Today is Day 35 of lockdown in South Africa. We are looking forward to the easing of our lockdown restrictions from tomorrow - 1 May. In this post, I chat to people from Finland, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Canada, England, Zimbabwe, USA and Australia.
My name is Linda and I live in Vantaa, Finland. Vantaa is located right next to Helsinki, which is the capital. We’ve been lucky in Finland so far, and the virus is somewhat under control. However, we also have some new rules and style of living to adapt to.
On 18th of March an emergency legislation came into effect, which gave the government more power than usual. All meetings over 10 people are forbidden, and the government even separated the capital area from the rest of the country for a while, as it was the center of the infections at the time. Now the border is open, but it’s still recommended for people to stay home so that’s what we’ve been doing. Schools and many other places are closed, and lots of people have lost their jobs or are laid off for the time being.
I was very lucky and was able to keep my internship I got just before COVID-19 hit Finland. Other than working from home, I’ve been spending time with my husband. We’ve been baking and going for walks. Finland is a small country with lots of nature, and I think it has been a savior for most of the Finns during this time. However, we do miss our friends and can’t wait for this to be over.
Linda writes at Revontulipalo.
My name is Sheri Doyle, I live in Lucca, Italy where I am in lockdown. Adjusting to the lockdown since March 9th has been a roller coaster. In a country renowned for the absence of personal space our 2-meter requirement feels like miles. Until at least May 4th, we have been banned from any activity outside of our home unless it is to the grocery store, the pharmacist, or the newsstand. The silence in the pedestrian city is such a harsh contrast to the vibrancy of Italian life. Yet we feel the hope and determination of the country every day.
I live with my husband. We spend our days in the apartment cooking, doing hobbies, listening to podcasts and taking naps to make up for the terrible sleep we are getting. I am editing my manuscript and querying agents as well. We catch up with our friends around the world via different platforms, leaving the house once per week (we are only allowed one person outside of the house at a time). Each day I am so grateful that neither we, nor any of our friends or family are fighting this virus or have lost their lives.
Sheri writes at So Off We Go.
I am Sarah and I am based in Harare, Zimbabwe where I am a teacher. We have been on lockdown since 30 March 2020. This has been such a novel experience for me. We are under strict regulations, we have roadblocks on many roads into the Central Business District. You can buy from pharmacies and grocery stores. However, in this 5th week of lockdown, I have noticed more informal traders out and about when I go to the shops.
I have not officially been working from home as schools were closed on the 23rd of March but from the 5th of May, I will be conducting online lessons with my students. This is a new arena and I am praying that it will go well. Online school will not be an option for many students in my country due to the high costs of internet access.
The biggest change to myself has been that during lockdown has been that I have started a herb garden. I have always been anti keeping plants because I feel like I kill them but at this time, I have started a herb garden. My world currently revolves around potting soil, drainage and watering my plants twice a day.
Find Sarah @MeDateZim
Thankfully, the circumstances in Egypt are not as bad as they are in other places. The country’s not on nationwide lockdown; however, we’ve had a night curfew for a month now. Everyone is encouraged to practice social distancing and go out only if necessary, and most people, if their jobs allow it, have been working from home as well.
I stayed with my family for a while, but now I went back to my house in Cairo and I’m staying with my brother and dog. Luckily, because I work at an online magazine, I’ve been able to run things from home. The main difficulty I might be facing is that the internet has not been very reliable lately due to very high demand. Imagine everyone on Netflix at the same time when you have a deadline to meet!
Other than that, I’m not really struggling with the whole social distancing thing; in fact, I’m embracing my “me time”. I’m also investing my extra time working on my blog. Having a full-time job hasn’t been easy on me and being consistent was a challenge. Whenever I wasn’t able to keep up because of burnout, I often felt down. Now that I’m blessed with more time than ever, I’ve been feeling very motivated and productive.
Nadine writes at Curls en Route.
