Please “unfriend me” if…Social media during lock down…

The wonderful staff serving us at the Courtyard by Marriott Mumbai International Airport. They couldn’t be more attentive and concerned about our needs and those of the other stranded foreign nationals staying at the hotel during this difficult time. Thank you, dear staff members, for taking such good care of us, including taking everyone’s temperature this morning.

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word, “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site in a few months, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you.

Our lives, regardless of difficult times, are filled with the love and support of family/readers/friends from all over the world. In 2019, when I had emergency open-heart surgery while in South Africa there was and continues to be an outpouring of generosity in prayers and warm wishes. 


We can proudly say, we have “no haters” imposing upon the joys and challenges of our daily lives of world travel.


Now, as we wait in a hotel room in Mumbai, India for the virus to run its course and free us and the rest of the world to be able to continue on with our lives, again the kindness and concern expressed by countless readers throughout the world flood our inboxes.


This generosity of spirit not only brings smiles to our faces as we rifle through the messages, trying to personally respond to each one, but it truly has had an impact on our day to day lives.


As I lay on the sofa in our holiday home in the bush in February, March, and April 2019, with mosquitoes buzzing around our heads, temperatures well into the  40C, (100F) range, with power going off and on due to load-shedding (utility company turning the power off for hours at a time to conserve resources), nothing beyond the loving attentiveness of my husband, family and local friends brought me more peace and comfort than hearing from so many of you.


With the impact of this dreadful virus, we’re all locked down in one way or another and yet our readers continue to reach out to us each day. It is this feeling of “never being alone” that has such a positive impact on both of us as we, like you, muddle our way through this challenge.


The hotel staff, some of which are shown in the above photo have embraced each guest with such kindness, extraordinary service and a high level of concern, far beyond what one would expect during these trying times. 

During the lockdown in India, the Courtyard by Marriott Mumbai International Airport has created this heart image as a show of supports using lights in various hotel rooms.

And beyond the communication we so much treasure with our worldwide readers is the opportunity to connect with family and friends via Facebook which we use more than any other form of social media. 


Over the past 7½ years of world travel, Facebook has been a helpful source for us in seeing photos and reading stories about our loved ones and friends. Few of our blog readers share Facebook with us when they have their own friends and family with whom they share the most detailed aspects of their lives.


If a reader “friends” us, unfortunately, if we don’t know them and there’s no accompanying comment that they are a reader/friend, we may not accept their friend request. We’re not on a mission to have thousands of Facebook friends since doing so would result in too much sorting through posts.


For me, I go into Facebook five or six times a day to see what’s happening. I don’t notice annoying ads or promotions. But, I do notice “hate speech” and “toxic vitriol” which is often politically based. 


I try to breeze by the toxic comments, but like many of us, especially now with “time on our hands” it’s not easy to do. I find myself reading hateful comments about our leaders and the leaders of other countries, regardless of theirs or my, political affiliation, that is an outright slam against their service and a slam against them as human beings.


I challenge anyone, in this world to step into their shoes, now, in the past or in the uncertain future to do a better job than they are doing. Sure, we all fantasize about how “we’d do it better” but none of us, regardless of how well-read or educated we believe we are can fathom the depth, the magnitude of what is required to be in such a position unless we’ve been there.


No, I am not condoning poor or ruthless leadership. Nor am I expressing a personal political view. I just don’t want to see or hear “hate speech” of any type on my Facebook feed. We are each entitled to our opinions and yes, they can be voiced at appropriate times.


But, now, as we all struggle to stay upbeat, positive and hopeful for the future, during this particularly challenging period in history, none of this toxicity is doing any of us any good. 


Thus, if you feel compelled to continue posting “hate speech” on Facebook, which as a medium, I consider a valuable source of hopefulness, humor, and optimism, please feel free to “unfriend” me. 


Yes, I can read about your troubles, your challenges, your joys, your thoughts, your health, and your emotions as I have shared mine. Yes, I love seeing your photos of your family, your friends, scenery, places you’ve been or long to be and, animals; cats, dogs, wildlife, anything that walks, flies or crawls. Who doesn’t love funny animal videos?


Yes, I can read news about Covid-19 as a reality we all face. But, not for one more day can I read “hate speech.” If you can’t stop, even during this challenging time, please… UNFRIEND ME.


I won’t judge you nor will I announce “who” unfriended me. I’ll just let you “waft” away.  


May we all stay safe and hopeful during this difficult time.

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Photo from one year ago today, March 30, 2019:

Young males gnus (wildebeest) have blondish hair on their heads so mature males will leave them alone and not fight until they mature when the blond hair changes color.  Due to the blond hair, the older males perceive the young males as females and have little interest in harassing them. For more photos, please click here.