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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.

Lima, Peru

Renato Sandoval Baciagalupo

Peru, 9th of April – by T.S. Eliot judged the cruellest month – after 25 days of being locked in between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m., with 5,500 infected and 138 deceased due to the treacherous corona virus.

Thirty three million Peruvians, a cabbalistic number threatening to diminish progressively and exponentially as they are more and more seized by disorder and fear.

The crisis is worsened by the fact that here (as in many materially undeveloped countries) 30 per cent do not have access to neither water nor drainage, and therefore cannot even wash their hands in order to reduce the immense risks which are attacking their lives or, simply, their survival.

Furthermore, the health care system is miserable, already was for a long time, and it gets worse with the pandemic.

Now many people die because of lack of hospitals, restrictions on the number of emergency admissions – and in case of admission, the few available ventilators (around 300) very soon will not be sufficient for the thousands of infected who will begin to strain the capacity.

Now seeing people die in the streets for this reason and that no one dares go near them to help is truly disheartening.

I fear that soon the same thing will happen here as in the city of Guayaquil in Ecuador, not far away, where the dead, not being picked up by authorities, are being cremated in the streets.

This is no doubt a burden on the entire world without exception.

It is no longer so much because of the coexistence of different stages of development but rather because of the lack of empathy in the relation between human beings and nature, and in their relation with the environment, and, in a wider sense, with ‘the others’ who belong to the same species.

It is a hard thing to realize that the imbalance at all levels partly explains what at this moment is questioning life itself; to put it more precisely, the kind of life, which is so infinitely individualistic, and not at all solidary that we are leading.

But for the time being, if one does not want to be the next victim, one should stay at home, lean out the window from time to time, in the hope that there are no dead people on the pavement, or that you yourself, not knowing how, will stay alive in the midst of all the disgrace and sorrow.

Todos Santos, Mexico

Kenny Viese

My little multicultural paradise by the Pacific Ocean, known as Todos Santos (all saints), with only 7,000 residents has been shut down. You can only enter if you are resident, and out of the many small restaurants, there is now a handful that offers delivery or take-away. Most people here come from all over the world. They have filled up their pantries and their freezers while waiting for good news. If nothing else, the sun is shining, and the view of the Pacific inspires some comfort while we wait.

An hour’s drive away in the area known as Los Cabos, which covers Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, the authorities have gone the whole way, closing all hotels and shop except for supermarkets. It is known as an international holiday paradise visited by six million tourists every year, including the countless cruise ships that call at the bay. Yesterday the 300,000 residents were told they can only drive to work and to hospitals if it is strictly necessary. Violations will lead to fines.

50,000 people in Los Cabos earn a living from tourism. And since there is no help from the public sector, the situation is dire. We hope that these drastic measures will have an appreciable effect and end the crisis before long.

They now estimate that 26,000 people are infected in Mexico, yet many cannot be tested because of the bureaucratic and cumbersome public sector. Even though the heat appears to be keeping down the rate of infection, we fear that the number is much higher.

I am one of the lucky ones, as I am self-employed, and only one of my trips ended up being cancelled since the travel season ended in March. But a wedding event has been postponed and two trips to the US in July will most likely also be cancelled or postponed. In a country like Mexico where many live from hand to mouth and now face serious problems to feed their families, I am very, very lucky.

Santiago, Chile

Helene Risør

Corona rabbit in Chile

»Mom, does the corona virus come with tear gas?«; the seven-year-old asked when the school was closed down. His everyday life has already changed radically since unrest broke out in October. When the first reports about torture and killings trickled in, we went to our summer house. Away from the tear gas. Now we’’re here again. Privileged in country where the protests are driven by social inequality and where the support for the government is at six percent. Whose advice do you follow when everyone knows that the Minister of Health is liar who says: »Chile has the best health care system in the world.«?

