Life in Portugal during Coronavirus

It’s been a while since I’ve written so I thought I’d give an update on our lives since we began self-isolating and social distancing due to COVID-19.

We’ve been self-isolating since Thursday, March 12. Today marks 20 days of being homebound. A few days before we decided to do this, Ry had been pleading with me to stay home due to the impact and severe contagious quality of the virus. Like many of you, I didn’t seem to grapple with the gravity of this pandemic until for some reason on the morning of March 12, I finally did.

Jax’s school had not officially closed yet but I sent an email to the Administrators to let them know that we had decided to stay home. Luckily they were not far behind us in thinking because the school officially closed the next day, Friday. And Portuguese schools nationwide shut down that following Monday.

Jax’s school is fantastic. They shifted the schedule and made our Easter break during those next two weeks while we were all adjusting to our new normal. Now that we have begun week 3, Easter/Spring break is over and Jax officially started school yesterday with a Zoom meeting and Google classroom assignments, along with some more typical Montessori activities.

It is so crazy to think that during last year’s Easter break, we were in Marrakech, and this year, we are cooped up in our Portuguese apartment doing TikTok dances and other silly things, like this toilet paper challenge from my friend Marjorie.

Ahh, crazy fun!

Unfortunately, in terms of the case numbers, they continue to rise. Like many of you, I check this site everyday and as of today, Portugal has 7,443 cases, up 16.15% from yesterday, which is frightening. My solace is that the Portuguese government seems to be proactive about putting prevention measures in place. The city we live in, Albufeira, has also been disinfecting all around the city. The Portuguese, for the most part, seem to obeying the rules as I don’t see congregations of people hanging about. I sincerely hope that an antidote is discovered soon, or at the minimum, COVID-19 is contained and we can go back to somewhat regular living by May.

My yoga classes have become Zoom morning meetings, and I feel like all I do is cook and make meals all day. We’ve already made two batches of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies!

Luckily for me, my work schedule has not changed at all. I was already telecommuting so no changes there, except for one of my favorite clients, a California-based private school, is now also doing remote classes, so there is no activity on their campus.

Jax’s teacher Russ has instructed the class to start writing a daily journal, not only to record their school activities for the day, but also to record this time in their lives. Of course, as a writer, I thought it was such a great idea since Jax will now have a memoir of this unprecedented time in his life. Just think, when Jax will be 60 years old, he will remember that weird pandemic that literally shut down the world when he was 6.

As an American living in Portugal, and for someone who never felt far from anyone because everyone was just a plane ride away, for once, I do feel a little far removed. I am sad my April Paris trip to reconnect with my dear California friend Aubrey was canceled, but global safety is the number one priority. We have been incredibly good about self-isolating because there is no way I would want any of us to increase our odds of having to go to a Portuguese hospital, where English is not the majority of the health care workers’ first language.

Anyway, I hope all my family and friends in the US are staying healthy and safe. I look forward to the day when we can all travel again, but wow, I can imagine, so many changes are in store for us.




2 thoughts on “Life in Portugal during Coronavirus

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