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Blog > July Writing Prompt: lockdown experiences

The writing prompts invite postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcard’s messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!

We’ve all seen our habits and routines changed to some degree these past few months, so we thought it would be a good idea to stop and reflect on these changes. Let each postcard become a small time capsule of this time, that we exchange and share with others.

In July, write about your quarantine or lockdown experience.
Reflecting on your lockdown experiences

So… how was or is the lockdown going for you? What habits have changed and which memories in particular will you take from this time? What do you miss, what is the hardest bit and which part of the experience have you appreciated or felt grateful for the most?

Although some restrictions have already been lifted around here, we still choose to stay home for the most part. We definitely miss hugging our friends and family, but are grateful for their good health so far. Unexpectedly, we’ve rediscovered the joys of gardening these past few months, and I’ve collected my first cherry tomatoes just a few days ago. 🎉

What about you? Share your thoughts and stories on the postcards you send this month!

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42 comments so far

betslets, United States of America
If I had a beautiful view as the Little Mail Carriers, I would choose to stay home more, too. When lockdown began, we first noticed that skies seemed clearer and almost free of smog (since people were not driving so much). One thing for sure, we have learned not to take anything for granted -- our grocery shelves are now full, and we have all we need. We are grateful for the time to enjoy each other at home, to "be still" and reflect on important matters, and to actually accomplish those tasks (including yard work) that we usually procrastinated.
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mapa, Belgium
Enjoyed our garden, cleaned up the kids rooms (was necesary!), enjoyed the silence, being together with the whole family all day and the fact we didn't have to rush. Though I missed my teaching and learned to give skype and zoom lessons, wich I actually enjoyed and would like to do more in the future.
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mapa, Belgium
Also missed Postcrossing because nothing arrived from what I send and no cards came my way! Now I think it's beginning to arrive again, 3 registrations last month!
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tomphila, United States of America
For me the cards give me sanity and happiness I truly will would be in a tizzy if I didn’t have all of you thanks and be safe and health we will have a lot of catching up when this is over Tom
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booboo_babies, United States of America
My lockdown experience was different from most people's this Spring because I still went to work every day and my family stayed home. My job was considered essential and my husband was able to work from home. Our kids were off from their jobs and school so they were home with my husband.

Since the lockdown began, I have been getting into Netflix. I do not binge watch this like many people do, but I enjoy it. Some of the series that I have seen on Netflix include: Tiger King, Waco, the American Crime Story series (the OJ Simpson one as well as the one about Gianni Versace's murder) and many of their documentaries.

As always, Postcrossing helped me get through this crisis. You all have been here for me before when I had breast cancer in 2012 and again in 2016. With rare exception, Postcrossing members are the best!
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Cynthia_Chen, China
As a college student, may be it's an interesting thing that we can learn lessons at home! Though I have missed my friends far from me, but it's not a big deal as we can still chat on the internet. Besides I started to go to gym to strengthen my body. I also want to try more things I haven't done before. Perhaps it's a good chance for us to discover the interest of our lives. Hope both you and me be alright!
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Flippie, Canada
As a Recreation Therapist (partime) I never lost my job at the Long term care home where I work. I was able to make and still do, the seniors happy and cheerful as possible. I walk from and to my work and when the pandemic started, it was so peaceful outside....love it.
I miss that feeling now, when "everything" seems like to go "normal"!

On my days off, I picked up old hobbies, like coloring, reading and writing letters next to the postcrossing cards.
I also slept better, there was lesser noise outside on the streets, I live in downtown. I miss that now too...

My husband is working from home until at least the end of the year. He don't mind it but I miss my "me-time" sometimes. It's nice to have lunches together. We communicate more, that feels nice...
Stay Safe and keep writing, OK
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HeatherNicole, United States of America
Lockdown has changed my life completely and not always for the better. It seems scary in my fair state that the cases keep climbing and, at least, locally, nobody seems to be concerned with masks nor social distancing. I still have yet to return to work in retail since I have an underlying condition - diabetes. Pretty much I have been house-bound since mid-March, so it gives me great pleasure in doing Postcrossing. Pretty much I have not left the house except to get groceries and the occasional walk or leisurely drive. I don't know what i would do without Amazon and grocery apps for getting the things I need.

As far as family goes, my husband still has to go to work, but I get to be home everyday with my two teenage kids, and for that I am grateful. The downside is that my parents, in-laws, and I have at risk conditions, so we have not been together since mid-March. This has been a terrible strain because we live a few blocks away from each other and are used to seeing each other everyday. So, we haven't hugged or anything. We talk on the phone a lot and use Google Meet.