We have a slight bit of the late summer left. We pretend as if we are in a European middle-class quarantine and joke on WhatsApp with other parents about the homeschooling assignments. I politely decline the offer of online mindfulness class for our two-year-old from our daycare institution. We hear on the news that the metro in Santiago once again was jam-packed during rush hour. People cannot afford to stay home. There is a buzz of uncertainty on social media. I teach my anthropology students remotely while the boy badgers me about a rabbit. Can you buy a dwarf rabbit online and have it delivered? The answer is yes.

»It’s soooo cute,« the child says in a falsetto as it now runs around in the living room. We’re having a good time. It is the quiet before ‘he perfect storm’.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Anette Thaulow

I am 54 years old and I am a partner in a headhunting company, a mother of two sons aged 25 and 26 and a grandmother of a little girl, all but 14 months old.

My brother lives in Botswana where he works as a professor at a university. The first thing that happened in my corona lockdown life was my brother’s cancellation of his Easter visit to Denmark as a result of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen closing the borders on March 11. My brother recently updated me about covid-19 cases in Botswana: Three infected, one dead – which he said translates to a mortality rate of 33 percent. Gallows humour may occur these days.

My granddaughter had just been accepted to a day-care centre in mid-March. Then she was sent home to her pregnant mother and her father who had large screens set up at the dinner table to work from home with headphones and a computer – to the great amusement of their daughter who immediately put the headphones on her head, thrilled that daddy will be working from home.

The week before last, my daughter-in-law developed a persistent cough, fever and chest pains and the little one also had a fever. A call to the doctor revealed that they most likely had been infected with covid-19. She was told to call the emergency services if her condition worsened. Later she had to contact the doctor again who believed she suffered from pneumonia and prescribed penicillin. I had trouble sleeping for a week. I was worried about the side-effects. But everything turned out okay and there were no risks involved for the unborn baby. That helped me relax a bit.

As far as work goes, we are all set up. We have telephone conferences and contact companies to learn more about their status. My first call was to a major supplier whose turnover dropped 33 per cent because the United States stopped the air traffic to and from the EU. I proposed finding new possible sales channels. We are all in the same boat. After the lockdown, we all have to start from ground zero. New markets, customers, business partners, sales channels, contacts. Most importantly: I’ve primarily been living off take-away for a month now to support restaurants in my local area in Valby. My favourite is South Indian.

Faroe Islands

John Johannessen

March 12 is usually a very special day on the Faroe Islands. A day where we celebrate spring. Even though we usually have rough weather on this day, March 12 is also the day where we meet for events hosted by scouts, brass band music and familiar musings about the arrival of Spring, symbolized by the return of our national bird, tjaldur, also known as the oyster caster. And it DOES return. Tjaldur cannot be bothered to spend the winter together with the rest of us in hurricane weather. It chooses to spend its winters under brighter skies in Northern Africa. Quite understandably!

This year March 12 became the day when the Faroe Islands shut down. Completely. I happened to be in the eye of the storm on that day, being both the editor and host of our television news. The first days were hectic and went by fast. We focused on informing the people, finding new angles and carrying out special broadcasts. But during these late evenings when I was walking under the quiet – very quiet – and clear night sky on my way home, I was struck by a wall every time. A wall of melancholy. A wall that spelled out that this is really happening – and we are all affected by it!

It has been three – or was it four? – weeks now. During my shifts at home – since we cannot work all work together at the same time – I have tried to be there for my family. Tried not to lose my mind. Tried to avoid that the children lose their minds. Tried to clean up, wash down and do practical things. But everything is in slow motion. As in very slow. The home office has become an essential part of life and everything has been cleared off, sorted and made comfortable.

Longing … Longing and a feeling of cooped up. That is what most of us are feeling now after four weeks of this. As I write this, I am alone in my now tidy home office while thinking that I was supposed to be in Copenhagen drinking gin and tonics together with one of my best friends. Someone who has meant a lot to me. I can picture his smile and hear us laugh in my thoughts. Instead, I have been drinking a glass of wine with their neighbour using a conference system. Not so bad!

