A is for Apart, as in that’s how we should stay until we get through this.
B is for Bored. What with all those online classes we should be taking and those “fun” videos people are posting, we really shouldn’t be. Volunteers are needed for all sorts of tasks so if you’re still saying you’re bored, I don’t want to hear it.
B is also for Blessings. Let’s count them. The UAE is doing all it can to keep people safe and all we have to do is stay in our homes, so let’s remember how lucky we are.
C is for Clapping. Showing our appreciation for all those still working to keep the country running is a good thing to do. Also, it’s a chance to wave and say hello (from a distance) to the neighbors, which is what constitutes a social life now.
D is for Dieting. Forget about it. Now is really not the time.
E is for Eating and Exercise. We’re all doing too much of the former and not enough of the latter.
F is for Freedoms. All those small ones we took for granted, like going out to the park or cinema or meeting up with friends. Turns out those freedoms are more precious than we thought.
G is for Grumpy. We’re all feeling it sometimes.
H is for How Long Is This Going To Last? Look, nobody knows so there’s no point speculating. Just take it a week or day at a time.
I is for Isolation. There’s a difference between being isolated and being alone. if you live with family, you’re not alone, even if they are driving you mad right now, so spare a thought for those whose loved ones are far away. I is also for Ice Cream: you’re now allowed to eat as much as you want (see D).
J is for Joy: the feeling you now get when you’ve got through to the supermarket to book a delivery slot.
K is for Keep Away: it is no longer rude to say this to people.
L is for Lockdown. An over-dramatic term for simply staying inside and going out only when absolutely necessary.
L is also for Laundry. If no one is going out, how come there is even more dirty washing than usual?
M is for Mothers. As usual they are in charge of running the show, making sure everyone is fed, watered, washed, entertained, doing homework and keeping quiet when Dad has a Zoom meeting – all while working from home at their own job, most probably. Absolutely no change there, then.
N is for Noise. There is much, much less of it from traffic and more of it from songbirds.
O is for Outfit. The choice is between your best pyjamas, your second best pyjamas, tracksuit pants or a ten-year-old t-shirt.
P is for Pressure – to do that online fitness/yoga/art class. Ignore it. The only pressure you must submit to now is doing what the authorities are telling us to do.
P is also for pets: no matter what you’ve heard or read, you CANNOT catch Covid-19 from your dog, cat, parrot or hamster! Pets are a great comfort at times like this, especially to children or people living alone. They deserve care just as much as humans.
Q is for Quiet. Nice, isn’t it? Be aware, though, that when you have a family argument, the whole street can hear you now.
R is for Rest. Get plenty of it because this chance won’t come round again. Anyway, what else are you going to do?
S is for Stay At Home, Self-isolating and Social Distancing. Honestly, do you still need reminding?
T is for Touch. Can’t do much of that for now. Also for Thanking – we can never do enough of that to all essential workers.
U is for Unusual. We get it, these are indeed unusual times. No need to say so 100 times a day. U is also for Usual because despite everything, many organizations and individuals are managing to carry on providing a service and keeping people in work. They’re just doing it in a different way.
V is for Vegetables. Eat them – they’re good for your immune system. Also for Vegetating which is what we’re doing while eating too much ice cream and not enough veggies and complaining that we’re bored. V is also for Virus, but enough said about that.
W is for Wardrobe. Haven’t looked inside it for weeks now (see O). It does make you wonder whether you really needed ten pairs of identical black leggings or six pairs of flip-flops.
X is for X Marks The Spot in the supermarket checkout queue which measures how far behind the next person you should be standing.
Y is for Yalla. Come on, we can get through this.
Z is for Zoom. It’s the app that is keeping families and friends close, even when they are thousands of kilometers apart.
Anna Pukas has reported from all over the world as a foreign correspondent for British media. She is now an editor based in Abu Dhabi.