Canada was early in its response, locking down when we only had a few thousand cases and very few deaths. While Toronto has been one of the hardest-hit regions in Canada, we thankfully were able to 'flatten the curve' enough that the number of cases did not exceed the health care system's capacity. Now on week six of lockdown, people seem to be adjusting well.
Work from home is the norm (so many Zoom calls!) and we can go outside for walks and runs (though not at parks or playgrounds). We can still go to grocery stores, though they only allow a few people inside at a time. Restaurants can do take-outs and deliveries, and for the most part, online shopping has had few interruptions. The hardest part has been knowing exactly what is and isn't allowed - it seems to change daily and there's so much misinformation going around. Once the lockdown is done, I'm most looking forward to the provincial and national parks opening up again!
Mikaela writes at Voyageur Tripper.
My name is Christin. I was visiting family when the lockdown started, so I am currently stuck at the house where I grew up in rural Germany. Even though I had to cancel several trips and a big work gig, we are lucky here. That's because we are still allowed to go outdoors as long as we keep our distance from others. And we are allowed to exercise.
So, I've actually gotten into a healthy routine of cooking fresh lunches every day. I picked up running again. I cycle and walk a lot on the trails around the little country town I am in. Or I go kayaking on the local rivers. Fortunately, we have our own kayaks.
What's hardest is not being allowed to visit friends. But we skype a lot and even started playing dice games via skype lately! And I have more time to work on my blog.
Christin writes at Christin Has Fernweh.
My name is Lydia and I'm from Bristol, England. Our lockdown consists of everyone staying at home unless it is for essential shopping like food or medicine, our daily exercise, working as a key worker (such as those working in the NHS) and any emergencies.
The lockdown I am experiencing is different from my university friends as I have a 9 and 3 year old brother to help look after. My mum is fortunate enough to be able to run her business from home, but this means I have to step in to help with child care. My 3 year old brother, Bertie, doesn't understand what is going on so he is finding it very difficult but we have managed to potty train him!
We have also been experiencing a heatwave since the lockdown started which is typical, but our family is lucky enough to have a garden. I really miss being able to sit and read in the fields near my house, especially in this sunny weather!
Lydia writes at Airborne for Animals
Hubby and I migrated from South Africa to Brisbane, Australia in 2011. It's been tough being away from my parents during this time of the pandemic as they are still in Africa, but we're grateful to be able to stay connected online.
We're also part of an incredible Church that has been my source of inner peace whenever anxiety struck. Members from our church community have surprised us with generous gift baskets to remind us that we are loved and supported at this difficult time. It lifted our spirits immensely.
For us, the hardest part has been losing a large portion of our income as one of our businesses can't run with the current restrictions in place. Fortunately, the Australian government has announced financial support initiatives for small business owners and other people who are most at risk.
We miss dining out at restaurants most, but creating romantic date nights at home has been a lot of fun! Hoping it would inspire other couples to do the same, I started a #DateNightatHomeChallenge in the Romantic Explorers Facebook group. Stunning efforts by other couples followed! It's been wonderful to see the challenge spread love, positivity and romance in the world.
Michelle writes at Romantic Explorers.
The lockdown has completely changed my lifestyle. In 2015 I left my Wall Street job and have been traveling nonstop since then. In the past 5 years, the longest I stayed in one place was one month, but I could easily be on four different continents in one month as well.
Currently, I am at my parent's house in South Carolina. Many friends and acquaintances ask me, "It must be weird for you to be stationary, right Kesi?" Honestly, I am incredibly thankful for this time at home with my family. All my siblings and nieces are also at my parent's house – we have 9 people in total staying here! We've been here for over a month now, and I'm cherishing each moment. It is rare to have the whole family together.
South Carolina has a stay at home order, which means that only essential places are open. I've used this time to be productive and work on my travel blog. I am happy that I finished a blog post on the best wheeled backpacks that I've been working on since June! (When I'm traveling it's hard to get work done because I'm too distracted with enjoying life and exploring).
Kesi writes at Kesi To and Fro
Thank you to everyone who shared their experiences. Stay safe.
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