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#stayathome stories #1 – from our members

Thanks for the idea from our sister club, the Berlin International Women’s Club.  We feature writings from our members about their daily life in Berlin during the time of #Coronavirus #stayathome.


by Robina Lillecrapp, first published in the BIWC May 2020 Newsletter

While those with chronic illness may already be familiar with what it’s like to face periods of social distancing, the reality of “enforced total social isolation” hit very hard for me because catching the coronavirus could realistically mean not surviving it. It wasn’t therefore, that difficult to accept the new found situation and make plans to adjust. To eliminate any risk, Brian, my husband, was forced to home office immediately too. A second work space in the house was created so that we could both comfortably work from home

The importance of space and privacy was revealed to me when Brian decided to close his office a few days later and communicate with all his employees via teleconferencing.  Project management on building projects means lots of verbal communication all day, every day and with the entire company 3 mornings a week. He needed his space and I needed mine. Moving upstairs and closing a few doors between us has solved those problems. We are so grateful that this was an option for us.

As a business English coach I offered teleconferencing to all my students, and was surprised at not only how well this was received, but how well the technology functions in spite of initial fears that due to demand, it may not cope.  Having some structure to my day has really helped me to have a sense of purpose.  Preparing lessons to fit the new teaching environment requires more time and effort, but this challenge is in itself rewarding.  My students have also successfully risen to the challenge to try something different like practicing TED conferences.

Not being able to go out for walks, made me look to the internet for support for my physical and mental well-being.  Trying out something new every day is on my wish list whether it’s yoga, hip-hop or Bollywood dancing. Last week I even took a 30 minute cycling tour of the Cotswolds UK and many virtual walking tours of museums including the Louvre and Guggenheim.

Virtual tea breaks with family and friends feature daily as a way to connect with the outside world. My garden has been my sanctuary and the means to connect with nature.

Initially, I tried to remain independent, but soon realised that I needed to accept the help being offered with shopping, etc., from local community groups and I am eternally grateful for this support.  I have been both surprised and humbled at the generosity and care shown by so many strangers at this time.

The coronavirus has shown me that through isolation we can in fact be more connected than ever imagined and that angels truly walk amidst us.

April 22, 2020

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