The #coronageddon Diary, Month 3

I suppose I also could’ve done the split quarantine by quarantine – I mean 40 days is more accurate than a month and this is a quarantine diary, but despite this fact constantly nagging at me, I’ll keep on going on with this monthly split. Well, 30 days to be exact since I didn’t even split it by actual months. 

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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.]

>> Month 1
>> Month 2

Day 61 – Tue May 12

Our COVID-19 count climbed just over 6000 today with the 19 (!!) new cases. Total now is 6003. If this is really the reality, prospects might not be so catastrophic as I’ve been thinking, when schools open and other restrictions get lifted. Still, according to some research groups, Finland is in the red zone with the pandemic, with the strategy of slowing, not snubbing.

Still, I’m not even sure it’s possible for one country to “win” without the whole world winning, unless they isolate themselves for good. Even Wuhan that was supposed to have won, is starting to have new cases. If there’s anything history can teach about pandemics, it’s that they generally throw three waves before the herd immunity is sufficient, unless a vaccination is ready before that. So lo and behold, it’s not over, not even in the winning countries, I bet.

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19:00 – The officials keep saying that they are testing, testing, testing. Doctors claim that they are not testing even as much as there would be capacity. People claim that they are not getting tested even when they are sick and have returned from Spain, Austria, Italy… unless they are hospitalized, and even then their families aren’t being tested despite symptoms. Some stories are from Facebook, but some have been my friends’ families. Sometimes it’s quite hard to know what to believe.

I’m counting days now:

  • 1 – to my hair dresser appt.
  • 8 – to Ace coming home

That’s about it. Things to look forward to for now. At least those one can count days to. No one knows when the hell this quarantine shit is over and I can go to the office and be with my friends irl, not just in occasional video calls. They are better than nothing, but that’s still the one thing I miss: socializing at the office with my colleagues. My need for socializing (outside of family) isn’t big, but it exists.

One thing about this current situation: I’m not the only one with dogs barking in the background of meetings anymore – be it internal meetings or with customers :D I used to work at home a whole lot more than most customers before the Corona shits, but now everybody’s at home there’s dogs barking, babies cooing, and kids squealing in the background of every meeting.

Day 62 – Wed May 13

This staying at home business has put me into this strange ghost-like hovering state. It’s like I don’t even exist when I don’t exist outside of home. When I don’t do any of the normal things like take the bus, go to the office, go to dance classes, visit stores on my way, have a life of my own, feels like I’m fading away from this world. Or maybe the world is fading away from around me, and all that remains is this house and the parks around it.

I’m hoping to be able to stop working early tomorrow so that I can take the time to just walk in the city, go to some stores, whatnot, before going to the hair salon. I just need some normalcy in my life. Something to remind me that the world around me has not faded away, but is there, waiting for me to emerge. Waiting for all of us to emerge.

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Places like Bauhaus and Ikea seem to have no shortage of people even now, few of them wearing masks, but as far as I have understood, the shopping centers and city center malls are rather deserted. I can’t know, of course, since I’m not there.

H went to all sorts of hardware stores again yesterday, spent five hours looking for the right stuff to finish our stairway project. He said the amount of facemasks had increased, though still most don’t wear one. Well, THL is still researching how to research the benefits of them here in this country that apparently is different from all others.

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Also, it’s now suspected that the epidemic in Finland was snubbed a bit too early and effectively; now the whole shit is still ahead of us. Possibly. No one really knows anything. Not about antibodies, not about immunity, not about mutations, not about kids’ resilience, not about shit. Seems that the more it’s researched, the less we know. Contradicting results, inconsistant behavior of the virus, confusing information.

Maybe we should just let it rage and take what it takes and then the survivors can go on. There are no good options in this situation. Someone loses anyway. We all lose anyway.

Day 63 – Thu May 14

Hair dresser  day! D got a proper cow about me possibly taking the bus. It seems she’s truly scared of me getting sick and dying. “You won’t die if you don’t get your hair done, but you might, if you get Corona!” she screamed at me. I told her that she just needs to trust that I wouldn’t do anything that I think would jeopradize me or any of us and our wellbeing. That I take the required precautions.

I was taken quite aback by her strong reaction, for I actually thought she might like to come to the city with me for a while but when I suggested we take the bus (“The bus?!”) there and then she takes the bus back home (“Alone?!”) when I continue to the hair parlor, she just exploded! This girl of mine who is not afraid to take the bus home alone in the middle of the night on Friday evening. She seems to be terrified of this invisible enemy. And yet ready to go to the camp in less than a month. Go figure.

