Around the World

2. April 2020 Von Anna Katschnig

The following posts will be in english, so everyone is able to read them.

I love travelling and hence have friends all over the world. Although living in different places and cultures, these days we are all more or less equally affected by the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemia. Here, I would like to share with you some insights from friends of mine that living in foreign countries and how they are dealing with this crisis.

These are the questions I’ve asked them, please scroll down for the respective answers

  1. What’s your name and where are you currently living?
  2. What’s the situation in your country with SARS CoV-2?
  3. What does your typical day look like, these days?
  4. What do you miss most or is hardest for you in this current situation?
  5. Do you think this will change our world permanently and if yes, how?

South Africa- Sian

Hi, my name is Sian Da Silva and I’m living in South Africa, Capetown. We currently have 1353 cases and 5 deaths (as of 1st of april 2020). Our whole country is on lockdown. No one is allowed out of their homes unless for essentials. Not even to run or walk the dogs. The police and military are enforcing this to the best of their ability and even using police brutality in some cases (which is very bad). The reason the restrictions are so important here is to prevent the virus spreading throughout our country because our healthcare system is overwhelmed already! Furthermore, a vast number of people in our country suffer from underlying illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and diabetes. Additionally, our informal settlements are overcrowded and do not have proper facilities to practice good hygiene. If this virus gets into these areas it will spread like wildfire.
I am currently in full lockdown and have spent the last 15 days in my house without leaving at all. I spend most my days watching TV, doing an online course, doing yoga and exercising.
Before having to return to SA I have been away for over a year, so it’s difficult to be home so close to my friends and family and not be able to see them.
I also worry a lot about people who me or my friends have come become close to (i.e. our housekeepers, children we coach/teach, friends we went to university with), who are unable to survive without their day to day salaries or who do not feel safe at home in the current situation.
I hope that this global crisis will change our outlook on environmental impact for the best. I know it will change our economy for good. I have no idea how, but I’m sure it will.

Germany- Gerhild

Hi! My name is Gerhild and I am currently living in Berlin, Germany, together with my family. The situation here is actually a bit complicated. Germany has a federal system, meaning that every federal state can establish its own measures, restrictions and laws. Here in Berlin the situation is quite relaxed. A lot of shops are still open (like supermarkets, book stores, flower shops but also some cafés) and a lot of streets and parks are still crowded, especially on the weekend. We are allowed to leave our house alone, in pairs or as a family. Berlin is a very open minded city full of independent and freedom-loving people. We have a good health system but a lot of people in my opinion haven’t quite understood the seriousness of the situation yet. 
I have a 3 year old daughter and our kindergarden is of course closed. Both my husband and I are working from home. Usually I get up at 7am, make breakfast, work until lunch and then I spend the whole afternoon with my daughter. Currently we try to read, craft and paint a lot. We usually leave the house twice a day to get some fresh air. We don’t have a garden or balcony and our daughter is very active so it’s important to go outside. When my daughter is in bed at around 9pm I usually work for another hour or two. I also try to squeeze in one hour of sports every other day. Although these days are very exhausting, I’m happy that we can spend so much time together and that everyone in my family is healthy.  Even though I do enjoy spending so much time with my daughter it’s also quite hard sometimes because I barely have time for myself. I miss our families and friends a lot. We booked two vacations in April and May and it’s a weird feeling that we can’t move freely at the moment. I miss travelling. I miss social interaction. I miss hugging people. I think this crisis will definitely change our world and our mindsets. I do believe that this situation now enables us to reflect on what’s really important in life. Nature has finally some time to breathe. A lot of things will be digitalised and we have to find alternatives to so many things. We are forced to challenge old and traditional systems. We will think about travelling in a different way. We are currently learning how to slow down. How to live mindfully. How to improvise and be creative. A crisis is always a good opportunity to change.