Just like tjaldur comes back on March 12 every year, allowing us to celebrate the spring, life will come back as well. We will be missing people and longing to go out for quite some time. But hopefully, we will learn to appreciate the things we normally take for granted. I appreciate the solidarity! I hope you are as well!

Paris, France

Henrik Obbekaer Rasmussen

Epidemic in Paris

Until the very last moment before the French shutdown at 12 o’clock Tuesday March 17, there were families on the sidewalks, loading their cars and cramming children inside while others were on their way out with friends and backpacks. It made me think of the stories about the exodus ahead of the Germans’ arrival in 1940. My children’s great-grandmother biked with her three-year-old child on the back of the bike from Paris all the way down to Fourg near the Swiss border.

Even so, we have practically been enjoying ourselves for the past three weeks – aside from developing a dry cough. The children are out of school and everyone can sleep in. The Parisians have been on their best behaviour: polite and friendly. Doctors and nurses are have almost become heroes. But the atmosphere was tense until a few days ago. Sirens from ambulances and church bells from morning to evening. The hospitals in Ile-de-France and Eastern France were so overburdened that patients had to be transported in specially converted TGV trains to other regions. You can feel that a change is happening. But what comes next? The French were discontented before the corona virus, hence the Yellow Vests movement and the constant strikes. Will the voters opt for stability or will they be seduced by radical solutions? This has been the key question in French politics since the revolution in 1789.

Arendal, Norway

Maria Dalby

It was almost as if the virus came from Denmark, not China. Don’t get me wrong, but Denmark closed its borders, and then Norway followed suit. The days are long and chaotic. With home-schooling and a full-time job. But we must not complain. After all, we live in the world’s wealthiest country and are the second-happiest nation. We know that the state has plenty of money and that we are better off than most. But when the streets are empty, friends behind a screen, and grandparents have to wave from afar, it almost feels like living in some dystopian future. I think the uncertainty is the worst part. How long can we continue like this? And then what will happen? Will there be a financial crisis for many years to come, and what will that mean for me, for my town, for my country?

When I try hard, I can see the positive sides to a slower pace. The joy of being able to be at home with my family. But I also long for life. The life we live now is a waiting life. Everything is put on hold and we have nothing to look forward to. Even our national holiday, May 17, has been cancelled. Well, not the date, but the annual celebration. The only day where we shout: »Hurra!« I would so hope that everything could go back to normal by then and our children could walk in the parade and shout together.

Nuuk, Greenland

Sara Maritta Brasse

Here in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, we are lucky to have only a few cases of corona virus. The cases in Greenland are all in Nuuk, and the city is now quarantined. I have been in home quarantine for 17 days now with my two daughters aged ten and four. I have never spent so much time with my children as I do now. I see the details of their personalities, the freckles on their noses, how they have grown. I truly see them. We are TOGETHER even though we are at work, in school, and in kindergarten. It is great!

Life and the planet are so fragile and many people only realize now just how fragile everything is. The corona crisis affects people in many different ways. It is tragic, but it also means that we have to slow down and reflect on the human condition, on what gives our life and our daily existence meaning. And the climate. It is doing better than it has for many years. I think it is inspiring and thought-provoking how a crisis such as this affects us as humans, the world, and our society. In fact, we can change the world for the better if we keep sticking together and helping each other as we do now.

Måloev, Denmark

Sarah Effersøe

When I look out my window, the world seems unchanged. The trees are just starting to blossom. It is springtime. There is a plum tree outside my window. I can tell from the trunk that it is sick, but not dead yet. It still bears fruit every year. Plums that are inedible because they are invaded by leaf rollers. Tiny black pests that dig into the flesh and procreate.

Outside my window, the tree is gathering strength for another season of hosting parasites. From inside, I am looking at the tree. Thinking about the world. About the forests that burn and the oceans that are filled with plastic. I am thinking about humankind.

Humankind that is now threatened by a virus. Suddenly, we do not just talk. We are actually able to act. People are working very hard to get this virus under control. But what will the rescue of humankind be worth if the host, i.e. the planet, is sick? The planet must always come first. It is essential to our lives.

