The utterances pandemic and lockdown replenished my screen. I had just turned my phone on for the first time after five days of dogsledding Greenland’s Arctic Circle Trail in subzero temperatures with no service. There was still over an hour to go before I would reach anything resembling affection, let alone WiFi. But on the suburbs of our final destination, my phone was picking up enough of a signal to trigger an invasion of contents.
” The life is burning .”
” Can you leave Greenland ??”
” Everything has changed .”
My friends and family were, to articulate it thinly, freaking out.
Before I went off on the dogsled, the Greenlanders I was talking about shrugged off the coronavirus like a baseless rumor. When I re-entered civilization and cell phone service, I tried to absorb in minutes what the rest of the world had experienced over the course of five days.
COVID-1 9 was now a pandemic. Italy was on lockdown. Denmark had closed its borders. Trump announced a European proceed restrict, and bathroom tissue was the hoarders’ item of alternative.
My mind was still reeling as I checked into my hotel unprepared to experience Greenland during a pandemic, enthusiastic to warm up. I needed to be reminded several times to stay behind the freshly sat yellowed notification videotape in front of the celebration desk. Were there always this many pas sanitizers around? At breakfast the following morning, I choked on a sip of sea, and my hacking coughings caused more than one accusatory light.
If getting off the dogsled felt like entering a similarity macrocosm, trying to understand all of the divulge word was like solving a Rubik’s cube. Every new twist brought about another obstacle to are faced with.
I was scheduled to leave Greenland in less than two days. My journey back to Boston in the USA would take me through two European airfields over three days. Three epoches in coronavirus-world? It seemed likely that these airports might not even be operating by the time I contacted my second layover.
An hour before my flight left, I decided not to get on it. At first, my decision was about waiting for clarity. But as the week continued, the one thing that became clear was that no one knew what would happen next as I began to experience Greenland during a pandemic.
COVID-1 9 was spreading rapidly, and the consensus seemed to be: stay home if you can.
As the week progressed, the distraction and chaos increased.
And while it might seem drastic to choose to stay on an island in the Arctic Circle during a global epidemic, an even more frightening conception is returning home only to foul my 76 -year-old father or the stranger who squanders a luggage go-cart after me. What would you choose?
At the time of writing, I’m on my 58 th daytime of abide longer than planned in Greenland. Here are five things I’ve learned while unexpectedly living indefinitely on our world’s largest island during a pandemic.
1. A decade of solo advance was the best preparation for dealing with unprecedented terms
My decision to stay in Greenland has left some of my friends slack-jawed. What if you’re stuck there for months? What if the world deaths as we know it? I like to kid that as a 30 -year-old female who has been single for five years, I’m pretty well inured to the idea of dying alone.
But the reality is that having traveled solo to over 40 countries in the past ten years, dealing with the unexpected has become one of my greatest expertises. When I was 13 years old, I flew alone from Johannesburg to Boston and is stuck at JFK airport during a snowstorm. After get shuttled from gate to gate, a flight attendant offered to take me home for the light, so I didn’t have to sleep on the airport flooring. I slept on her futon under sparkling Christmas tree flares, then chew hotcakes with her daughter the next morning.
Since staying in Greenland, I impede thinking back to that first brush with travel-induced calamity. Travel has coached me, more than anything, that the majority of humans are good and that I can direct almost any situation that comes my practice.
This has been proven ten-fold in Greenland. The parties I’ve met have welcomed me into their homes, onto their boats, and at their dinner tables.
2. Even though I know I can handle this situation, I still need to feel all the feelings
As everyone continues to remind us, we are in never-before-seen durations. So while in some way I feel wildly ready for unusually living in Greenland during a pandemic, this situation still generates up a good deal of feelings that I have to work through, regardless of how well-adjusted I feel.
I get caught off-guard by a abrupt constricting of my dresser as an endless flow of “what-if” situations filled my spirit- all of them involving my overweight, 10 -year-old basset hound, Webster. I’m a pro at broad my feelings under the proverbial rug, and I seem to have successfully managed to project most of my worries onto him instead.
So rather than panicking about my pregnant sister-in-law giving birth during a pandemic, I was concerned that my hound will pass away( from what? The stress dreams render incessant options !) thinking that his mommy never came home to say goodbye.
