Expat Life in the Time of Coronavirus

Hello! What wild times we find ourselves in – just days ago I was panicking about how we would fit in the remainder of our travels into our tightly scheduled last few weeks, and now panicking about how we can all stay out of the hospital. We are so fortunate that all of our “problems” are truly just inconveniences and lucky to be in good health, with employment for B that can be done in the safety of our home. We are feeling incredibly grateful for the hardworking healthcare, sanitation, transit, and other essential workers keeping Geneva chugging and getting those ill back to good form. It’s amazing – every night at 9PM everyone opens their windows to clap, sing, and play music in appreciation for all their hard work. This video is very lame because I can’t get it to turn and since our apartment is on the ground floor you can’t “see” anything (also through the blinds I was too tired to raise) – but the audio is incredibly heartwarming!!

 

Before the severity of the pandemic really surged, we celebrated an awesome birthday for James in Zermatt with my family.

Just as it was nearly two years ago(!) it was like walking in a snow globe. It was the most delightful way to celebrate one year of our darling boy, and bookend our experience in Switzerland. The Matterhorn is just the most majestic site, awe-inspiring every single time it pokes it’s head out from the clouds.

Zermatt will forever be one of our all-time favorite places and I hope we have the food fortune to return someday. Here is James celebrating with his “Happy Birthday” Toblerone (if you look closely, B is holding the top of the candy bar over the top of the mountain!) – you could see the mountain from our Airbnb, and an inaugural visit to McDonald’s, his aunt’s favorite restaurant. No, he did not enjoy a McRaclette!

After just one blissful ski day of great conditions and short lift lines…

we woke up to dire news that the virus was getting out of hand, so my family all immediately rushed home (and are all healthy and self-isolating) and instead of packing for our last trips in Croatia and Eastern Switzerland, I’m wondering what the weeks and months hold for us. We had a few lovely days in the park before their flights left!

In theory we were planning to permanently return to the States (specifically, to stay with our family in Pennsylvania while house hunting!) at the beginning of May. But as the airlines have screeched to a halt, our plans, once carefully scheduled and stitched together perfectly in our last few days (packers, cleaners, apartment inspectors, etc.) seem lofty at best. We’re also not eager to be in Europe for its peak, only to return to the inevitable US one. So, truthfully, we have no idea when we’ll be back, it’s a waiting game. 

That said, it’s a pretty nice place to wait. We’ve mostly enjoyed these cozy days, and we’ve been lucky to have sunshine for some social distancing walks each day. Having B to pop in to say hi to James in between calls is a delight (except when he leaves), and being forced to just slow down, tackling baking projects, let James take his time walking (and taking breaks) along the Lake Geneva promenade…

catching up on “Succession” on HBO (and introducing James to real wonders like “Hook” and “The Lion King”) while chilling out as a family is a delightful way to spend our final days. Cuddling up in a healthy, safe, home with technology to keep us connected is an enormous privilege. Hope you can find the peace and patience to let the piles of inconveniences go –  take good care of yourselves and each other!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Mary says:

    Good to see you all happy and Healthy! Happy Birthday to James- the pic of the three of you is epic and should be blown up and framed! Take care and hope to see you this summer! ❤

    Like

    1. Thanks so much, Mary!!! Can’t wait to see you when all these dark clouds pass! ❤

      Like

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