Slovenia has once again declared a state of epidemic. Gradually, stricter measures are coming. Sounds awful. Ominous. Taking away our hopes.
It’s hard for me to see what my fellow citizens will go through in the coming weeks. Because I understand and know exactly how they feel. My wishful thinking about visiting family aside … Yeah, I was hoping I could come back home before this year ends. Finally, Saudi Arabia is open. And now?
Here, far away from friends and family, I faced my own anxiety battle from April to mid-June. Curfew was the worst. In Jeddah, where there were more cases than elsewhere in the country, we were only able to leave our homes for urgent errands between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m for weeks.”Just great. How am I supposed to go out only in the highest heat” I muttered, putting myself in an even worse mood after poisoning myself by reading all the news that have been bombarding us. “And my cats? Who will take care of them?”
At the time, I had to give up visits to the nearby park and so I started feeding only the ones in my neighborhood. I was able to do this in the evenings by logging on to the Saudi Ministry of Health application; the omnipresence of “big brother” caused me even more anxiety. But as a foreigner, you just don’t negotiate with the authorities in a monarchy.
Tamer and I developed a daily routine, evening walks around the neighborhood rather than the park, food and water for the cats. The obligatory masks first came into effect in shops and other public enclosed spaces. Soon enough another order followed for elsewhere as well. Outside too.
I don’t know exactly when I began to realize how grateful I can actually be to have the company of my husband every day since he had to (and was allowed to) start working regularly from home. Just as everyone else, we also started baking bread in our home kitchen. And there was binge watching TV series and participating in online courses. Quarrels in moments of weakness and loving embraces that healed everything else.
I started Letters from Jeddah. I always wanted to write. I’m finally writing
A few days ago, I wanted to post a famous quote by (among others) Virgil:”Fortune favors the bold.” It stuck with me my whole life. But today I want to share another saying by the same author; I dedicate it to Slovenians:
“We gather strength as we go.”
On the path we are on, we can find inspiration, support, strength and thus help for others. With our family members and among friends. At the time when technology is everywhere, we can take advantage of the positive side of social media that brings us together and offers new knowledge at every step. Some days it will become harder. Don’t let yourself drift away in melancholy on account of uncertainty.
Find the strength. I know you can.