We have been like greedy parasites for too long. Mother Earth is tired. This year she is taking a well-deserved break. I hope that when we resume our normal lives, we won’t just continue where we left off.

Toronto, Canada

Fotis Kanteres

Life. Paused. Go faster; harder; calmer; more careful; Tele-Projection. I am an epidemiologist by training, and filmmaker by choice. The past year I have helped to run a yoga studio for multi-level and varied bodies. The studio, as is, is dead; it’s future “may” be online. I, like most of the west, did not pay close enough attention in January, and was on a working vacation in February. When I saw the early growing numbers in my region, thinking about what China had to do, I knew it was too late and that all would shut and life would be permanently altered. This is due to the widespread nature of the disease and the need to develop new measures, and basically protocols for ‘everyday life’. Life as we knew it was over, or at least in a damaging coma, maybe it would or should die.

Regardless of whether people awoke or accepted it, the decision has already been made. I am sad for the world, and so many people I know in many countries. So much pain. I am trying to reconnect and share as much care and love as I can. I am personally invigorated because I feel I am in a position to help and do good in this crisis and the world to come.

Mexico City, Mexico

Emilio Deheza

Before Covid19 disrupted us, each morning I used to hurry going for a nice one hour walk through some tree lined streets and parks near home. But then the bad news started to grow very present on local stories and that made me wonder if the stroll was still a good idea anymore or rather get careful about contagion.

A few days later, Mexico’s government anounced stage 2 scenario, with local transmission and lockdown started. Now days begin one hour later, with the only hurry to prepare the morning coffee and some fruit plate.

As I live by myself these days, all the chat and videoconferencing tools have become central to stay in touch with my twentysomething daughters that live with their mother, and to socialize for work or else.

I’ve become a frequent user of e-commerce and delivery services cause I’ve found the time to get better at my mexican cooking, a long time delayed yearning and a great way to mitigate some of the anxiety about the present and the future… Getting better at something! With some e-learning on work subjects too…

Much strength for those in need. Here I hope the virus don’t hit us hard or stays for long… as the dishes are getting better I want to share them with my people, my pants have to keep fitting me and I really miss my walks!

Kolkata, India

Anandarup Goswami

By the beginning of March my country was dealing with active cases of corona rising up. A trial lockdown was run throughout the country on 22nd, and a lockdown was imposed from 24th.

I live in a small 2 room flat in Kolkata along with my brother and two ailing grandmothers, both in their late eighties. As a freelance photographer I do a considerable part of my work from home. It gives me the freedom to live my life. I cook my own meals and, on some days, depend upon home delivery meals. The troubling part of the lockdown is to get medicine for my grandmothers. Both of them are in critical health condition and need medicine regularly. Also, I now have to be more careful while taking care of them. I have to go out on certain days for essentials and my biggest worry is that I might infect my grandmothers. As the economy is slumping, I fear that it will take a toll on my finances and savings. I have to generate my own work and, dread that it might be difficult to find work after this situation and my savings will soon run off.


Mina Akbari

When I wake up in the morning I’m not doing what I used to do before. I am confined with my cat at home, keeping myself busy with books and movies while waiting for the number of my first online documentary viewers to increase. In the meantime, I hear some unpleasant news about my country which is even worse off with Covid_19.

We have had hard days and years before Pandemic: Sanctions, protests against the government over the sudden increase of gas price, suppression of the protesters, internet ban for a week, assassination of Qasem Suleimani (Major general of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps), tensions between Iran-U.S. and the most horrible one, downing of a passengers plane owing to a mistake by our military forces.

Covid_19 silenced those events to an incredible extent. We are locked in our houses without any precise statistics on what is going on in hospitals. But I see my people do their best to cope with the situation in order to pass through this period.

Now my days are passed waiting in silence and I cannot imagine what’s next.

