, stop scurrying around like we’re driven, and learn something from this. Learn to embrace life instead of clinging to it in desperation. Maybe we could take a step back towards nature, use the technology we have, instead of letting it drive us.
It is a very idyllic and serene picture, wishful idealism. People not fretting, people stopping their frenzy to just be. We still need food, we still need a roof over our heads, we still need to make some money in order to live in this world of ours. It’s easy for anyone with secure income to dream of a more mindful future. It’s easy to hope when you’re not layed off, unemployed and wondering how to feed your kids or pay your rent.
Maybe it’s for us who are better off to change our ways. To support local small businesses. To finally do what the climate change gretas have been preaching: stop enabling the global markets. Help grow the more local businesses that then employ more people who can again do the same. Go back to smaller circles, stop ordering stuff from China.
I know there would be a lot that I miss – I love to order stuff from Amazon, stuff that I cannot get from stores around here. But maybe, just maybe, handcrafts could raise again, you could order things like your clothes and kitchen wares from small businesses that make them exactly to your liking. Maybe globalization could come to an end. Just maybe. Maybe I’m just being idealistic and naive. Just that the longer I’m home, the more I hope this would bring on some permanent change. Then again, looking at the news, I’m not too hopeful. People are as people do.
Not to say that I don’t miss my work pals. I do. Last night had a dream again, that this quarantine was over and I was back at the office with all my co-workers and we were having lunch together (which I rarely even do, in reality) and all that.
17:00 – Didn’t quite go over 3000 COVID-19 cases in Finland yet today as I had predicted. Then again, as THL noted the low amount of new case confirmitions is probably just due to the holidays. It is Easter Sunday, and as we have seen on previous weekends, even regular Sundays have seen less confirmed cases than other days of the week. Todays number are 2974 confirmed Corona cases, 56 people dead, 312 people in the hospital, 77 of which in ICU.
My ToDo list for time after Corona quarantine got another thing on it, as my phone fell from my jacket pocket outside today (note to self: zip that pocket!), resulting in a cracked screen. ToDo list currently:
- get hair done at hair dresser (utmost importance! my horrible hair situation even followed me into that dream I had; someone commented on my new hairdo and I replied that it’s more like the Corona hair-non-do…)
- get phone screen fixed (I already googled the place to get that done)
- get more hair moistener spray (can be acquired at the hair dresser)
- look for a softshell jacket (I’ve probably got more jackets than a woman should need, but still missing one of those after the zipper broke from the one I had)
- by some books like Camilla Grebe’s Horros from Suomalainen Kirjakauppa bookstore (as it is a Swedish book, I need to get it translated to Finnish) and Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus and The Starless Sea from either the same place or order from an online store if they don’t have them in Suomalainen
I think that’s about it. Horros is the last book in this Nordic Noir trilogy and I’ve been waiting for the paperback to be available so that I can buy it, read it and give it to my son who has the two previous ones in paperback (OCDs need to have books in same format). My son also has those Morgenstern’s books, and I’ve been meaning to borrow The Starless Sea from him, having already read The Night Circus when he was still living home, but have recently decided that I’d actually like to add them to my own library too. There’s books that are fine as eBooks and as borrowed books, but there’s books that I want to have.
22:30 – What did I just read? The Turkish minister of internal affairs is resigning due to a failed curfew. Truly: set a 48h curfew to start like 2…1… and be surprised that people flock to the stores! Of course they do! To this Süleyman Soylu’s defense, at least he tried to do something to help stop the virus, unlike certain Bolsaneros and Johnsons, who have been rather irresponsible in not taking it seriously and setting the example of not taking it seriously. Sometimes I really have to wonder what goes on in the heads of those who’re supposed to be in charge of nations.
But then there’s also those regular people, too. Like those bored Oulu people who just decided to drive hundreds of kilometers to the Uusimaa border to see with their own eyes that no, you cannot cross it without a proper reason. Then drive those hundreds of kilometers back. Or those 1500 or so people deciding that since Hanko is in Uusimaa, it’s ok to crowd it during Easter. Oh, of course each and every one of them thought they were the only ones with the idea. Seriously! What don’t people understand about stay the fuck home?
Day 32 – Mon April 13 (Easter Monday)
Only last night before falling asleep did I wonder how things can ever be the same again, how I can ever leave the safety of my home again without fear of getting Corona, and then this morning I read that Corona cases are on the rise in China again after lifting up the restrictions. It’s only logical that once people start moving around more freely again, the virus starts to spread again. Will there ever be a time when I feel safe going out on errands and taking the bus and working at the office and especially going to customers again?
This whole thing has me riddled with jumbled thoughts of risk and of cowering at home and all that. After all, life goes on as normal for so many, my son included. My fear for myself just feels so unjustified. It goes way down to my black and white all or nothing. I feel that either I stay home and never go anywhere at all, to basically eliminate all risks, or I might as well live as usual. I also believe somewhere deep inside that if I get the virus, I will most probably die of it. There is nothing between staying healthy and dying of Corona.
Just like with everything, even for me there’s several things at play here too. My asthma and thyroid issues put me in risk of the more severe disease, and my understanding of how every single flu affects my lungs makes me certain that COVID-19 would immediately put my lungs into a state of emergency. Then again, my blood type is O+ which according to (early) studies might put me in less of a risk to be severely affected by Corona. So who knows.
Anyway, obviously the decicions here are not mine only anyway. I go by the recommendations of our government, our company and of my husband. If I was alone, or alone with D, I would have to get groceries one way or the other, now H takes care of that for us. I’m not scared of dying, not for my own sake anyway. For the sake of my family – H, D, my son, and our dogs – I want to stay safe. Not that I would seek death anyway, just that if I was alone, it wouldn’t matter that much.
Trying to somehow round up my elusive feelings and thoughts, the thing is that sometimes I feel like this whole staying safe at home is futile, for it feels so inevitable that when I go out again, I’ll be down with COVID-19 anyway. H talks about the first wave, which still has not crowded our ICUs yet – I sometimes wonder if it will, even – but what about the second wave? WHO says it may be even more deadly and I fear they’re right. It seems only plausible.
22:30 – Watched another movie with D today. She is really starting to be bored and wanting to go out with friends and while I’m not allowing that, she’s become quite restless and wanting my attention more and more. Poor extrovert girl, I do understand her pain, but at the same time all I want is more time for myself only. Tomorrow is my last day of vacation and I’m somewhat agitated. I love my job, but I also want more time for me. I want to be without needs long enough for me to get utterly bored. Not happening, I guess.
Corona count went over 3000 today, 3064 to be exact. Three more dead, making the death count 59. My friend is still hospitalized, still needing oxygen, but holding on. Not in ICU, not in immediate danger.
Day 33 – Tue April 14
My last day of vacation. H has a workday, D has a schoolday. I slept until 10:30, having a bunch of restless dreams, like needing to kill a jackal and a wolf in order to protect a royal baby, participating in some ancient wars where the leaders were gods come to human form, being on a totally runaway train tearing through cruise ships and other trains and whatnot. Ever since I woke up, the jukebox inside my head has been stuck on Runaway Train. Seems like I should be getting somewhere. Somehow I’m neither here nor there.
I just realized that while the concert of 69 Eyes was postponed to late autumn already at least a couple weeks ago (original date May 29), Green Day concert hasn’t been canceled nor postponed anywhere from May 27. I believe our restrictions were set even originally to stretch beyond that date. Quite obviously I’m not going to the concert in May even if it does happen.
On the other hand, the government seems to be lifting the lockdown of Uusimaa on April 19th, as was originally the plan. I don’t really see or understand myself, what has changed since it was first decided; in my humble layman opinion the situation is more or less the same – Uusimaa having most of the COVID-19 cases, people trying to go out to the countryside. Maybe it was just an experiment to begin with. Maybe they figure, that since the number of cases is still going up elsewhere in the country too, there’s no reason to keep people under the Uusimaa dome either.
22:00 – I spent most of the day reading, but then in the evening watched yet another movie with D. She is really quite lonely now. After the first couple weeks when she was online a lot, chatting with her friends, her social life has seemed to deteriorate a whole lot. Apparently some of her friends still hang together outside, and anyway, “it’s not the same”. I get it, it isn’t the same! But it would be better than nothing. Don’t know if she’s passive or her friends are, but all the same, she is lonely.
H did a store run again today. Our juice stocks are practically gone now (I like to make juice with our slow juicer and then freeze some to always have some in stock to fill these little shot bottles we keep in the fridge), so I had added a whole lot of fruits on the shopping list, but he came home with not much, telling me that the stores were poorly stocked with fruits. Not much there, he claimed. I guess I’ll make juice with whatever he did manage to bring home.
