• Andrew Schwark

Isolated

A week ago Viktoriya sent me a photo she found on Instagram that I thought beautiful and poignant. You can find it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-e9XYYqXWZ/


It is a good description of our current lives. In darkness, clinging together, yet struggling with a barrier. Not all of us feel this way, but after talking with a friend in Texas I realized that what people in the US are feeling is not the same as what Viktoriya and myself are currently experiencing.


The stateside news I hear varies from "we're just trying not get sick" to "this is a conspiracy." So let me fill you in on the situation here instead. Any sort of uncertainty and fear present in the US is diffuse in Ufa. Most have dismissed this as a passing inconvenience, annoyed at the fact they may be stopped by police to ask where they're headed. Grocery stores and bakeries operate like normal and any business considered "essential" is allowed to operate (mostly) like normal. For those business that don't have essential status, they have all overnight decided they can deliver, which is really convenient for us.


Some funny stories have surfaced as well; a hospital director was found attempting to escape via his office window after a patient tested positive for COVID. Is that sad or hilarious? I'm still not sure... Also most Russians I've met are confused and mocking when they hear about the toilet paper panic that holds Americans in it's fluffy, ultra-strong, two-ply grip. I hold the same sentiments.


However with parks closed, hardware shops only open to "essential" business (plumbers, electricians, and the like), and all entertainment on hold we find that the days smear together to form a week. But, like all of you, we are finding ways to keep busy. And by that I mean Viktoriya typically asks me to recreate some photo she's seen on Instagram. And for the most part that keeps us relatively busy when there isn't much else going on.


I hope all of you stay safe and are finding ways to stay busy too. Here are a couple photos from our most recent projects in isolation. Cheers!




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