So no, she’s not coming with me and actually since H has some stuff to take care of, he’ll drop me off at the hair parlor first and I’ll either take the bus home or might even be that he comes to pick me up. This arrangement slightly agravates me, but I guess it’s ok. I just feel so trapped.

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New purple hair color brewing

22:00 – Back from the hair dresser! Bye bye, coronahair! I love my new purple hair 💜 I love that I could spend the evening chatting with my hair dresser friend while she was working her magic on my hair!

I did wear my mask the whole time there and it bothered me surprisingly little. H took me there with the car, but I took the bus home. It was so puzzling! I was about to step into the bus when I realized that I don’t have a valid bus pass anymore and I needed to buy a single ticket from the HSL mobile and all that. I was mumbling to the driver about all this and he just waved me in. I bought the ticket anyway, if only to feel better about myself :D

I was the only one wearing a mask in the bus, even though there were maybe ten other people besides me. VTT here has completed a study now that cloth masks don’t protect from contagion but it does retain the droplets from flying around and thus do help. Duh! Maybe now the Finns will believe too, when the study was conducted by Finns…

Still, according to Yle’s poll, most people are against enforcing masks. Seriously! Who in their right mind would want them, per se? It’s just that yes, they do protect. Despite all this “yeah but if used wrong they can do more harm” shit. I think Finns were just born Eeyores…

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Except in Finland, where you’re the odd one out when you wear one. Kinda like if you wear your bra on top of your shirt.

Day 64 – Fri May 15

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New hair in the evening sun, walking home from the bus

I am absolutely smitten with my new hair. Sort of a small thing, but then not small at all, and it just made me instantly feel so much better! Wouldn’t have been worth the risk if I didn’t have those P3 masks, but definitely worth wearing that mask for a few hours, even though I noticed that with the more labored breathing, my lungs were kind of sore when I took the mask of after stepping off the bus.

It’s a pity I’m stuck at home now instead of at the office and at customers showing off my fabulous new hair :D Maybe I just need to use the video more in meetings :P Too bad though, that on camera the old red kinda shines through the new purple quite easily, depending on the lighting.

22:00 – H went to the store during the morning to avoid the Friday evening crowds. It’s intresting how things have somehow not changed at all – there’s still plenty of people out and about everywhere – but then again they have. According to H there’s no real distancing going on in the stores, but then again, at least outside people walk the sides of roads to pass eachother as far away as possible.

Our R0 in Finland is somewhere between 0,65-0,8 according to THL and if the numbers are accurate, the contagion rate really has gone down a lot. Not that it ever was too bad here. Kids are back to school now, though, so we’ll see if that causes growth in the spreading of the virus or not.

Day 65 – Sat May 16

We spent the day doing the renovation of our stairs and hallway. Painting the walls, primering (is that a word? it is now :D ) the stairs and stuff. We ordered lunch through Wolt again – Nepalese for me and H, MacDonald’s for D – and talked with S (who also ordered some MacDonald’s for himself) while waiting for our food. So good to have a video call with him again. And I’ll see him next Friday when he comes to visit Ace <3

The no contact delivery seems to just be a no doorbell delivery for us, every time, even though I’m sure the delivery dude isn’t the same every time. S has a buzzer, as he lives in an apartment building, so he is obviously buzzed when the food comes, wheras we just need to monitor the delivery status and hope Meggie barks when food is left outside our door :D

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Image from Business Insider  article

I also ordered a book from Amazon UK, for Amazon US doesn’t seem to deliver anything to Finland currently. I wasn’t surprised (but wanted to check), for the mail service here had already announced that packages (and other mail?) aren’t really moving between Finland and USA due to the passanger airplanes not flying bakc and forth. Still, my other US order has been shipped; I got a confirmation a couple days ago. On the other hand, the German online store still hasn’t sent me a shipping confirmation. Who knows if I’ll get any of my packages…

I read in the news one day that also the weather forecasting is more difficult now that the airplanes are staying on the ground and not sending data from above the clouds. We have noticed that, too. Then again, spring is like that anyway, and the weather is what it is (back and forth sunny and hail/sleet) whether or not it was predicted.

The COVID-19 count in Finland is now 6286, with 58 cases confirmed today. Death toll is 297, with 4 deaths today.

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Day 66 – Sun May 17

So, schools were open for two days last week and now there’s already one school with quarantine measures due to an infected kid. “Oh, kids’ don’t get infected or carry the disease, let’s open up the schools”, they said. “Good to get kids back to school”, they said. Oopsie! Doctors saying that already the good situation we had has started to change. Three days. Yup. And another school is putting kids back to remote school due to teacher quarantines.

The actual amount of new cases is not bigger than previous days, but apparently just these new quarantine needs are enough to change the assessment to negative. There’s been 61 new cases confirmed and 1 new death.

