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Together, Apart: Life during the Coronavirus


On March 9th, I went away on a work trip to Toronto. I landed back in Ottawa the next day, March 10th, and the rest of the week was pretty normal, with some talk about things shutting down for two weeks because of the Coronavirus, and an increase number of cases in Ottawa. By then, we were all a little worried, especially for how bad the situation was in parts of Europe, like in Italy.

On that Friday, our boys had their last day of school--grade 9 and grade 6--before March break began. Well, as we all now know, March break was just the beginning of kids being away from school, and for parents everywhere adapting to working from home, getting used to home schooling, zoom meetings, cooking, baking, and keeping busy at home while trying to not completely freak out with worry about the fact that we were living through a global pandemic. There was--and still is--so much uncertainty, and fear. But at the same time, we are slowly getting used to our new routines. And enjoying more family time together. And learning how to do new things, like baking bread. (Well, my husband is doing all the cooking and baking--while the kids and I enjoy all the food he prepares for us every day!). While I miss so much, like seeing my family, friends, and colleagues, working in my downtown office, and planning for upcoming trip, I'm also making the most of our time now.

I was inspired to write a children's book, with illustrations from my mother, artist Katerina Mertikas, called Together, Apart: Life during the Coronavirus, to capture this uncertain time in our lives. The book tells the story from a child's perspective, offering hope and showing kids they're not alone in how they're feeling, in their new temporary reality. It also reinforces the message of hand washing, physical distancing, and staying home. I thought it would be a wonderful way to capture this time in our lives, while helping children understand the reason why we're all staying home.

With so may disruptions to our daily routines, children may have questions, feel sad, or might be worrying more than usual. This book provides some comfort and hope, while reminding kids that there is still a lot of good to be found now, too.

We are happy to be donating proceeds from this book to CHEO and Kids Help Phone, two incredible and worthwhile organizations that give back to children, every single day--now more than ever. 

Thank you SO much to everyone for the overwhelming support and love--we are completely blown away by the support we've received, and we are happily delivering and mailing out books this week, and next week.

If there is a child in your life you think would love this book, let me know! I love how many people are purchasing this book, for themselves, for their children or grandchildren, for a child they know, or just to keep themselves, as a keepsake to remember this time. Many people are also purchasing books to donate, and others are donating the books they've purchased to libraries and schools. So amazing!

We are still taking orders, so please leave me a comment or send me an email at loukiazigoumis@gmail.com if you'd like to order a copy.

Books are $14.95.

Thank you! And stay well.

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