Life Under Lockdown – More Stories from Across the Globe!

Well everyone we are back for another bunch of tales from bloggers in different countries. A HUGE thankyou goes out to the guys from last Monday’s post – which you can read HERE. That’s thanks to Eromonsele, Rochelle, Frank and Lexie. This week we have Lynda from Saitama, Tanja from Croatia and Mrs Wayfarer from the Philippines.  Another massive thank you to these three for contributing. Please do check out their blogs! I may do another in a week or two, I’m not sure at this stage I need to ask a few more people!

From Lynda from Saitama with Kids

From March 1st schools, libraries, museums and several indoor locations were closed and people, who were in the position to do so, went into a type of voluntary isolation in Japan. However, in a press conference on the night of March 19th, the Government announced they were easing restrictions. It was like somebody flicked a switch and the very next day life went back to “normal”. For the past week people have been very complacent about the situation; socializing, eating out and even hanging out in malls. We have been out and about too, but only remote outdoor locations.
The latest development is that the Governors in the Greater Tokyo area have requested people stay indoors at the weekends. Japanese people are quite good at respecting requests like these, even though they are not enforceable by law, so I suspect few people will leave their homes this weekend. We have been very lucky in Japan to date that the pace of spread has been slow, but a spike in Covid-19 cases this week has made many of us nervous. Despite the increase in cases, Prime Minister Abe has said he is reluctant to order a lock down. Economy trumps health. Restriction of movement on the weekend is, unfortunately, the closest we are going to get to a lock down and I fear that soon we will be the ‘land of the rising’ Covid-19 cases.

Tanja from Red Phone Box Travels

I live in a seaside town in Croatia with my two small children and a husband. Our life has changed dramatically and we are now practically in a complete lock-down. As everyone else in the world we heard about coronavirus in China but didn’t think too much about it. After all, China is far, far away from our small country. In the meantime our small country wasn’t that far away anymore from the virus because the virus came to Italy. Oh, that’s too close! And yet the government didn’t think about closing the borders with Italy and the first confirmed coronavirus patient in Croatia was a guy who returned from a trip to Milan, Italy. And then there were other people who got back from holidays/ski trips/business trips and had coronavirus.

So, things happened fast from then on. Everyone who got back from abroad had to be in self-isolation for 14 days and report to a doctor. If they had severe symptoms they got tested for coronavirus. Then, the government decided to cancel/postpone all events that gathered more than 1000 ppl, than that got reduced to a 100 people. Schools, kindergartens and universities were ordered to close  for 14 days. Then, all restaurants, cafes and shops and some other businesses got closed for 30 days which meant that all education facilities were also going to be closed for longer.

What is left open you might ask? Food shops, supermarkets, petrol stations and pharmacies. When everything got closed people fled to the beaches and mountains to be outside. But that was a problem again so that was banned too. For the same reason all children’s playgrounds were closed too. Public transport was cancelled, travel between cities banned, borders practically closed. You need a permit to leave your town and you can get it if you have a valid reason to go to another town e.g work. People are advised to stay at home at all times and to leave their house only to go to work and to buy food. Just to go for a walk outside is discouraged.

Croatia relies heavily on tourism and since a lot of people who work in tourism and hospitality industry already lost their jobs (and a  lot of other private businesses will suffer greatly) I wonder what the economic and social consequences will be for us all. But at the moment we have to #stayathome and save lives.

Amidst all this virus threat and the rising number of coronavirus patients a major earthquake (5.3) hit our capital Zagreb. There’s one image I can’t get out of my head. Women with newborn babies standing in their robes in the streets after the earthquake because their hospital got severely damaged. One 15 year old girl died in the earthquake. And then it snowed, at the end of March. What else can happen???

What about our little family? We are fine. We didn’t buy 10 kg of flour or the entire shelf of the toilet paper. Yes, there’s a queue to enter the shop and you can’t always find what you want but shelves get replenished. We are all at home and luckily have a garden where our toddler can let out some steam. Our jobs? Who knows what will happen after all this passes. And it will pass. Will things go back to normal? The isolation measures might go on until June (these measures so far have been efficient in containing the number of patients) but whether coronavirus will be a seasonal virus like flu and whether will be cooped up in our houses for several months each year… who knows, I’m not an expert. I just try to survive each day at home with a baby and a toddler and a husband and no wine.

Stay safe! Stay at home!

Mrs Wayfarer – Living Free and Making a Difference

BLOG – Living Free and Making a Difference

Since 13 March, Metro Manila had been on community quarantine. In the succeeding days and weeks, other provinces followed suit. During this quarantine period, one representative per household is given a quarantine pass and is the only one allowed to go out to buy food. Only supermarkets, markets, pharmacies and a handful of banks, restaurants, gas stations are open for business. There is no public transportation, so when I go about buying food to stock up in my fridge and pantry, I walk with my mask on as the supermarkets wouldn’t let anyone without a mask enter. At the grocery, people fall in line outside as there is a limit on the number of shoppers inside. Social distancing has become the norm. Cashless payments are encouraged more now.
These times are challenging, and I’ve seen the best (and worst) in people. During these times I am thankful to the people who work tirelessly like the medical frontliners, and also those who work behind the scenes, like the apartment security guards, maintenance and housekeeping staff; the cashiers and baggers at the supermarkets and pharmacies. I was talking to the cashier and bagger the other day and they shared that since public transport is not operational anymore, they walk at least an hour to and from work everyday. The staff in the building I live in had not been going home since the quarantine, and have been staying in shared quarters.
2020 has been very surreal, and I cannot wait to wake up from this. Wherever you are, stay safe and healthy.
Thanks to everyone for contributing. Hope that wherever you are in the world right now you are safe and looking after yourself! May the Journey Never End!

6 thoughts on “Life Under Lockdown – More Stories from Across the Globe!

  1. Hi Andy, it looks great, thanks a million for asking me to participate. So interesting to read about Tanja and Mrs Wayfarer’s experiences too. Things have changed quite dramatically since I wrote my contribution, and as of tomorrow Saitama is one of seven prefectures going into a type of lock down. (What is the point when already thousands of people have fled to prefectures not on lock down. It should be all or nothing or at least controlling movement between prefectures). Schools are thankfully remaining closed after all, but unlike other countries many offices and non essential services will remain open. I think Japan’s approach is going to leave us tackling this for several months which will mean the economic downturn will go on for God knows how long. No foresight on Abe’s part at all, no surprises.

    1. interesting thoughts. My wife also is not an Abe fan. We’ll see how it goes I guess because we’re limited as to what we can do. interestingly here is supposedly only essential services but it is given a somewhat broad definition which includes of all things bottle shops and hairdressers! Thanks so much for contributing!

  2. Pingback: Corona virus in Croatia & our life in lockdown | the Red Phone Box travels

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