We talked a lot last year about leaving your home country and making a life abroad.
In these times, one really feels part of the world as a whole, yet our deep attachments don’t change.
I am in Brussels, and now unable to travel to see and be with my family, all of which is in Romania. The borders all over Europe and beyond are closing, and it is possible that nobody will be traveling anymore in the next months. Other Brussels friends whose families and businesses are in their home countries, are also coping and find themselves at the mercy of phone and Internet connections.
In my case, I was used to seeing family every two months, and most of my close friends remain there (@georgiana_b, @ponyo and @alex_stef among others <3). We keep in touch by reassuring warm messages and sharing advice. Thanks to @Matthias, I can advise my mom on how to make their own disinfectant with this WHO approved recipe. When no disinfectant or alcohol is available in our nearby shops, people like @alberto buy ethanol in bulk online and offer to share some! This makes one feel lucky, above all.
I happen to have a solid partner in Brussels, but I can only imagine that these times are hardly good for hooking up with new people? Is love life in the times of corona suffering too?
The strangest thing is to follow two communities of which you belong to, all at once: numbers coming in from both Belgium and Romania affect me just as much, but it is only in one place that I can actually do something, as small as it is.
What are you doing to keep yourself busy and feel useful?
I follow and share Belgian news regarding support for freelancers
The government offers to lower the taxes for social contributions for the first two quarters of 2020. If you need this - read more about it here: in French or in Dutch
I try to buy as local as possible, from the smaller shops rather than supermarkets.
Seeing people queue up outside of local health stores was a strong reminder of the communist times when every day you’d have to stand in line for your milk, bread and just about any food. But it’s worth doing it if you want to support your local shops. This from thebulletin.be:
Belgium’s measures against the spreading of the virus include the shutdown of cafes, bars and restaurants. Takeaways and friteries can stay open. Mong Tangton, the owner of L’Epicerie, a small sandwich bar in Ixelles, is relieved he can stay open. “No one can sit here and have a meal any more - I closed the restaurant area,” he says. Tangton underlines the importance of state intervention to help the sector. “I work alone, but some don’t. They won’t be able to pay rent and their employees. The state has to help us here.”
I practice yoga and support the teachers. The yoga room in Brussels where I usually go immediately took measures and they are now providing classes online. Most of their teachers are freelancers, so they are among the hardest hit by this crisis - we all donate for the classes to support their income. This is important because it enables us to practice solidarity and support local businesses.
You do good by doing what you love.