Love, sanity and silver linings in the COVID-19 pandemic

June 28, 2000 – Day ninety five of the coronavirus pandemic… Yes, the year is 2000.

“Bugs, please get off the phone now. I told you I needed to respond to an email by 3pm!” I sternly said to Nuno for what felt like the tenth time today.

It has been three months since the lockdown started and my landline will soon be disconnected thanks to the several conference calls my husband has had to join for work. Adding to the insanely high bill, it takes nearly five minutes to load an email, but our service provider cares more about the time spent connected rather than the actual amount of data utilised. I know I sound like a spoilt child right now but it is not my fault that my parents did not have internet during their times. I am grateful for this dial up connection, don’t get me wrong, I just wonder if there will ever be a day that internet is uncapped… but who am I kidding, why would any company offer unlimited internet! Working from home was meant to be a dream come true and it was until the expenses hit. What really irks me most is that I have to work offline whilst Nuno is on one of his thirty minute conference calls because the dial up connection gets cut off whenever a phone call is made. Is it too much to ask for the internet and phone to work simultaneously?

What I find a bit ironic is that just last year, people had been freaking out about Y2K and even called it the end of the world. To this day it does not make sense how a technological blip and the end of humankind correlate… If anyone knows, please enlighten me? I must admit though I wish the problem lasted for a few years or so that the interest on my mortgage would have been calculated minus a hundred years! But seriously, Y2K was supposed to be the end of the world? Had people not heard of mad cow disease? And for those who were and are still worried about the poor cows, welcome to the COVID-19 global pandemic! Please grab a mask and sanitise your hands as you enter.

A lot of people have complained about spending so much time with their loved ones and while I sympathise, I do think the root of our problems lies with the lack of entertainment. There is only so much time in a day that I can play Snake without completely losing my mind, the Tetris on my laptop needs to take a vacation and seeing Brooke Logan cry in every single episode of the Bold and the Beautiful has really driven me to insanity. I promise I’m not a psychopath, but every bone in me wants to kill her character so we can all say goodbye to those crocodile tears for good! Nuno and I have rewatched all the episodes of Fresh Prince maybe five times now and would have gone through another round if Gabby hadn’t pulled out the film from one of the videocassettes. The lucky part is that we own those. We would’ve rented more movies to watch, but you know – lockdown. If there is one thing I can say I get right as a parent, that is keeping all of our rentals on the top shelf where she can’t reach them. I wish Nuno would learn the lesson too, because I swear she also hid the Super Mario cartridge as well!

On a positive note, I am really excited for September 1st as my husband has promised to get the Nokia 3310 for me as a late birthday present! As much as I am not one to care much for technology, being stuck at home during a global pandemic has really made me despise my brick of a Nokia 5110. They say the battery on the 3310 will not compare to the current phones given the enhanced processing system, but to be honest, we have not experienced any load-shedding* for almost four months now so I really don’t mind. My nerdy husband has also been raving about this ‘play-stop’ or ‘playstation’ or something that is going to be released next month so I presume my phone is his way of justifying the three hundred dollars he wants to spend on it. Who knew that adults could be that obsessed with gaming?

I have also been writing a lot more. It’s amazing to see how much extra time the day has when you aren’t wasting it commuting to and from the office. In just a little over two months, I have filled two floppy disk with some short stories that Gabby will one day read. My mom inspired me to write when I was a little girl, so I hope to share my passion with my own daughter as soon as she can read. In the meantime, she has been enjoying her time outdoors and has really been working on her green thumbs. Well, take that with a pinch of salt because I’m obviously a proud mama who brags about her little one whenever the opportunity arises! What is true is that we have made sure to keep her stimulated in several ways, her favourites being making mud cakes and feeding grasshoppers. I remember doing that as a little girl too. I giggled a little just now thinking of the frogs my older sister kept in a cardboard box in her room and how I accidentally let one escape. Oh and the moments when my mom would literally hand us breakfast in the tree because we were so eager to get outside and play. It’s scary to think that with the way technology is projected to evolve, there will soon be a time when kids will spend more time watching tv or on the internet than appreciating nature and all its treasures! I guess when I think of all the blessings we have, the slow internet connection and green screen phones aren’t so bad after all.

With just over six billion people in the world exposed to this virus, I wonder how others are keeping sane…

Fun facts about the year 2000:

The Y2K problem has just been resolved

Nokia released the 3310

PlayStation 1 was released on September the 1st

The world population was just over Six Billion

People still used video cassettes and floppy disks to store information

Broadband began replacing dial up connections in early 2000

*loadshedding : action to reduce the load on something, especially the interruption of an electricity supply to avoid excessive load on the generating plant.

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Sheryl Gim says:

    Hi, Shelly! Thanks a lot for following Thoughts of SheryL!
    You have a great blog! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Shelly DS says:

      Hi Sheryl, thank you for stopping by too! I really love your blog 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. beth says:

    Hi Shelly – I think we each find our own way to get through it. Late last summer, I moved to a place right near a river, a park, and the woods, and I am out there each and every day at some point.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Shelly DS says:

      That’s sounds absolutely relaxing! I know I’m surviving on internet and good food and thanking God every day for uncapped Internet! Haha

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Shelly – lovely post, glad to have caught up with a few of yours! Such a lovely blog! I stay sane mostly through craft… and baking! ❤ xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Shelly DS says:

      If another person tells me that they are baking, I think I’ll go gluten free haha so many new bakers out there thanks to Covid!😅

      Liked by 1 person

  4. PoojaG says:

    Great post! I think the lack of entertainment and things to do is definitely a problem. I was bored out of my mind for a while but now I’m trying to stay as busy as possible and it actually helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shelly DS says:

      Hahah great stuff! So this post was based in the year 2000 and was meant to highlight how fortunate we are today to have things like uncapped net, Netflix, smart phones, laptops etc. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. PoojaG says:

        Yup definitely grateful for that!!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Love that your daughter is in love with plants and grasshoppers! Aren’t they the cutest surrounded by flowers and nature? We hope you get some more space to deal with the challenges of this pandemic. Hopefully we can all create a new normal soon.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Shelly DS says:

      Hahah yeah she’s obsessed with Bugs! So this post was based in the year 2000 and was meant to highlight how fortunate we are today to have things like uncapped net, Netflix, smart phones, laptops etc. 😉


      1. Yes, it is easy to take these things for granted.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Josephine Nerissa Leão Panzo says:

    Thanks for reminding us that we could’ve had it worst had this happened in 2000!

    Liked by 2 people

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