LDR Amongst The Crisis

The Venice Grand Canal Mall in Taguig, Philippines
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venice_Grand_Canal,_Taguig

When I met Freeman for the first time it was like meeting an old friend again. We met outside of South Mall in Las Pinas. That is located in the Philippines. Being in an LDR (long-distance relationship) can be and often difficult to maneuver. Especially, when you each live in a different country and time zone. Even though our time together was brief in our eyes. We had exactly 4 weeks to get to know each other. If it wasn’t for COVID19; it would have been much longer. However, we feel blessed to have had this time to get to know each other. It’s not that way for most LDR’s from what I have read or heard about. Either way, there are many factors to take into consideration. First, and foremost for myself is the love part. For me, that was almost instantly as after our second meeting. I knew I wanted to be with Freeman. Fortunately, he felt the saw way about me. Hands down there is love between us. I sit here typing this out and I get energized just thinking about him. The great times we spent together getting to know each other and talking about our goals in life.

Now that I am back in the US, we continue to chat twice a day. We even video chat daily, as there is no replacement for actually seeing their face.

Now after you establish if there is a spark or a deep-rooted interest between both parties. I am not talking about money or something tangible; as we all have seen those reality tv shows. I am talking about something real. If you are only in it for the money; then you will never be happy; truly happy. Once we had a few weeks of spending time together. I started to ask myself these questions. For me, they came up “YES” every time. Is he someone that I could see myself living with? What do I have in common with him? Do we share a common goal in life? Am I willing to relocate if necessary? The list goes on and on and on. These are the ones that kept circling in my head. I think that is up to the unique situation of the circumstances surrounding the LDR.

I must say with regret that it was my first one, and being new at the whole long-distance thing. I was just as much fault as the other person for it not working out.

Now that I am back in the US, we continue to chat twice a day. We even video chat daily, as there is no replacement for actually seeing their face. To bring you both closer together; as you are both apart from one another. I will tell you from past experiences, staying in contact daily and making each other a priority; is the key to making an LDR work. That is if you truly want that person in your life long term. Personally, this would be no different if you were already living together. You wouldn’t ignore them or talk to them for days or weeks. Then expect the relationship to flourish and grow. So why would you treat an LDR any differently? This is where the true test lies. When you are separated and how you both work to keeping what you had together alive. No lie it does take work, just like a marriage or relationship. Yes, it does take moving things around so it all fits comfortably.

Right now for me, the time zone thing is the only one thing that is the trickiest.

This will avoid any disconnect or distancing the other party may be feeling. Again, I will say it-communication is so important. Even more so with an LDR and keeping it on course for the long haul. The way I see it; is when you ignore or unresponsive to their communications. Even your prearranged chat/video set times. Personally, this is a sure way that you will quickly distance yourself from the other person. They may also feel that you’re not taking the LDR seriously or losing interest in them as well. I do speak from experience, as I had a prior LDR. I must say with regret that it was my first one, and being new at the whole long-distance thing. I was just as much fault as the other person for it not working out. However, I will say that it gave me a great deal of perspective on how to truly manage and maintain an LDR going forward. Yes, I will admit that I made mistakes. We both did when it came to setting up a schedule, expectations, or even communication on a daily bases.

We are doing our best to move forward and making sure of one thing during this separation. That is showing our love for each other on a daily bases.

Right now for me, the time zone thing is the only one thing that is the trickiest. Since Freeman is still in the Philippines waiting to get back to Africa. We only have a small window in the morning to talk before I go to work. I know once he gets back to Africa; the time will work a lot easier with our scheduling. The upside right now is, I have more time to talk with him in the evenings. With Freeman; we always communicate with each other about everything. This is very imported too when retaining an LDR. I love the fact that we always start and end the day with each other. We share details about our day and make each other laugh. Just like if we were already living together; he would share his day with me as I do with him. Of course with the current crisis and lockdowns or quarantine. There is not a whole lot to share in that area of our lives. We let each other know what is going on in our lives from the mundane to the more interesting things. This works for us, and everyone needs to establish some type of schedule for communication.  

We may be separated by an ocean. But we are closer than ever before.

Even though we were expecting to have more time together before my return date. With the COVID19 pandemic, and change of plans for later this year. I can tell you that it has made us stronger as a couple. We have made plans for the future and meeting up after the Crisis is over. We are doing our best to move forward and making sure of one thing during this separation. That is showing our love for each other on a daily bases. We may be separated by an ocean. But we are closer than ever before. All I can say to you; if you are looking or pursuing an LDR for yourself. Do what I did, and take that first step. Just make sure you’re being honest with yourself. What is it you need for this to work for you? Have those hard conversations with your future partner. To make sure their head and heart are in the same place as you. Are they interested in aking a possible LDR seriously? I will leave you with this. Whatever you decide to do. Make sure that you set clear and precise expectations. Have a clear timeline set and most of all. Just be realistic in your expectations; make sure that you are not living off of the fantasy of an LDR. But, something solid you can bank on when you are working to close the distance between the two of you.

