Elena Bowes

New York-London design & culture writer of a certain vintage looking for meaning and wholeness in life

Corona Challenges – Don’t Scratch that Itch and Other Danger Zones

March 19th, 2020

This Corona is quite testing. I don’t mean the whole not sneezing, not coughing, get out of my space buddy thing. I mean the  washing your hands for twenty seconds. That’s a very, very  long time. That’s one one thousand, two one thousand- twenty times. By three one thousand I am looking longingly at the paper towels.

That’s when I figure …

They probably say 20 seconds to be cautious but mean 5, so I’m only down 2   Must be time!

Then I watched  this video about how to properly wash your hands. Turns out I’ve been mis-scrubbing ever since I first learned how. Between every finger, back of the hand, under each nail (are you kidding?!), and use a clean towel to turn off the faucet. I’m sorry but  my kindergarten teacher Miss Reddinger never mentioned any of this.  Nor did the slew of au pairs we had nor my parents who delegated a lot of child rearing to others, but let’s  stay on topic here.

Readers, next time you head to the sink,  wear comfortable shoes and bring a book-on-tape.

Next hurdle: I’m outside. I’ve touched something I shouldn’t have, say a doorknob and suddenly the inevitable happens. I get an itch on my forehead or maybe my left cheek. I try and ignore it.  I soooo want to scratch my face. I try twitching my nose Bewitched style but that brings little relief. I blow furiously up from my mouth  but my range of distance is narrow. My  nostrils don’t need a Blowdry.   On a windy day it’s torture. Whoever came up with back scratchers, can you please get going with face scratchers.

Another challenge – opening my over-stuffed fridge.  I almost got killed by a flying piece of Gruyere. That should be on the WHO’s warning list.

I am also trying to stay calm about the current run on, well everything,

but especially toilet paper…

My friend Sara posted a video saying we will all be fine, we can all make do with two squares at a time. I am sorry- two squares? Not naming names here, but I know a few people who will not be fine with two squares.

Slightly trying – those family members who have returned indefinitely:
Julia:  Are you going to be conducting all your calls on speaker?
Me: You mean, all my calls in my office?
Julia: I think I will be needing this room this semester.
This shall be a long semester.

But nothing was quite as troubling as this shocker of an email …

At Fekkai we are people first  Speak for yourself. Two weeks of my hair in isolation – I don’t think I’ll be looking so human.

And for those of you who are missing your weekly massage.  My daughter Kate got creative. Below is a text from Kate to her younger sister Julia:

Kate doesn’t give up easily …

For me perhaps the most challenging thing after Frederick Fekkai’s news is the social aspect of Corona. Before Corona I thought I was an introvert. Nope. This morning the ADT technician came to fix a faulty alarm. I offered him a cup of coffee, wishing he would just stay 6′ away for a while.

The highlight of my afternoon was a virtual meeting with Mary who works for First Republic. I’ve never met Mary before, but I think we could become friends. Mary helped me  set up an on-line account. It was such a joy e-meeting her. I wish we could have set up that account for a little bit longer.

Facetime chats have become my savior- I highly recommend them. I had cocktails with my sister whose birthday it was and our friend Anne the other night …

I know I should be reading books and doing jigsaws, but I get so easily distracted by the news…

Plus I hate jigsaws. Ellen de Generes reminded me why …

Watch this hilarious series of Instagram posts from Ellen De Generes 

For those of you missing your daily routine, I liked this Instagram post in Little Bird, Finding a New Routine

On a more serious note, but in a positive way, I enjoyed this  article on how Corona offers us a blank page for a new beginning from trend forecaster Li Edelkoort.

My chiropractor, Dr Karen Erickson, agrees:

Use this time as a rare opportunity to step off the busy merry-go-round of life and pause for a bit.

Focus on self care: sleep, meditate, cook and eat nourishing whole foods, walk in nature, get some sunshine, listen to music, make art, exercise, learn a new skill, or read.  Focus on your community.  Show your love.

Reach out to people who are alone or overwhelmed.  Offer help, food, or supplies. Reach out to loved ones via phone, Skype or FaceTime.  Use technology to have a cup of coffee, cooking session, book club, or watch a movie virtually with a friend.  Think about changes that would make your life better, not just now, but when this whole thing is eventually over.

And on that note, I am going for a walk.  It’s a blank page ahead.

March, 2020