To me, Covid_19 has killed Kronos, the God of time. No prediction for when this quarantine will finish.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Emilia Pena

My name is Emilia Pena, I’m 20 years old and I live in La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina. The first case of COVID-19 was detected the 3rd of march. Since the 20th of march (when we had 200 confirmed positive cases and 3 deaths), we were put into obligatory quarantine. That means that we are only allowed to exit our houses to go to the nearest supermarket, the pharmacy or the bank. At home my father continues working from his computer. My brother has classes every day with his teachers through videocall, and he has to send his assignments to them. I do also have classes in university through video conferences. I’m very glad that my university sends us a lot of material so that we can continue studying and learning. The teachers are free to answer our questions through email or video call. For now the quarantine is obligatory and is to be continued until the 23rd of april (even though it ill probably be extended), and the truth is that I really miss my friends and family. I appreciate that I have a house where I can stay and take care of myself and my family, and that I have technological devices to be able to continue studying.

Everyone reading this: Stay strong so we can get back to normal life as soon as possible.

City Bell, Argentina

Julieta Bolino

My name is Julieta Bolino I’m 20 years old and I´m from Argentina. I live in City Bell, a small city near Buenos Aires, Argentina. I study Bachelor of Sociology in the National University of La Plata. Classes and modalities have been modified, now we are connected by internet, clases are virtual (by Zoom). The profesors send us material to study and they organize meetings where all the students have to be conected at the same time.

I also work from my home, luckly I have so many things to do!. I work in the area of human resurces in a software factory. But I´m priviliged to be able to work because here in Argentina not everybody can go out and work as almost evertyhing is closed (except supermarkets & pharmacies). The situation in Argentina is diferent, many jobs here are informal and there are people who live of what they earn on the day. These kinds of situations seriously affect the economy.

Every second week the president speaks and extends the quarentine, luckly we don´t have so many deaths and infected people yet. I hope we can stay like this, numerous sanitary measures have been taking during these days but I am also aware that we are an underdeveloped country and we do not have a big budget.

Moscow, Russia

Irakliy Mikeladze

I live in a really fantastic time. During my life there were some events, which you think never could happened. Like USSR collapse or war between Russia and Ukraine. So, I get used, that these kind of things might happen. And you can’t do anything with this, except to accept them as new experiences and time to think over about, what it means for you personally.

My everyday life is not too affected by coronavirus. Most of my time I do my work from home. So, now I have much more things to do and use this time to get new knowledges and work on my ideas, which I postponed earlier.

I do not believe that after death, there is nothing. So, for me life kind of computer game and you will be reloaded indefinitely. That’s why I’m not in panic.

As somebody said, to rich new level, you have to get out from comfort zone. Now, we all out there. This situation is very good opportunity to stop our rush and to listen ourself and change our life. Breath, think, talk with yourself, go ahead with wildest ideas, be kind to the world – that’s main points for now for everybody.

Moscow, Russia

Svetlana Bakhareva

Coronovirus made us all stay home and do our job remotely. For me, a young artist, this situation provides a great amount of opportunities – galleries and curators moved online, people from different walks of life can now meet each other online in Zoom. Besides, coronavirus theme gave birth to various art projects, which quickly became famous. Since this tricky situation has started, I had an opportunity to meet with a few art scene celebrities and take part in several art projects, all online.

To be honest, I have no free time at all – every day I create artworks for different projects. One of my projects is capturing reality through sketches on newspapers, combining fresh news with my vision of the situation, as a daily chronicle of the pandemia. This contribution is a part of a group project on Instagram @artvirus2020 . The one thing I regret is that I can’t do bigger volume artworks - the workshop is closed now.

Monrovia, Liberia

Brenda Brewer Moore

My name is Brenda Brewer Moore, and I am director of an organization that promotes literacy, equality and economic livelihood across Liberia. Our work is largely connected with schools and interacting with people in rural Liberia

The shutdown of schools has meant we have had to curtail most of our work. Children who rely on our rooms being the only available space to access resources can no longer do so as the libraries have all had to be closed. Even the community based trainings have had to be cancelled for now.

