Yes – we’re all still in lockdown in most countries across the world, so here is the third (and most likely final) in my series of lockdown stories from across the world. Today I am joined by Gino, a YouTubing travelling from Romania and the USA, friend of the blog from his own blog and YouTube chanel Tim Blight, his friend from Lahore, Pakistan Moazam and from Renuka from Voyager For Life, a great Indian travel blog I love to read. Please support these guys by checking out their blogs, YouTube Channels and more! Thanks!
YouTube – HERE Instagram – HERE
Tim Blight – from Urban Duniya
Blog – Urban Duniya
As someone who works and lives between two countries, the announcement of the lockdown threw my whole world into uncertainty and raised a whole bunch of questions. Do I want to be stuck here or there? Where would I be financially better off? (Not as shallow a question as it sounds, considering the very real prospect of long-term unemployment). Once I choose a place to ride out the storm, how soon would I be able to move again? In the end the decision was made for me; while I was making a decision Pakistan stopped international flights landing and thankfully my employment in Australia has continued until now.
Being stuck in Melbourne, Australia, the lockdown is not too severe; we are still allowed to go outside for exercise, groceries, work (if it’s not possible to work from home) and emergencies. Teaching English to non-native speakers online is a challenge; so many times I have been explaining or demonstrating a concept, only to get to the end and find out that the audio wasn’t working properly, or that the student had dropped offline twenty seconds earlier. Students are in generally good spirits about things, and are definitely appreciating the efforts made by both my school and the teachers, but are also understandably frustrated by the situation.
I try to make a point of getting out for at least an hour’s walk every day – it’s not just a semi-futile attempt to keep the kilos off, but I also find it so important to clear my mind. Being inside the same living space (and mine isn’t particularly large) for twenty-three hours a day is starting to give me cabin fever.
I had been working on a Sydney-based vlog series before lockdown began and was planning on going to Sydney to finish filming over the Easter long weekend. When it became apparent that I wouldn’t be able to travel to Sydney, and that even if I could, the city wouldn’t be its vibrant self on film anyway, I was forced to find resourceful ways of finishing the project. With a bit of help and a huge deal of generosity from some fellow vloggers out there, I’m happy to say that I’ve just been able to complete my vlog series today – I’m hoping to start publishing it within a month.
I’m also utilising this time to work on some other projects for UrbanDuniya which had long been pending, although I don’t subscribe to the mantra of “if you don’t come out of quarantine with a new skill or a project finished, then you’ve failed” – in fact there should be no shame in taking time out to unwind and appreciate the simple things in life.
What I really want to say is that none of us should see this time as a waste – whether that’s writing a book, cooking up a storm or simply waking up late and not getting out of your pyjamas while you loll around on the sofa all day long. We may never see a situation like this again in our lifetimes, and however we choose to spend it, we ought to feel happy about it.
Renuka – from Voyager for Life
My life during COVID-19
As an independent travel blogger, my life isn’t affected much. I have always been working from home. I never had to be part of the mad rush, anyway. Yes, I had to shelve my travel plans. My daily life is pretty much the same except for I have my husband at home all the time. I have no domestic help right now, so I need to do all the household chores myself – cooking, cleaning, laundry and what not. Phew! But, I have no complains. I think I am one of the privileged ones, as I have a roof over me, a partner and all the essentials, perhaps more. I have the freedom to do what I like doing.
I like the fact that I don’t have to stick to a routine, though it’s good, I can wake up and sleep at my own preferred time. This lockdown period is pushing me to try new things like baking. I am not much of a baker. However, now I feel like baking quite often. I like reading once in a while, sitting in my balcony quietly, and taking a walk in my apartment garden.
I believe this time is precious – the virus will pass, but what’s important is that we learn something out of it.
Link to my blog:
Moazam – Pakistan
Instagram – @talk2mozim
The lockdown in Pakistan started on 14 March. People are not allowed to stand together in groups of four or more, two men can’t ride together on a motorbike – families (ie – a man and a woman, or a parent with children) are allowed. Only two people are allowed to travel together in a car at the same time.
One week later the rules became stricter – all shopping malls, weddings, religious gatherings (including Friday prayers) were shut down. The maximum number of people allowed to meet in a mosque together is five. Restaurants can only do take away or delivery, and grocery stores and bakeries must close at 5pm. This means that all my food blogging has stopped. Milk shops and tandoors are allowed to stay open until 8pm. Medical stores are the only things allowed to be open after these hours, and they are only allowed to sell medical items, not other groceries.
Most people don’t seem happy with the rules, and a lot of people are still going out, meeting friends for barbecues, sitting in the parks and playing cricket in the street. There are some people who understand how serious the situation is, and they are staying home. There are also some people who are saying it’s the whole virus is propaganda, or some who say that the virus is an American conspiracy against the world.
Now in Pakistan there are around 5,000 patients, and the death toll is just over one hundred – about ten deaths are listed each day. There are about 350 people who have recovered. The number seems to be accelerating, and it’s hard to really know because Pakistan isn’t testing as many people as some other countries.
During lockdown I’m mostly just sitting at home, helping out around the house, learning some new recipes. I’m trying to learn how to make chicken karahi, mattar chawal and khicheri from my mum, and learning how to make cakes too. I’ve also read some Islamic history books, and I chat online with my friends.
I think we have to accept that this year is just going to be a bad year. If you look at history, these things have happened in the past and it has been terrible for a while, but it passes, and things go back to normal. Some countries will definitely come out of this in better shape, others in worse. It’s time to be positive and show our humanity. I think the most important thing is to see who really needs our help – sometimes the people who need help the most don’t ask for it. We need to look closely, and sometimes close to home.
A huge thanks to Renuka, Tim, Moazam and Gino! How are you going, still under lockdown? Love to hear how life is for you right now! Thanks for stopping by – May the Journey Never End!