10 Weeks Quarantine

As of this writing, the Wife and I have been quarantined for 10 weeks, and Switzerland has been virtually shut down for nearly a month. It hasn’t been easy for either of us, and I know my emotions have been up and down since the beginning.

For those that don’t know, I have depression and anxiety, and last year around this time I had a really bad anxiety and depression spike. I’ve since gotten help, and medication, which has improved things quite a bit. The quarantine, though, has really tested my new coping strategies. I did have an anxiety attack a couple of weeks ago from watching too much covid-19 things via TikTok. (I have since taken the app off my phone.) I’m kind of surprised that it’s been the only one I’ve had. Not knockin’ it though…one is plenty.

Facebook is also hard to read now, especially anything coming out of the US. Looking at what’s happening in the US from the outside is incredibly scary and worrying. Not just about what Trump is doing, but seeing people I know (who should know better) trying to pass off Covid-19 as “not that bad” or “it’s just a bad flu” or worse: “people die all the time!” Seeing clergy and Fundamentalist Christians flouting stay at home orders thinking they’ll be immune because of Jesus is just appalling. Then there’s the people suing the government because of the lockdown orders. The lack of compassion for fellow human beings is stunning. But, sadly, not surprising. I fear for the US, and for the people I love there. 

In Switzerland, while some people have been griping about staying home, most people are following the rules. I’m lucky to be here with a government that is taking the Covid-19 situation very seriously. It will be awhile before things go back to a semblance of normality (although, things won’t be really going back to how they were, will they?), but at least I can count on the Swiss government to be rational about it all. 

What hurts, though, is when people don’t seem to believe me about covid-19, especially people I know. I’m a former biochemist (worked in biotech for 13 years) and I live in one of the covid-19 hot zones. I’m not lying to anyone about this. (This has slowed down in the last couple of weeks as things have gotten worse, but still, it hurt.) 

Life here, though, has settled into quarantine-normal. It’s hard not going out of the house, but the weather has warmed up enough that going out on the porch is now a regular part of our routine. The Wife and I have taken to playing cards (usually Skip-Bo) on the porch either around lunch time, or in the evening. I’ve also put a bird feeder out on our porch, since we have been kind of adopted by the local mourning doves and magpies. (Eh, witches, right?)

This is a short video of one of the mourning doves that have adopted our porch as it’s territory. They do have to fight with the magpies once in awhile.

The candle in my office window.

I’ve been keeping a lit candle in my office in the window facing the street. It’s my prayers for healing from covid-19, prayers for the healthcare workers, and prayers for the dead. I’ll keep a candle in my window until theirs either a medication that can help with the severity of the disease (most likely) or until there’s a vaccine (not as likely as coronaviruses are hard to make vaccines for). 

I’m surviving, and that’s the best I can do right now, you know? 

Writing:

  • Unity: This is a military/hard sci-fi/spy novel set in a future where humans have colonized several other planets. One of the main characters is a Religious Program Specialist and Senior Communications officer who has PTSD and works with the station’s Chaplain to figure out why the colonization survey they’re supporting isn’t going according to plan, and realizing that who’s behind it is more dangerous than just a failed colony.

    • Word count as of today: still 101,765 (not including the chapter I’m currently working on.)
    • Haven’t really worked on this since January, but I’m starting to get the urge again. Hopefully, I’ll be writing again soon. 
  • The Four Keys: A spiritual prose journey to the underworld and back.

    • Started final edit pass for e-book version.
    • Graphic novel version on hold for the time being.
  • The Little Tarot E-book: This is a book started for my tarot class here in Zurich

    • Still in draft. Need to finish Major Arcana and more spreads.
  • Poetry For Lent

    • Finished! Deciding if I want to publish any of them on the blog. 

Fiber Arts:

My altar with the altar rug I made.

About 2 weeks ago I started a new weaving project using the last of my red churro wool. This wool was gifted to me by a friend, and is wool from red churro sheep raised in the Navajo Nation. It was a very special gift, so I made an altar rug out of it. I really liked doing the rug weaving, so I’ll be making one for our house altar, too. (I had to order more wool to spin, though. The horror! lolz)

Fountain Pens:

I haven’t gotten new fountain pens for awhile, but I have heard that people are spending money on stamps in the US to help the Post Office. So, if anyone would like a penpal from Switzerland, send me an email and I’ll send you my address. I did order some fancy paper, though, to write my letters on!

Cooking:

I’ve been doing lots of food experiments lately, and the one that I really wanted to do was make a sourdough starter and make a successful loaf. I managed to achieve that yesterday by converting my French bread recipe to use sourdough instead of yeast. (If you want to know how that works click here.) I’m mostly happy with the results, although, my recipe calls for 10g of salt, and with the dry yeast you usually don’t notice it. Interestingly, you do when you use the sourdough starter. So the next batch I’ll use only 5g of salt and see how that goes. But it’s still mighty tasty, though!

Sourdough French Bread
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