In Arina Francke’s moving personal story, she shares her struggles and determination to persevere while caring for her two daughters alone during lockdown.
We are here and he is there
By Arina Francke
Yesterday (Monday, May 4) I finally had a breakdown. After days that became weeks that became months of a four-room-apartment confinement in Moabit with two teenage daughters and no husband. Yes, he flew out to Kyrgyzstan in the early days of March, escaping the lockdown just by two or three days here and at the same time avoiding “voluntary” quarantine in Bishkek. That first week he could still go out and have his business meetings that were so vital in the early stage of his new project.
It was a risk, but his calculations turned out to be correct—while businesses everywhere else were shutting down or being put on an indefinite hold due to the pandemic, he was planning and working onsite, being an indispensable source of communication and support to his local and regional partners.
He only got one thing wrong—he underestimated the situation worldwide and the consequences—flights cancelled, borders sealed-off, whole countries shut-down.
And so it came to be—we are here and he is there.
In the first days and weeks I felt a rather peculiar sense of excitement and odd bewilderment at the events around me and generally in the world. You know how it is—the days just drag on, becoming weeks that slowly melt into each other, forming one long, endless, featureless kaleidoscope with occasional walks in the park and short daring missions to your local supermarket feeling the awakening of your primal hunter-gatherer instinct.
At the same time I’m so very grateful for the moments of connection: with my eldest, for example, when in the first days of lockdown she had the idea of reading me one of her favorite books The Letter for the King—day by day for an hour or two we both were at peace . . . and far away—or my weekly online writing course with Molly Brown, or our regular Sundays’ Zoom-dance, which is probably the most joyful, healthy, and feel-good adventure of my quarantine life—these moments make my heart swell with appreciation.
And yet, as of lately, the tension is palpable, together with weariness and that uneasy feeling of letting your children run wild (which is never good but perhaps sometimes necessary).
Nevertheless, life still goes on, and I believe at least here, on this side of the world, we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We will emerge changed, better equipped with patience and care for each other, dusting off that survival instinct and most of all—understanding that Mother Nature rules us all.