Luckily, Spring came and brought some sunshines to Sweden so we could keep our optimism alive. We did as many outdoor activities as possible to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. Biking around Lund, bush walking in Skrylle nature reserve were among other things we did during the season. I also managed to join Stockholm Writers Festival which was my very first writing festival. Overall, Spring was good enough although we had the most quiet Eid celebration with no gathering and not even a communal prayer in mosque.
In Summer, the number of Covid-19 cases in Skåne was surprisingly low but we were still expected to avoid crowd so we celebrated midsummer outdoor but only with the family member. Then, we managed to travel to Ystad, Båstad, Åhus and Ven Island. Of course we had to adjust the itinerary but we still had a good time under the sun, we even featured in Inpå Livet Sydsvenskan. We also visited friends in Smedstorp and Stångby, had as many picnics as possible and I helped out my friend who has a tourism start up to host a virtual tour around Lund.
August 2020 also marked my “come back” to academic world 😀 as I started my course on Working Class Literature in Malmö University that month. Since then, I had been busy balancing life as a mother, a writer, a tutor and a student :D. We still biked around Lund of course, capturing the Autumn vibes, visiting a mini fair, picking up sunflowers, and trying the new place of a chocolatier in Lund.
But that was before Skåne had to deal with the second wave of Covid-19 infection which understandably led to stricter recommendations . After 27 October 2020, we were just trying to deal with the new yet mundane routine while embracing November in Sweden which is already hard, even without Covid-19.
However, I was able to join Ubud Writers Festival, bike to Hjärup, a picturesque neighbourhood located just outside Lund, and was given the honour to take over Visit Lund Instagram’s account for a week as the guest host. In the meantime, we were also busy with the final stages of Z’s doctoral’s degree, K’s first days at preschool, K’s birthday, my exams and another virtual tour for my friend’s start up.
But even with all those things in our plate, the restlessness about the global pandemic was still in the back of our mind.
To make matters worse, Z wasn’t in his best condition as he suffered from abdominal pain quite often in the last months of 2020 so things were not as smooth as they used to be.
Actually, the year of 2020 wasn’t the first time for us to be in such a catastrophic situation. We experienced the earthquake in 2006 and the volcano eruptions in 2010 and 2014 in Indonesia, and even in 2012, we had to be rescued by Western Australia Department of Fire and Emergency Service, when the withered ceilings in our apartment collapsed in the middle of the night. But those years were “okay” compare to 2020, presumably because the disasters didn’t last as long as this pandemic. Another thing that made 2020 was really hard, I think, was the unforeseeable nature of pandemic. Too many uncertainty and too little exit plan. With disaster, it has at least, risk management and contingency plan, while with virus, we don’t know how and when it will be truly over.
I’m not saying that 2020 was the worst or a complete reverse of fortune. In fact, it still had the things I could be and should be grateful for. After all, I’ve been always taught and still believe that “Verily, with every difficulty, there is relief.”
Here’s to a new year that hopefully much better than 2020. Skål!