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INTO passion | July 20, 2024

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#stayathome around the world

#stayathome around the world

#stayathome is a very difficult time for many people in the world. How we perceive the actions of our governments or if we optimistically look to the future very often depends on our individual situation and how our country supports us in this difficult situation. What quarantine looks like and how people feel about it in different countries, from the United States, through Italy and Spain to Austria, Australia or Belarus, we asked 26 of our friends.

Paulina Grabara-Król, Izabela Woźniak, Valeriia Honcharuk 

Stay updated: FB: intopassion, IG: into_passion 



Maso Corto, Italy

Lisa Platzgummer

Here in Maso Corto the Corona Virus changed our lives from one moment to the other one very quickly and radically. We were following our daily lives. Everybody went to work, kids were going to school. The skiing area was well visited and our guests had a great time. Time changed at the beginning of March when the whole Corona Virus came closer and closer. The association of hoteliers had meetings and the decision was to close hotels and resort voluntarily. The health Of our guests, employees and locals was the top priority behind this difficult move. In a few days we locked down basically everything. 

People were not allowed to leave their houses, shops and schools closed. Many people lost their jobs. The whole region was locked down. A situation many of us never experienced before. This uncertainty was new. Now knowing what will happen next. Not knowing for how long it will be like this. Not knowing if you are infected with covid 19 or not. Afraid to infect someone of your family, your grandprents or someone else. 

We are staying at home for 1 month now. Schools started to give online lessons and many people work from home. Still we can’t leave the house, only for groceries. Since this week we have to wear a mask outside of our houses and keep the distance. 

For now the quarantine is confirmed until 13 April, but 3rd of May is considered. 

Business are fighting for survival. Support from the government is securing the salary for employees in the tourism for now. But this support is covering it until middle of March/beginning of April. 

Italy asked in Brussells for financial support of the European Union, but other countries refused. So at the moment it looks like every businessman has to handle the loss of money and the next months by himself. 

Because postponing the payday for taxes from March to end of May is not the solution for us. As also offering leasing from the bank with zero pay rent for two years and normal pay rent later. Here we are waiting for support which really helps us. But we are optimistic and look forward for brighter days filled with laughters. 


Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur

Monika Lauridsen, stay home mum and owner of natural cosmetics Scrub Lab

I have been in Malaysia under full lock down since 18.03.2020. The government announced that it will be till 14.04, but today we are expecting the extension of the lock down till at least the end of April. We speculate that this will be extended as well till May, however will be less restrictive. It is 23rd day of isolation with the rest of the world and I’ve been only once out to do grocery shopping. I did online Tesco shopping before lock down, so we are good. Only my husband is allowed to do grocery. 1 person in the household can. We are 5 persons in my home: me, my husband, two small children and the helper.

What does it mean full lock down here? Regulation of MCO (Movement Control Order) in Malaysia are: all borders are locked, we can not travel to any another country, unless to fly with documented work permit. Grocery shops and pharmacies are open from 8am till 8pm and during this time we are allowed to be out. Nobody is allowed to be outside the house to do jogging, walking, visiting family, walking in a jungle, walking out the dog outside, traveling to the see side, organising holidays, all these are prohibited and treated as offence and if not respected the penalty is 5000RM or up to 6 months jail or both. So far I have heard it was 800 imprisonments due to lack of respect to MCO. Police is regularly patrolling the streets and using drones with cameras on private premises, compounds to check, if anyone is breaking the rule. It is rather strict here. I am living in the guarded compound with 2 big 25 storey buildings with recreation area in between: swimming pool, fitness sauna, playground, tennis, squash, all these facilities are closed down for the time being. Most of restaurants, bakeries, cafeterias are closed, just few are operating to prepare only take away food to customers via application Grab Food or Food Panda. Food can be delivered only till security gate, in front of our condo, from where we shall pick it up by ourselves. There is not full supplies in the stores, but we still manage to find and buy our essentials. Some wholesale distributors and farmers started to supply to private homes, to keep up with their business. Schools are closed and we do homeschooling, which is hard, my husband works for health and beauty pharmacy chain and is working from home, every day he is having crisis calls and online meetings. Face masks and gloves are the biggest challenge to get or to import, but soon it will be back on shelves.