Elsewhere in the world: Disney World in Orlando is opening it’s gates next week. Go Florida!

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An altered image of Disneyland’s Lunar New Year Mickey and Minnie

Talked with my dad today. He owns the house we live in, and I was giving him an update about all the renovations we’ve been doing and to ask him how he’s doing. Bored, he said. Not entirely going according to the quarantine restrictions set for the elderly. Saying that the young girls in our government don’t understand the elders, that they only think of people their own age (that being even a bit younger than I am). Pretty much repeating what others have complained before him.

I’m not entirely getting it. I mean, I’m staying way more isolated than he is, and while it occasionally gets on my nerves and makes me crazy (erhm, crazier ;) ), I do quite ok. Maybe it’s that I’m constantly busy in the house, working, renovating, being with my family. I don’t know, but from my point of view, he has it way easier than a lot of my age people who have been taking care of their kids’ remote schooling while trying to work at the same time. When my dad asked how my sister is doing, I quite pointedly told him she’s ok, busy from dawn till dusk with her little schoolkids.

I suppose idleness is the worst thing for humans. I mean, when you have work and things to do, you find life meaningful. I suppose when they take away the social events from the elderly, they feel they lose the last bit of meaning in their life, as they don’t work anymore. I do feel for my dad, and I do feel for my sister, too. I think out of the three of us, I’m in the best position. I have my work, my younger kid is in highschool while my older kid lives on his own and has a job.

Still, I claim that I wouldn’t get bored even if I was unemployed and had no remodeling to do. At least not for a long time.

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Day 67 – Mon May 18

Day three for schools being open. Two more schools have Corona infections before schoolday even started. So after two days of school, four schools have Corona-related quarantines.

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Still, there’s only 33 new cases and one new death registered today. Maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe I’m seeing ghosts where there are none. Maybe I shouldn’t even care since it doesn’t concern me in any way.
In some twisted way I imagine that if everyone stayed home for a period of time, we could all emerge safely at some point, so I kick and scream when others don’t and I do, for it feels like it’s just prolonging my isolation. That’s not how it goes, though, is it? This thing will go on until there’s vaccination, no matter what we do. So fine, open schools, gyms, restaurants, everyhting. I’ll just keep on staying at home to keep myself safe.

21:00 – Internet is one of those things I use all. the. time. Work and personal stuff. So it really pissed me off, when H broke our Internet while reorganizing things on the shelves. Turns out it was just a cord he had missed when fixing the stuff back together, so easily fixed a no need to use my phone hotspot.

There’s nothing wrong with using my hotspot per se; it’s actually mostly a bit faster than the wifi, but [nerd alert] the thing is that with all of the home automation our 2.4Ghz bandwidth is crowded and thus slow, so I need my laptop to connect to the 5Ghz. My hotspot, on the other hand, only broadcasts 2.4. Shouldn’t be a problem, but my Surface Book Pro2 has a crappy wifi driver, that only has 2.4 OR 5 OR Auto (i.e. connect to the strongest band, which unfortunately is the 2.4 in our house). So, I need to toggle between settings when I use home wifi and phone hotspot. Nuisance. #firstworldproblems

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Day 68 – Tue May 19

I suppose you can take things a bit too far with the social distancing, e.g. in schools. Like this one primary school in the States: even if some of it is quite ok, it does sound a bit too much if the teachers aren’t allowed to help the kids even if they fall down on the playground where they are supposed to play in hula hoop circles.

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At the same time the most powerful man on this planet is pulling a three year old at WHO for not being perfect and for being human enough to err. Of course, it is important to find the scape goat (and cut off their funding, how convenient) while there’s not enough evidence about the real guilty party (which obviously needs to be a Chinese lab, not an accident at the food market).

A whole lot of country leaders have joined the chorus and are now demanding a proper research on what really happened. I agree, in a way, but then again, nobody still knows the whole truth about 9/11 – or someone does, but is not forthcoming. Conspiracy theories fly wild and will continue to fly even after someone determines what really happened – unless the truth is strange enough to be the plot of a scifi flick.

Be as it may, even it it’s probably kinda fun to find someone to blame (I’m odd in the way that I have never really found it too useful unless there’s something to retreive, like a stolen wallet), it’s not like any country can or will get any compensation from anyone for what happened. Then again, on this kind of global scale, it should be known if someone is setting out viruses just for fun and sports.

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Or maybe it was the cat. Cat plot #666 to erase hooman race: release deadly virus.

Here the COVID-19 rates keep going down. Only 19 new cases found today, amount of hospitalized people is 117 (also dropping), 34 of which are in ICU (okay, that number went up by 5 since yesterday). Our death toll currently is an even 300.