He did bring home more milk and coffee beans, though, which is even more important. I mean I can live without juice, but without coffee… nope, can’t do.
Day 34 – Wed April 15
Back to work today. I have shitload of emails and Teams messages to comb through before I can start the actual stuff, but at least the meeting requests I received during my vacation weren’t for this morning; one in the afternoon, though.
We’ve had more snow over the night and it’s still snowing outside. There’s probably more snow on the ground now than we had even once during the winter. This year has really sucked so far. Wildfires in Australia, Corona, forest fires in Chernobyl. More domestically, we still seem to be stuck in one heck of a long November. No winter to speak of, and this spring has basically been just more of the same, too.
Reading the news, I was really quite upset about Trump declaring that USA will cancel its funding of WHO “because they didn’t handle this crisis properly”. Mr. “this is just a flu” and “we need to open the economcs again” while thousands are still dying of COVID-19 in the US. I am not often rendered speechless, but mr. President of the USA manages to do it regularily, with his antics.
I mean, really – disregarding everything else for now – this is not the time to start causing disruption and to slay humanitarian organizations. This is a time where everyone should play together to actually help mankind to conquer the virus and stop its spread. The time for reprimands and throwing mud, if one must, is afterwards.
Then again, a part of me wishes the virus was deadlier than it is. Deadly enough for us all to be wiped off of this planet. Maybe the innocent part of it would then survive for another few billion years. Quite a grim predicament, I know, but better thant Vogon ship I’ve been waiting for, as it would just blast the whole planet into smithereens.
10:30 – So, no Uusimaa dome anymore. The border between Uusimaa and the rest of the country will open again today. People are still advised to stay home, to avoid unnecessary driving around and not to go to their vacation homes. I can see the steam rising from a lot of those who would’ve wanted to be there for Easter and are now pissed off that the restriction is lifted right after Easter.
However, my prediction is that now that spring is here (despite the snowfall) and summer is coming, traffic from Uusimaa and back during weekends will most definitely increase. Then again, if you simply go to your cabin and stay there, I suppose there’s not much harm in that either as long as people don’t go to local stores etc. or move to their summer homes “permanently” right now.
18:30 – I’ve been somewhat depressed today. This loss of freedom is the thing that gets to me in this confinement. It’s not like I want to be constantly going anywhere, socializing etc. it’s just that I’d like to choose. I’d like to be able to just go to places and do things whenever I want. Like nonprisoned adults are supposed to. Talking with my work pals on our virtual coffee break cheered me up some.
D on the other hand is downright desperate. She needs the social life, she needs the routine of going to school. She is going crazy with boredom, slipping into a depressed state of boredom where nothing feels good. Where you’re so bored you don’t have the motivation to do even those things you’re supposed to do.
We have 72 COVID-19 deaths in Finland now. 3237 total cases so far. Like one of friends noted today, this state we’re in right now isn’t even like waiting for the rain to stop. It’s like waiting for the rain to start so that it can stop, before we can all go out again. So far the virus is still quite well contained here, and we’re just waiting for the bomb to drop – if it ever will even. From all around us we see the virus explosions wreaking havoc while we’re still frozen in a state of suspence. We hear the whistle but don’t see the bomb.
Day 35 – Thu April 16
Suddenly all you can read is how countries are starting to lift restrictions, and Trump is declaring that USA has passed the peak of Corona spreading – while people are still dropping like flies there. While it seems that the political climate has changed to opening up everything again. Harvard researchers still recommend social distancing until we actually have a vaccine, which may take until 2022.
I am scared, confused and distraught. I know I don’t want to not see my son and my dad for two more years. I know I don’t want to risk myself or other any more than necessary. I know for me it’s quite black and white. I either stay in confinement or figure that I might as well live as normal. More or less, I suppose. Staying mostly home, but doing normal things like taking the bus to the city to tak care of some errands, going to the office on occasion, having my hair done.
I think we, the humankind (human-evil, more like), will need to find a new way of living and being. We cannot lock ourselves into our houses forever, not even for a couple years, but we cannot just go on returning to how things were before. We need to start wearing masks – it would be preferred to have a proper one, but if everyone would wear even just a cloth mask, it would already lower the risk significantly. If some wear, some don’t, it’s pretty much futile.
We need to distance ourselves as much as possible until people are vaccinated, while still being able to maintain our ability so see family, do those normal things I mentioned, go to our workplaces, schools, etc. Traveling needs to be kept at a minimum, because that is the worst thing, carrying the virus around the globe. We need a new world order, we need to adjust and learn a new slower way of life. Only that way will we survive.
One of my big concerns is my extroverted teen daughter. I cannot keep her under lock and key for much longer or she will probably die. But how do I make sure I keep safe if she goes out to hang with her friends? How do I distance myself from my kid who lives under the same roof?
Then again, she too is battling: she understands the risk she would put me in and I know she wouldn’t want to live with the guilt of being the reason why mom is in the hospital fighting for her life – basically this is why I haven’t had problems having her stay home. Then again I can clearly see the agony of not being able to go out and do what teens do. It is way worse than my longing for my freedom.
22:30 – H has been quite irritable in recent days. He and D don’t get along very easy at the best of times, and now it seems that the longer we stay here confined to these 120 square meters, the more annoyed he gets – which then causes me to get pissed of at H.
I think it really it’s the uncertainty we all live with. The understanding that this current situation is just a prelude and that the worst is yet to come and H can’t protect me (for that is his utmost goal here) anymore. One of these days we will all emerge again, probably sooner than he would like. When the restrictions are lifted – mind you, they’re not exactly talking of that here yet, despite opening the Uusimaa border again – life will start again, D will go to places, I will go to places and we will all be more vulnerable.
Even though I kinda would like to just hole up until the whole world has been vaccinated, I know it’s not realistic. Not with a teen in the house, not otherwise either, really. When stuff starts to open up again, it means donning your mask and pocketing your hand sanitizer and hoping for the best. “She will stay quarantined as long as the rest of us”, replied H surly when I noted D’s restlessness. Sure. It’s just that nobody knows how long “as long” is and how it will be decided when it’s over, and that’s eating us all.
The COVID-19 count in Finland today is 3369 (+132) confirmed cases and 3 more dead (2 in a nursing home; 2/3 of the total deaths are). Amount of hospitalized patients has been going down these past days. Freezer containers are standing empty in hospital yards, waiting for the maelstorm.
In other news, my friend seems to be getting home from the hospital. Some good news for a change.
Day 36 – Fri April 17
I find myself quite agitated today, hanging in suspence, thinking it would be easier to just give up and hope to die of the goddamn virus. With my luck I wouldn’t even, though. I’m also quite bummed that none of the entrepreneurs I sent an enquiry about that embroidered leather jacket have answered me, not even with a nay. Maybe they all thought my message was some sort of spam, since it contained a link. Fucking hell. What’s happened to this world where an artisan doesn’t even care to see if a potential customer is for real?
I suffer from recurrent brief depression and feel a bout creeping on me again. I also suffer from unspecified anxiety and my anxiety levels have been on the rise again. Nothing out of the usual about either – they come and go, Corona or no Corona. Of course right now it feels like it and this confinement is to blame. Probably it does play some part in it.
21:30 – It’s 82 dead of COVID-19 in Finland and my teen going apeshit and H having no empathy and me being in the middle, listening to music through my headphones trying to keep myself from losing it being between those two, like I have for several years in the past and still got a few to go. I wish H could be of some sort of support for me, but I mostly rely on my friends for that. I cope. ‘Nuff said.
Don’t know that much about this shit in other countries, but this “so far, this is what I’ve learned about Corona [in Finland]” list totally made me laugh. And cry. At the same time.
- You are not to leave your home, except if you do. Then it’s ok.
- You can visit other people, but it’s forbidden.
- So far, no srudies have shown that there is any benefit from using face masks, but you should use them.
- It is recommended to use masks made of cloth, but no study has shown that they benefit you in anyway.
- Masks sold in pharmacies should be reserved for hospital use.
- Stores are closed, except for those that remain open.
- Gyms are closed, except for those that are not.
- You should order your food via the Internet. If you make your order now, you’ll still be able to secure a delivery before Juhannus (mid-summer’s day).
- You won’t catch coronavirus from surfaces like milk cartons or shopping carts, but you should disinfect your hands anytime you’ve touched anything.
- Corona is fatal only for the old and unwell, and the young and otherwise healthy who die of it.
- You don’t need to use gloves. Just don’t touch anything with your bare hands.
- The best way to keep Corona at bay is testing. Which is why people are not tested.
- Yopu are not to go to your summer place, but it is not forbidden.