To keep up with health and try to stay sain, I exercise with my personal trainer via Whatsaap video, 3 times a week and with my pilates trainer once a week. Thanks to big apartment we are able to play ball at the hallway, but we miss to be and play outside. The only positive thing about it is: we are healthy, we are together and we have also nice family bonding, which we never had before till this extend. We had to learn how to be more patient and supportive towards each other and we have more time for reflection, uncluttering the house, do small things, play cards, board games, watch the movies, read the books, cook, bake, learn how to find new online shopping and educational activities for kids. I hope we will all stay safe, positive and I hope the economy will not break down as much. We are all in this together. Let’s stay home and be safe.


Belgium, Brussels

Gosia Olczyk

Comparing to other countries, we are still quite lucky in Belgium as the confinement rules do not apply to doing sport. So one is allowed to leave the apartment to go for a run, stroll etc. As we are reaching the fourth week of staying at home, it makes a big difference to be able to go outside and it helps to keep our spirits up. By now, most of the people switched to teleworking which changes our daily lives very significantly. It also shows that new ways of working are possible, even for big institutions such as the European Commission and the European Parliament. Schools, bars, restaurants and other non-essential services remain closed. I think that, in overall, people adapted to the new measures very well although police (and even drones;) are supervising the situation with occasional fines (especially as we have been enjoying sunny weather with over 20 degrees this week). On 8th of April – 2240 people lost their life in Belgium due to Covid-19 with over 23 000 infections. It is high for a relatively small country. The medical services are working tirelessly and every day at 8pm people are applauding them from their windows, which has become almost a part of our daily routine – a sign of solidarity and hope at this very challenging time. In a multinational and multicultural city such as Brussels (one out of 3 inhabitants is not Belgian) – we are staying united and many citizens come up with collective initiatives of helping the elderly, gathering protective equipment etc.


USA, California

Katarzyna Piecychna Odunuga

Welcome to the Hotel California. California, sunny state inhabited by 39.4 million inhabitants. It’s almost as much as in Poland. Coronavirus statistics, however, do not correspond to those in my home country.

Every day I start with the summery, which changes very quickly and only up. The whole state now looks like a giant California Hotel, where everyone has sheltered to the unannounced sabbatical. Everything is already online: schools, work, shopping, culture. Even beaches and hiking trails are closed. Recent reports indicate that ocean water may be contaminated by precipitation. There are rumors that the virus was also found in the municipal sewage system. This week (April 6-12) was supposed to be critical, but we already know that the worst is yet to come. From the nearest Friday without mask and gloves no one will enter the store for shopping.

During daily press conferences, President Trump boasts of the world’s best health care system, but specialists are no longer as optimistic and call for social distancing as the only way to flatten the disease curve and unblock hospital work. Beds are already lacking and, like in Europe, field hospitals are being created in parking lots and city squares. An interesting fact is that for the quarantine of people with a positive test result, hotels are used, e.g. the Marriott chain, where patients are located for recovery.

Austria, Vienna

Izabela Woźniak

In Austria, quarantine officially lasts from March 16, but many people have limited exits before. The number of cases is over 12,000, especially due to the neighborhood with Italy. Several regions of Austria, such as in Tyrol, had to be quarantined. Compared to other countries, however, the restrictions are not that severe. Schools and universities organize classes on e-learning platforms. We can go to work, although most people work remotely, to the store, to the pharmacy, to help other people, such as to do grocery shopping for the elderly, and we can go for a walk. Sports and walking are even recommended, of course with keeping adequate distance. Although the streets are very calm, the parks are full of Viennese people enjoying the first rays of the spring sun. Groups of over 5 people are forbidden, few inhabitants use public transport and prefer a car or bicycle. We have a duty to do shoppings wearing masks, which are handed out at the entrance by the staff, from next week masks are also necessary in public transport.

