Tough Times

COVID-19 update. Belgium declared a lockdown for the entire country over the coronavirus crisis from noon today until 5 April. We are all urged to stay at home to avoid social contact with the outside world. People will be allowed to go out in an emergency or to a supermarket, pharmacies and doctors. Any gatherings and meetings are prohibited. All non-essential stores will be closed while food stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, newsagents and banks will remain open. Access to supermarkets is limited to one person per 10 square meters and a duration of 30 minutes per customer.

 Last week my Dad turned 95. But we canceled his 2 birthday celebrations. I’m very worried about his health and I’m praying that he gets safe through this coronavirus situation. I keep him isolated from family members, neighbours and friends. Meanwhile, Jimi tried to sneak outside by hiding in my shopping bag but he was caught.

I know the world and a lot of you are going through tough times. But these tough times that we are facing with the rest of the world shall pass. Stay safe! Stay healthy!

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

101 responses

    • Thank you very much for your kind comment!
      Jimi just loves shopping bags… He doesn’t care much about boxes but prefers a shopping bag…

  1. I do hope your Dad had a nice birthday even without the parties….he’s a special man to have lived and seen so much in his years and also because he is your father! Please stay safe yourself as well Herman. Hugs to your sneaky Jimi too – he probably just wants to know what the fuss is all about.

    Hugs, Pam

    • Hi Pam. Thank you so much for your kind comment, my dear friend! We had a little celebration together but there’s one problem: we have a big stock of chocolates because I canceled the planned celebrations… 😉

  2. At least you have Jimi in your shopping bag. New Mexico has various restrictions, but nothing super strict so for. But then we have lots of space and not a lot of people.

  3. Best birthday wishes to your Dad, may he stay healthy and strong. Jimi is funny, liking shopping bags instead of boxes, well we all have our preferences, shopping bags have definitely a better smell than boxes, smart choice Mr.Jimi. Stocking up on chocolate is a great idea, that wonderful stimulation helps to keep up the mood we are all in. Stay safe my friend.

  4. Best wishes to your Dad on his 92nd birthday! I hope he avoids this pandemic, too, that we all do. I have to be especially careful with my health issues and impending 72nd birthday since I am doubly vulnerable, yet I also have dealt with infection control issues since 2003. I am confident I am in better shape than others for the vicissitudes of avoiding contact with infection and human vectors.

    The kitty boys send trheir “meows” to their kitty brother in Belgium, and I send Jimi my hope you give him a nice “scritching” from me!

    • Hi Doug. Thank you so much for your kind comment and concern. These are very difficult times for you. I can imagine you must be very careful with this corona situation. Wishing you all the best, my friend.
      Jimi sends his regards to the Kitty Boys! Stay safe and healthy!

      • Thank you, Herman. Yes, I am especially vulnerable at the moment because of elevated cANCA readings. (This antibody turns my white blood cells into little assassins that attack and kill small- and medium-sized blood vessels. To control it, my pulmonologist prescribed a drug that basically puts my immune system to sleep, meaning I essentially am vulnerable to all things, but the white blood cell assassins no longer work against me or for me! Whew!) This is one of those things I deal with as a Wegener’s granulomatosis patient.

  5. Herman, I am glad to hear that Belgium has the good sense to take this strict measure. I have just participated, by remote on-line connection, in a meeting at my law firm here in Arkansas where people who were present on-site were sitting close together. I spoke vigorously against this. Cases in our state are rising exponentially, yet — maybe because there are as yet no confirmed cases in their particular county (there are several in a neighboring county) — they act this way. These are lawyers — educated people. I am glad you all in Belgium are doing differently.

    Yet — this is so so hard. I am in complete lock-down myself, I have been since Saturday, so it’s still less than one week. Yesterday we got news of the first confirmed case in our town. I am astonished by how much I am hurting emotionally because of this. A dear friend shopped for food for me yesterday and it took me around one hour to disinfect everything, outdoors, before I brought it in the house. I feel so deeply now for people like Doug Thomas, who know how to adjust their lives to this extent. They are in the vanguard. The likelihood is that we can expect this to continue into the future. Not just two weeks, or a month.

    Well — as I wash my hands, I am also reciting the Buddhist metta practice as much as I can remember. May I, may she, may he, may they, be peaceful, happy, and light in body and spirit. May I, may she, may he, may they, be safe and free from injury and illness. And so on. And on. You may know — Buddhists love lists. This metta list goes on for a whole page of things to pray for. I’m reciting it for us all.

    • Hi Anita. Thank you so much for your kind comment and concern!
      It’s really a weird situation right now. I had to go to town to buy some food and fruit and it felt as I was walking in a ghost town. Very weird… But I’m also happy almost everyone takes this situation very serious. I’m sure in the end most of us will get through this safe (I hope…).

      I decided last week (before the lockdown) to put myself in isolation, only to protect my Dad. I stopped seeing my friends and neighbours. We’re all going through a tough time right now but it’s really necessary. If you look what’s happening in Italy and Spain… so dramatic.

