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Corona quarantine diary
Thread poster: Mervyn Henderson

RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:47
German to English
What exactly do you mean... Mar 24

...Heinrich?

That companies should start producing goods again with a workforce that isn't there for customers who aren't going to buy? That airlines should fly all their routes again with empty planes? That hotels should open up again for guests who won't be arriving? This is the typical voodoo economics that we've all grown used to over the past three years. In contrast to what POTUS says, we've gone beyond a financial crisis and already have an economic crisis, and we won't start
... See more
...Heinrich?

That companies should start producing goods again with a workforce that isn't there for customers who aren't going to buy? That airlines should fly all their routes again with empty planes? That hotels should open up again for guests who won't be arriving? This is the typical voodoo economics that we've all grown used to over the past three years. In contrast to what POTUS says, we've gone beyond a financial crisis and already have an economic crisis, and we won't start overcoming until we've effectively beaten Covid-19.

Luckily for the inhabitants of the United States, decisions on lockdowns and social distancing are taken at local and state level, not at federal level. And Dr. Fauci is putting his life on the line for the people of the United States. By the way, what's really worrying the scientists is that a growing number of young people are also dying of Covid-19, and if they survive, they have conditions like scarred lung tissue. We should try and prevent the second wave from spreading until we have effective vaccines, not rely on the myth of herd immunity.
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Mervyn Henderson
Michele Fauble
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:47
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Spanish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Wednesday 25 March Mar 25

Downstairs for the paper, gloves, tiptoe to avoid the neighbours, shunning the lift, blah-blah. Mikel tells me he's taken a 50% cut in newspaper sales. Not surprising, considering he's just off the main drag, Gran Vía, with the banks, bars and fancy outlets all round about now closed or on skeleton service.

Could be much worse, as Barbara reminds us from Zagreb. Quarantine AND earthquakes. Hang in there, Barbara!

Some good news here, though. Get this - the crime rate h
... See more
Downstairs for the paper, gloves, tiptoe to avoid the neighbours, shunning the lift, blah-blah. Mikel tells me he's taken a 50% cut in newspaper sales. Not surprising, considering he's just off the main drag, Gran Vía, with the banks, bars and fancy outlets all round about now closed or on skeleton service.

Could be much worse, as Barbara reminds us from Zagreb. Quarantine AND earthquakes. Hang in there, Barbara!

Some good news here, though. Get this - the crime rate has dropped by 60-70%, crow the powers-that-be. Obviously, no need to worry so much about getting a bottle in my face in a bar, or being mugged buying the paper or buying my food at the supermarket or Paracetamol at the pharmacy, or getting caught at CaixaBank with two or three bank robbers wearing masks. Amid a few masked customers.

I jest, I jest - Bilbao's always been quite a safe place. And I don't mean it has an "acceptable level of violence", the term used by Margaret Thatcher to play down the situation in the northern climes of the Wet Rock in the late 70s/early 80s. No, quite safe, I've always thought.

Woke up with a sore throat this morning. But that often happens, even though I haven't smoked for years and years, and it's quickly remedied with a water + salt gargle. Why use the blue/pink/green commercial gargles? If you want your breath to smell fresh, just brush your teeth, John.

And so to work. It's been almost two weeks since I translated anything that didn't contain the word "coronavirus".

[Edited at 2020-03-25 07:35 GMT]
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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:47
Member
Spanish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
And ... Mar 25

... today's offering for anyone at a loose end:


Reading Gaol, 22 January 1896


Dearest dearest Mosie,

Here I am in a simply hateful little cell in Reading. Designed by Helen Keller, by the looks of it. Every day I walk the treadmill, pick the oakum, and sew mail bags. I had been sewing some absolutely delightful little patterns until an utter brute of a warder came up and said: “’Ere, Wilde, wot you effin' fink you’re effin' doin' stitch
... See more
... today's offering for anyone at a loose end:


Reading Gaol, 22 January 1896


Dearest dearest Mosie,

Here I am in a simply hateful little cell in Reading. Designed by Helen Keller, by the looks of it. Every day I walk the treadmill, pick the oakum, and sew mail bags. I had been sewing some absolutely delightful little patterns until an utter brute of a warder came up and said: “’Ere, Wilde, wot you effin' fink you’re effin' doin' stitchin' effin' angels into them effin' bags?”

Oh Mosie, the dandy of the Dorchester no longer. Adieu to the toast of Tottenham Court Road. Gone are the days when the crème de la crème of London Town admitted me to their parlours and dining rooms with carte blanche to be entertainingly rude and foppish to all and sundry. I say, do you remember that weekend at Lord Caernarvon’s little place in the country when we were gorging ourselves on canapés and swilling back Veuve Clicquot by the case like there was no tomorrow, and that dreadful hatchet-faced woman flounced up in all her haughtiness and said: “Mr Wilde, you are drunk, Sir, revoltingly drunk.” Do you? And do you remember how I sent her packing? “And you, Madam, are ugly, revoltingly ugly, but at least tomorrow I shall be sober.” Ah, the wit, Mosie, the biting satire, the mordant repartee, all lost and gone forever since they sent me to this awful place. And the plays, the novels, the poetry. The Importance of Being Earnest. A Woman of No Importance. Lady Windermere’s Fan. Do you recall I was originally going to make it “Lady Windermere’s Pussy”, but there was a problem with the censors, so I had to write in all that ludicrous stuff about fans. Yes, here I languish, and my only crime some harmless woo-wooing and shirt-lifting now and again in Victoria’s stifling, taboo-ridden realm.