- Uusimaa lockdown was lifted but you are not to travel in o r out of Uusimaa.
- There is no quarantine for people returning home from other countries, but they need to refrain from all contact with other people fro two weeks.
- This pandemic will go on for 3 months or 3 years or it may never end.
- Vitamin C does not help becaus Juhani Knuuti says so.
- R0 in Finland has gone down so the worst is still ahead of us.
- Prime Minister Sanna Marin makes only bad decisions with this Corona stuff, which is why her support rate is currently 80%.
- Also, there’s WHO, Bill Gates, 5g masts, mandatory vaccinations, emergency storages (and fucked up orders of face masks), Tiina Jylhä, and the goddamn helsinkians who just want to go their summer places.
Yes, at least around here the message is confusing at best, but if you go by the tightest advice, you can hardly go wrong. It’s not a game.
Tomorrow is the date of the great #togetherathome #oneworld concert hosted by Lady Gaga and joined by multiple artists. It is at an ungodly hour for us Europeans (3am EET, I read in Yle), but hope to be able to see the concert online later on.
Day 37 – Sat April 18
Scanned through the news. This whole shit just makes me sick. Political games, contradicting preliminary studies, people protesting restrictions, nurses leaving the patients of nursing home to die, politicians claiming they have the virus under control while contagion goes on stronger than before… I say, let’s stop the theater and just let people die.
17:00 – For the sake of everyone’s mental health we went out for a little roadtrip and a hike in the nature today. It seemed that everybody and their dog were out too. Heavy traffic on on all roads and there were quite a few others out hiking in the same area as us too, but the Linlo island in Kirkkonummi is big enough – as small as it is – for people to just disperse.
We did a good 6km hike around the island, all three of us and our dogs, sitting on the sun warm rocks a couple times to have a snack. I had made some sandwitches to take with us, without forgetting the dogs; I obviously had packed some snacks for them too. The sun was warm, wind was cool, air was fresh and we all fully enjoyed our couple hour outing. I had my camera with me and got some beautiful photos of the sea and of the dogs.
We have 192 new COVID-19 cases in Finland today, and 8 more dead, bringing the totals to 3681 and 90. THL is still not recommending usage of masks (must be because apparently all attempts to get more masks to this place fail; they’re either not suitable or cause allergy like the latest shipment).
I’ve started to think that maybe it really would be best to just let this shit rage and cause havoc until we have a vaccination. We cannot stay home for two years in avoidance of everyone, it would really ruin the economy of the country and the mental health of the people. Until there’s a vaccination, it doesn’t really matter when the restrictions are lifted; the storm will really hit at that point anyway.
So maybe open up the world again, allow people to choose whether they confine themselves or not. Perhaps we risk groupers will do and try to stay safe even then, as well as we can. Let those die who happen to die. Maybe. There’s really only bad options with this shit.
21:00 – This really was a very nice day. In the evening I chatted for a couple hours with a bunch of my friends in a video call. Some of my oldest friends, a circle of mothers whose due date was in March 2003, when I was pregnant with D. Originally our group was a mailing list with dozens of mothers. Now were an even dozen, the core group that started meeting IRL early on and became a rather close circle of friends. We’ve shared life’s ups and downs for almost 18 years now.
Day 38 – Sun April 19
I woke up this morning to a couple WhatsApp messages waiting for me on my phone. My son had sent me messages in the middle of the night telling me he misses me and asking if we could have a call today. Of course we can! I try to balance somewhere there, where I ask about his wellbeing in occasional Wapp messages, but try not to invade his freedom too much, knowing that he will contact me when he wants. I miss him, but I don’t want to smother him.
I find myself in a protective circle where both my kids – not only my son but also my daughter – and my husband have taken it as their duty to protect me – from myself, from any outside dangers. They all feel they need to protect me from myself and outside dangers like Corona.
I’m a bit clumsy by nature, and my AN engendered balance issues have only enhanced that, and coupled with my simple careless hastiness in everything I do, I do hurt myself regularily – like bumping my toes, cutting my fingers, hitting my shin with a sledgehammer :D One thing I don’t do: I don’t fall down from the trees or rocks I climb, but I do understand why D was so worried yesterday when I was going to the edges of cliffs and whatnots to take photos.
This protectiveness is the reason why I haven’t had any fights with D about going to see friends or this or that. She may rage about being bored and all that every now and then, but never once has she really tried to ask to go. Her raging is just about venting; she just needs to let it out and get some empathy. H takes it as a threat, but I don’t think it is. She seemed to comprehend what H explained about the danger Corona holds for me, and she wouldn’t do anything to endanger me. And neither would my son.
I suppose I’m really lucky, having my family value me so high, wanting to protect me so fiercely. I appreciate it, I really do, even if on occasion it feels a bit like a golden cage. Then again, I think I’m not alone in that with this Corona keeping people in their houses.
18:30 – Obviously, after having written the above, D went all “but the parents of other my friends let their kids go out” on me. We were having a video call with S and D started complaining to her brother how very bored she is and how she’s going crazy here with us and “can I come live with you?”. S tried to help his sister out with all sorts of suggestions, none of which would fly, naturally.
“I think it’s all about attitude”, S sighed and laughed then: “Gosh I sound just like dad! I miss him too, and I’ve noticed that whenever I don’t see him in a long time, I start to say all sorts of dad-like things.” S is back to work now, but otherwise just staying home too. So far he and his roommate are healthy and doing fine.
I added Viaplay to our streaming services today. D mostly spends her time watching movies and series and has pretty much exhausted both Netflix and HBO already, and watched everything from our own DVD cabinets multiple times, and I’m not really willing to rent movies from iTunes constantly. Viaplay atleast provides some new stuffs to watch. Poor extroverted girl, suffers from the quarantine more than the rest of us combined – including S and my step daughter. Of course, the rest of barely suffer, as we are introverts and just dwell on staying home in our own peace.
We have four new COVID-19 deaths today, total being now 94. 3783 cases altogether, 102 new ones. I too am getting tired of this shit. I am tired of hanging, of not knowing how long this will last, not knowing what happens then. Tired of not being able to just let my kid go out, to go and do something with her. Tired of a life without freedom.
I made a pot of risotto for the dogs; they eat only home made food again, a risotto made with meat, fish, egg, milk or cream, a bit of oil , peas and carrots. It’s not like we couldn’t get dog food just as well as we get human food – H goes to the store once or twice a week anyway, with his mask and latex gloves despite THL saying masks are not needed – but we switched to the risotto already months ago. They like it better and we know exactly what they get. Humans don’t eat processed foods here either, really.
By the way, the Together at Home concert was yesterday. I forgot to watch, but obviously there’s videos available. It’s just not the same when you don’t leave the house. I forget to do things at some specific time, when there’s either something else going on or I’m reading.
21:00 – Is it just my imagination or do fingernails grow faster when in quarantine? And is it some sort of sign of quarantine fatigue that I started to try on different hair colors? Am I restless?
Day 39 – Mon April 20
Another Monday, another work week. After sleeping on it, I have pretty much decided to go with the purple, though tinted a bit more black, maybe. Let’s see how many times I will change my mind before this shit is over. My own color is a dark grayish brown, really a very non-color and way boring.
This week will tell us something, since apparently our government will be discussing the fate of the restrictions and making some decicions. We’ll se how it goes.
16:30 – Amazingly there came this day, when I actually shared a video by the Christian Democrats “Forbid Everything” Päivi Räsänen (cripes, what’s next?! I agree with Trump?!). She made a rather good info video about wearing masks in public places (in Finnish of course), the hows and whys and . She is not alone in the Finnish medical community with this recommendation, even though THL still refuses to budge (while the director of THL does recommend them).
This week looks like a rather springy week if the weatherman is to be believed. Today I sat for a couple hours out on the deck in the warm morning sun, before the clouds rolled in. Tomorrow and Wednesday are supposed to be fully sunny and warm, so more terrace office days to come, I hope.
I also have started to hope that these restrictions would be lifted, as I have understood better and better how utterly long it will take before we can sigh of relief with Corona, if ever. Something else needs to be done, something other than keeping everything closed, with people huddled in their homes. In short, the means would be exactly what Räsänen states in that video:
- Test more
- Trace contagion
- Treat and quarantine COVID-19 positives
- Wear masks in the public – even though cloth masks don’t provide full protection, if everyone uses them, it helps a lot
- And don’t forget to wash/sanitize your hands (Räsänen forgot to mention this ;) )
This way the society could actually start to open again without the worst possible second wave scenarios. We could go out, to work, to stores, to hair salons… Businesses could open up again. Just note that the “wear masks” comes after the stuff that our government/officials etc. should do to make sure the contamination stays low. Right now they’re not – which is why we all stay home.
