The whole world is now affected by coronavirus.
Physically, we need to stay separate and apart as never before in modern times. Mentally, however, the situation brings us together in a common effort to handle and control the contamination.
Here are 200 words from around the world.
We have received texts from the countries marked with red. Further testimonies will be added continuously.
Usually this part of the year we have big preparations for upcoming summer season. But this one will be a bit different. As the virus is a big travel nomad, it found us on map (like everyone in the world) and Croatia is isolated in last month. Situation at the moment is hard and patience will be just one solution to beat pandemic.
We have to accept this life challenge like reality and go together through this hard life moments.
Last week black scenario about business future started affects my night dreams but somehow it disappeared very quickly.
Some positive vibes found me and all those canceled bookings I forgot at all (upcoming summer).
Common time with family and big faith don’t allow me to give up with all ideas for business future. We are conscious next winter will be sooo long. But, as the nation who passed 1991.-1995. war time, this small country know how to beat all life challenges (TOGETHER).
God bless all world doctors and everyone who is sacrificed to be on service in those hard world moments and we believe this will finish as soon as possible.
Alhassan Abdul – Ganiyu
COVID 19 has threatened our existence and challenged the things we normally do as civil society organizations. I have the fear that should the pandemic extend to the end of the year, and if we continue to work from home, many jobs might be lost in my sector. We have to justify our existence as civil society organizations. This terrifies me!
This calls to action, the enactment of new policies to protect vulnerable workers in terrible times like this.
To work from home was to be a relief for some of us, I thought. But it was not! Home is home and not an office. I feel women in civil society organizations will be more burdened during this period especially having to juggle between domestic chores and work. Painfully also, our movements are restricted and family relations can not visit.
My daily routine has now been to first work on one of my tasks, attend virtual meetings, then play lego or tantrix and do the chores with my family (wife and three children), put them away to watch cartoons while I get back to work. We all take a nap; they get to read or listen to a story. Sometimes we do tree climbing and play football outside our compound.
It can seem as if it is very important that I worry about Corona, otherwise I’m not a responsible human being. However, that makes it difficult for me to se that, the Corona that really worries me, is the one in my own thoughts.
The power of thought works like an x-ray recording of someone injecting contrast into the veins. It starts slowly, but all of a sudden the contrast shoots into alle the different branches of my veins, round the entire body. It works fast, and so do imagination.
What if…., then I’d have to…., and then…?
I can’t find a solution to worried thoughts about the future, because they can only tell me about what I think and feel in the moment. I’m missing an important piece.
The american psychologist Keith Blevens says; “ The future is an incomplete equation.”.
An X-factor is missing. That is; the help and the people I haven’t met yet, the thoughts and ideas I haven’t had yet, The situations I ACTUALLY will meet, and the state of mind and resilience I will meet the situations with.
It is easier for us to navigate Corona in reality, in the present. Not great, in this instance, but a lot easier.
Every day a press conference is live broadcasted, where the national commissioner of Police, the Chief Epidemiologist and the Director of Health play the principal parts. They are excellent at informing the population, telling people how to act and providing guidelines. They have become national heroes, as a matter of fact.
The corona virus has naturally had an impact on every Icelanders‘ life. My wife and I are elderly and are therefore part of the population at risk. We have very little contact with other people, but we go for a walk an hour every day. So many people have begun to go for walks around here, that there is a considerable amount of traffic on the walking paths. Therefore, we often go to the outskirts of Reykjavik, where there‘s hardly anybody.
Our son-in-law came home from abroad and had to spend two weeks in quarantine. So he is home by himself, and in the meantime our daughter is staying with us and our two granddaugthers are at their cousin‘s. This is the case for many people here.
The television and radio have changed their schedule to entertain people. For example there is a program every morning for kids between 10 and 16 years of age. It‘s a mix of fun and education for those who are at home.
The Minister of Education is encouraging people to read and a designated website ‚Time to read‘ has been made. Here people can log what they are reading and for how long. The goal is to beat the world record in reading.
A specific app for tracking of infection has been launched, inorder to find out who is in contact with whom, hopefully to find out how the people are infected with the virus.
Apart from that there is very little travel. We have all been encouraged to stay home during Easter and are all waiting for the epidemic to peak in a week.
Only two international planes a day with Icelandar to London and Boston, and I have noticed that Greelandair touch down around noon with two turbopropeller De Havilland aircrafts from Nuuk in Greenland and Copenhagen in Denmark. It seems to be the only connection with Greenland.
Anna Olivia DeYoung
We live under curfew from 7pm to 5am and all travels in and out of Nairobi and other hotspots in the country are banned. The airspace, borders, together with institutions and government officials closed down and people have been advised to self-isolate where possible.
Two weeks ago I had the privilege of isolating with my friends down the road from the Danish ambassador. We get groceries delivered, study online in the sun and practice yoga daily. That is a privilege that most people do not have.
Since the measures were introduced, it has been marred with fears of a humanitarian crisis, evidenced by several accounts of police brutality and excessive use of force. The reluctance of many to abide by the measures introduced by the governments should not be understood as arbitrary defiance. Rather, the reality for many people here is that self-isolation is a luxury that few can afford. The informal sector accounts for 83.6% of total employment. A lot of people within this sector are reliant on their day-to-day income in order to survive.
When people talk about being in solidarity during this pandemic, I think that they forget that our realities differ and are not the same, even within national borders.
As I am waiting outside the apartment, two men meet on the street in front of me. They greet each other shaking hands. One of them catches my eye, smiles and yells ’mafi corona’. No corona here. I smile and shrug my shoulders, thinking it is far from true, but my limited Arabic does not stand a chance.
