Greetings from the end of the world.

Layah Shagalow
3 min readMar 17, 2020


I have to say, it’s a lot cozier than I expected. And, despite the lack of toilet paper at Target, it’s a lot calmer too.

It’s the end of the world. That’s what the media says. They keep telling us numbers and using words meant to scare us. Some of it might be for ratings, but I think some of it is also so we’ll take our role in getting through this seriously.

The truth us, it is a bit scary. We’ve never really experienced anything like this. I mean, we’ve watched about 987 movies and TV shows with a similar plot, but that’s not exactly the same. So the anxiety is real, and that’s ok.

But when you take a moment to stop reading the headlines, there’s something else going on too. The world feels really small right now, but also in a good way. Neighbors quarantined in Italy are serenading the neighborhood from their balconies. In Israel weddings are taking place in courtyards so entire apartment buildings can participate from the windows. There are daily dance parties being held on Instagram live, and hundreds of professionals are hosting lessons and sharing resources via zoom and Skype.

The safest thing is to maintain a physical distance, stay home, hunker down. And while some people are unnecessarily stocking up on toilet paper, others are learning how to reach out to their friends and show up in ways that aren’t just in person. We’re hanging out more even if we’re together less. We’re learning a valuable lesson about connection. About presence. About compassion.

My family is sick. We have been for a week. Moderate flu like symptoms. Fever, cough, congestion. Is it Covid-19? Is it the flu? We honestly don’t know. So we’re listening to the doctor. We’re quarantining. We’re just spending time together. Taking care of each other and taking a lot of Dayquil. We’re also cleaning, a lot. We’re washing our hands. Not letting visitors in. I’m the only one who leaves to run errands because I have been symptom free for 72 hours.

We’re only accepting news from the WHO or the CDC. Everything else is noise. There is too much potential for misinformation and the panic it causes is unwelcome here. We’re taking a long snow day. We’re under our covers with tea and a good book.