Stay Home!

Dear Friends,

The normal neighborhood sights and sounds (bamboo swaying in the breeze,
dogs barking, roosters crowing) greet me this morning like they do each day
in this lovely place. On the surface, the day is unfolding with the ease of most
Sundays. My hearty breakfast is beautifully plated, the coffee’s (from Atenas,
of course) aroma is filling the air. I sit and begin to write and then remember
that my usual Sunday reminder to you to go outside and stretch must now be
revised due to the restrictions the world is observing to contain the spread of
the virus affecting us all.

For more than a decade, I have been sharing parts of my weekly life with you.
My goal on Sundays has been to pick out aspects of my daily existence that
connect us in very real and relatable ways. The feedback I receive allows me
to see that I have been successful in my endeavor to create a community in
cyberspace with the hundreds of people that have been part of my “real life”
in one way or another over the years. I thank each and every one of you for
staying with me. Knowing you are on the other side prompts me to work on
the craft of writing but more importantly, it helps my personal development.

In the last few weeks, the world has struggled with disruptions to cultural
and social behavior that are changing the way we interact with one another.
“Social distancing” is becoming normal, even here in small-town Atenas
where hugging, kissing and joining hands in prayer were commonplace in
all gatherings. Now we elbow and foot bump as greetings! Although nothing
connects us like a hug, we need to adhere to these practices until we can be
sure we are on the other side of this event. This is not a time to be overcome
by fear, but we do need to practice mutual support, especially for those in
our circle who are more vulnerable to the virus.

The entire global community is in this together. We need to respect and do
what the experts (researchers, health providers, scientists) tell us, not give in
to our tendency to overload ourselves with (mis)information or watch too
much news which will just alarm us and lower our natural defenses. We will
vanquish and heal, it might take time but we have been through things in the
past and come out on the other side. In the meantime, let us remember we
have many choices right now as to how we handle these disruptions. Let’s
stay indoors, wash our hands, connect virtually with our loved ones and use
common sense. We can do it!

Have a wonderful day of discovery and health, Marietta

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