Lockdown Journal – Day Thirteen of Twenty-One

Day 13 – Wednesday, 8 April

I keep my mid-week social media updates short. My iPhone’s screen time has considerably gone up since last week, messaging on WhatsApp, browsing through news feeds, scrolling through video footage and updates on the global pandemic phenomenon in the hope that statistics would go down. Fortunately, the situation in South Africa is far from the hysteria in Europe and USA, with less than two thousands registered cases in a country populated by more than fifty million people. Amen.

I resolve to take a break from my online pastimes, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. I’m at a loss for words sitting in front of a blank page journaling the quarantine progress. I reflect on the past week, reaching the bittersweet conclusion that I enjoy being at home, but I miss having the option of going out when I need to travel and connect with the world at large.  I may well be an introvert with a passion for outdoors or an ambivert. 

The sun is gone. A headache is creeping along my temples. I add a few finishing paragraphs to a scene written days ago – I have to push towards 42k words in my current novel. I manage a few hundred words today, a small victory in a gruelling long war. I vow to continue my blogging tomorrow. I’ll have to find new reading material soon, too. 

Lunch is another of my husband’s cooking experiments, fabulous French onion soup with grilled ciabatta and white cheddar cheese shavings on top. I love having my Masterchef back at work. The dogs are jumping around playfully while I take my time indulging in long, savoury sips. Afterwards, I’m all for a second soup serving and more fresh bread. It seems soup is the perfect quarantine meal: warm and healing to the soul.   

For dinner, we cook together delicious chicken schnitzels with oven-roasted wedge potatoes – another hearty home meal. I make a mental note to devise the menu for the upcoming South African Easter weekend. My husband will do the Easter groceries over the next days, and, if all else fails, chocolate bunnies and hot cross buns are mandatory! 

Note: We celebrate both Easter calendar times, local South African (Reformed) and the Orthodox Christian festivities that follow a week later. I was raised in the Orthodox faith, as most Romanians are.

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