How Corona changed my life

Are we going to pick up where we left after the lock down? Is everything going to be completely different?
The Corona virus, also known as covid 19, changed our world and lives forever. Our social lives vanished within hours. At the moment it happened I was in Belgium.

“The prospect of getting a job in Greece ,where we were stationed, was close to nihil”

Before I continue, let me first tell you how I ended up in Belgium for 4,5 months after not having been there for 11 years. After buying Mutiny with our last savings we didn’t have an income for several months. The prospect of getting a job in Greece ,where we were stationed, was close to nihil. Even the Greeks work hard every summer to survive the following winter.

I thought about doing a job in a call center again like we have been doing in the past and couldn’t bear the thought. With all due respect towards persons living this position of course.
A few days later I received a phone call from my mum, informing me my grandmother died. I hadn’t seen her for 3 years but still, I had a great bond with her. Besides that, she was the last grandparent in line. The next day I booked my flight and talked to my girlfriend in Belgium.

Arrival in Belgium

After I explained my plans, she suggested me to find a job in Belgium, I could stay with her. That same week I arrived in Belgium and went to the funeral. Shortly after I saw my bestie again, for the first time in 2 years, which was lovely and awkward at the same time. Not between us of course but the situation in which we found ourselves.
When I visit Belgium every 2 years, Ramon is there too, now I was alone. My niece didn’t recognize me without Ramon. She was flabbergasted for 2 minutes but then she alternated in the innocent and straightforward 4-year-old she is.

I was working as a caretaker for an elderly couple without kids. I worked, lived, and slept in their house 6 days a week and had one day off. If you ask me now it was insane. Because it was winter, I was bound to the house and my time off was close to nothing. The things we do to survive. In the end, all was fine, there were some hard moments, but hey who doesn’t have these when living together?

Corona conquers the globe

In December the first news of Corona appeared on the television. I heard the news 6 times a day while working there, therefore I will never forget it. China was under siege of the Coronavirus. The symptoms were the same as of a flue. The cure would be Paracetamol but not Iboprofun that would enhance the life of the bacteria.
The whole world happily celebrated the new year and in January shit hit the fan… The virus was spreading, Italy was the worst case. The bars and restaurants were the first to close down. Our social lives outside the house were over.
I have never been so terrified in my life. The thought of never seeing Ramon again was too harsh to bear. By that time we were already separated for 4 months. On the first of April, I would’ve flown back.

I will never forget that Sunday, the 15th of March, while I was spending my day off with my bestie – as I did with the majority of my days off – Ramon called me in panic. He told me to hurry back before it was too late.

The gravity of the situation still didn’t dawn upon me. Only the ‘normal’ beings were freaking out for a disease that was easy to cure. I never associated myself as being normal. Normal people buy houses, cars, have the same job for years and years, and don’t fancy trying new things.
Anyhow, hearing Ramon’s voice with an undertone of anxiety, frightened me.
Regardless, we decided not to give in for me to return home earlier.

The next day, the news announced the cancellation of flights, so we spend our second day on the phone.
Eventually, I was able to change my flight with the extra costs of the new airfares of course. Long story short, on the 19th of March I found myself on a plane towards home.

Athens, here I come…

Ramon picked me up at the airport and we started our 5-hour drive back to Mutiny. The car he rented was in poor condition. Meaning that the alternator didn’t charge the battery when the motor was turned on.

Every red light we crossed our fingers in the hope the engine would keep on purring. Unfortunately, it didn’t… We ended up pushing the car on the highway to get it to start. Luckily there were friendly locals who are amazingly helpful and assisted me in pushing the car. Once the motor run, I had to hurry and jump in. This was harder as I was suffering insomnia the week before I had to catch my flight. I was immensely terrified the government would decide every minute to cease all airborne traffic.

“We knew our relationship would survive but that doesn’t mean it made it easier”

This did happen on the next day. All flights were ceased. I was incredibly lucky to get home on time. Otherwise, I would still be stuck In Belgium. That would mean I wouldn’t have seen Ramon for 9 months.

This is the time for a baby to grow. Insane,… It took quite some adjustment to be together 24/7 again. We knew our relationship would survive but that doesn’t mean it made it easier. It was as if we had our first date again after being together for almost 12 years… it was dazzling. Upon my arrival in our ‘home’ village, I was quarantined for two weeks. This meant I had to stay on the boat.

It reminded me of the infamous onliner in Apocalypse now; ‘Don’t get off the boat!’. Besides the: ‘I love the smell of napalm in the morning’ that is my favorite quote. All well in the end, for us at least.

What is your experience with Corona? Where were you when the lockdown kicked in? Do you know any people who had the virus? Please leave your comment below. If you want to know more please ask us anything.

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