Austrian Airlines has grounded its planes and the hotels have been closed, which has a huge impact on tourism. Many people have lost their jobs, which is why Austria is struggling with the highest unemployment since World War II, and the number of unemployed only increased by more than half in March. Fortunately, nobody will be left without support because the government has proposed extensive assistance programs. Although this situation is taken seriously, everyone is calm, obey the rules and do not panic. There is an atmosphere of mutual help, and many people volunteered to support them. We are only waiting for the situation to improve, and Austria was the first EU country to make a decision to return to normal slowly. However, Austrian politicians and experts still emphasize that any relaxation of the rules can only occur in the context of our “new normality”, i.e. wearing masks, the 1-meter distance principle, and limiting social contacts. According to surveys, Austria has seen a sharp decline in the number and frequency of new infections, more people are cured per day than new cases appear, hospitals are well prepared and medical services are equipped. Smaller stores will open after Easter, and shopping centers and hairdressers in May. It is possible that the gastronomic establishments will resume their work in June, which now only provide take-out meals. There is also an idea under consideration that all residents of Austria should be tested for viruses.


Spain, Malaga

Ektor Ortiz

We have been on the lockdown since the 15 of March. All businesses like bars, gyms, clubs, shops, everything nonessential was closed. You can get a fine if you are without a motive. I got fined once because you are not supposed to be out without a reason, police checked my ID and asked me were I live, they checked grocery tickets or pharmacy tickets to see if you have been out long or not and how far you went. The other day I went to throw the rubbish like 100 meters from my house and police officer stopped me on my way back asking me what I was doing out. Streets are empty, it is like Armageddon. About how people feel, I think it depends. Spain, we think sometimes, went to crazy about the situation, a complete lockdown of everything, no construction, complete shutdown. I think it is too extreme. People think the government has given zero help or support to the people,  electricity and water are still being charged, actually it went up on prices, help for people being laid-off will not come until May. We’ll be home at least until May or even beginning of June and after that probably lots of people will be ruined, business will have to be closed, people will get evicted. 


Italy, Tuscany

Paolo Kastelec, owner of Fontelunga hotel

We are well here in Tuscany and on our 5 weeks in lockdown at Fontelunga (we are quite lucky to be here). The restrictions in Italy are quite strict and I totally agree with them If we want to flat the curve and start the process to go back slowly to the ‘new’ normality. I want to be positive for the future, especially in hospitality. It will be a slow recovery and a hard one. We are ready to start again , hopefully soon …



Olena Goncharuk, doctor

One cannot but be glad that the Ukrainian government immediately introduced strict quarantine measures. The borders were closed almost immediately; large cities were quarantined. A week later, there was limited traffic between cities throughout the country, you can only leave for a good reason.

Public transport has almost stopped working. The metro was closed in the capital and then in other large cities where the metro is located. The bus can accommodate no more than 10 people.

Initially, people did not believe the whole situation with COVID-19, many thought it was just flu. Given that outbreaks of various influenza occur in Ukraine every year, it is not surprising that people reacted so calmly to the coronavirus. Now the situation is slightly different, people are gradually realizing that the virus is really dangerous. Mostly people try to quarantine, but there are people who don’t mind going to the park and frying meat.

Unfortunately, not all people started to help each other. Many try to take advantage of the situation. Some people sell masks, antiseptics and gloves three times more expensive, while pharmacies are lacking.

The worst thing is that in the east of Ukraine, because of the pandemic, the mines are closed and people are unemployed.

By the way, while the whole world is fighting the coronavirus, people in the occupied territory of Ukraine (Donetsk and Lugansk) are dying of swine flu.


Izrael, Beersheba

Meir Fadida

As in the whole world, the situation in Israel is also very strange. All schools and universities are closed, the malls, cafes, bars, restaurants, gyms, theaters and cinemas are also closed. You can’t go to the sea and parks. The only things that open are food stores (like carrefour), pharmacies and a certain number of businesses that are defined as essential. People are not allowed out of the house more than 100 meters away, and police are giving fines.  Soon, Passover begins and usually the whole family spend this holiday together, but there are guidelines that you should not be with grandparents or go to family if you do not live with them at home. It will be a very unusual holiday.


Germany, Berlin

Anastasiia Tregubova

I would say situation in Berlin is fairly relaxed. Schools, offices and most of stores are closed, but most of the restaurants are open for take aways, at least some hours during the day. The main policy is that there is a ban on gatherings of more than 2 people. All the outdoor activities are permitted, police is monitoring it in the parks, but they don’t impose any fines even if there are violations. They just tell people to move away from each other, parks are really full of people. From talking to people, I would say most in Berlin don’t take coronavirus as a threat, but rather as an inconvenient limitation of freedom.


