Health

Isolation Challenge for Demetra and Mehmet in L.A.

In response to the article we published with entertainer Andy Reay click here on the subject of what do you do during Self Isolation, we have started to receive messages from many happy people as you will see.

We have had an interesting email from Catalkoy resident Demetra George Mustafaoglu who with here husband Mehmet are stuck high in the sky in Los Angeles in the US.

For those readers who would also like to share their experiences please email  kyreniacommentator@cyprusscene.com and we will try to publish them on our website and in our weekly online e-newspaper. Let’s try to make the world happy again by sharing good news.

For those people who are wanting to return from the UK to the TRNC or go from the TRNC to the UK please go to Facebook page “TRNC Residents trying to get homeclick here and register your details as directed.

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Readers mail….
From Demetra George Mustafaoglu…..

Greetings family and friends from beautiful Los Angeles where I sit on my 14th floor balcony above well-known Wilshire Boulevard near UCLA.  I see 4 huge cranes still working to build offices and housing near the university and the Spring fog has eerily arrived around a handful of automobiles crawling on normally bustling thoroughfares!

The fountain in front of the highrise next to us bounces and pounds a rhythm that reminds me life is still going on but without people as chess pieces. The board is empty. I find myself breathing to its constant rhythm as it feels like a Hollywood movie about a nuclear war.

Sadly the surrounding buildings have no people singing and rejoicing life as in Italy but I’ve pulled out my karaoke machine with thoughts of belting out a few songs and inviting guests to join in. Right after I finish the cooking and some ironing!

Summerlike weather arrived last week and you may have seen quarantine crazed people head to the beaches and be admonished by state and local authorities. We’re not there yet but it was 35c and uncomfortable for many.

Sirens scream their high pitches night and day racing ill patients to nearby hospitals and I have to wonder Is it a COVID-19 call? Will they make it? Who will be next? Are WE safe here?

We are in our 7th week of quarantine and doing our part to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. I MUST admit though I didn’t hoard toilet paper, I did buy 4 bags of Starbucks coffee which friends know I always carry to Catalkoy in North Cyprus and have them stored in our guest bathroom! But I also ended up with 50 pounds of rice and flour because small sizes had sold out. I’m making lots of pilav and cookies that we send to our family.

If you’ve heard the US government was totally unprepared for the virus attack so supplies have been a huge problem. For starters medical supplies and testing. Mismanagement. Then the employees at the meat plants working side by side became ill en masse and food supplies became endangered. Mismanagement.  As we are in a condo here near our children, we didn’t have room to store meat so had to order a small freezer to stock for the long run. Mehmet now shares his office with the freezer. Milk is being spilled and vegetables are being left to rot as in any country but especially now! Mismanagement. Citizens locked down for 8 weeks began protesting for their rights and freedom, the danger notwithstanding. Protests by the  far right carrying guns and signs ensued and got ugly. Mismanagement. Promised tests for the virus and/or antibodies were promised and never materialized. Mismanagement. Fabrications, lies and misinformation from the White House threw us into a dither. Mismanagement. THEN the incredible and unbelievable suggestion from President Trump came in the form of injecting a disinfectant like Lysol (Detol) into your body and getting some bright light into your body came shocking the Medical Team monitoring the virus daily and all of America. Not just Mismanagement but true Insanity. There were just NO WORDS!

So each day we are grateful to have our health though we can’t see our family. WE begin the routine with Facetime calls to both daughters and all the babies which I have nicknamed my TADAs- Tristan-2, Asena-20 months, Destan-8 months, and new baby boy Altan-1 month. Daughter Deniz and husband Saam who visited and loved North Cyprus last summer with Tristan live a block away so when they take the buggy out, they call and we go to the balcony, wave a white hanky and I sing high notes and DoReMi so they can locate us. Daughter Devran and Emrah live 20 minutes away so we are not as fortunate to see them though we have done some drive bys to see Asena and Destan and the same with Mehmet’s sister Alev and husband Gary. It’s just enough to get us by!

Just as I write, ambulances and fire trucks have arrived nearby to take someone to care and a helicopter has just lifted off from the UCLA helipad and passed nearby me. Crazy how those sights and sounds invoke fear. We will not make contact because of underlying medical conditions and even fear riding down in the elevator in mask and gloves. So, often it’s a walk down 14 flights!

April 18,  the charity Mehmet and  I founded 17 years ago in LA, TALL, Turkish American Ladies League sponsored a virtual music event to raise money to purchase a pediatric ventilator in Turkey with our own mezes, and music provided by musical star Ilhan Ozulu who appeared at Bedesten with me and Turkish Cypriot flutist Burak Besir in Concerts Without Borders June 2016. Ilhan bey generously performed gratis and we met our goal.

It was very rewarding to reach out and help during our lock down and it lifted the hearts of many and gave us a chance to enjoy great homemade mezes! I congratulate President Zinnur Fenman and her board. Great idea for KKTC to employ also.

I’m compelled to serve where I can. I have students and friends all over the US who range from 38-93 who’ve been taken down with COVID-19. Some survived and some didn’t. Truly I am grateful for each day we arise healthy. Like most of you, it’s project time. Clean the closets, create something lovely, bake those old favorites and here, now you can enjoy clear views and clean air! I’m happy the internet works and we are catching up on all the movies we have missed over the years racing around to run down our Bucket Lists, though now we make new ones! We’ve enjoyed watching OUTLANDER set in Scotland, Rise of Empires-THE OTTOMANS, and a beautiful movie, The PHYSICIAN about Ibn Sina, father of Middle East medicine. The news is always on though and just like you, we are waiting for a word that things will improve.

Tonight we made Mulihiya with lamb and goat. A Cyprus delicacy. Can’t tell you how happy I am that we carried back hellim, nor, Con and Mehmet Efendi coffee, Bikla, AlicRecel, Anglia, and Ah Be, Oh Be raki.

WE miss the great food. BUT most of all we miss all of you.

Demetra xxxx

1 reply »

  1. I congratulate Demetra for this beautifully written piece that well articulates isolation woes affecting us all… Love and best wishes to everyone in these troubles “Corona days” …