Stay safe and healthy!
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ezredax, United States of America
I have been unable to travel as I like. Miss attending meetups and visiting friends and family. I did make a postcard about Covid-19 showing that I was home, having to wear a mask on going out, having groceries delivered; beg for eggs and toilet paper at the grocery store; not getting my hair cut when it was getting into my eyes; church being closed and many other small things I was able to do.

I have read more historical novels than most people have in a year, played more computer games and actually turned on the television.

Decided t learn Mandarin. Not easy at my age.

Otherwise I am doing fine and hope all of you are as well.

Enjoy the day and stay safe,
Demaris
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Gen24, United States of America
Lockdown was a little crazy. I have never had anything like this happen to me before and it was a big adjustment not seeing my friends for months or going out to eat at a restaurant. But there were good things about it--spending time with family! I am also pleased to say that i have finally gotten a haircut after 4 months!!! <_> Stay safe, guys!
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PilotOne, Portugal
During this terrible pandemic and lockdown and although the reception of postcards has slowed down considerably, I have not stopped sending them.
The routine of registering, writing and sending helped me to spend my free time in a useful and pleasant way, making the days less painful.
The fact that we interrupted our daily habits of going out for a coffee, to a restaurant, shopping, being with friends and other reasons to leave the house, certainly caused a sensation never experienced in all of us, but if we remember that having complied with the determinations imposed on us, we were protecting ourselves and everyone around us and then yes, we can come to look forward and say that "everything will be fine again!"
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ceoramalho, Brazil
This period has been different from any other one for me. I mean, it's not over yet in Brazil as we still have lots of new cases and deaths. As a teacher, I worked from home and it was a lonely experience, but as we may have to take the best things from any experience, I've learnt a lot. I love reading and I have been reading a lot as I rarely leave home and I also took time to do things like watching old pictures and reading old letters... I'm sure it's a time I will never forget! I missed getting more postcards though, as the Post was much slower than usual!
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nicetry, Germany
My experience in Middle Germany: Cards of one country arrive at once. E.g. one day 2 cards from the US, next day 3 cards from NL, and so on.
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georgiagram, United States of America
I am retired so one would think I had an calm and easy life. However, because of several chronic, but not serious health issues, I was often (2-4 times weekly) going to doctors or other health-related appointments such as lab work or CT scans just to keep on eye on things. I've now learned I can get along just fine without all these checkups--at least, for a few months.

What I have enjoyed about this time sheltering in is that my days are leisurely and I rarely need to drive anywhere. I have been able to give in to my natural "night owl" personality. I go to sleep around 2 or 3 a.m. and get up around 9:30 or 10:30 a.m. This led to changes in mealtimes
This new schedule is much more relaxing and natural for me. I am sleeping better and feeling healthier.

Of course, I miss hugs and visits with my children, grandchildren and friends. We stay in touch with texting and calls. I will miss my annual vacation with friends in another part of the country.

But, I am lucky that I enjoy being alone and reading, gardening and working jigsaw puzzles. To get in my 2 mile walk each day I also don my mask, stay socially distant and walk in the park across my street.
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BeckyS, United States of America
It is much to early for me to share my pandemic experience. I am still trying to process it.
However, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each one of you who participate in this project. You have kept me company in my darkest days, and I appreciate you more than you will every know.
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Gypsypost, New Zealand
I've never posted on here before! Absolutely love Postcrossing and so pleased that the mail is starting to come in again as we comp0letely shut down our wonderful island Nation and so mail didn't get delivered during Lockdown. I'm retired so it didn't mean a lot of changes to my normal life except that I had the opportunity to help others more. Taught via Zoom many people to shop online, and use their devices to better advantages. My vege garden kept growing, the flowers kept blooming so I feel all is ok in my world. Though I do get sad when the news informs us of so many people sick and dying in countries less fortunate than mine. I hope everybody is safe and well and long may Postcrossing continue. Take care of yourselves Postcrossers!!!!
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greenskull, Russia
I ❤❤❤ Postcrossing!
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Axolotl_, Germany
I've been writing about my lockdown experiences all the time anyway - as I write about what's going on in my life most times. I tried to focus on the positive things, though, so it wouldn't be too sad to read.
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JonathanChua, Singapore
Before lockdown, life was normal. During n After lockdown, life becomes NEW normal. Like put on a mask before leaving the house, keep at least 1 m safe distancing, do not chat while inside an elevator, walking n in the car sometimes, wash hands frequently, do not gather in group more than 5 people, kids to visit parents n not vice versa, if got flu need to be quarantined for at least 5 -14 days, work from home if possible.........to prevent or minimise another breakout!!
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Chamakh, Tunisia
I wasn't quarantined from the start because I'm an intern in dentistry but we heal just with emergency cases until 15th April . My sister was in the holiday of the end of the trimester so she visited me . I was afraid about her because I have contact with patients. After that we went back home . At the beginning I was stressed and depressed because I have nothing to do and the day was so long . Day by Day , I applied new recipes , watched webinar conference , studied new courses online ...
We are grateful for the time to enjoy each other at home, to reflect on important matters, and to actually accomplish those tasks that we usually procrastinated.
Stay safe dear postcrossers !
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AnOr, Germany
At the beginning of the lockdown it was terrible for me. You were completely "cut off" from normal social life from one day to the next. Only when it was necessary (shopping) did I leave the house, always in fear that I could get infected. But you get used to a lot with time. Today it is part of everyday life to wear a mask and keep distance. But postcrossing gave me the feeling not to be alone in this situation. All the cards I have received in this difficult time and so many people in far away countries, who have suffered exactly as I did. It was a help.
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Indreni, United States of America
Reading these experiences and comments have been very healing for me as many of us are trying very hard to process the sweet aspects and the painful aspects of this pandemic and lockdown. To know we have these experiences around the world and regardless of nationality, it's very moving. I will say postcrossing was definitely a bright spot in a time that was very difficult and challenging for me here.

