What day is it today?

Dear Diary,

I try to remember how many days have passed since I started working from home and I’m having a hard time.

I don’t remember if a month or five weeks have passed since then. Not that it matters that much. However, what I remember for sure is that I have never been home for so long. Never!

And as if that wasn’t enough, I begin to worry that I don’t even remember what day it is. Fortunately, the newspaper’s daily needs help me keep track:

On Holy Thursday, we print our English edition and the festive, rich in material and holiday greetings, ‘Periodiko’. On Good Friday, we print our Easter Collector’s Edition. And so on.

And yet, a few days ago, I made a mistake about what day it was and fortunately my children brought me back to reality – after first giving me a strange look.

You lose touch with time when the scenery doesn’t change: when you suddenly go from frantic running – for decades – from very early mornings until late at night – to measuring time in the steps you take going from one room to another.

When all we do is constantly lean over our computers and read one thing after another about the coronavirus. We just keep adding up all the things we read about the unspeakable devastation caused by this pandemic. As my old friend Manolis from Athens writes to me: “they don’t say ‘yes, this nightmare is over’ yet.”

I finally calmed down when I found out that there are others like me who mix up the days. I read that in Cleveland, a local station started a program called “What day is it today?” and it immediately became very popular.

I took a deep breath. I’m not alone, I said.

I aspired, when I had no choice but to work from home, to at least reorganize my office. To put into practice the Greek aphorism: ουδέν κακόν αμιγές καλού – ‘no evil is without its good’, or ‘every cloud has a silver living.’ Many people around the world are finally doing what they have been putting off for a long time.

For years I temporarily ‘parked’ my books somewhere until I had a chance to sort them and properly place them.

All I do is buy books. Amazon brings them – until recently, anyway – in 2-3 days. And every time I go to Athens, I pick up a few more. In addition to what writers and publishers send me to my office at the newspaper.

Yes, I said, now is the chance. But I have not been up to it.

It’s been a month – or however long it has been – and all I do is put a few more books in the way. I don’t know if the days go by faster now or if I just don’t have the energy. But I am determined to do it one day – soon, I hope – I want to do it.

And here we are during Holy Week and we have not gone to church as a family.

This bothers me a lot. I fully understand the need, and I agree that the churches should be closed, but how can we not go to church during Holy Week?

Every day on the Internet I follow the services and sermons of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America. I’m glad he sends us sermons and I enjoy them. They are real; they contain truth according to Church tradition. But it is virtual, not physical. We are physical beings and presence is vital to us.

A thought goes through my mind. Is it possible that we miss the church so much, now that we cannot go, that we will experience what happened to the Christians of the former Soviet Union, where after its collapse they embraced the church in an almost unprecedented way?

Easter is coming, it’s almost here.

I just can’t fathom it: won’t we have friends at home this year, as we have had for decades? Won’t we be roasting lamb on the spit like we do every year?

Is it possible?

What do we have this year? We have fatigue. When will we wake up from this nightmare?


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