Really, if things stay this way, maybe by the autumn we could return to normal life. However, it remains to be seen, how and when a second wave hits Finland, if it does. Right now things are looking dandy enough for the government to allow restaurants and bars to open again, and even events with up to 500 people are possible in the summer time (with certain measures).

20:30 – So, it was another day working at home, going nowhere after work either. Despite having those masks, I just don’t know where I’d go anyway! Most of the things I do outside of home, under normal circumstances, I do while commuting to the office or more likely back. Now I don’t do that, so I don’t feel like going anywhere just for the sake of going somewhere. I’m quite used to H taking care of all the shopping (except for the occasional online shopping ;) ).

Day 69 – Wed May 20

Sometimes it feels like this whole thing is just a big hoax. That the threat is not real, that all of the huge amounts of deaths in other parts of the world are something that can’t ever happen here. That we’re overreacting and should just be going on with our lives as usual

We have 301 dead of COVID-19 in Finland and the number of people infected let alone killed by it is dropping daily. There was no use for the freezer containers, for the amount of bodies never did start to pile up. None of the horror scenarios of Italy and Spain came even close to happening here – or even in Sweden where life has been continuing rather normally.

This is rather anti-climactic.

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Note: nope.

Teen in the other room is frustrated and restless again, asking to go out and see friends. I told her she can, as long as she stays outside with them, and no touching. “What’s the point then?” She needs pysical contact. Other than hugging her mom. I can understand that and I’d love to tell her to just go an be and do what she wants. To be a teen.

I don’t, though. I don’t dare. I don’t want to risk getting sick with that ghost of a virus right when we’re getting that puppy. All the worst case scenarios, all the what ifs. What if we do get sick. What if it hits me real bad, what with my underlying medical issues. What if we’re not able to care for our new family member, because the teen needed physical contact.

I hate this shit. I can cope, but my heart goes out to my teen. This is no life for an extroverted 17 year-old. In less than three weeks she’ll be out in that camp, and despite my hopes, I’m sure the kids will be all over each other. If D could just wait for that. By the time she comes home, well I don’t know what. We’ll just need to risk it. At least the puppy should be more or less settled by then.

Day 70 – Thu May 21 (Ascension Day)

It’s a holiday here in Finland, so no work today. Instead, it’s Ace-day <3 In a few hours we’ll have our new pack member home with us <3 What can I say? I’m totally excited!

22:30 – Around noon we set off to Lohja to fetch our baby home. Once our other dogs had had the chance to get acquainted, we thought it best to head out for a longer walk with Meggie and Timmy. D and I walked down to Munkkiniemi beach with the dogs, dodging people. It’s so interesting how people have just adjusted to slinking to the sides of the roads and paths to pass as far as possible.

We had the idea of an ice cream down at the beach but the line was so long there – made to look longer by the 1-2 meter distances between each party – so we skipped that and headed instead to the old “puukioski” for ice creams, that we ate while walking back home.

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People in line by the ice cream stand

Puukioski is an old wooden kiosk building, basically a coffee and ice cream booth. There are several still in Helsinki, some of them closed but many still in use. A brandnew plexi glass had been installed at the kiosk front with an opening only big enough to pass coffees and ice creams and donuts through. And the payment machine. A bottle of hand sanitizer stood on a table outside.

Those hand sanitizers. They are everywhere, but I don’t know how much people really use them. When I went to the store earlier in the day, I was the only one with a mask, and the only one I saw using the sanitizer. Same at the puukioski except that I wasn’t wearing a mask then either.

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Wee one getting a bit tired

Day 71 – Fri May 22

A shortish workday after a poorly slept night. Ace was only the proxy for my poor night, for H took care of his nightly stuffs; he really slept very nicely in his crate, not crying more than a couple times for a couple minutes, but being such a baby still, he needed to potty every three hours.

Meggie was the one keeping me awake. She started the night with D but at some point probably heard Ace and got restless (I think her mother instincts woke up with Ace) and D came to wake me up as we had agreed and I took Megs to the studio with me and we spent the rest of the night there. It took me quite some time to get Meggie to calm down and settle to sleep, and morning came way too soon.

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S and Ace

22:30 – Corona or no Corona, I hugged my dad and my son today. They came here to see Ace and each other, and the rest of us obviously. At first we were outside on the terrace where the weather was sunny and warm and wonderful until the sun went behind the trees. We raised our champagne glasses for the little fella, and S and D played with Ace in the playpen.

