Lockdown: A journey in emotions

Ottawa, Canada OptimismWhen my partner and I went on lockdown on March 13, I had just come back from a work trip to Toronto one week earlier. I was attending a large conference hosted by the Canadian food service industry. Thousands of participants were in attendance, including large numbers of food producers, restaurants, and bars.Continue reading “Lockdown: A journey in emotions”

Houston, we have a problem

Houston, United States By Ansam Sinjab Entering week six of work-from-home, week 10-ish of social distancing (depends when you started to take things seriously in this country), week four of my Nike Training Club fitness program, day six of my guided mediation program (last one was two weeks ago), day 20 of not watching Trump’sContinue reading “Houston, we have a problem”

The Blackbird Show

Madrid, Spain A concrete planter next to the subway is no decent home compared to the coniferous forest, the blackbird’s natural habitat. But these are the kind of situations you have to deal with when you grow up in a city like Madrid, where housing price is absolutely nuts. March is the month in whichContinue reading “The Blackbird Show”

Go Home, Stay Home

From Maine to London Days before the quarantine became mandatory, Nils, my British fiancé, spotted the homemade sign taped to a second floor window in the block of brick flats across the lane. “Go Home, Stay Home” it read, in colored pencil. We could see it from our kitchen. I’d caught glimpses of a womanContinue reading “Go Home, Stay Home”

Them changes in Minneapolis

Minneapolis, United States In the brief moment that Thanos snapped his fingers to bring the demise of the Avengers in Endgame, is how quickly the social activities dissolved.  Many of us hoped this year would be the year; a year for expansion of travelling and seeing different sights. A year which might have seen usContinue reading “Them changes in Minneapolis”

Reflections from a London household

London, England ‘It’ all seemed so far away – China! And even when ‘it’ reached Italy, maybe having decided on Brexit, it was ‘over there and we felt removed from any threat. But….. we are all connected’ and this ‘Runway’ disease knows no borders. The Lockdown though, we should have anticipated it (other than toiletContinue reading “Reflections from a London household”

Frontline to Backline

From the UK to the Persian Gulf I’ve spent 14 years working for the NHS. Spent a variety of years tasting many specialities spending days and nights walking along various hospital corridors. After this I decided to become a general practitioner and for the last nine years this is what I did until 14th FebruaryContinue reading “Frontline to Backline”

Lahore in Lockdown

Lahore, PakistanSpring brings out the best in Lahore, the city of gardens, of ancient architecture, of culture and heritage. In the last decade especially, the academic scene in Lahore has boomed manifold. Spring has been an usherer of all things creative and positive, like Lahore’s first biennale in 2018. Come spring and Lahore hosts itsContinue reading “Lahore in Lockdown”

Dancing out of the lockdown

Islamabad, Pakistan It was March 18, 2020 when I realized I had been at home for two full days, avoiding any social interaction. My movement inside the house involved going from my bed to my sofa and then back. It took me a day to mess up my sleep cycle, and while I was workingContinue reading “Dancing out of the lockdown”

There are no foreigners in a lockdown

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia By Saqib Sheikh The world is in a state of harmonized chaos. A calamitous tumble of the economy and global order is visible through empty streets and vacant parks, not protests or violence. It is peaceful, yes, but an eerie peace that has been forced upon us. The Coronavirus has thus provenContinue reading “There are no foreigners in a lockdown”

The shower dilemma

Paris, France I would have never imagined that the number one topic of discussion with my friends would one day be about how often we are showering. Two weekends ago, I started this discussion with some friends on a group video call. Ever since, we have been keeping each other updated of our shower time,Continue reading “The shower dilemma”

Fables

Toronto, Canada  There was this village, a farming village. It was not so big, not too small. Farmers there grew all sorts of crops: rice, wheat, maize, eggplant, lentils. And there was always plenty of food to go around. One day the rains did not come. Then another day, then a week. The farmers beganContinue reading “Fables”

One step beyond

Pisa, Italy “When in April the sweet showers fallThat pierce March’s drought to the root and allAnd bathed every vein in liquor that has powerTo generate therein and sire the flower;When Zephyr also has with his sweet breath,Filled again, in every holt and heath,The tender shoots and leaves, and the young sunHis half-course in theContinue reading “One step beyond”

Free flow, in lockdown

Kigali, Rwanda Monday, Tuesday, W, T, F, S, Sunday, #Stay home #GumaMurugo. Genocide against Tutsi commemoration starts, I can’t support friends who lost their families during 1994. Lockdown reasons. We start trying the virtual support. They are being hunted by past events. Wounds are feeling fresh again. I can’t do more than the virtual. It’sContinue reading “Free flow, in lockdown”