      Thank you for telling me your story. Much appreciated, my friend!
      Stay safe and healthy!

  6. Dear Friend, I am praying with you. I are all connected. I am self isolating and my husband leaves the farm to walk in the local mountains. We acknowledge this is going to be a long journey but it is the only choice we have. Stay well. Big hugs, Virginia

    • Thank you so much for your kind words and concern, Virginia! Wishing you and your husband all the best.
      Stay safe and healthy!

      • Thank you for your good thoughts. My family still retain ties to Belgian 70 year after the war. The Gberinehest family look after my Uncle’s grave in Adegem. We are grateful for their care. Yours, Virginia

  7. The lockdown is closing in rapidly here, too. Our grocery stores are not closed down as much as they are currently in Belgium, but I can see that coming. The panic buying is still going on here.

    Wishing you, Jimi and your father safe passage through these times. And wishing your father a safe and Happy Birthday. 🙂

    • Hi Lavinia. Thank you so much for your kind comment and concern, my dear friend! It feels so unreal when I’m looking at what’s happening outside. The streets are deserted, almost everybody is staying inside. I had to go to the city to buy some food, fruit and cat food for Jimi. It felt like I was walking in a sci-fi movie… very weird.

      Wishing you and your family all the best. Jimi sends his regards to all the cats of the Farm.
      Stay safe and healthy, my friends!

  8. Herman it’s pretty much the same over here. We spend our days doing…..whatever, and waiting, hoping for this to be over soon. Take care of you and of your father, and tell Jimi he’ll have to try harder with his escape plans. Be well dear friend.

  9. It seems that lockdown brings calm to the crazy hoarding behaviours. As long as people take it seriously it will eventually prevail. Stay safe — sending healthy vibes to your Dad.

  10. Hello dear Belgium boys (includes your dad 😀 ) This is one crazy shit show (pardon the language) and I would guess it’s going to be a while to get back to normal. But with any luck, if people mind their activities, we can all stay safer. Take good care. You are smart to check all shopping bags b4 going to the market, LOL! Jimi, you sneaky kitty ❤ xK

    • Hi Kelly. Thank you so much for your kind words and concern! We are all ok right now. I’m keeping my dad isolated and no-one may enter his apartment. It’s all so weird… It feels like we’re living in a sci-fi movie.
      Stay safe and healthy, my dear friend!

  11. This is one thing I’m glad my parents around to witness. I don’t have to worry about them. I know it sounds cold. I do share your desire that the panic buying comes to an end. How many jumbo packs of toilet paper and paper towels does one need?

    Restaurants, bars, clubs, theaters are pretty much closed across Colorado until April 30th. Public schools are out of session through April 17th. University closures are rather uneven – it’s being left to individual departments to decide if they will complete the term online or not. My daughters at med school, classes will continue for them. Right now, they can’t come home today because of yesterday’s blizzard and heavy snowfall.

    If there’s a plus here, it’s the low gasoline prices. Today, $1.99 for E85 gasoline (85% ethanol). All of our vehicles are Flex Fuel and can use the E85 fuel.

    • Hi David. No, it doesn’t sound cold at all. I understand you completely. If my Dad wasn’t around, I would not be so worried and sit this thing out, staying at home, working in the studio and watching tv.

      Universities stay closed the rest of the year and students have to follow the lessons on line and via video conferences. Public schools may open next month (probably not) or maybe in May.

      Wishing you and your family all the best, my friend! Stay safe and healthy!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words and support, my friend! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.
      Stay safe and healthy!

  12. We’ve just begun our Lockdown here in SA – for 3 weeks.
    I hope your Dad keeps safe. It is the elderly and compromised that one worries about the most.
    May you all Keep Safe 🙂

  13. A belated Joyeux Anniversaire to your dad! I hope he gets to do his celebrations properly when all this is over. By the way, your blog notifications don’t come up in my feed so I am going to unfollow you and follow again to see if that changes things …

    • Thank you so much! My Dad sends his regards!
      Hope the blog notifications work again in the future. Thanks for following.
      Stay safe and healthy, my friend!

  14. you need to spread the #restezzzzouz maximum
    Too many people still don’t care about it and don’t obey it
    Just because you think you have nothing does not mean that you are not a healthy carrier and that you do not transmit the virus to people you may meet

    • Local stats showed 80% of the people are staying at home in Belgium. But some of us need to go outside and go to work (food supply, farmacie, hospitals…) or take care of their elderly parents. We need to be very careful if we go outside.

    • Hi Mary. Thank you so much for your kind comment! We both are still well and keep ourselves isolated from the outside world, especially my Dad. I need to go to the supermarket once a week to buy food and fruits. But I’m very careful and avoid getting close to other customers.

      Jimi prefers shopping bags, he’s not much interested in boxes. Mr. Bowie always preferred to jump and play in boxes.
      Stay safe and healthy, my friend!

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