Island Life

Message from Cyprus – Good News Bad News

Lockdown in Cyprus Edition Four

Location: Argaka Cyprus

Lockdown in Cyprus. It’s day 26 on the island of Cyprus. Of our 26 days here only four of them we were free. March 14-24 in quarantine and March 24 to today in lockdown. Like the rest of the world, we wait. And then we wait some more. Here is the latest;

Bad News

On Thursday we participated in a live Facebook feed with the US Ambassador to Cyprus Judith Garber. There was no good news really, she just confirmed everything we already knew. No clear explanation as to why we received an email 10 days ago saying there might be a flight out for US citizens…??? There are no flights in the foreseeable future, even though we hear about stranded Americans in other countries getting out. Cyprus isn’t getting any assistance. By the way…how do you become an Ambassador? I would like that job.

President Nicos Anastasiades has extended the airport closure until April 18th. I have zero confidence in this date…I expect it will be extended again. We wait.

Cyprus in Bloom

This week lockdown in Cyprus tighter restrictions were put into effect for the stay at home order. We can now only leave the house once a day.

We are in a dispute with Airbnb now over the $900 from Jerusalem cancellation. They are being nasty. So now we are being nasty back. We did get a credit for Malta but they reversed what they told us about Jerusalem. We wait.

I had a really bad, teary-eyed day on Thursday. It seemed to me from comments I saw others were melting down too. It’s exactly like grieving – such a feeling of loss. I’m not a psychiatrist or mental health expert but I think this is normal to feel this way…we need to work through it and stay hopeful even when it seems there is little to be hopeful for.

Cyprus in Bloom

I blame a bit of my melancholy on Thursday to the fact that, since I can only leave the house once a day, I didn’t run or work out. Instead we saved our once a day outing to go get some fresh produce at the grocery store. I know I feel better when I work out, and I am forcing myself to run and walk even when I feel tired and sorry for myself.

The cases on the island continue to grow. As of today 430 with 13 deaths. From 3 cases the day we arrived (March 10) that’s 150 fold increase. We wait.

Good News

My husband is keeping my spirits up. While still being realistic about how grave this looks in the months and years ahead, he is always my rock. I just miss my kids so much. We wait.

We learned that many US Citizens are having difficulty with the SMS system of asking permission to leave the house. Apparently if you are trying to do the request with a phone that does not have a Cyprus SIM it isn’t working. Another reason to always buy a local SIM when you travel rather than trying to use your home carrier’s international data plan.

Cyprus in Bloom

The weather is improving and although still very windy here in this part of the island we are now looking at temps around 23c (mid 70’s f). We are no longer using the heat at night in the bedroom or the space heater in the living room. We are still using blankets on the couch when we read in the evening but it’s at least 15-20 degrees warmer than a month ago. I wore shorts for the first time this week. Maybe those sundresses will see the light of day soon. We wait.

My goal is to need to turn on the AC before we leave. Arne’s goal is to run ten miles before we leave. Maybe me too.

I had a wonderful Zoom Meeting with my book club…my first time using that application, followed by a Martini Zoom Party with the Martini Mamas back home. Tonight we plan to zoom with our boys. If I can get the hang of it I have a lot of people I would like to Zoom with.

Blue dot is where Cyprus is

Grocery stores are still well stocked and we are not wanting for anything in that area. I’m trying to teach myself some local Cypriot dishes. Our Airbnb hosts (who speak very minimal English) have been so wonderful…bringing us goodies and produce. If we have to be stuck this Airbnb is a good place to be stuck and we are grateful for that. We wish we had some jigsaw puzzles and movies in English though.

We wait

Waiting is not something this girl is good at….nor am I good at not controlling my situation. So everything in me is on high-alert during this lockdown in Cyprus. But I am resigned to this being long-term, and I am resigned to waiting.

Sending you love.

Read more Messages from Cyprus here.

Please note we are still posting weekly book reviews on Wednesdays and Travel stories on Friday. We are grateful for your help in keeping our blog alive during this down time.

Previous Post Next Post

You may also like


  • Reply Leslie Morgan

    Hi Laureen, your IG posts and blog have been an enjoyable (can’t think of a better word) way to connect with a stranger at a strange time. I discovered you when I was mentally planning for a trip to South Africa and now consider you a resource for understanding what’s happening in another area of the world. Honestly, even though you don’t have the security of being home, your experience is not that unlike those of us who are isolated at home. Access to English movies is a big difference though! And it’s certainly a plus that you have so much travel experience and a keen sense of adventure! I, too, miss my 2 sons and although, physically closer, the one in Seattle might as well be on Cyprus and it’s too risky to be with the one in Chicago. My husband has lung disease from an unknown source so he is especially vulnerable to this virus. I’m grateful for warmer weather ahead and a big house that allows some personal space. Anyway, I wanted to say hi and let you know I am following you and wishing you and your husband well in the coming weeks.

    April 5, 2020 at 10:15 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Thank you Leslie. Be safe and well.

      April 5, 2020 at 10:54 am
  • Reply Rustin Thompson

    Hi Laureen,

    Thanks for sharing this. It sounds so difficult, challenging and never-ending. I’ll admit I had my first moment of actual despair last Thursday, too. Despair and futility. It was a little scary. We always have been told how we must try and live in the moment, which is always one of the delights of traveling. But to live in an atmosphere where all of our moments are fraught with an underlying anxiety is not how it’s supposed to be.

    Take care.


    April 6, 2020 at 8:45 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Thank you Rus. Sending you guys good wishes.

      April 6, 2020 at 11:41 am
  • Reply Kathi Fallagher

    Laureen, I feel your pain as I read. As a mom, being separated from the kids, even though they are adults, would be the most difficult. Sending hugs and hope for an end to your situation.

    Delta Love, Kathi

    April 6, 2020 at 1:59 pm
    • Reply Laureen

      Thank you. Be safe and well.

      April 6, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.