Our death count today is +4, putting us just 2 deaths shy of a hundred. 83 new confirmed cases, which is quite a but less than previous days. Maybe this lockdown has been effective enough. Maybe it would be time to heed Räsänen and change the tactic. Not that I have any say in this. Räsänen doesn’t really either, politician as she is, since she’s not in the government.
Day 40 – Tue April 21
Psychologically people go through four phases when dealing with chrisis. Looking back to my own progress during these forty days of quarantine, it’s pretty much textbook.
“Suddenly my instincts told me to gather my family up into our house and lock the doors and windows so that nobody can get in or out until this shit is over. This very biblical scene of jews in Egypt huddling in their houses as death moves around collecting first-borns hit my mind. I felt like painting a protective mark on the door with lamb blood, or something”. (Day 0)
“Now that said, I repeat myself: obviously no everyone can stay home for days and weeks. Thos who can, should, though. Not only for their own good (if you are don’t care about yourself, why should I?), but for the good of those who need to be out and about, even if they’re in a risk group, even if they really would like to isolate.” (Day 4)
“As content as I am in my secure life, it makes me a bit sad to understand that so many people are struggling and having it quite difficult. Financial problems are one thing, domestic violence another thing. These kinds of times just make it worse for those who don’t have it so good to begin with. There’s plenty of kids living in homes where parents beat and abuse them and each other, where parents don’t have the money or the interest to feed them, as parents drink most of the money that comes in.”(Day 16)
“I also have started to hope that these restrictions would be lifted, as I have understood better and better how utterly long it will take before we can sigh of relief with Corona, if ever. Something else needs to be done, something other than keeping everything closed, with people huddled in their homes.” (Day 39)
Now, with this reorientations stuff, I awknowldge that I am very idealistic. Out of all personality types, my INFP is the most idealistic of them all. I obviously believe that in the end I know what should be done, that my assessment of things is the correct one, that my idealistic worldview is the one that would save us all. Be it about kindness, society, handling this Corona chrisis. Unfortunately, I have little say in anything other than my own conduct (and influencing my kids).
The other day I was commenting something about something, and H responded by telling me that this nationalistic kind of discriminatory behavior will only increase due to this. I know he’s right – while at the same time I can see that the opposite is also happening; that people are also finding solidarity and kindness, and helping each other out.
Anyway, the thought of living in a world where the bully is the master, where strength is measured by coldness and selfishness, where hard values strive instead of soft values like love and compassion, made me break down and cry.
All of our “curves” are up again. There’s 146 new COVID-19 cases in Finland confirmed today (104 of which are in Uusimaa), making the total jump a hair above 4000 to 4014. Amount of hospitalized patients grew from yesterday’s 192 to 209 today; not significant, but a sharp turn upward in the chart anyway after a 10 day long downward trend.
I am dreaming of a hair dresser visit – though in my actual dreams I was at work again.
21:00 – I just talked with my sister (living in California) for maybe ten or fifteen minutes. First call in weeks! What with life having gone into a mode of Groundhod Day, we have been forgetting our weekly calls. Besides my sister is seriously busy homeschooling her two young kids. Very different life from mine!
Day 41 – Wed April 22
Death toll in Finland jumped by 50% when over 40 new deaths were reported yesterday. Not that they all died yesterday; just that there were a bunch of unreported nursing home deaths that now got added to the official number.
Things got a bit heated here yesterday evening, after an otherwise nice day in the sun, complete with H grilling som sausages, wings, and cheeseburgers. D and I went for a bit longer walk with the dogs to let things cool down some. This shit is really starting to get to each one of us in some way or another.
We started talking about the possibility to get out of the city for a while, rent a cabin somewhere for a few days – against all government recommendations. With all probability, we’re not going anywhere. D might go to stay with her dad for a while, possibly maybe. She’s contemplating, and anyway still needs to ask her dad.
17:00 – D decided to go stay with her dad for a few days. She hasn’t seen her dad since February, I think. They were supposed to do something on D’s birthday weekend and go to their summer cabin for Easter, but obviously none of it happened. His family has been just as tightly isolated as we have been here, so I actually have no worries. It’s good for her to get a bit out of this house, and visit her dad.
There’s 115 new Corona cases and 8 new deaths since yesterday. Our Vappu (May Day, the biggest carnival in Finland) is approaching and the officials are worried that people will go crazy, flood the city and the epidemic will explode. Already yesterday, when the weather was so warm and sunny, people were flocking outside and forgetting all distancing.
We are so lucky to have our own yard! We are so lucky in so many ways and apparently part of the new elite, that is able to work from home, that has a secure job (that can be done at home). An elite that is able to be almost totally isolated. I know, have known all along that I and most of my friends are in a bubble of sorts. Not my son, though. I am scared for S, but then again, he plays with sanitizers all day long in the hospital, and doesn’t visit the wards at all.
Day 42 – Thu April 23
New case count of the day: 155 altogether, 132 of them in Uusimaa. Lifting the Uusimaa lockdown just doesn’t make much sense, but I suppose it was more about allocation of police resources than anything else. Granted, that they are more needed in the city here, with people misbehaving in all sorts of ways. With the warm spring days, people have seem to forget all about distancing, gathering together in parks and beaches. The police are now patrolling neighborhoods and popular parks.
I do get it – of course people want to go out when it’s warm and sunny! Hell, I’m sitting on our deck again myself, bathing in the wonderful warm sun. Normally the terraces in the city would be packed with people all day long; now they need to find alternative places to enjoy the spring, and there are only so many places to go and way more people than open space. Most city dwellers do not have their own yard. As long as we don’t have a curfew in place, people will venture outdoors.
I admit that statistics have never been my forte, even though math otherwise always came quite easy to me, but I really can’t help wondering about all these governments claiming that “we have passed the peak”, when the amount of new cases per day keeps rising in the same exponential curve (displayed in the media). Health organizations talk about the R0 which is claimed to be about 1 now in Finland (and other countries have declared the same), so I have started to wonder if the curve shown eg. in Yle simply is sqewed. Or rather, does not show the correct thing.
I mean, the daily addition stays about same – on average something like 110-130 new cases per day. The total goes up in the same steepish curve, obviously. However, when the amount of people affected rises, there should be some sort of percentage. Let’s say at point 0 we have 100 people affected and 30 new ones a day, it means 30% increase the first day, but the next day increase of 30 is actually only 23%, and the day after that only 18%. The curve looks quite different than the straightforward increase curve.
In essence, the increase actually decreases in percentage which, if I have understood anything, is the thing (simplified, I’m sure) the health organizations are interested in, and what the R0 is based on. So why does the media feed people the scarier increase curve? If you simply look at that and then read that “we are past the peak”, it puzzles a bit. It feels contradicting. Then, maybe I’m over-estimating the thinking power of most people.
17:00 – I think definitely I’m over-estimating it. Newest display of sheer stupidity is the people crowding Lidl to get these sneakers in Lidl colors and with the Lidl logo, that some so-called Instagram stars are now wearing. So ok, they were cheap, 15€, but really, seriously, people!
Of course these have now appeared in online market places, just like toilet paper only a month ago. Opportunistic sellers have set the price to something outrageous, but perhaps the fool who pays exists too. I have heard some crazy stories about sneaker collectors…
Corona death count today is 23, ten of which happened in one nursing home in Espoo.
Day 43 – Fri April 24
Finally got an email from Ticketmaster informing me that the GreenDay concert is postponed (to a still unknown time). Still waiting for more info on D’s upcoming summer camp. I wish they could also just postpone the camps, but that’s not really possible, since they have the whole summer booked already, camp after camp in all locations.
This whole situation is a bit of a mess. Gatherings of over 500 are forbidden until end of July, however also restaurants are closed, but gyms and suches can keep their doors open if they want. Responsible enterprices like eg. my dance school Step Up School closed their doors immediately, but since the government didn’t force it, they are now not eligible for the financial support offered – like help with rent, etc.
Amusement parks are planning on opening their gates for the summer, but allowing only 499 people inside the park at any given time. They are convinced that they can keep people safe of Corona there too, since safety is a key value in the parks anyway. Perhaps they can, but what about all those people camping outside of the gates, waiting for their turn?
We might all be safer if instead of trying to confine people who don’t want to be confined, we’d all just wear those goddamn masks – that it would be mandatory and actuallty enforced out in the public. I know there’s a debate among the health experts and scientists about the benefits of cloth masks, and no actual scientific proof, but I believe that if everyone wore them properly, the protection would be better than nothing.