Lockdown began here in mid-march, a very tough time here in Wisconsin when we are coming out of a very long winter and the weather will still not be nice until May. Losing my weekly social routines and the upcoming plans I had, including visiting my aunt for the first time in New Mexico which got canceled, was difficult for me. However, the most sorrow I felt was for my fifth grade son, because his school year ended without warning and he never got to say to a real goodbye to his friends and teachers, and he lost his extracurriculars as well. Here almost everything for kids is still closed and I feel bad for the things that children are missing and their isolation, but on a happy note, it has been more relaxing with less scheduled applications and much more enjoyment of outdoors and nature.

I think I also had more time to read, which is a positive.
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DarciNZ, New Zealand
From our small farm in New Zealand, pretty much nothing changed before, during, and after lockdown. We live an isolated lifestyle to begin with, maybe not seeing others for weeks! But we get great enjoyment out of our animals, we eat from our veggie garden and our meat freezer, and do outdoor work most days. My two reflections: is it a good thing if we didn't experience the loss of things from a lockdown (i.e. we were already going without/doing it hard before?!?!) and was it really a good idea to buy 300kgs of flour (now sitting under my stairs) when I couldn't find flour at the supermarket for two consecutive trips? :) We are slowly growing fatter by the day now. :)
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lpresley, United States of America
Quarantine has been a unique experience for me. Teaching school from home was quite the challenge and I found that I did not enjoy it much. I missed all of my students and worried about their health until I heard from each and every one of them in some way shape or form. I missed seeing my friends and family more than anything and sometimes a phone call just wasn't enough.