Greece, Crete

Yiannis Deligiannakis, owner of Arcus Suites

We keep the number very low, only 1,832 in the whole Greece. We only have 15 cases of COVID-19 in Crete and we still staying home. We had complied with the quarantine from the 23 March. Everything is closed expect pharmacy, food (super market etc). We can go our for short walk after we send an SMS or if we fill an application. The penalty is small 150€ but the most of the people are leaving the house only for something very important! We can run or practice or take the dog. All hotels are closed from the 23th of March. Our employees had take the salary until 23/03/2020. From 23/03/2020 to 30/04/2020 the will paused temporarily. For this period the would take 800€ from the government and we would not pay them. We would not pay their insurance to the government for this period also. The government would pay for them. Every business man that is hit from the circumstance would take 800€ for the same period. All payment from the business to the government are postponed (tax, Vat, etc.). Everyday Greek government announce new measures for supporting our business directly. I personal believe after the end of July the season can start here. We are in bad situation because some of our guests demands money back.



João Vila Teixeira

Regarding the corona pandemic, the Portuguese people are not prepared for these situations due to their way of life, their culture and due to their obligations. There are people who are very concerned and others who are the majority, do not pay attention to what is happening. I think that the Portuguese government may be taking advantage of the common sense of a part of the people and unfortunately the government will charge double for the damage caused by this pandemic. Many people have no idea what is coming. In my opinion, all rates will rise radically and the Portuguese will go into greater poverty and the crisis will rise at a breakneck pace. The government provides little support and does not provide proper information. It is sad for me that I am foreseeing this whole situation, but I hope that I am wrong.


Belarus, Minsk

Ali Aliev, owner of the restaurant

First of all, people in Belarus really believe everything they say in the media. Until recently, the government did not inform people about how dangerous this virus is and whether it is already infected in the country. Over time, looking at the situation in other countries, the inhabitants of the country began to wear masks, less leave their homes and keep a distance. The country has not declared quarantine; there are restaurants, bars, fitness centers, etc. People themselves isolate themselves for their own safety.

Unfortunately, the government is hiding the official number of infected.


Holandia, Gouda

Marcin Baraniak

The current preventive measures imposed by the government are the cancellation of all mass events, you can go to work, shopping, “settle urgent matters”, also for a walk, but in a maximum of two people and keep min. 1.5 meters distance from other people. A penalty of 400 euros for breaking the rules. Schools, hairdressers and beauty salons are closed until April 28, but this is changing dynamically. City parks and holiday resorts may be closed by the mayor if the people visiting them do not follow governmental recommendations. I live in the town of Gouda, I work in a factory from 3PM to midnight, I travel 19 km along a local road through the neighbouring villages. The Dutch are very active after work and especially on weekends they like outdoor activities. Just three weeks ago, parks and coastal areas were flooded with a wave of people lured by beautiful weather. After the introduction of bans, people comply with “safe” distance from each other, although with a clear reluctance. Factories and manufacturing companies are currently working, although there is a clear reduction in the number of orders. There are queues at grocery stores during rush hour due to the rule of keeping the distance. Stocking has returned to normal, unless you wanted to have already stocked up rice, pasta, toilet paper and liquid soap for the whole year. The number of cases is steadily increasing, most cases in the south of the country.


Germany, Würzburg

Marzena Vaghela

I live in Bavaria, in the town of Würzburg. We have introduced “exit restrictions” earlier than in all of Germany over three weeks ago. At the beginning people didn’t take anything seriously, so the young people were happy that “juhu” we are free from school, you can go shopping, meet. Soon, however, people saw that there were no “jokes”. Shops except from bakeries, shops Aldi, Lidl, Rewe etc. are closed. Local sellers are selling on the market (here they are separated from the customer or there is information, asking only 3 people standing at the stand.) There is often a security guard in the stores who watches how many people can enter the store. Smaller ones limit 10 people. The stores have information and lines stuck on the floor at a distance of 1.5 m customers should stand apart. Cash registers are built with plastic Plexiglas walls, there is a request to pay by card and not cash. Cashiers wear plastic gloves, helmets, sometimes masks. According to masks, they are not obligatory, walking around the city I see the people wear them from time to time in buses, usually if people can’t find a place far away from someone else. Unfortunately, the Saturday bus and tram timetable was introduced, which means more people in these means of transport. Drivers are separated from passengers by a plastic sheet and only open the middle door.

