After peaking at the end of February, Korea flattened the Coronavirus curve in March. There were a few consecutive days of less than 100 confirmed cases, and nowadays the daily number dances around 100. The beginning of the month was all about masks, specifically how to allocate the short supply. Even just two weeks ago, people were lining up outside the pharmacy on their assigned day (depending on their birthdate year) to buy their ration of two masks per week. But supply has increased enough and starting last week the lines have disappeared.
It feels like the topic of masks occupied a good chunk of my brain and time this month. First because of the shortage in Korea, and later because of the terrifying shortage of PPE for healthcare workers in other countries. Consequently I experimented with making different kinds of masks, which you can see in yesterday’s blog post. I also have another simple tutorial for a filter mask if you already have a cotton mask.
Seeing the outbreak being successfully contained here should have been a relief, and it was. But watching (in horror) as the pandemic spiked in the US and other countries kept me plenty stressed. I had to sign off Instagram because the sudden influx in social media chatter on COVID made me feel like I was reliving the trauma. It also brought out a lot of anger and worry I didn’t know I had in me about the situation. Case in point: I started writing a post around this time titled, “What were you doing while Asia was burning??!?” (It’s still in my drafts. Figured publishing while angry wasn’t smart.)
Taking a break from Instagram did free me up to draw and create more without the niggling thought of how to photograph this, how to share that, what hashtags to use. It’s been really nice to be liberated from the shackles of the endless scroll. I’m not ready to return, so hopefully that means more activity on this space.
Besides that tumultuous emotional wave around the 16th and 17th, March has been a pretty good month. I’ve been collecting feel good stories from the local news related to Coronavirus as subjects for painting and collage. (Dedicated post on them coming shortly.) One story about flower farms prompted me to buy a bouquet of freesias one day.
Meditating on those stories of inspiration and everyday kindness has been an antidote to the desperation and gloom that is apt to take hold if you let it. I also have been trying to take this tweet to heart:
I’ve not been great food-wise, but I did do yoga at home almost every day during March. I tried to get my 10,000 steps in with daily walks. And I went hiking a few times over two weekends as the weather warmed. It was glorious. The only drawback was everyone else thought so too. The trails were a bit too crowded for proper social distancing, so I returned to neighborhood walks.
This was my most memorable meal of the month, at my aunt’s house. Two of my other aunts were in town for medical treatment, so she asked me over. Seated at this table were three of my aunts, or as I suddenly realized mid-dinner: one cancer patient, one cancer survivor, and one kidney transplant recipient. I hope I can be better about prioritizing health next month.
Finally, spring is officially here. These are the flowers that I associate most with the beginning of spring in my neighborhood: azaleas, forsythia, magnolias and cherry blossoms. One can’t help be more optimistic and hopeful when these colors start to bloom.
At the beginning of the month I also received this postcard from Sarah, a dear blogger friend I met on WordPress, and through whom I learned about Su’s Changing Seasons challenge. Check out Su’s post so see what others have been up to this month!
P.S. I would be remiss if I left out Park Seo-joon from a review of March. (He was the friend in Parasite who introduces the son to the tutoring job.) I finished Itaewon Class on Netflix and am now watching Fight my Way because I was hungry for more. He is a good actor, a cutie patootie, and his dramas have left me motivated and smiling this month. 🙂