If you believe in darkness, then you must believe in light

West Midlands, England I do not fully know how to explain the time we are living in. In conversations with close friends, I find myself repeating versions of “guys, seriously what the hell is going on, it’s like the world is on pause….”. As a humanitarian, I am trained to almost instinctively act at aContinue reading “If you believe in darkness, then you must believe in light”

Fairy tales in confinement – cosmic wisdom vs. Covid-19

Florence, Italy 6 April 2020, day 29 of Covid-19 confinement. Once upon a time, there were approximately 200,000 tourists visiting the city every day. Even though I have lived in very packed places across the world, I was never a big fan of those crowds of people. It can feel like fast food, but forContinue reading “Fairy tales in confinement – cosmic wisdom vs. Covid-19”

Springtime in Iraq

Duhok, Iraq Despite the grim news of coronavirus gripping all of the world’s media, spring has arrived in northern Iraq! This is usually the prime season for family picnics and hikes on the beautiful mountains and trails surrounding the small city of Duhok, but even one of the biggest Persian New Year (Nowruz) celebration weekendsContinue reading “Springtime in Iraq”

Fica em casa

Lisbon – Portugal, April 2020 I am a roadie……catering department. I have toured for 12 years supporting artists and crew, from tiny theatres all the way up to stadiums and festivals. Mainly the UK but also throughout Europe and the US. In recent years, I have been working nine months out of 12. My partner is Portuguese andContinue reading “Fica em casa”

Clapping time

Malaga, Spain Every day at 8pm, people in Spain go out to their windows, balconies, and terraces to applaud for healthcare workers and all the essential personnel (cleaners, supermarket sellers, pharmacists, etc.) as a way of thanking them for their courageous work during the COVID-19 outbreak. Since the beginning of the lockdown, which started aroundContinue reading “Clapping time”

Lockdown in a Refugee Camp

Dzaleka Refugee Camp, Malawi The news of the moment is a disaster that’s putting our mind into the world of wonder and despair. Questions pending in the minds of Dzaleka residents are: What is the future of Dzaleka Refugee Camp –the home to 45,000 people who survive on donations and aid from the world? What wouldContinue reading “Lockdown in a Refugee Camp”

Sara’s lockdown experience

Birmingham, England For the last 2 weeks, I have not left my house due to the coronavirus. It has been good and bad in many ways. During the coronavirus I have done the same thing in my spare time, playing with toys and watching TV. The weather this spring has been very warm and sunnyContinue reading “Sara’s lockdown experience”

Palm Sunday 2020

Sunday 5th April 2020, Mauritius – Lockdown Day #17 It’s a beautiful morning with the sun shining brightly through my window and a gentle breeze moving the curtains. A perfect day to go to the beach. If only….. Today is the 17th day of lockdown. Only the 17th day. My memories of pre-lockdown life are hazy. It feelsContinue reading “Palm Sunday 2020”

Corona Corona (a child’s view)

Nairobi, Kenya It was 20 minutes to lunch, and I was sitting in my Kiswahili class waiting for time to pass. Ms P was writing the assignment on the board when the Head Teacher walked in. “I have a very important announcement and will require all students to gather in the assembly hall”, she said.Continue reading “Corona Corona (a child’s view)”

Holding out an olive jar

Buckinghamshire, England I live in a small block of flats, over a couple of floors, and get on very well with two of my neighbours in particular. Each of us live alone, so it’s nice to have kind and reliable people so close by. In normal times we’ll quite often go for an evening walkContinue reading “Holding out an olive jar”

Top ten tips to work from home and survive children

Beirut, Lebanon As I wake up to my alarm clock ringing on my phone on a sunny morning in Beirut, I remember that it’s week five of school closure and week two of lockdown in Lebanon, which includes a 7pm to 5am curfew. I hit the snooze button. With no travel time to work IContinue reading “Top ten tips to work from home and survive children”

42 Days Later

Pisa, Italy Six weekends ago, we were celebrating a birthday. The highlight was a trip up the coast to Viareggio for carnevale. We wondered a bit about crowds and flu and whether we were being foolish: The seafront, with its gorgeous Liberty style buildings, was crammed with life. Kids dressed as Elsa and Superman, thrilledContinue reading “42 Days Later”

To my daughter, when you are older

This dad wrote a letter for his young daughter to read when she’s older. Dearest daughter  I’m writing to tell you about a very strange development in the world. This has happened very suddenly and you may well remember some of these details in the future. Earlier this year, a strange virus started making someContinue reading “To my daughter, when you are older”

Running Free

London, England Running during lockdown lets you see a whole new side to the city. One of the challenges with running in London is the busy streets – the dodging of pedestrians, stopping at crossings and the constant stop-start of the central blocks. Take away the people though, and it’s amazing – street after street,Continue reading “Running Free”