Probably I’m simply being wishful. But hell, there’s only bad choices here to make anyway! We all lean towards something, we all evaluate info we get and select what to believe according to former knowledge and our value system. And maybe also some wishfulness. I think I’d be ok going out with a cloth mask, if I knew everyone else was wearing one too. I acknowledge that breathing in or out it does not prevent shit, but at least it catches the droplets when people sneeze and cough.
Or maybe I’m just fooling myself while wanting this coronageddon to be over. I just want to return to normal life. Don’t we all, now? The difference is that some of us are responsible, some go fighting for Lidl sneakers. It’s the responsible ones who suffer, as always. Let’s just all get sick and die.
I hate it when I just can’t make up my mind about what is the best approach, what is right, what should be done. My mind tries to work out all the little variables and do calculations, but the variables are in constant change and so it’s absolutely impossible to know. I don’t envy those in the government, making the actual decisions. Here I am, just rambling on on my own, going up and down like see-saw, but they actually need to come to conclusions about this stuff. Decisions that affect millions of people.
22:00 – I went to collect my kid from her dad’s after I was done with my workday. H had already been out shopping for our weekly needs (minus maybe some stuffs; but anyhow, he goes to the stores twice a week approx) and brought home a couple nice bunches of gerberas. He had changes his “fart sweats” (pieruverkkarit as we call the house sweats in Finnish) to jeans, so when I got home with D, I followed suit. Pulled on my black jeans for the first time in weeks and dug out a nice Desigual shirt instead of my hoodie or tee.
We had a nice steak and some broccoli gratins for dinner, with music blasting from our Sonos speakers. Damn, if we’d had that kind of stuff available in our teen years! D takes full advantage of the wifi speaker system when she’s home alone – which obviously doesn’t happen much (err… at all) with this Corona shit going on.
As for today’s Corona news. Trump came up with the excellent idea of injecting people with disinfectant to kill the virus – since we are using absinth as disinfectant, I told H to just inject me with that if I get ill.
The amount of new deaths is 5 today, and the amount of new COVID-19 cases is 111. Business as usual. I read that the total death count (in Finland) of March this year is actually less than last year, though sort of in the same vicinity of 3500-4000 deaths. Not that Corona has killed that many here yet anyway, so no surprise there.
Day 44 – Sat April 25
Even though there’s barely over a month of school to go anymore, there’s a debate going on whether schools should still open before that or not. Originally the plan was to keep them closed until mid-April, then it was extended to May 13th (like 2,5 weeks before end of semester). Pediatricians seem to be of the mind that schools should open for the last couple of weeks, while I don’t really understand any good reason for that.
For D’s sake I wish all of this was over. I can’t come up with a much worse age and state to be quarantined for weeks on end than to be 17 and extroverted. She needs her friends, she needs the school routine, she needs her dance classes, she needs her life outside of home. As luck would have it, she was on and off sick for the month before Corona hit Finland, and was just about to go to her first dance class in ages when the government made its first announcements and the dance school closed its doors.
I’ve been looking for some cloth face masks to buy while waiting for the time when I emerge from this hole. I’d like to find some domestically made and sold masks, but goddamn everyone here just makes the same boring single color masks (or some ugly Marimekko patterns or stuff). I would like some dog snout pattern or something else cool like that. But nooo. Too much to ask. Just like with everything. I seem to be strange in my preferences. That’s why I buy so much of my stuff online.
Like with that leather jacket thing. Impossible to find something like that, a nice embroidered different style jacket in any store in Finland. So I sent out enquiries for getting one custom made for me. I never even received one single no from any of the shops I sent my request to! Not even a curtesy no. I don’t know what is wrong with this country, or rather the artisans here.
21:00 – Another ten nursing home deaths due to Corona. Something is going horribly wrong in them.
Our Saturday went by in a totally normal manner. I did a load of stuffs in the kitchen – made a couple liters of juice with our slow juicer, cooked a risotto for the dogs and some food for D, helped out H with his bedroom bubbler garden project, watched a movie (Jumanji – The Next Level) with D, read a bit, that kind of stuff.
What I didn’t manage to fit into my day was the video chat with my friends, like we did last Saturday. Maybe again next weekend then. This is my “problem” with relationships anyway; I seem to have so much going on in my life at home, that I just don’t have the time for friends too often. Not even when quarantined 🤷♀️
H is apparently bored or something, since he has started to look into getting a mini bull terrier puppy and tomorrow we’ll go to see a woman about a pup. Obviously I have already warmed up to the idea that we get a puppy for our two already 8yo terriers to train before they get too old, and obviously nothing has been agreed yet between us and the breeder, other than that we go there tomorrow to see the puppy.
Day 45 – Sun April 26
After a rather poorly slept night – Meggie had diahrrea and I woke up every two hours to clean up smelly stuff from the floor, and then H was attacked by a horrendous cough fit that lasted for a half an hour – we took the dogs out, fed them, and wolfed down some fried eggs, and I made us some ice coffees to go and fixed D a sandwitch for breakfast, and we all scrambled into our car.
We drove out to the countryside to see that puppy. On the drive there, we discussed the realities of taking a baby dog on the way. The puppy was the most charming little fella, absolutely adorable! Then, what puppy isn’t? So, as it happened, we are gonna have a new pack member in three and a half weeks. Little Ace the miniature bull terrier will join us at just a bit over 8 weeks old <3 This coronageddon seems to do strange things to us ;)
That little one absolutely stole our hearts! We are smitten. We’re all so exited! Well, Timmy and Meggie aren’t; they don’t know yet and they’re confused about the strange puppy smell we carried back to the car after spending an hour or so in the pen with Ace and his brother.
Can’t hardly wait for the little chap to come home to us! S was totally devastated that he won’t be able to visit when Ace comes. He’s only seen my photos and is already in love with the tiny one. I promised him we’d figure out something, like meeting in the backyard with him wearing a mask – he still does work in a hospital. Still, he’s got not access to any face masks, so I’ll need to figure out that part. I think I can fix one from some cloth and the filters we have. Something.
I mean, we were standing right there in the yard with the breeders today for a couple hours. It was my first live human contact outside my family for, well, almost two months. If you disregard the five minutes spent with my dad a few weeks ago.
Day 46 – Mon April 27
I’ll have to admit that my mind really struggles to stay in work matters, when thoughts keep drifting to our little baby doggo. I could just keep on staring at its little face forever! Tomorrow it is getting its official name, Agent of Chaos. Countdown to Ace coming home is 24 days.
At lunchtime D came to the kitchen to have some food too and started talking about how she had thought about getting me a Mother’s Day gift (for once), but how it’s so very difficult now. She had seen this mug in the online store of a Finnish workshop, but ordering it seemed a bit complicated since home delivery cost as much as the mug.
She hasn’t really been in the habit of getting any Mother’s Day gifts since the early school years when they made the presents at school, and neither has S. It’s not like I really need anything, for me its way more important that I understand all year round that I have a wonderful relationship with both my kids, and that they appreciate me as their mom.
At 16 or 17, S gave me the rare gift: a mug with the text MAMMA <3. I use it daily as my morning coffee mug despite it being chipped a bit. So I thought I’d help D out with her dilemma and promised to pay for the shipping if she wanted the mug to me. So that’s what we did. Soon I’ll have two morning coffee mugs – both given to me by my kids, with love <3
19:00 – H left for the store about an hour ago, when I was still busy working. I stopped only just now, a couple minutes before he returned. As he was putting on his shoes, he sighed: “I’m waiting for the time when I can go to the store not wearing a mask.” “I’m waiting for the time I can go to the store”, I replied.
Seriously. I haven’t been inside a store, pharmacy, anything for six weeks now! I have bought some items like hair products, and only yesterday a SMEG milk frother to replace the misbehaving JURA one (and today that mug) – all carried to our door (well, the frother is still on its way, obviously).
Situation with Corona continues to be ok here – today’s numbers are 119 new cases, 3 new deaths. In many ways Finns, as a very introverted nation, has the social distancing to an art with or without a pandemic. However, Friday is May Day and it is feared that that will cause some havoc if people go out in crowds to celebrate. Our Vappu will be as any Vappu of ours ever, not much different from any day of this quarantine, really. We’ll make some “Vappu salad” and have some shampagne with it on our terrace, if it’s even remotely warm.
Day 47 – Tue April 28
I find it extremely alarming that
- a person who holds the keys to a nuclear bomb launch briefcase let’s out of his mouth something so outrageous as “injecting or drinking disinfectant”
- there are people who actually do it
- the abovementioned nuclear-bomb-responsible-person denies all responsibility to any “disinfectant incidences”
19:00 – H left to go to the store for a friend of mine who needed some help. The shopping list had items that we don’t usually buy, so I was a bit antsy about H finding those as he is a bit of a creature of habit, but he promised he’d figure it out. I’m just not allowed to the store, end of story. Not that I really mind it too much. I don’t really like grocery shopping.
