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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Pandemic entertainment

Vieraskieliset / In-english
29.6.2021 16.30

Juttua muokattu:

29.6. 16:29

We are well in­to the se­cond ye­ar of the co­vid pan­de­mic. What a stran­ge time it has been! So­me­o­ne told me about their use of time, sa­ying that if they need to go to the post of­fi­ce to get a pac­ka­ge, that is the on­ly thing they can fit in­to their day. How hap­py I would be now to have even one pro­per thing to do eve­ry day. But that is not al­wa­ys the case. On those days I read the dai­ly pa­per more ca­re­ful­ly than ever. If there is not­hing el­se, we will go to the ne­ar­by rail const­ruc­ti­on site to see if the work is prog­res­sing well.

But there are na­tu­ral­ly al­so ot­her things to do. Many me­dia and in­for­ma­ti­on chan­nels pro­vi­de in­te­res­ting con­tent. Not le­ast the phone. Phone use is ap­p­ro­ac­hing an art: I float in the stream of my thoughts, dred­ging up old events. They in­vol­ve pe­op­le that I could con­tact. Fin­ding the phone num­ber can be anot­her ad­ven­tu­re. And then the phone call.

The call of­ten be­gins a bit awk­ward­ly. The per­son I am cal­ling may not be wil­ling to ans­wer a call from an unk­nown num­ber, as­su­ming it to be a te­le­mar­ke­ter. Nor will they un­ders­tand right away who is ac­tu­al­ly cal­ling. Alt­hough I think I pro­noun­ced my name qui­te cle­ar­ly. It may cer­tain­ly be that I ex­pect them to be more fa­mi­li­ar with me than they ac­tu­al­ly are.

But the ga­tes to the me­mo­ry cham­bers soon open, voi­ces grow lou­der, and a stream of events flows from one spe­a­ker to the ot­her. And when I would al­re­a­dy be hap­py to hang up, I hear from the ot­her end: “And you know, there’s one more thing…”. That day of the co­vid pan­de­mic has been a good one for two se­ni­ors.

I mar­ried late, just be­fo­re my re­ti­re­ment, and re­cei­ved a lar­ge fa­mi­ly as a wed­ding pre­sent. When a ”step­mot­her” ar­ri­ved in­to the fa­mi­ly, some nee­ded a shor­ter and some ot­hers a lon­ger time for ad­just­ment. The pan­de­mic has had a ma­jor im­pact on in­ter­per­so­nal re­la­ti­ons. Con­cern for the el­ders cau­sed the child­ren to or­ga­ni­ze a sys­tem whe­re­by each in turn was res­pon­sib­le for el­der care for a week at a time. In a lar­ge fa­mi­ly, each child has on­ly a few such weeks in a ye­ar.

They all do their week of care in their own way. There have been many dif­fe­rent ways, all of them good. We of­ten get a phone call at the be­gin­ning of the week, so­me­ti­mes well ahe­ad of time, so­me­ti­mes to­ward the end of the week. The clas­si­cal qu­es­ti­ons are: “how are you get­ting on?” and “what do you need?”. We have al­re­a­dy sha­red our real wor­ries on What­sApp, but we al­wa­ys need help with the di­gi­tal equip­ment. Ot­her­wi­se, there is not much conc­re­te help that we need. We have done our gro­ce­ry shop­ping with masks on and are hap­py to pay for prac­ti­cal out­si­de help against the tax de­duc­ti­on. But there are things that are bet­ter done with a hel­per, such as sor­ting out the con­tents of the free­zer and was­hing the win­dows.

The most va­lu­ab­le thing, ho­we­ver, is the con­tact with pe­op­le. In per­so­nal phone cal­ls and small group mee­tings it ea­sier to dis­cuss mat­ters that ea­si­ly re­main uns­ha­red in the up­be­at What­sApp exc­han­ge. In such dis­cus­si­ons the el­der may al­so be the one to help the ot­her per­son.

We have purc­ha­sed and been gi­ven va­ri­ous au­dio equip­ment. Gra­du­al­ly we are le­ar­ning to use those de­vi­ces. We use Book­Be­at to lis­ten to books. We usu­al­ly al­so make on­li­ne se­arc­hes for the wri­ter’s backg­round, the book it­self, and the era where the book ta­kes place.

But the best thing of all was to get the Kuu­le! app as soon as it was pub­lis­hed. It was the spi­ri­tu­al hit of our Christ­mas wit­hout church. We of­ten click pau­se half­way through the prog­ram to dis­cuss what we have he­ard. The book we lis­te­ned to first gave us some idea of the busy mid-life ye­ars of a city dwel­ler and the life and so­lu­ti­ons of pe­op­le li­ving amid their eve­ry­day temp­ta­ti­ons. The story was so overw­hel­ming that on­ce in a while we shed a few te­ars.

Then we en­jo­yed a book about mar­ri­a­ge, which ap­pe­als es­pe­ci­al­ly to yo­ung fa­mi­lies. We found it al­so use­ful for ol­der coup­les. And the or­dai­ned mi­nis­ter en­jo­yed lis­te­ning to the ot­her mi­nis­ter dis­cus­sing mat­ters of mar­ri­a­ge. I gu­ess we will have to re-lis­ten some chap­ters of that book.

Ma­y­be I should now char­ge my phone, so that I can start lis­te­ning.

Text: Kirs­ti Wal­le­nius-Rii­hi­mä­ki

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen


Herra on kuningas! Riemuitkoon maa, iloitkoot meren saaret ja rannat! Pilvi ja pimeys ympäröi häntä, hänen istuintaan kannattavat vanhurskaus ja oikeus. Ps. 97:1–2

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