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  • Writer's pictureJocette Lee

From Izmir: Coronavirus Check-in

We are beginning week two of #socialdistancing in Izmir, Turkey. Morning coffee, regular walks in the park, Turkish study hours, talks with friends, new recipes, audiobooks, and projects around the house have become the norm. We ended Sunday with a hike outside of Izmir and then had some particulary encouraging conversations with friends and family but waking up Monday morning was a little bit funky.

Salih has been experienceing a low-grade fever for the past few days, around 100F, with no other symptoms except tiredness and a sore throat. While he is in-and-out rest, I am planning to spend a couple of hours sorting through my closet and getting rid of clothes I don't wear anymore. Recently, I have felt an acute awareness that I have too many superfluous things. While I am nothing near a minimalist, landing somewhere closer to that end of the spectrum is a long-term goal.

I am still taking the time to check in with myself during this process. Generally speaking, I am feeling steady but after just one segment of the news or a serious talk with a friend, a lot of thoughts and emotions are stirred.

I'm curious - when you take five minutes to be with yourself to think, breathe or pray, where do your emotions land?

I find myself waking up and having to remind myself of what is going on in the world. It feels as if I have woken up in an unfamiliar place and I need to retrace my steps of where I am, what I am doing and how I got here - it is disorienting.

As far as being in Turkey and experiencing this from a foreign country, so far so good. Much like the rest of the world, Turkey has been hit hard and based on the steep increase in reported cases, things will probably get worse before they get better. But Salih and I feel safe and we are being extra cautious - much like we all should be during this time. We are in Izmir for now but if Salih's fever drops, we will go to the village to be with Salih's family this week. So that's the update for now and here are a few things that make the day a little more fun. Love to you all - may you and your family be as healthy as possible in this eerie world event.

Moments of Joy:

  • I love talks with friends, catching up with them and feeling more flexible to connect.

  • Every night at 9 pm, everyone gathers on their balconies to applaud the healthcare professionals - what a great way to unite Turkey right now!

  • I love walk-and-talks with Salih. We have a beautiful park nearby and I am very grateful to be able to enjoy this Spring weather.

  • I love the old video clips from the Graham Norton Show - they make ma laugh so hard! Check out the video below.


What is one thing you do every day to make this more tolerable?

Artwork by Alessandra Olanow ©


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