I have enjoyed many phone calls, 6 ft air hugs and have been able to read many books on my "to be read" list. I have also enjoyed many walks and drives with my family just to get out of the house. I have learned to cherish the little things more and not complain about the things you can't fix.
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AmandaC, Switzerland
Creazy times, but everything in life has also postive as negative aspects.
I had time to read, to be creative, to gind my middle again.
Focus on esential things like family and home.
Now more than ever I appreciate my 4 walls.
Love em.
Wish you all a nice sommer despite the curent situation, we ll get through it and bright times are coming.
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irina_zakozhurnikova, Russia
Hello. Everything turned out happily for me. I went on a voyage around the world dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica on the Pallada sailing ship on March 15, when there was no quarantine in Russia yet. We were in the ocean - Atlantic and Indian for 77 days and came from Cape Town to Vladivostok (Russia) when quarantine was already canceled. I had a wonderful time, out of danger. But I was worried about my family, which remained in Russia. Thank God that everyone is alive and well. And I got a lot of impressions and joy. In Cape Town, I bought a lot of postcards for my collection and sent several postcards from Africa to Italy and Russia to postcrossers. Now I continue to write the book "Travel around the world postcard."
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msquared47, United States of America
When the lockdown started I was able to work from home everyday and not be unemployed, so I was thankful for that. I usually worked from home 2-3 days a week anyway so it wasn't much of a change. I had my routine during the week but the weekends were kind of tough as I couldn't meet my friends for lunch or go to church on Sunday. We did and still do church on Zoom on Sunday but it's not the same as actually going to church and seeing your church family. When the weather got nice I was able to get outside and do things in my yard and talk to my neighbors. Hopefully good times are ahead!
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farmdau56, United States of America
Hi Everyone! I will remember the pandemic quarantine as the time that I joined Postcrossing. It has been so much fun to send and receive cards. Right now in California the virus is taking hold again, so it is a scary time. Fortunately, I and my family have been doing fine. I have been enjoying walks, baking, and hanging out with my husband.
Best wishes to all and don't forget to wear your mask!
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ybur, Czech Republic
I returned home from Slovakia, where I take care of my mother, 3 days before the border were closed. I was able to travel to Slovakia again after 3.5 months.
I used my time at home to sew (especially masks), arranged many backlogs in the household and most importantly: I had the opportunity to share the progress of my sweet little granddaughter (5-8 months of her age)
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GayeDoreen, United States of America
I have not been able to see my Mom. Her nursing home is in lockdown and no visitors are allowed. Normally, I would have been there at least twice this year and would be going for her 101st birthday on July 10. Nope - not allowed. She lives in Wisconsin (I live in Virginia), so it’s no easy feat getting there to see her. It makes me so sad and I’m so worried I’ll never see her again because of the coronavirus. 😕
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Lorelai, Germany
On January 25th there was an international postcrossing meet-up in Heinsberg, where I met many likeable postcrossers. We had a lot of fun + made appointments for further meet-ups this year - also in the Netherlands. Then Corona took over control and the district of Heinsberg became known nationwide as the 1st hotspot in Germany. The shutdown spoiled many meet-ups. But the postcrossers I met in January are doing well.
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Knerq, United States of America
The restrictions are lifting in Virginia but I think it is too soon. I continue to stay home mostly, only going out to the farmers market on Sunday to get fresh produce, or to see a doctor if I need to. I have been skyping with one of my exchange students once a week and meeting with a friend on zoom once a week. Letters from my penpals have started arriving and I have those to answer. I have sewn 62 face masks and knitted as many earsavers with buttons for friends, family, neighbors, and nurses.
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moonlessnite, Canada
The restrictions were inconvenient, in regards to purchasing what some called NON - ESSENTIALS such as building supplies, etc. However, the peace and quiet, due to reduced activity, was so beneficial to me. Love the peace. i only wear the mask at work, and there are few people to come in contact with. i hope that after things return to business as usual, that the government imposes the LORDS DAY ACT and has business closed on sundays...so restful.
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-melone, China
We have been back to school for more than two months. I still remember the InTerEstIng days. Everything went online :courses, homework, online class meetings, and even exams. i had had no idea that how difficult and tricky it could be to up load your answers. to be clear, it was uploading each answer to each inputbox. Such tiring work! Online exams made me miss school so much!

i believe the most surprising thing happened during the restriction in China is the delay of Gaokao(national college entrance examination). it affected me a lot(i'll take this exam tomorrow). every one earned an extra month,so did i.i can't tell if it is beneficial or not, but i am ready now. Having been preparing for it for more than a year, i do have confidence in myself. No need of good luck, i can manage it. After all, we have.managed to fight the virus, and what else can't we do?
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jaiirawr, Canada
Things have been the same for me: I work in healthcare caring for the elderly. The one thing that I can say is different at work is that we have protocols in place in terms of wearing PPE all the time at work and not having any visitors for the residents. It’s very hard for them because they ask when COVID will go away and everything goes back to normal for their families to come see them.

Stay safe everyone!~
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melilot, France
I have many books that are waiting to be read, but I could not really read. I've spent a lot of time on info websites, here Le Monde had a permanent live and there were always really a lot to read.
Two times a week, going out to buy food... It was a real expedition each time, no masks available so I waked up very early so as not to cross too many persons. That was the most stressfull moment, I'm not somebody who keep a lot of food at home, but this has changed. And maybe for a long time. I prepare myself to another wave this fall...

We had the right to go out one hour a day with a special paper we had to fill, this was a bit loud... I used to go out at 10 or 11pm and in april, streets all around were completely deserts, really a strange feeling in a crowded area. There are little streets all around, with little houses, gardens, a shared garden too that was closed and where plants were growing in an anarchic way. But this was a piece of "countryside". Parks were all closed. Little by little, there were more and more people. life was coming back, cafés were allowed to open only terraces first. Bookstores, there are two in my street. Public gardens, etc.