It is ten to six. It is the daily commute between the office at work and the office at home. The government has imposed a curfew at 6pm on weekdays and 12pm on weekends with substantial repercussions if not respected. Currently, this is the prime motivation for remembering which day of the week it is.
Whether it is the kitchen, the bedroom or dining room, all are now part of the workplace. Post-it’s on the bedroom wall and half-finished notes are everywhere. In Syria, Covid19 has so far mostly been evident in long working days becoming longer, while we hope for the best and plan for the worst.
From time to time, I dig holes in the garden and place in mandarins without no other purpose besides giving me a brief interruption from emails and meetings. However, as time passes everything flows together. Yesterday, I discussed unemployment assistance and hygiene support over skype while chopping a broken pomelo into pieces and burying it with soil.
One week after prime-minister Mette Frederiksen closed down Denmark, our first child, Sebastian, was born. The birth took place at Copenhagen University Hospital under the care of some extremely competent midwifes, and we were so very grateful that we were admitted before the health sector was put under unbearable pressure. The first few days after the birth, we lived in a bubble of happiness and love for our new son and the world could have ended without us even noticing. But as the days went by and there were no visits from friends and family, we really missed presenting our new-born son and not getting any congratulations in the form of hugs and kisses. It is so strange to have one of the greatest experiences of one’s life and be alone with is. Not sharing it with family and friends. The picture shows a brief visit from the grandparents who saw their new grandson at a distance of two meters and for less than 15 minutes. Our family will probably get through the crisis and still have our good health and our jobs, and then we will have to catch up on a lot hugs and kisses. Until then, we give our son a great many extra kisses to make up for all the visits he is missing out on.
Miami Beach, USA
Elisabet Leibølle Fountain
We run a very active, international church in Miami Beach, the only to still hand out food (after the virus shut the city down), donated to us from the local health food shop, for people in need. We make sure the number of volunteers are below the ten, as stipulated by the government, while there is little social distancing among hundreds waiting outside. In the US, the financial plague is almost as frightening as the virus we are trying to hide from. In the long line outside the church kitchen, homeless people stand shoulder to shoulder with illegal immigrants and housewives and all of them prioritize their empty stomachs rather than the invisible virus ...
For employees and volunteers alike, there is no rest in sight. We try to check in with our approximately 400 churchgoers, which are more like a great big family far away from our native countries. Who has become unemployed? Who is sick? Who is unable to pay rent? Our services stream on Facebook, our meetings take place on Zoom, and our telephones transmit a steady stream of needs, concerns and prayers for all.
I lean back, bathed in the sun on a beautiful day off in Miami and warmed by the care and consideration that mark this new reality. We cherish life and cherish each other more than ever before.
It began as a distant and irrelevant news story from Asia. Now, several months later, we have a new corona death in Spain every time 100 seconds pass – round the clock.
White bio suits enter the house next door to pick someone up. Our ice rink has been converted into a morgue. And we hear of new distant lands where this invisible ghost begins to wreak havoc. This time around, the news is far more relevant.
Inside our apartment, we initiated the state of emergency with a curfew meant as long weekend, which turned into a small vacation. It was quite cosy. When our soft clothes had been washed for the fourth or fifth time, our everyday had to be restructed a tad more. Now with a subscription for language courses at home, accessed through an app, and another app for learning how to play the guitar, which had been collecting dust for years. The crisis creates new rhythms.
At the time of writing, it is the 18th day with a curfew. The long weekend appears to be turning into house arrest. Neighbours have been stopped by the police and asked to state the purpose of their walk and where they live. When I walked the dogs earlier, five different police cars passed by.
The situation is coming to a head ...
I’ve been home since three weeks. Even during the summer I have never taken so many vacation days all together and spending the days is not a simple exercise. I said to myself ’Come on, there are many things that you have postponed for lack of time and now you have that time!’. So I painted all the walls, I arranged the garden, moved furnitures, fixed the warehouse, I thought.
Yes, because the hardest and most painful job has been to think, trying to imagine what the world will be like when the emergency is over. And I have not yet been able to imagine it. Maybe we will all be better or maybe not, surely we will all be more tired.
Today I went back to work. In total safety because I am alone. 900 square meters of silent solitude for the next few days, or weeks? Nobody knows. For now I am trying to find a kind of normality, but maybe normality was the problem.
Friday, the 13th of March. Parties, markets, exhibitions cancellations happen one after another, like a domino-chain, and this time we are part of it: the wave comes closer, the tsunami arriving from Madrid is now hitting Barcelona.
Here, life happens in the streets, bars, restaurants, and plazas… where silence and emptiness now fill the space left open.
I am a potter and most of my clients come from the hospitality industry. Orders and shipments are on hold, some got cancelled and I don’t know how the future of my small business will look like. I would have loved to use this time to design new collections, try different materials and develop glazes, but I am not allowed to commute to my studio, too far from home.
I was supposed to relocate back to Belgium at the end of March, and this is on hold too. Such a surreal way of closing my chapter in Barcelona…
I keep hoping for the best and I believe that beauty and crafts will always play an important role in our lives. What if this pause allows us to appreciate the handmade cup, bowl or plate with a new perspective, after all?
It goes without saying that the corona affected everybody , for me I had the first month of work after 4 month of no assignments as a freelance and I couldn’t even find 1 day free and I refused some other jobs , in like a week jobs and travels went from postponed to cancelled and i had nothing in hand to do, but since we are all trapped in this I tried to be positive and search for alternatives, I started to document what is happening around me everyway possible , I workout online with a personal trainer, I wanted to go back to painting after 12 years and I did start painting again, I made croissant at home which was a small dream since many many years.
I dont know what I feel I try to ignore it because everything is uncertain , there is no deadline when this will be over and if you feel you will feel so bad for having no jobs ,