We can go to work – here we received a letter from the employer that we cannot work remotely from home. Such a letter is possibly for the police if they stop you. We can go to the pharmacy, to work, to the store for shopping. And luckily we can go to the park and to the forest. This is recommended! We can only walk with a family member, we can run and play sports outdoors. If we go with someone, we have to keep a 2-meter distance from each other. We can’t organize any barbecues or sunbathing meetings, etc. If someone has their own garden, that’s another matter. Unfortunately, young people play the Coyotees and think that the virus does not affect them, so it happens to meet groups, but such police chase away. Older people are the most infected, many die in the retirement homes. People obey the recommendations, keep their distance from each other, nobody complains. And even a large part of society demanded that there should be a total ban on leaving, because at first many people did not understand this. Bavaria is currently the most infected land in Germany. Statistics show that in Germany we have very well equipped hospitals and good staff, virus mortality is the lowest in Europe.


Tunisia, Sousse

Montassar Harrabi  

On the first day of confinement I was paralyzed by fear and terrified by the numbers of infections around the world. This virus took any form as plastic, metal, material and he had the option of being invisible. Our government decided on total lock down on March 20th. Tunisia closed its borders to passengers, leaving only goods traffic. The government ordered the army to monitor the streets in order to limit the development of the epidemic and a curfew was introduced. People should not leave their homes except to buy necessities or work in certain jobs. Common prayers are canceled, schools and markets are also closed. Only local shops such a butcher, tobacco store and small markets in the city are open to minimize contact. Everything was good until the state declared that financial aid will be paid into the post office accounts on April 6th and it was total chaos. Million Tunisians went to the post centers. The coronavirus pandemic has also halted tourism which is a key sector for Tunisia.


Australia, Perth

Aleksandra Parker

As in other countries around the world, Coronavirus has caused great changes in Australia. The Australian government compared to Europe reacted relatively late, because it was only at the end of March that it announced changes and new rules that caused great chaos and confusion among Australians. In just a few days the so-called social distancing, which requires a distance of 1.5 m between people and a ban on gathering more than 2 people (does not apply to close family members). As a matter of urgency all gastronomic establishments were closed, matches, concerts, mass events, weddings and funerals were canceled, the number of participants was reduced to 5 and 10 persons, respectively. Due to these changes, in just one week, around 1 million Australians lost their jobs due to the slowdown in the catering and service industry and the total extinction of tourism. The Prime Minister of Australia recommended Australians abroad to return home immediately, and advised foreigners within the country to return to their homes. A 14-day quarantine for people returning to the country has been introduced. International borders have been closed to everyone except Australian citizens, and interstate borders have also been closed this week, which is an unprecedented event on a national scale, as this has never happened before. The states were divided into regions and people under no circumstances have the right to travel between them. For example, we as Perth residents cannot travel to southern regions of the state that do not belong to our region, even if they are only an hour away. International flights and most domestic flights have been suspended, Qantas and Virgin, which are the leading carriers in the country, have almost completely grounded their fleet. From the very beginning, the prime minister remarked that he wanted to avoid closing schools, but advised parents not to send their children to school if they could look after them at home. This caused great confusion among Australians. As a consequence of this, schools have been empty for many weeks, because most parents decided to stay at home with their children. People follow the new rules and in just a few days the streets were completely empty. You can still leave the house if necessary (shopping, doctor’s appointment, exercise, etc.), but it is recommended to limit outings and absolutely eliminate social gatherings. The beaches are closed, you also can not go outside for recreational purposes, for breaking these rules depending on the threat of a fine of up to $ 11,000. Although no total lockdown of the country has been applied, the current actions seem to be bringing results, because the number of infections is slowing down significantly and we all hope for a quick return to our daily routine.