This was and still is a strange period, I know nobody who had this disease, but death was all around through the news. Not far there is a house for old people, and I always wonder how many had this disease (considering that we were in a bad area with high number of deaths).

The best thing about all this is that I use a lot my bike now, it was a bit forgotten in the cellar and now I'm always on it, during the day and also on evenings for long night rides, Paris has changed a lot those last years and biking here is really more easy than before. I avoid the tube and the bus as much as possible.

That disease is here to stay I'm afraid and the impact is in many things, from little things to much bigger ones. We are different, I feel it all the time in the way people think and react.
But I find Parisians too relax, not wearing enough masks which are now easily available, not respecting enough distances. People want fun.
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Sasalia, Germany
The lockdown, there is so much to say. I don't know where to start and I will forgot to write about things. A very crazy time, it felt as somebody flipped the switch. My favorite sport normally is to swim in the indoor pool, but there were also closed.
The saddest thing for me, was not to see my friends and familiy, espcially my mother. I live nearly 600km far from her and miss her so much. ;(

The good things for me were, that I still had a permanent job and things to fill my day. I work in a pharmacy so, with the bakerys and supermarkets and a few doctors we were still open. In my freetime many travels (also in my country), concerts and events were cancelled for me. I'm a very active person and so I had to do other things. I did more long bicicycle trips, tried new recipes, more creative things and write more often in my journal.

It was a very difficult and strange time, and stil is far from "normal", but I will try not to think it was only horrible for me in a few years. It was part of my and many peoples life and I'm so glad that everyone of my family and friends is still healthy. This is the only thing that matters.

Stay healthy all here! ♡♡♡
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noranora, Latvia
Our lockdown time here, in Latvia, was much less stressful, with very low % of infected people. I just read that Latvia are among the best countries to fight the spreading of virus. We closed the borders very early, and schools and universities changed to studying from home. It was difficult for parents, especially if they worked from home too for some time. Only public places like cinema, theatre, sport halls were closed, but all the shops were open and people were really careful to keep distance. May be it helped, that Latvians are very introvert people, hugging in kissing is not common among us. Local joke is -when we at last will be allowed to keep our comfortable distance , 2 m is too close!
And we all are vaccinated of TBC in early childhood, it seems to have some impact, too
But lately, with airlines working again, people are coming from different countries and bringing virus. The number of cases has grown again (We had none or 1-2 for some time). So nothing is over, although sometimes I even forget it.
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Nici91, Germany
My family and I live very close to each other but my mother and I belong to the risk group, so we couldn't see each other since mid-March. Otherwise we went to our mother's for dinner every Thursday, and I missed this ritual the most.

The good thing about the lockdown was that I finally had time for my mother. I'm usually on the go from morning until late at night for work and school. It was good for our relationship to spend time with each other.

We had to avoid public transport because of the infeed hazard, so we could not drive to our beloved Baltic Sea. Not far from our apartments is a small park ending at the river. We live here for 10 years and almost never there. During the lockdown we were at least 3 times the week there for a long walk. The good is often very close that I also take from this time.
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ned44440, Ireland
🙋‍♀️ My new 'normal' involves working from home which I have gotten used to now. My office (I work in Administration for the Post Office) are in no hurry to have us return to the office to work. That conversation won't happen until at least September/October. The company may ask us to continue to work from home if that suits us. I think we will be given the option. Maybe we will be offered part home/part in office working arrangements. Since working from home I have been allowed to choose my own working hours within reason which is great.
I am due to retire next year so these past few weeks working from home are kind of easing me into Retirement, I think. That's how I choose to look at it anyway 😂
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HanaMoualla, Czech Republic
Lockdown in Czech had started in mid March. It was all about homeschooling and trying to keep up my contracts and to write. People started sewing their own masks and I kept on sending cards. It was good to keep it as a morning hygiene, together with journal writing. I have worked in the garden and repaired various home items. We did a lot of recycled art with the younger one. In April we did every other day walks in the nearby nature. I started TRX training and kept up with my yoga. Signed for art course online. I was missing my family a lot. Later in June we have met with them.
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Postikortti, Finland
Hi everyone, during the lockdown I've been working normally but all my hobbygroups were cancelled. At first I thought whether to get as much food, handdisfection and toilet paper as I could possibly store but then I realised stores are well supplied and we people must take our responsibility when contacting (still and now) others. I miss some friends but I know somewhere in the future I'll meet them for sure. This worldwide situation is not over yet so let's all be careful and wash hands. Stay safe everyone and wait for all nice and beautiful postcards from all over the world!
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