The virus is affecting the children we work with in several ways. The disruption of the school year means those who were to sit the regional exams cannot. Also, many of the kids in public schools who are part of the school feeding programs look forward to the daily meals the school offers. So for many, they will lose out on a meal a day.

The economic impact will hit parents. Many have lost their jobs. This means even less enrollment. Which was already a big issue here for this school year, as there was a drop in enrollment due to the slight increase in registration fee at public schools.

Gold Coast, Australia

Josefine Høj

When the coronavirus really started having an impact in the daily life around Oceania, I was on a trip to New Zealand. I had been living in Australia for five months on a Working Holiday visa. While I was in New Zealand, Australia decided to close the boarders for non perminant residents. That left me with two options, lock down in New Zealand or go back to Denmark and lock down with my family. No matter what I would have to abandon my job, friends, apartment and belongings in Australia. Getting back to Denmark wasn’t easy, I had multiple trips cancelled due to consistant changes and additional restrictions. Eventually I did manage go get to Denmark where I’m currently in the two week quarantine. I’d like to get a job when my quarantine ends, but that’s probably going to be difficult for a while. This pandemic has turned my life upside down, but I’m grateful that I get to be with my family instead of sitting alone across the globe.

Paraíso, Costa Rica

María Consuelo García Bonilla

Our daily life-style have changed a lot due to covid-19, we used to be the country of ’Pura Vida’ (pure life) a country recognize by the nature and touristic attractive, now all the beautiful mountains and beaches are completely empty. The borders are close and we are affronting economic problems due to the main money entrance for the country is generated by tourism. All the families are staying inside their homes but we still having people that don’t understand the seriousness of the situation and keep going outside. We have 502 and 3 deaths for covid-19, everyone in working together for reduce that number. The government decided to close everything except super markets and pharmacies, we have new regulations in transportations and also economic aid for needful families.

San Pedro, Costa Rica

Miguel Jara Rodríguez

I have a heart condition and that makes me a high risk person and the most challenging part is being apart for every human I know. Also trying to keep the mental health its not easy at all. I’ve started to do things I did not use to, like working out, studying a 3rd language or yoga . It’s hard to face how fragile we are are humans and keeping the mind busy and stable it’s a hard task. Here in Costa Rica the amount of infected people is raising and the quarantine is far from end. I live alone and talk to my family thru internet Apps. My mom lives next to me but it’s hard I can’t even visit her, she is also a high risk person. The first week I felt anxiety, fear and extremely loneliness (I’m a social person) but as the days passes by I learned how to be happy alone. Definitely, this experience will leave a deep mark on me, I’ll appreciate the most simple things of regular days like meeting someone, missing someone or tell people how you appreciate them. I hope to become a better person once all this nightmare ends.

Tetovo, North Macedonia

Rihan Rexhepi

I am Rihan, father of two wonderfull kids. I am a math teacher, working nowadays online with my students, because of the case of COVID19. I am experiencing a new way of teaching and exploring many softwares, so that teaching becomes more and more easy from us but also more and more easy for student to understand us in our online methods. We are facing a lot of difficulties, because we are not used in online teaching. We are physicaly far from our student, but trying to put hope and strength in them, so they pass this crisis with less psychic weightiness.

I am also a beekeper, but fortunatelly my hives are not far from my house. I can go and work with them by ease. They are the best thing to keep doing in theese days. You forget everything about crisis and stress that media put in us with news about this pandemic.

My country is not a place where people could have save money, so the crisis is becoming deep. The situation has made a lot of people loose their jobs and stay at home without working something to earn for their families. A lot of peope have problem for the lease of their dwelling place.

I am also a president of an Association for development and education, which works in my country. We work with youth in educational sphere which includes eco activitations. But in this case, we can not work with youth because the laws do not allow us to gather for such activities, so we are all concetrated in helping old people that cannot get out, sending them food and medical treatments. Also we distribute food materials to people in need who lost their jobs and have nothing to live with.

After all, its not all black and white, because of this situation we