S left after and hour and a half, saying he just needed to get home. His social battery had become even less than it used to be before this distancing shit. I told him I understand. I mean, I barely know how to go to the store anymore! I just tell H to get this or that, or order from the net. S responded by telling me how he’d been to Järvenpää to get sushi with his friend and instead of lingering anywhere, they’d simply got their sushi and gone home.

Dad stayed on for dinner with us – t-bone steakd grilled on coal brickets in the Weber. He joined me for a dog walk and we sat in the living room talking and he came to the kitchen when I was making salad and after we were done with steaks and salad and some maple walnut ice cream for dessert, we still sat there drinking a bit more wine and talking about things long gone and things present today.

Lovely lovely day! Even though at noon I was a bit annoyed when I was the only person or dog awake in the whole household. Around that point I went to the kitchen, made freddo cappucinos to all (except dogs), distributed them to H and D and went out to the sun with mine for the rest of my workday.

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Ace of hearts

Day 72 – Sat May 23

Another wonderfully summery spring day and we are in the yard. Indoor renovations can wait for a another day or week. H was talking about taking Ace for a car ride today, maybe down to the beach where he could try a little swim, but in the end we just spent the day in our own yard again.

H and I left the yard for maybe a half an hour to go to the store, well H went, to get some burger meat and buns, and to go the local greenhouse to get some flowers. Even thought the place is mostly open air, we both donned our masks and set of to find some violets and begonias. The place was buzzing with people.

Reading in the sun while Ace is napping in the shade

As for the COVID-19 stuffs, the epidemic really seems to have calmed down here. Today was the second day in a row with no new deaths, and the amount of new cases per day is down to around 30.

Day 73 – Sun May 24

One death, 11 new cases. Restaurants are opening their doors next week. Maybe I’ll just refrain from giving my grim predictions, noting that so far the schools opening hasn’t actually caused more than quarantines in some schools. Maybe the restaurants opening their doors in a controlled manner won’t cause shit to explode either.

Then again, in Frankfurt, one single church service caused 40 people to be infected. I guess it only takes on wrong person in the wrong place.

We still didn’t get any work done in the house today even though the day was gray. We’re just quite tired with the patchy nights of puppy life. D came to our bedroom today about noon to take the old dogs for a walk, wondering how come we were still in bed (while she was already up).

It was the kind of Sunday I love: reading, reading, and reading. I did make food for D and the dogs in the evening, though.

Day 74 – Mon May 25

Interesting bit of news is that whereas everywhere else drug usage has gone down and prices thus up during this Corona shit, in Finland it’s gone the other way round. According to Yle news, especially the abuse of amfetamine has been on the rise recently, but no one understands why.

Alcohol cosnumption has also gone up, but that seems to be a more global phenomenon. At least if there’s any truth to the memes you can se everywhere. Drinking and eating. People talk about not fitting into their work clothes anymore once isolation is over.

I don’t subscribe to that in my life, any more than I do to the boredom compaints. H and I both have actually continued to lose weight during this time, and drinking no more than usual. Then again, we both have jobs, renovation going on, and now the puppy, too, to keep us busy.

Pic from Hesari

I guess they figured it’s ok to have a big ol’ pool party while thousands are dying of Covid-19 – ’cause it can’t touch me! Oh well, the earth is overpopulated anyway.

Day 75 – Tue May 26

Interesting to see how traffic in different areas has changed since the coronageddon started. Airport and Helsinki city center have slowed down significantly (even though driving through on occasion, I have thought there’s still a whole lot of people around), while in the East (Itäkeskus), traffic has actually increased!

Eastern Helsinki, the poorer part of the city, is where immigrants and (other) blue collar people live. It’s the area with most Covid-19 cases, the area where people can’t remote work.

In other news, there was an explosion in an apartment in Matinkylä, Espoo – my guess is that it was a meth lab blowing up. Police is not saying anything other than that there’s no terrorism involved. Apparently layed off people are breaking bad here now, which would explain the increase in meth use.

Day 76 – Wed May 27

I really don’t know how I’ll ever get used to actually leaving for work in the mornings again. It feels like way too early every day even when I only need to walk to the next room (after getting my coffee).

Then again, my work days have started earlier in recent times than they ever do in normal life, having meetings and workshops and trainings start as early as 8 or 8:30 am. Normally the earliest I need to be anywhere is 9am, and going to the office, I don’t usually even leave before that.

I’m getting another package delivered tomorrow. One thing this Corona has changed is the no contact delivery. I think there was only one delivery service that would consent to leaving packages to the door without signature before, but I think most of them now do.

Day 77 – Thu May 28

Sheez, I’m tired! Been working 9-10h days all week and sleeping too little due to the little dude and some other variables of family life. Right now staying home feels both a blessing and a curse. It’s so damn easy to overwork at home in way I generally wouldn’t at the office, but then again, right now it probably wouldn’t even make a difference; I’d just have the commuting in between meaning that my days would be even longer in the end.