We had an early dinner tonight in order to give H time to take care of the shopping trip, and over dinner we were discussing the puppy proofing of our home a bit. Seems we’ll have some rather busy weekends ahead: we need to finish the floor and wall patching of our “studio”, get the tools out of the house, furniture into the room, and somehow make sure there are no wires accessible. Oh, and figure out a way to have our shoes safe from the tiny puppy teeth!
We have 45 new Corona cases confirmed today, and 6 deaths. The dreaded Vappu is only a few days away and the City of Helsinki is doing its best to make sure people stay home. “Manta”, the Havis Amanda statue by the market square is the epicenter of Helsinkian Vappu usually, so the city has built a wall around it this year to prevent anyone from having funny ideas of giving it the traditional graduation cap or something despite the ban.
Also, the mayor of Helsinki gave a speech on TV today, telling people to stay home, saying that “there is nothing to see in the city, absolutely nothing going on”.
Day 48 – Wed April 29
After the slow Corona day yesterday, today our total jumped up with 166 new cases, 125 of which are in Uusimaa. The total is now 4906 – by Vappu it will be over 5000, which is still rather moderate, though – 3368 (68%) of which are in Uusimaa. Lifting the Uusimaa lockdown hasn’t made any kind of difference in the spreading of the virus; most cases are still here, and thre rest of the country is still quite Corona-free.
Our little pups got his registration and official name yesterday: Rottwood Agent of Chaos <3
Scanning through the news today, can’t help but wonder:
- How many companies are laying people off just because Corona gives the perfect excuse?
- Why do only health personnel get all these tributes? What about all the other people who keep the society running despite the pandemic? What about the teachers, who do their best to ensure that kids still learn stuff? What about the parents who struggle to juggle between (remote) work and helping their kids with the distance learning?
- Why do health personnel only get all these tributes? I mean, it’s not like they can use respect to buy food or pay their rent, is it? Shouldn’t they be getting a raise or something?
Now the controversial bullet is surely the middle one – why health personnel (only). I understand that they are the ones most at risk, and working in ways and shifts that are way out of the ordinary. They are doing their best to help those sick with the virus. So yes, they deserve our gratitude.
However, I have a problem with this kind of hype and hypocrisy. They are the heroes of anyone sick at any time – or they can be the anti-heroes treating patients indifferently or even insolently. They do their job and they probably get paid to little for it, but to suddenly declare them above everyone? I just don’t think so.
So, here’s to everyone holding their life together, caring for their family, home-schooling their children, staying in involuntary isolation, wearing a mask to protect others from getting infected – to everyone doing their best to ride the wave and help contain the virus.
Our schools here will open in mid-May for a bit over two weeks before summer vacation. I don’t exactly understand the logic in it, but I guess they have their reasons. Maybe it’s just to further plan to be rid of the seniors – kids go back to school to fetch Corona, then go off to their grandparents for the summer. Nursing homes being only the beginning :P
20:30 – H and I took our dogs to the local vet get their booster shots before our little one arrives. First time in weeks I have been inside an establishment with other people! Keeping our distance for sure, but in the same space all the same. The vet took the dogs to the exam room one by one while we waited in the lobby.
Meggie has gained some weight here while on quarantine. “Haven’t we all”, laughed the nurse. They get their usual daily exercise – no restrictions for going out or anything – but she is such a swindler, getting especially H to issue treats way more often than they normally get. Timmy, on the other hand, has lost some weight, which is a bit surprising. He kept going back to stand on the scale to show us how underweight he’s gotten to be :D
Day 49 – Thu April 30 (Vappuaatto – May Day’s Eve)
Yesterday the death count climbed over 200 (total 206 before today’s numbers are in) – which was only to be expected (previous total having been 199). I fully expect the total of cases to pass 5000 today, yesterday’s number being 4906.
Today is a normal workday, though stores close early. Normally the city would be packed with people in celebration from this evening to tomorrow evening, throughout the night. This year, not so much. Hopefully. The police have issued instructions and “virtuaalivappu” (virtual Vappu) has become a thing. We don’t go out further than our own yard usually anway, so not a biggie for us.
15:30 – Well now, I was wrong again. 4995 cases altogether today, so only 89 new ones.
H stopped working early today and left to get some Vappu foods and drinks. Just when he came back, I was more or less done with my work day. We made some food and just had a regular evening. Friday kind of evening.
Day 50 – Fri May 1 (Vappu – May Day)
People have actually listened and obeyed. The city that normally does not sleep for 24 hours on Vappu (Helsinki does sleep normally between maybe 1-5am), where the usual Vappu stuff is crowded parks with people picnicing on every spare square meter, where market places buzz with action and balloons float in the air and horns honk and kids scream and drunken people stagger about, is now empty.
Our Vappu will be spent doing all sorts of stuffs around the house puppy-proofing it and getting the renovation of the “studio” forward. Not the first Vappu we spend in this kind of activity: five years ago we used the day to work on our kitchen remodeling and three years ago there was also some putting the home together since we had just moved here.
My dad came to visit in the late afternoon, to bring a bottle of “sima” (a traditional Finnish Vappu drink) for us. Our original plan was to enjoy some shampagne and little snacks with him on our terrace, but despite being sunny and warm most of the day, by five the wind had picked up and the weather turned chilly. So we took the chance and dad sat with us in our living room for an hour or so.
Dad lives right there in the heart of the city that is usually buzzing on Vappu. He said there were more police in the parks than people and all of four people in the bus with him on the way here. On the way back home he texted that he was the only one on the bus.
The COVID-19 count in Finland went past 5000 today, the total being 5051 now. Seven new deaths, taking our death toll to 218.
Day 51 – Sat May 2
We accomplished like much today. We put down the wood floor to studio, I nailed the wall boards in, and started bringing in the furniture. D and H came up with the idea to rip off the carpeting and wooden faces of our stairs. So now we have one room done and while I thought our home would be construction free for a while, noo! the stairs are down to dirty concrete now, waiting to be tiled. And we don’t even have the tiles…
As I was fixing the room in the evening, I was thinking back to the New Year’s Eve when people were wishing each other a happy new year 2020. Little did we know what the year would bring along.
Day 52 – Sun May 3
Extroverted people complain when others don’t stop to talk, when people make an effort to not meet but instead move away when someone comes close. You ask me, this world has been ruled by extroverts long enough, this is really a nice change; a world where the extroverts need to adjust in turn, instead of introverts always going out of their way not to seem rude in an extroverted world. A world that caters to introvert needs instead.
Yesterday morning when H and I took the dogs out for their walk, a bunch of ladies with a kid in a pram came walking towards us. The women started talking to the kid in a loud voice: “Look, cute dogs!” repeating this multiple times, obviously expecting us to stop to see if the kid wanted to pet them or something. The group stopped to discuss if the kid should be allowed to walk a bit.
We continued to walk, dogs sniffing and doing their business, our backs turned to the bunch, who finally got the message and instead of lingering right behind us, scurried past, surely thinking us rude and nasty people. I don’t always feel like socializing with strangers on any day – sometimes I’m in a more extroverted mood and even initiate conversation on a bus stop – but now with this Corona shit, I feel even less sociable.
People at work often mistake me for an extrovert, because I am outgoing and friendly, but as one of my closer friends noted the other day in our virtual coffee break, I’m just selectively sociable. With my closest friends at work, we don’t always even talk when hanging together. I do miss that, just being around my friends.
No, no video calls just to chat (except for the short arranged coffee break).Video calls actually are way more draining than real life what with the intensity of the situation.
22:00 – I spent this day fixing up the studio/office now that we finally got the floor in place yesterday. Printing and hanging some pictures on the wall, making D’s old bed into a sofa (that can obviously be made into a guest bed when needed), moving photo albums from the library to the book case in the office, moving my painting stuffs from the crammed cabinet in our bedroom into the newly furnished cabinet in the office, and so forth.
The room has had a notoriously bad internet connection before, but since H redid the whole system with Airport Extremes (one upstairs, one downstairs), the wifi in the room was just as good as anywhere in the house. This means I can actually do my two-day training in the peace of the office tomorrow and Tuesday. And I can have my calls with my sister behind a closed door. Yey!
Our government discussed the lifting of restrictions today, but didn’t hold an info about them their decisions yet today – according to Yle, they didn’t reach a consensus and will continue discussions tomorrow. Our confirmed case count today is 5254 (78 new ones), with ten new deaths (230 altogether). Apparently the epidemic has slowed down too much, which is why the restrictions are already being re-thought and schools being opened (in a week and a half from now), or at least that’s how THL put it.