Costa Rica, Nosara

Mallorie Germain

The situation has also gradually worsened in Costa Rica. First, they closed the borders, then all the national parks, then the beaches and now there’s a driving restrictions and a curfew. We are not in official confinement but we’re all doing it regardless. Currently there is no cases where I am (Nosara), the closest case is 70km away in the city called Nicoya, which is why the measures aren’t so strict yet. Most of the cases are around San Jose, the capital, and so far, there is only 2 deaths in the country, which makes Costa Rica country with the lowest death rate of Covid-19. Everyone does take the virus very seriously here; all shops have hand gel and a security guard at the entrance that makes sure everyone uses it. All the tourists are gone which means that lots of shops and restaurants will close down soon, however everyone agrees that it is necessary to preserve the country from the pandemic. Overall Costa Rica is still one of the best countries to be stuck in during these troubled time, and I’m so grateful to be here when I look at the situation in France or the U.K.


Philippines, Iloilo city

Marvin Ledesma

I’m here in Iloilo city, Philippines. Me and my family are safe. We don’t have a positive infected person in our community but in the neighboring town Guimbal has 3 cases being positive so they’re in total lockdown. It is supposed to finish this April 14, but the president Duterte extended the national lockdown till April 30th. The government give money to all the Filipino overseas workers who lost jobs abroad and all the local Filipino workers 5000 pesos each and all the less fortunate people in every household for 6000 pesos each. All the senior citizens also received financial support. With regards to the strictness and prevention no one is allowed to go out without mask so its mandatory to wear it, when you go to the marketplace. Only one person can go out and buy food in every house. Every local village has the Barangay Officials being at watch, seating beside the road to make no other villages can go to another village. Market day is different in every village and to make sure people don’t go to other villages, only the market vendors are moved to certain towns and villages so people can buy fresh vegetables and fruits.


Romania, Timisoara

Izabela Kis

Regarding the situation in Romania – we currently have more than 4.400 confirmed cases and almost 200 deaths. The lock down is very tough, meaning that you can only leave your house if you have a declaration with you – that states where you are going and the exact route that you will be taking until you return home. The reasons to leave the house can be either for working purposes or for groceries shopping. The army and the police are on the streets, making sure that the restrictions are respected and apply very tough fines for those that don’t respect them. Elderly people, over 65 years are allowed to do their shopping between 10 and 11 AM in the morning, after that they are not allowed to be outside anymore. Between 22:00 and 05:00 AM nobody is allowed to leave their home. For the people that are travelling to Romania from a red zone (zone with over 10k cases) are sent to institutionalized quarantine and the ones that are coming for other affected areas will be sent to home isolation, in both cases for 14 days. Some areas in Romania ( north eastern countryside) have been quarantined as well, due to the high number of returned citizens (around 100k) mainly from the very affected zones like Italy and Spain. According to predictions, the peak of the outbreak is expected to be reached around Easter (18.-19.04 Ortodox Easter). Romania has a total of around 2800 ICU beds and around 1000 ventilators. The situation in the hospitals is still under control, even though the doctors had to partially pay and care for their own protection gear. Some doctors have resigned due to the risks that they were taking and due to this protection shortage, while others fight with their life and take all the risks, to care for the population.


South Africa, Cape Town

Kyle Van Der Watt

The Situation in South Africa is better than what Europe is facing at the moment. We have 12 deaths so far with 1200 infected to date. We have full military lockdown. Most of all of us are wearing masking, all essential stores are open, cigarette and alcohol is prohibited. Our numbers are decreasing, and people are recovering and the 12 that have died where all elderly people. When Covid19 happened our stock, market collapsed. We’re now in a recession. Most of educational systems are being done through an app called ZOOM and most or all of us are working from home.We are even planting veggies in our gardens and giving it to people in need, a lot of private companies are donating free things. Social distancing is something serious here. South Africa might just get lucky – this might not all come to pass soon but at least there’s hope.