I’m starting to run out of some cosmetics again and have been contemplating my options. I don’t think I want to mail order stuff from Stockmann again, maybe look into Sokos online store – but then again I’ve been thinking about going to this close by mall to get what I need from the Sokos there. I just don’t feel like going anywhere…

Day 78 – Fri May 29

Nothing is new anymore. Not staying home, not going out, not anything. Days go by, I work long hours, care for the dogs and D, play with the puppy, cook food, and sleep like a rock whatever sleep I get. Actually Ace has started sleeping long stretches, only one wake-up call during the night and even that is handled by H, so I really cannot complain!

Oh, actually, the rate at which I need to change my hoodie and sweats just surprised me today, when I realised I have two hoodies and two pairs of sweats in the laundry at the same time. Normally I’ve managed the whole week in one set, then changed on Monday after doing whatnot dirty during the weekend (no, not meaning that kind of dirty, not wearing sweats anyway ;) ). Somehow I now managed to go through two sets in a week. Good thing I’ve got three :D

And it’s not even June yet…

I saw a colleague of mine irl today, for the first time in, well, 81 days. I mean, any colleague, not this one in particular. He came around to pick up a few chili plants from us. Some others will be briefly visiting too, for the same reason, during the days to come. Kinda nice, even if it is only for a few minutes.

Day 79 – Sat May 30

Schools are out today. There was a shitload of people everywhere when H and I went out to Tuomarinkylän kartano with Ace to have burgers grilled by a friend of H’s and have Ace see some people and dogs and horses. I prowled some clothes in the little boutiques and found myself a couple nice things.

D stayed home with the other two dogs, but later on when we had returned, she asked if she could go out with some friends today. I have come to the point where I don’t want to say no to her anymore, so now she’s out somewhere where there’s a million other teens celebraing the ending of the school year. I just have to hope she escapes contagion. At least she promised to use a face mask in the buses and she took a little bottle of hand sanitizer with her.

Recently a crowd of teens was spending time in the Koff park and apparently a bunch of them got Corona while being there. Does not make me feel too good about D going out, but hell, it is what it is then.

Restaurants are opening their doors on Monday. I think we’re on the verge of the second wave, what with people crowding the outdoors now that the weather is nice and summery.

Day 80 – Sun May 31

So, last night D was out with friends – she said she wore the mask in the bus and tried to keep distance, not touching and stuff, but who knows – and today H and I went to this small shopping center.

Just for the occasion, I decided to make myself feel like a human being. I wore my nice linen skirt and new linen teeshirt, and I even put on some earrings and other jewelry. No make-up, mind you, for I don’t do make-up to begin with.

We got some ice lattes and wraps from the Espresso House there and walked to the Sokos looking at all the closed restaurants, coffee shops and stores in a bit of a wonder. Even H&M was closed! Sokos was open, however, so we got to do our shoppings there before heading to Prisma to get some glue to fix our inflatable hot tub that got a tiny leak last autumn.

H had forgotten his facemask in the car and I didn’t wear mine either except in Prisma, which was quite a bit more crowded than the rest of the mall – though the place was surprisingly busy, almost like a regular Sunday!

Day 81 – Mon June 1

This year is just totally crazy. As if all that’s gone down so far wasn’t enough, now the States is in a bout of unrest after the death of George Floyd. The thing one man’s actions can cause! Imho, that cop, Chauvin, knew exactly what he was doing with his knee. I wonder what he thinks about the shit he started. Seriously, if a black mans life is still not worth shit in the US, in 2020, as it seems, those protests are long overdue!

Pic NY Times

It is really summery here in Helsinki now, and people are flooding the outdoors. I’m sure the terraces – which open today – and outdoors swimming pools (now that the schools are over too) will be crowded.

The flood of controversial information and news about the probability of contagion outdoors continues. On one hand, as I wrote, a bunch of teens/young adults got sick after spending time in the same open area park, on the other hand, some or another expert now declared that otdoors contagion is highly improbable. She based the claim on the virus dissolving into the air so quickly (contradicting earlier info) and the UV of the sun crippling it.

It’s like summer and stuffs!

I have come to the conclusion that no one still knows shit, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. In the meantime, I enjoy the solitude of our own yard and hopefully get to bathe in our hot tub already this evening (after I go to pick up some stuff from S after my workday).

22:00 – So, no hot tub yet this evening, since H went to shop for some summer clothes. His “post-corona look” like he called it. He talks about the second wave, but also about going down to the seaside café in Munkkiniemi to have some champagne on a warm summer evening.

