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Week four of the quarantine: an experience

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Week four of the lock-down included a nice four day Easter week-end to soak in. The weather was the best of the year and most of us have fallen into some sort of routine. The holidays do bring a certain desire to have family around and spread the love of your children to anyone willing to watch them for a while. But this year was different as there was little or no travel. The neighbors were mostly home for a change and life was a little easier, simpler, and lonelier; in a physical hugs and kisses type of way.

I won’t bore you with the details of our Easter celebrations. We hold a mix of traditions and food customs and our interpretations of them are not conventional. But how can one have an Easter celebration without all the family?

Having our families spread around several countries already makes reunions and such nearly impossible. We rarely all get together simply because it is too much ground to cover and impossible for everyone to have the time free, not to mention the disposal income needed to fly families across oceans and such. So over the past few years we have been more active on the various internet based communication platforms. The world has gotten smaller so to say, but when you are forced to not visit family, these channels really feel like mood savers.

On Friday we made some calls to friends. What a great time we live in that we can sit on the terrace and call friends living in the Philippines, Canada, or Argentina; free of charge! You can see each other, have a beer together or even play games together! There are great online games which people can login to, and play in a group. It makes playing virtual card games, poker, chess anything you want enjoyable. Then the group can set up an online call between all participants and it is game night gone wild. How did I get the idea?

My friend from Cambodia called me on Friday late afternoon. We were talking about our past endeavors with other friends and slowly started tracking them down. After a few drinks we started figuring out how to conference them into the calls, then we wanted to play poker so I figured out how to do a private poker room game on an online poker site, no cash necessary, and we ended up playing into the morning, talking about everything possible! It was a blast and all possible from my home office/ bedroom. If only the folks at the software companies can finally figure out how to voice in your thoughts, so that talking does not disturb your wife, the world would be innovation complete!

Saturday morning was a bit harder to come back to life but I engineered some games on the terrace and the kids were playing hopscotch, find the bunny or tag all morning. These games then spilled into the home until something got broken, and that just meant it was time for lunch. These long holidays, along with being asked to stay home, brought back the days of my youth when we would just spend all day in the neighborhood, playing around, talking to neighbors and cooking food. That was Saturday: playing, cooking, exercise and trying to bring back games from the past.

Sunday we busted out the gear and phoned family all over, wishing everyone a happy Easter. The kids started getting really into the calling and loved the visual possibilities. We were searching for chocolate Easter eggs together with the video feeds to various family members and I started thinking that this generation of children will not even understand how we used to call people and talk to them without seeing them. It is so natural now to call, see the person, show them what you are doing, how everyone looks, what’s cooking etc. Grandmas and grandpas were happy and felt involved without the stress of travel. I often wonder if this is the jump into digitalization that will be the game-changer from the old times to the digital times. Everyone seems to be embracing technologies now: young, old and the unwilling. Now it is a must!

Monday was more eating, cooking, and cleaning. After three lazy days we mustered up a general clean-up of the apartment, some laundry and continued games. In order to limit the time on the electronic devices we tried some board games, puzzles, dancing and exercise. I find it really important to get some exercise in, just not always managing to get a real work-out. I hope that running after kids is enough!

Somehow I cannot fathom joining our conference call tomorrow morning for work. The whole lock-down experience is such a surreal experience because you rarely leave your dwelling. The work, the play, the eating and socializing is all turning into one framework. And with the food running low again, I need to venture out into the zombie apocalypse and do another shopping run. This time I am prepared and everything is starting to feel routine.

Have a great short work week!

Paul Lysek – The idea of writing a daily update came to me by seeing, hearing and trying to understand all the things that are happening around us at this time. This story is a combination of all those sources, including friends, relatives, and experiences with attempts to bring out the satire, emotion and changing environment of the situation. It is entirely fictional, with the exception of my sarcasm.

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