The Battle Between Quarantine And Freedom in America

When there is a battle between freedom and pandemic. Will it be our pride that kills us? Since I returned to the US, from the Philippines about 3 weeks ago. I can’t help but wonder; as a whole what American’s are more worried about. Is it losing their freedom or their own lives? I know that there are lots of conversations going around over wearing a mask or not? Should I self-quarantine or just business as usual. What is it that, what seems to be a small number of us in the US that wear mask, take precautions when going out, or even care about social distancing? I can only speak about my interactions on my few excursions to get food. From what I have witnessed alone or hear as to what others are currently doing. Why is America so afraid of a lockdown for 20 or even 30 days? Is it the economy, or is it their loss of freedom?

I am sure that most of the elected officials are more worried how they will be viewed. As we try to make our way out of this COVID19 pandemic.

As American’s we were born into a world of freedom and certain rights that lots of other countries do not have; or are given freely. But one thing is certain, as Americans we do take these liberties for granted. Just at the whisper of our freedom being limited or quarantined due to a pandemic. People start to flip out; and don’t stop to think as to what is happening around the world. What comes to mind for me is the saying: We can’t see the forest for the trees. I feel personally that this is relevant for what is happening around the many states that are resisting the lockdown or even managing the volunteer quarantine. I am sure that most of the elected officials are more worried how they will be viewed. As we try to make our way out of this COVID19 pandemic. What is it that we Americans find so hard about doing what is right to “flatten the curve”? I find this all very fascinating as how people react in a crisis.

Yes, we are in scary times and on a journey that was not one that we chose for ourselves. But, one that we all share across the globe. Regardless of where it originated from or who to blame. I feel we are all to blame, since we all inhabit this planet. We are over populated, limited resources, and global warming just to name a very few. I hope for myself that we all see this as a wakeup call before it’s too late. If you look over the past 63 years, we were headed in this direction. But why were we not prepared as a country? Why were our hospitals not prepared? Why were there very little local and national supplies in place or systems in place? I was looking on the CDC website regarding past pandemics that plagued us over the last 63 years. It’s quite fascinating if you think about. This is what I found. 

Now moving forward to the spring of 2009, a novel influenza A (H1N1) virus emerged

In February 1957, a new influenza A (H2N2) virus emerged and by the time it was over. The estimated number of deaths was 1.1 million worldwide and 116,000 in the United States. Then there was the 1968 pandemic. It was caused by an influenza A (H3N2) virus comprised of two genes from an avian influenza A virus, including a new H3 hemagglutinin. Now moving forward to the spring of 2009, a novel influenza A (H1N1) virus emerged. It was detected first in the United States and spread quickly across the United States and the world. Now from what I can find on this is that only 1 – 3 percent of the world’s population during the 1918 H1N1 pandemic. It is estimated that 0.001 – 0.007 percent of the world’s population died of respiratory complications associated with (H1N1) pdm09 virus infection during the first 12 months the virus circulated. Now this brings us to the current pandemic with the Coronavirus to date.

Just remember that our freedoms come at a cost. Just remember that you are not alone and we all want to regain our lives back

I know that I went off course a bit with statistics and details on the history of the past. I would just encourage all of us no matter where you live, or country that you’re in right now. Just make sure that you not only listen to the health experts out there. You are also do the right thing for you and others in this world. You may not be worried about getting sick, you won’t get it based on your religious beliefs, or just want to keep your freedom to do and go were you want. Just remember that our freedoms come at a cost. Just remember that you are not alone and we all want to regain our lives back. We can’t do this unless we all play our part and just stay home. Unless you have to go to work, get food, or even go to the hospital. Please just stay home like the rest of us. There are other countries that I know of, that are not even allowed outside. At least we can step outside into our yards, patios or even go out any hour of the day. I try to look at it as saving my life and the people that I care most about.

We just need to stop with our foolish pride and the freaking out about losing our freedom. This is just a temporary resolve to an ongoing pandemic. We need to stop spreading hate. Start handing out kindness, love, and helping each other. We as a planet are in trouble and it will take everyone doing their part. I know that masks are at a shortage in the US. I was lucky enough to bring some from the Philippines with me. If you do not have one or can get them. There are accurate ways to making a mask or even a quick one out of a piece of fabric or a t-shirt. I have listed a few links below that I find trustworthy and hope you find them useful as well. 

 A Doctor Explains How to Make the Safest Face Mask

🇺🇸 U.S. Surgeon General shows us how to make a face mask by using an old t-shirt and 2 rubber bands

Just make sure that if you are using a reusable mask. You always want to dispose of it after you safely enter your car. In which not to contaminate you or others in the process. When you take the mask off. You want to have a container of some sort with you. That you can store the mask in, until you can wash it for next use. If you move the mask down to the chin and back up over your mouth. This is cross contamination, and one that I see a lot of people doing as well as myself. I have been doing a lot of searching online to make sure that I am keeping my self-safe, when I do have to go out of the house.

Please stay safe and don’t for get to sanitize your hands frequently and wash hands for 20 seconds.

20 Seconds Saves Lives. How Surgeons Wash Their Hands

How To Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer | Dr. Ian Smith