Right now things are looking quite good here, what with like daily counts of new cases being as way less than fifty a day. Today there were 26 new cases recorded and the deaths were actually -2. I mean, THL corrected the count from yesterday by -2. Not the first time people have been coming back from the dead here during this coronageddon. I suppose we’ll be having the Zombie Apocalypse next.

This image is from March

Day 82 – Tue June 2

Just when you thought the year couldn’t get any worse, a possibly record breaking hurricane is about to hit southern USA. Obviously it’s no news that hurricanes form in the hurricane season, but apparently this is a yuge one. Not that it changes anything here, again, but globally things are looking more and more like something out of the prophesies of Nostradamus or something.

Here in Finland we have a little piece of paradise. We complain about this and that, and crimes and acts of violence do happen, but really it’s very peaceful and safe here. In our own little cocoon at the end of this row house we have a little haven where all is good and you can forget the rest of the world even exists.

22:00 – In the evening H and I went to this local seaside café with Ace now that the terraces are open. We sat there for a couple hours and came home to a very sour teen. She was pissed off that she didn’t get to come along, that there was nothing to eat in the house (um, you know), that she’s stuck in the house while H gets to go out and about in the car, and, you know. Upset about everything.

I get it. Her and I, we’ve been staying home while H has been doing shoppings and whatnots, and even if it’s not as luxurious as one staying at home imagines, it’s still something. Tomorrow I’m taking D out to a shopping center for the evening. Just her and I. We’ll get some food while out and just spend some time together shopping.

Day 83 – Wed June 3

Yesterday we had all of two (2) new Covid-19 cases in all of Finland, but two deaths as well. Interesting to see how things will go within the next couple of weeks now that the society is open again, with restrictions.

I still told a customer yesterday that I won’t be coming on site to do a three hour workshop – it’s still our policy not to, until August at the least. It’s also still the recommendation of the government.

22:00 – I went to Ainoa, this smallish shopping center in Espoo, with D and we walked around shopping a bit in H&M (which was open) and Stockmann. Most stores were either closed already when we came or pulled their iron fronts down by 7pm.

It felt quite strange walking around with stores closed and all – like we’d been transported to another era or another town. I mean, stores did used to close their doors around seven back when I was growing up, and still do in the smaller towns around the country.

By the time we were hungry, most restaurants were closed too. We basically had the choice between Chalupa (some sort of Finmex restaurant) and Subway. We got subs with sides of chips and a cookie and sat down on a bench to picnic with our food. That’s how it still is. Only one table available in the seating area (with four tables normally), and obviously it was taken by a group who refused to move on even after they’d finished their subs.

Decided to not wear masks this time Just kept our distance.

Apparently #blacklivesmatter has reached Finland now too, though true to our nature, the protest at Senaatintori this evening was peaceful and respectful of others, and most people were wearing facemasks even though they’re not even recommended by the government here.

Protest Finnish style. About 3000 people on the square. Photography by Milka Alanen

Day 84 – Thu June 4

So, no new cases confirmed in Finland today. One death. Looking good currently. Schools opening didn’t cause a chaos, but the effect of “School’s out” partying in parks, and bars and restaurants opening has yet to be seen.

D is leaving to the Protu camp on the train in a few days. Hopefully she comes home the next weekend without infection and not contagious. Then again, we have all been somewhat exposed already, being out in public without facemasks.

21:30 – We finally got our hot tub filled and into use again. Even D joined us in the tub, which was nice while a bit surprising – she hasn’t really been too keen on bathing there together with us.

We just have our little piece of heaven in our yard

Day 85 – Fri June 5

It is strange reading all the news about all these countries with tens of thousands of Corona deaths, with the virus spreading like a wild fire and causing chaos and havoc in the population – places like Mexico and Brazil, USA and formerly Italy and Spain – while here in Finland we never had a true outbreak at all!

We did something right, snubbing the thing basically from the bud. Closing everything down at the point where it started to be aggressive. Our ICU never overflowed, we never needed those freezer containers they placed in the hospital yards. The total amount of deaths in three months is less than the ICU bed capacity (after it was extended)!

Yesterday we had a zero new cases day, with one death. Currently the situation really looks good here. Partly it’s due to the fact that we Finns just are really good at social distancing to begin with.

Another thing, according to Esa Saarinen’s analysis of the situation, is that we tend to trust the experts – though there’s a lot of critisism too (I for one have a heavy tendency towards that). Some people follow rules a bit too blindly in my opinion, but at least in this case it became advantage. Lastly, we are a pragmatic people. “Oh, it’s snowing? Well, take the shovel and start shoveling!”