After spending the first month of my increased stay in Greenland during a pandemic with my mind in full Emergency Mode, I’ve settled into the second month with a keen awareness that I need to make choices that acknowledge this stress in my life.
I “re going to have to” to stay sane.
For me, this wants having a morning routine of journaling, chocolate, and some sort of anxiety-reducing movement- and is not include my phone until after I’ve made this time for myself. While I’m not able to follow it every morning, peculiarly now that I’m able to travel around the country, it makes a huge difference when I do.
3. The United Mood is a total clusterfuck
The U.S. existing within a spotlight.
As one of the most powerful countries in the world, “what were doing” spreads far and near. Our news, our makes, our tv establishes, our cinemas all provide far beyond our borders. I’ve always was just thinking about traveling outside the U.S. as akin to stepping out of that spotlight. You’re no longer staring into the glare, but are now the purposes of the audience.
Watching my home country flounder from afar has been unpleasant. The U.S. is broken in so many ways.
We do not have social safety nets in place to avoid widespread economic and physical digest. Systemic racism continues to rot us from the inside out. For numerous Americans, health insurance and employment get hand-in-hand. As the unemployment rate ascents to nearly 15%, this leaves thousand of Americans without health insurance during a pandemic.
GoFundMe campaigns are covering astronomical legislations for pandemic assistance that our government should be doing instead. And those most affected-black communities, people of color, undocumented immigrants, LGBTQ societies, disabled population, and women as a whole-are those with the least representation and support within our organisation.
Of course, Greenland( and everywhere) certainly has its own share of financial and sociopolitical issues, including a very fragile healthcare system that cannot handle an outbreak. But clearly understanding the country’s weaknesses, the authorities concerned reenacted a swift and robust response to the pandemic. After two cases were confirmed in the capital, travel was censored domestically and internationally. Greenland, during a pandemic, was under control.
As of May 11 th, Greenland has been coronavirus-free for over a month, and all 11 showed events have fully recovered. Greenland is currently open for domestic traveling, with incoming international travel granted merely for all-important trips.
4. Trump wasn’t the firstly American to try to buy Greenland
During WWII, Greenland became a de facto protectorate of the United State. In exchange for protection from Nazi Germany, the U.S. was able to place its military all over the country. After the battle, the U.S. offered Denmark 100 million USD for Greenland. The Danes politely worsened but agreed with the U.S. retain a restricted military attendance.
Over 60 year later, Greenland is still cleaning up the mess the Americans left behind at these armed areas.
This mess includes a top-secret nuclear rocket propel basi that the U.S. tried to build under the ice cap in the 1950 s. It was called Project Iceworm, and they did it behind everyone’s backs. They vacated the experimentation when they realized that the ice cap moves. This would humble their passages in a matter of years. But guess what they left behind? A whole lot of nuclear waste.
As of right now, the nuclear waste is still beneath the frost. But climate change impacts projections show that the poisonous essences may be released into the environment in the near future. And this is just one of over 30 armed locates that the U.S. left behind without cleaning up.
5. If the end is nigh, I’m obviously in the right country
Greenland is the least densely populated territory in the world countries.
A population of 56,000 is spread out over an field approximately the size of western Europe. Hunting is a big part of Greenland’s heritage and present existence. Almost all of the Greenlanders I have met are hunters themselves. Otherwise, they have family members who hunt or buy their meat supply instantly from hunters. And I don’t mean leisurely hunting on the weekends. This is hunting to get enough reindeer to supply you and your family for the winter months ahead.
The same applies to fishing and foraging. In home after home, I’ve seen freezers filled with crowberries, rainbow trout, lumpfish roe, and blueberries saved from previous seasons.
While there are efforts to experiment with agriculture in the country, there are virtually no vegetables or outcome grown in Greenland. Supermarkets are stocked with affords shipped in from Denmark, which means that being a vegan or vegetarian here is the least sustainable choice you can determine.
Do I actually recollect the end is near? Probably not. But if the cataclysm does come, I have to say I’m kind of relieved to be in Greenland. To be surrounded by people who know how to hunt down their dinner-and probably have two freezers filled with meat from last year-is reassuring, to say the least.
What would you do if you find yourself in my place in Greenland during a pandemic? Would you stay or gamble cros? Are you experiencing a lockdown in an unpredictable plaza? Share!
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