Day 53 – Mon May 4
I am seriously tired after the physically active weekend. Extremely happy about the office, but totally exhausted. I had dreams about the training I’m about to hold today and tomorrow – probably since I spent the last hours of yesterday going through the materials, as I didn’t have sufficient time for preparations last week.
Received a lovely message from my colleague who normally works our reception at work and takes care of all the practicalities for both us trainers and our training participants. Now that we are all here and there and only online, she sends us info in the email, with the same positive caring attitude she has irl too. Made me smile through my morning grumps :)
Hesari had an article about how people are getting tired of the restrictions and while they seemed important at first, now people have started to feel like taking them more lightly. I can relate. In a way. I don’t have any need to go anywhere per se, but I am getting tired of not having the choice. H has been losening up the family restrictions too, like allowing my dad to visit.
Like it says in the article, like I have written before too, we will need to find a new way of being. We cannot stay isolated for long; it will be the ruin of our economy and people’s mental health. We will need to emerge and go on living while keeping more distance than before.
17:00 – What did I just read? Three Russian doctors have mysteriously “fallen” from hospital windows, supposedly after complaining that they needed to go to work while being sick with Corona or about the lack of protective supplies. Who knows really? There’s all sorts of contradicting information in different sources, as is the case with anything Russian (or North Corean). Still. Plummeting through the hospital window? First two “jumpers” died, this latest one is in critical condition.
Here in Finland, we are still waiting for our government to make some decisions, which obviously isn’t too easy. There’s another ten deaths and some 73 new cases reported today. News is starting to be just more of the same old, same old every day. Not that I’m expecting anything drastic, but getting a bit uninterested.
Perhaps I should go eat something and start reading my bull terrier training guide “When Pigs Fly” in wait of Ace to come home.
Still 2,5 weeks to go. Important time for our baby dog to grow a bit longer with his brother, but we are a bit antzy pantzy here already, eager to have our puppy home!
21:00 – Finally some information from the government. They aim at ramping up testing and isolation within the next month so that libraries, restaurants, museums, and theaters can open during June. The limit for gatherings will ber raised from 10 to 50 people – which means there still won’t be a company party for us in June ;)
They didn’t say anything about wearing masks, but did emphasize people’s own responsibility for sufficient distancing and hand washing etc. “We are moving towards a new normal.” Pretty much exactly as I have figured it must go. Minus the masks.
What it means for me, I still don’t know. Will I go back to the office (on occasion)? Will I take the bus and the metro again? Will there be face to face meetings at customers again? Can I go to the hair dresser finally? I mean, obviously at some point, but already in June? I don’t think so, at least mostly not. More like waiting until August. It’s not like I’m in a hurry or anything.
How does one start to go to places again, anyway? How does one get back to going to customers and office and buses and all that normal kind of stuff, after having been isolated for months? The whole thought seems strange, even a bit scary.
I guess the ghost of Corona will be hanging over our heads for a long time, until they come up with a trustworthy vaccine. I have a bit of a reserve when it comes to these new vaccinations without long enough testing. I had a bit of a reserve when it came to the swine flu vaccination – I read about these possible side effects like narcolepsia and decided not to vaccinate our family and didn’t. With this, I’m totally unidecided. Then again, there’s not even a vaccine on offer yet.
Day 54 – Tue May 5
This decision of our government is dividing people. Some are cheering and others are wholly sceptical and fear that the epidemic will explode. They may be right, those latter ones. I am of that same opinion, too, unless people take their own responsibility and avoid places mostly. The businesses need the customers, but they need to take responsibility too and make their own restrictions. Not that any of this works much with people, as we have seen in Sweden, but it’s starting to seem that Sanna Marin is a similar kind of idealist as I am, believing in people’s intellect, where there is none.
The officials (mainly THL and government guided by them) is going at herd immunity, though I don’t exactly believe in it in this case. There is no proof that it even happens with Corona – preliminary studies actually show that all people who have had COVID-19 don’t even have the immunity and Sweden has already shown that it doesn’t really happen (at least without a price none of us can even fathom yet). Still, they try.
I just hope they manage to actually get the testing, tracking and isolating into action, because this strategy heavily leans on it, or we really do have a catastrophy in our hands. Also, those of us who can stay home, should still just stay home. Just because the government gives you permission, doesn’t mean you need to go anywhere.
Being able to stay home by way of remote work and having someone else to go to the store for you and whatnot is only the other side of the coin, though. I admit I’m getting battle exhaustion. H says something like “when junior arrives, I’ll need to be taking him to all sorts of places for socializing” and I explode. “You! You! If you go to places, what’s the point of me being stuck here? I want to go to places already too!” I do! I want to be free. Oh how I want to be free… and have my hair done.
16:30 – Two day training online from our new office done. Nice to have an actual office, a closed space instead of squatting in the the library by the low coffee table. I love my library, and never complained about working there, but I do enjoy working in the office so much more! It’s almost like my own room, as H gave me free hands in decorating it and making it into what I wanted it to be.
My office/studio <3 though I still haven’t opened my easel once. I don’t think I’ll have too much time to paint in the near future what with stairwell remodeling being the next project and Ace coming and whatnot.
France told today that they have found out that the first Corona case in the country was already in December, 2019. Doctors have found Corona virus in samples taken from a patient back in December. They had cause to suspect that the reason for the patient’s admission to the hospital was, in fact, the then still unknown Corona virus, which prompted the new tests.
Sweden then decided to try to top by claiming that very probably their first case was already in November/December, since there were some travellers returning from Wuhan then. The Swedes aren’t about to “waste resources” by starting to test old samples, though, so it will remain simply a claim. I think any country could make the same claim, more or less.
20:30 – With my impulsive nature I already came to the conclusion that it should be ok for me to go to the hair dresser here soon. So I made an appointment on a whim – only to send a message to my hair dresser five minutes later to cancel it. We are getting a puppy, no need to push our luck right now.
Though now that it has been understood that the virus actually did travel to Europe (and the US) already way earlier than anyone knew about it, I have again started wondering about D’s prolonged illness in February. H and I didn’t get much symptoms of anything, but D definitely was sick for a long time, in an uncharacteristic way. So who knows, we may have already had it and don’t even know it. Then again, as said, no one knows if one truly gets antibodies even after having COVID-19. It’s a mysterious virus.
Day 55 – Wed May 6
Soo, now the States have been attacked by murder hornets, threatening the pollinator honeybee populations. Middle East has already had the locusts and floods so far this year, Australia has been on fire and we here have a worse than normal snake year. This on top of this goddamn plague. Somebody please tell us who to free and from where, like, soon!
It was in the news today that kids are slowly returning to school in Wuhan now. Each kid is tested for Corona and when they enter the school their temperature is taken. Highschool kids start school first there, and the plan for the smaller kids to go back to school is still open.
Kinda very different than the plan here, where the little kids are going to school first (even though studies have shown that they do carry the disease too) and THL is conducting its own study about the possible benefits of masks, instead of relying on ones already made in other places.
20:30 – I made some (Finnish style) pancakes (lätyt) for D this evening. I am most obviously distressed since I managed to fuck them up. We’re talking stuff that I’ve been making since I was maybe 12 years old. I have noticed that when I’m stressed out or agitated, I fuck up even the simplest things like cream of wheat and these pancakes, not to mention more complicated things like cheesecakes (which normally come out perfect).
Intorverts and extroverts of the Internet are at odds about loving or hating this quarantine and isolation shit. As noted today by Introvert, Dear, introversion/extroversion is only one aspect of a person’s personality. While it is certainly easier for introverts to stay away from social situations, it doesn’t mean every introvert is loving it and thriving in it.
I myself flip back and forth between “oh, it’s just fine, I have everything I need right here” and “let me out! let me the fuck out!” A whole lot of this doesn’t bother me – I miss some socializing, but I can live with it. It’s ok to have leisurely calls with colleagues (in addition to the more formal ones with customers) and mostly that is all I need. But I also want to go to places, like the hair dresser (yeah, duh, broken record here) and just out and about where there’s other people, even if I don’t want to interact. Or at least have the choice.
Day 56 – Thu May 7
I just realised that after May 1st, I started April all over again with my dates. God, this staying at home just messes with one’s brain, don’t it? H keeps saying he doesn’t know anymore what day it is, when every day is just the same, days and nights blending into one.
I find myself in a really foul mood today. First off, Thursdays are my least favorite days currently – it’s not Friday yet, but I’m already getting tired and needing my weekend, and I have an 8AM status meeting on Thursdays. Happy happy joy joy, so not.