Of course there’s all sorts of people here too. Those who are almost religious about playing by the book, those who just want to keep themselves safe, those who use their common sense, those who have none, those who feel entitled enough to break every restriction if they can, those who follow instruction while complaining loudly.

However, whatever the reason, motive, or means, the majority of people here have taken this seriously enough that our society has fared real well and unless people go all crazy now with travel and/or forget the safety precautions, we just might be able to return to normal life by autumn. I already enrolled myself and D to our dance classes again!

Day 86 – Sat June 6

The Finnish government still doesn’t recommend using facemasks in Finland, despite the general recommendation from WHO. They say the state of the epidemic here doesn’t fullfill the criteria for the WHO recommendation, and I suppose they’re right at the moment. There’s 23 new Covid-19 cases confirmed today, so not very much. Recommendation may change if the situation changes.

We have more or less stopped wearing masks out in public too, just avoiding contact and keeping our distance. And actually we do go out more. Yesterday evening D and I went to the post office (there I did wear my mask, as it’s a small crowded place) and then to the Kaari shopping center. Today H and I visited the local mall a bit.

Day 87 – Sun June 7

I took D to the train in the morning. She is at the camp for a week now and hopefully comes home without Corona next Sunday. We spent another day in the yard, as the weather took a turn to the summery again after the rains and cools of the week.

S came to visit us for a while in the afternoon after work. Somehow, I don’t even feel like fearing contagion from him anymore. After all, after all these months, he’s still perfectly healthy himself.

Right now it very much looks like we’ll be able to return to normal by the autumn, but I wonder how that will go. Will we be permanently scared into social distancing? Probably not, but how long will it take to get back to not fearing Corona contagion? How will we keep our society Corona-free when it’s still going around the globe like a storm?

I was talking about all this with D on our way to the train and she retorted quite wisely that there’s no sense in trying to see even as far as August. Things can still change back and forth before that and nobody can say where we are with the pandemic come autumn.

I realised that month 3 is coming to an end in a few days. Will I continue with month 4 or just leave it at 3? I really don’t know… Life is not yet to it’s normal as in as it was before Corona, we’re not entirely out of the woods yet, but is there really anymore any sense in keeping a diary?

Day 88 – Mon June 8

H went to his office with Ace today and I noticed a hint of jealousy in myself. Apparently quite many have been working at their office even throughout this #coronageddon despite the recommendation to stay home.

Can’t say the same about ours. I know there’s been maybe 2-5 people there daily, but still, if I went there, it would be to see a practically empty office. Deifinitely none of my best friends are there, I know. I have had the occasional Teams calls with them, but I’d so like to see people face to face already!

Tomorrow I’m going kayaking with approximately 15 of my colleagues and I am looking forward to that! Not only because of the people but because I love kayaking and it’s been a year again since the last time.

Day 89 – Tue June 9

H started talking today about never going back to the old, i.e. he believes he will continue to work mostly from home even after it is ok to go to the office. Me, I don’t know. I’ve worked from home a lot in my life, as a choice, and most probably when I have the choice again, I’ll go back to sometimes staying home more, sometimes less.

Right now I feel like never wanting to go anywhere again, while at the same time I miss the office socializing. However, the longer I stay home, the less I miss it and the less I want to leave home. Except for the moments of despair when I feel trapped. At least the commuting and being at the office gave me some sort of life outside of home!

Then again, visits to customers, on site meetings and trainings are bound to start again in August, so I’ll be out of the house for sure. And when I spend time at customers, I start to want to spend time with colleagues too, just as much as I want the peace of my own home.

So one way or another, I’m sure my life will go back to pretty much the same it used to be, when this stuff is over. Right now it looks like it definitely will be over by the end of summer, what with 24 new cases, 28 hospitalized people, and one death again, though who knows? This might just be halftime.

21:00 – It definitely was fun going out kayaking with some work pals! I love kayaking to begin with, and it was cool to see people again too. There were faces I’d only seen in Teams profile pictures before – we had new people start at the beginning of April, so they kind of just started remotely.

After our two hour kayaking trip we sat for a drink together there at the Lagoon. It’s been some time, well, months, since I’ve been sitting anywhere with anyone outside my family. It felt oddly normal :D

And still I noticed that I reached to my phone, just wanting to be alone. Checked myself, left the phone alone and was social for about a half an hour, before I got some burgers from the grill to go and came home to H and the dogs with dinner.

Day 91 – Thu June 11

I skipped a day. I guess it kinda answers my question. This is my last entry for #coronageddon, wave 1. If wave 2 ever hits Finland, I might start again. Adios, and stay safe!

Ending my account with Finnish Nightmares