Slovakia, Bratislava

Łukasz Jarzyna

From the beginning of the pandemic, I observed the activities of three different countries: Poland, Austria and Slovakia. I have to admit that Slovakia reacted fastest and took the most drastic measures in an attempt to control it. After detecting only a few confirmed cases of the virus, decisions were made: closing all schools, churches and stores (except grocery stores), limiting public gatherings (including the cancellation of the Marathon in Bratislava) or an order to wear masks in public places. A lot of people started helping elderly people to make purchases so that you as a risk group would not have to leave their homes. After about a month from the introduction of restrictions, no signs of panic can be seen in people because they approach it very responsibly.


Bulgaria, Sofia

Victoria Liberanome

In Sofia the lockdown started the 2nd week of March. They close restaurants, bars and the majority of the shops leaving only supermarket, off licence (alcol, cigarettes) newspaper shop, a few retails with entrance limited to 1/3 ppl depending on the size and somebody told me some hairdresser are open but haven’t seen any. Parks are “closed” but it cannot really be done here as they are very big and people can enter from everywhere… also I am not sure there is enough security making sure that people are following the rules. Last time I went out, it was sunny and there were groups of 5-8 guys drinking beer in front of the off license. Funny thing I know, on the seaside they removed the benches in order to avoid gatherings…They made masks mandatory but just for a few hours. The day after they lifted this rule as they understood they should provide masks (even for free) if the government pushes you to use them. For now, measures are extended until 13th of May. I think people are still underestimating the problem as they did not have Italy’s numbers, but I really hope we won’t see the same here. 


Kazakhstan, Astana

Karina Khvan, student

In Kazakhstan, people are not very happy with the government’s actions. That is why people, when looking at the situation in Italy, China, France and other countries that are already quarantined, began to “isolate” themselves. In short, they did not bring the situation as in Europe and America.

The government began to close cities, immediately introduced a state of emergency, first in the two largest cities (Almaty and Astana) and now the whole country is quarantined. The only mistake of the government at that time was that the whole country was already quarantined, but the borders were not closed. What had to be done first. Because of this, the number of people infected with the virus has increased rapidly and has spread throughout the country.

There is practically no panic, but in the first days after the extreme situation in the country was introduced, as usual, people ran to buy everything they needed. There is no shortage of goods, as well as means of protection against coronavirus (mittens, antiseptics, masks are available).

Many people from Kazakhstan do not believe what is happening and think that this is the usual flu they have had since winter, because the symptoms are very similar.

Mortality (low), but no one writes the name of the deceased, which raises suspicions about the fictitious situation.

Everything is very vague and strange, because the Minister of Health of Kazakhstan predicted that the first infected person, COVID-19, will appear from 16.02.-17.02.2020. Indeed, the first case of infection was registered on 16.02.2020.


United Arab Emirates, Dubai

Oleksandr Maltsev, Demi chef de partie

As you know, the United Arab Emirates is a very conservative country not only in terms of clothing, alcohol and behavior, but also in terms of disseminating information in the media and among people. Therefore, talking about COVID-19 in the news or among bloggers is immediately interrupted and a fine may be imposed.

Initially, a “soft” quarantine was introduced, i.e. officially closed: restaurants, fitness centers, clubs, beauty salons, as well as parks, but traffic was not prohibited. Public transport worked as usual. So people lived like that for about a week. Now the government is gradually tightening its quarantine rules. The metro was closed, but at the same time they introduced a 50% discount on taxis. All restaurants work “take a way”, the work schedule has been reduced to 4 days, of course the salary has also been reduced.

The United Arab Emirates is the only country among others where you can come and take the COVID-19 test for free, with no symptoms. If the test is positive, the person is immediately isolated and treated for free and medical care is provided.

Many people are worried about what will happen after the pandemic. What will life be like and when will it end? No faith in tomorrow.



Anastasiia Isaienko, Feelancer

The streets have become empty, there are no traffic jams, everything is legal, the parks are empty, the center, everything is empty everywhere. People keep a distance of two meters. The stores are divided into zones, nobody cracks before everyone, everything suitable.

The situation in eastern Germany (former GDR) is slightly different, unfortunately few people comply with quarantine.

There are no problems with work. Many companies immediately transferred their employees to remote work. The government financially helps small businesses and private enterprises. If you don’t have a job or your business has stopped working, you don’t pay back the month for loans.

Germany welcomes patients from Italy. They bring heavy military helicopters here, because Italian clinics are not able to cope with it, but they cannot rejoice.



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