Secondly, I got the delivery I’ve been waiting for this morning, except that it was only the less sigificant half of my order that was delivered. Instead of getting my new milk frother, I only got the hair spray I ordered as an afterthought at the same time. No info about the frother, no “sorry, this item has been delayed”, no ETA, no frigging nothing! Only the notification of the effin’ hair spray delivery. No wonder Stockmann is goin out of business if this is their idea of customer service. They could learn a lot from Amazon.
The sun is out though, and I expect the day to be rather warm, so maybe I’ll try to lift my spirits later on today by going out to the terrace to work. I’ve got some meetings in the afternoon and those are easy to handle out in the sun when I don’t need to focus on the screen so much.
15:30 – The total amount of Corona cases in Finland continues to rise on a steady curve – 100 +/- something per day (today exactly 100 new cases, taking the total to 5673). However, if you look at the curve for daily growth in the number, you can see how much the epidemic has slowed down during this quarantinian time.
The amount of new deaths today is only three, making the total 255, which is 4,5% of all known cases. Seems a lot, but is more or less in line with the daily numbers – though there’s a logical fallicy in that since the deaths have no correlation to the cases discovered on the day they happen. On average, though, it figures (duh…!).
20:00 – I read in the news that this Corona shit has boosted the bicycling heavily. Has it ever! Walking with the dogs there in the park area with a main bicycle vain, there’s a million bicycles whizzing by this way and that. If it was stressful walking there with the dogs before, it sure as hell is now.
Day 57 – Fri May 8
TGIF! Woke up today in a bit better mood, but my restless mind craved for some shopping, so I ordered a Mahna mahna hoodie for myself and a band tee for all three of us – Bon Jovi for myself, Accept for H, and Avenged Sevenfold for D.
I was looking for something for S too, but realised that since he hasn’t really been living at home since he was 17 and left to study elsewhere, I know pathetically little about the music he listens to. I mean, car trips with his Spotify playing a list of all sorts of random songs don’t really give me a proper insight; like my liked list doesn’t really much reveal my fandoms, neither does his. He, too, does have a ticket to the now postponed GreenDay concert, though.
Hesari published a map of the current Corona contagion situation in different parts of Helsinki. It’s not too bad around where we live, or where my dad lives, even the area where S lives is quite ok, but step-D lives in the eastern parts with her mom, in an area full of Somalian refugees who seem to be obliviant to the situation. Many are worried about the way the virus spreads among them since they refuse to stop gathering together in large groups.
17:30 – Finally I’m done working for the day (and the week). My calendar is killing me slowly with so much to do, so little time to do it all. I’m definitely not suffering from any kind of lack of work or things to do in general. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so busy all the fucking time – work and otherwise!
Day 58 – Sat May 9
H bought me some freedom yesterday in the form of KN95 lightweight masks and now I don’t know how to be free :o Where would I go? Why would I go? I suppose I should take D somewhere (we have masks obviously for her now too), but where should we go? When could we go? There’s the hallway remodeling to do this weekend (nevermind Mother’s Day, that and Father’s Day aren’t really celebrated in our family).
First thing I did, though, was to make that hair dresser’s appointment. I’m getting my hair done next Thursday! Yey!
In other news, we would have a ready for testing Corona vaccination in Finland, but some years back the governnment shut down all vaccination production in this country. It just amazes me that they (government, THL, who the fuck) seem to have no interest in enabling it again (whatever that would mean exactly); they’d rather finance the research somewhere else.
Also, this tracking app for Corona. When all this started there were multiple Finnish software companies volunteering to make one – we might have one in testing already, if the THL would’ve jumped at the opportunity, but nooo! They wanted something else, so now the whole project hasn’t even started and rumor has it, the budjet (paid by us taxpayers, obviously) is like 5-7MEur (which, knowing this country, will probably end up being closer to 10 than 5).
I really do not trust that those people there – those ghosts behind all the decisions in these matters – to have the best of people in mind
. Finland is continuously ranked as one of the least corrupted places on earth, but I have long been of the opinion, that we’re just extremely smart about covering it. Someone benefits from all these way too expensive projects that more or less flop despite the huge budjets. Someone benefits, and it’s not those who should.
14:30 – H hired this young dude (19yo) to help him with some garden work and doing the stairway. This freed me and D to do what we want, so we packed our facemasks into my little backpack and we walked down to the local mall with the dogs.
Man, it felt strange to get dressed in an “out in the public” way! I didn’t even remember to add any jewelry to my outfit, not even my wedding band (which I haven’t worn since the first week of quarantine). D primped herself up with her chokers and all. She bounced and hopped along practically squealing with joy of getting out into the public, to see other people.
When we got the mall, we donned our masks and went into the pet stuffs store to look at some toys for Ace. The mask is a bit hot and the breathing a bit strained, so D got tired of it soon enough and after paying for a couple cord toys, we traipsed back outside. D went in to buy some hair color, then sat outside with the dogs while I got us some drinks and ice creams from the store.
By the time I came out with our goodies, D was ready to boogie. “But… I thought you wanted to see people! Why don’t we sit here and watch them for a while?” I asked her in wonder. “Seen them. We can walk home now”, came her curt answer. She’s extroverted with a degree of social anxiety (I, S, and D, we all have that to an extent), so being around strangers is not exactly very appealing to her either, in the long (or even quite short) run.
There’s 5 new Corona deaths and 142 new confirmed cases in Finland today. D told me that the protu camp she’s supposed to be attending in early June will be held – it was confirmed a week ago or so. I’m not going to forbid it, not even though it kinda scares me to allow her to go there and then come back home. It is outside of Helsinki, which may be somewhat safer than with people from around here, but still. I can’t help but wonder how much those kids’ camps during summer will ramp up this epidemic.
D’s school will be (mostly) online until the end of the semester (which is like four weeks away), and I will continue to work remotely only until the end of this summer (having my four week vacation in July), according to our CEO. So while this second month is coming to its end, there will aparently be at least two or three more months to go. At least with these masks I can have some amount of freedom to do things!
Day 59 – Sun May 10 – Mother’s Day
Beautiful warm sunny Mother’s Day! As mentioned, we don’t do celebrations, but I did get the mug from D. S sent me an “I love you mom” message in Wapp.
The young dude came here again to do some more work on the stairs and while he was doing that, D and I did some stuff in the garden, carrying flower pots to their designated places, filling them with dirt and planting some sun flowers, marigolds and such. H and D did a run to the local greenhouse to get some more dirt and came back with a hydrangea.
Due to the wonderful spring day (which also saw the birches getting their greens!) people flocked to the Japanese cherry tree garden – more than 1000 people in a small park picnicing and whatnot.
Apparently yesterday marked the day when Corona related deaths in Europe exceeded the amount of people who died of the seasonal flu in 2018 (152 000), that bad influenza year. Also, in the US, the amount of Corona deaths exceeded the yearly average of flu deaths (80 000). This in three months, with the world closed off and people in isolation and all sorts of regulations in place. Someone still want to claim that this is just a normal flu?
Unfortunately I think Corona is only just getting started. The fisrt wave is slowly dying, but the second wave is lurking right around the corner, when the restrictions are being lifted, and people get tired and sloppy and stupid. Like those people crowding the cherry park. And the dude who in South Korea went bar hopping, causing fifty new infections. Plus there’s the schools being opened here and all sorts of gatherings of up to what-was-it-again? (I seem to have lost track) are allowed and kids’ camps and whatnots.
Day 60 – Mon May 11
A bunch of kids have been falling seriously sick with Corona related stuff in New York, three kids (with no underlying illnesses) are already dead. Has the virus mutated there in a way that it hits kids severely too? Wuhan has been reporting new cases, and new cases have been going up in Europe too now that restrictions are being lifted. It seems to me that we are on the verge of the second wave already.
I admit to being worried about D attending that camp. I really am not about to forbid it, but I still don’t know what to do about her after the camp, when I’d like to place her in a 2 week quarantine. In her own room? Allowed out only with a mask? I don’t know… Then again, who knows, she might have even had it already in February…
We have a cold rainy Monday here after that wonderful weekend. One that makes it feel just ok to be indoors in a cave working; our office is mostly underground with only a slit of a window up by the ceiling. Need to venture out for a dog walk first, though. Ugh.
18:30 – Reading the news about lifting restriction here and there despite growing COVID-19 rates and deaths and such just further leads me to believing that most of the stuff going on is just political games and trends. Nobody wants to be different (except Sweden), everyone just paces one another.
Here in Finland we’ve had a low growth day what with only 22 new confirmed cases and 4 new deaths.