There are other poor souls in here who are much worse off than me, though. One rather large gentleman I’ve become extremely fond of. As muscly and exciting as those dockers I told you I used to spy on from behind pallets on the wharves of Dublin. We first met in the showers. He happened to be standing behind me as I bent down to pick up the soap.

“You’re Wilde, aintcha? Well, you oughta effin' know I’m the effin' Daddy in 'ere,” he told me with a terrible tender roughness that sliced through my very heartstrings.

I was trembling as I cried: "Yes, o yes, I'm Wilde all right. I'm your very own wild boy. And I'd be just enchanted to play Mummy to your Daddy.”

It was in Reading Gaol, Mosie, that despite the terrible misery of the place I discovered the true meaning of doing Her Majesty’s Pleasure. Certainly brought the tears to my eyes, I can tell you. Woo, woo!

I knew he was one of us, Mosie, the very first time I clapped eyes on him. "That fellow's got to swing," I had written in my notes for a special ballad I’m thinking of writing in here. And he certainly does swing, Mosie. Woo, woo! Plus he’s due to be hanged for murder most foul, so unfortunately he’ll be swinging in a rather different way shortly. What a shame.

Did you read about my damnably cruel trial, Mosie? Heavens, it was the most horrendous miscarriage of justice, don’t you know. The full fifteen rounds with the Marquis of Queensbury. And Lord Carson too. Dear old Carson - I remember him from when Mamma sent me to study at TCD, you know. The carefree days of gowns, mortarboards, cloisters, Georgian door arches and red brick in Dublin, and then years later the monster is responsible for my institutionalisation.

“Are you a sodomite, Sir?” Carson asked me in court for the prosecution.

“The lives of human beings may take a variety of directions,” I defended myself. “One little piggy may go to market, another little piggy may eat roast beef and so on, whereas this particular little piggy may go woo-woo-woo all the way home.”

He chose to ignore this. “Have you practised this unspeakably outrageous, foul and infinitely godless fornicatory activity, Sir?” was the next question.

“My dear fellow,” I replied. “Allow me to put it like this. Sometimes a man has to do what a man has to do, and a boy has to woo what a boy has to woo.”

The judge was by no means impartial, either. “Stand up, Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde,” he rasped. "Your offence does not permit the death penalty to be handed down, but believe me I would have no difficulty whatsoever in donning the black cap in that case. I would personally prefer you to be well hung.”

I just couldn’t resist it, Mosie. I was in there faster than a speeding bullet. My last jibe in public, if you like:

“I too, your honour," I simpered. “You simply wouldn't believe how many pretty men have told me the same. I bet you say that to all the boys with quiffs who appear before you. Woo, woo!”

After he had passed sentence, I was asked if I had anything to say.

“Of course I have,” I cried. “I have two vitally important things to say … “ – and, dear Mosie, a great hush descended on the room – “I wish firstly to say in connection with my trial that it is no exaggeration whatsoever to state that the clerk of the court has an absolutely darling little wig, and further that I would be simply thrilled if the splendidly handsome gentleman two rows from the back in the delightful pink and turquoise waistcoat could see his way to paying me a visit some day at Pentonville.”





[Edited at 2020-03-25 09:23 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-03-25 09:37 GMT]
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Zibow Retailleau  Identity Verified
Mauritius
Local time: 18:47
Member (2019)
English to Chinese
+ ...
a complete lockdown Mar 25

Last evening, the PM of Mauritius announced a complete lockdown. It includes supermarkets, bakeries, pharmacies, everything and will last until 31 March! Excluding today, that's 6 days of no new supplies and the announcement came with no prior warning.

Later last night, there was a break-in at a supermarket. If they don't lift this nonsensical order soon, more break-ins are bound to follow.


Brian Joyce
Mervyn Henderson
Lingua 5B
Christel Zipfel
 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 16:47
Member (2009)
German to Serbian
+ ...
Agree. Mar 25

Zibow Retailleau wrote:
Later last night, there was a break-in at a supermarket. If they don't lift this nonsensical order soon, more break-ins are bound to follow.


I was also thinking burglars and thieves would see all this as an opportunity (if they don't care about police or prison, why would they about a virus. We are all in prison right now anyway). Besides, a policeman should always keep at least 2 meter distance from a thief right, so how will detention happen?

Diary March 25

Went to get groceries. Everybody is under masks so people cannot hear each other well as everybody speaks through a mask.

- Two loafs of bread please.
- Excuse me Ma'am, what did you just say, repeat please?
- Two loafs of bread please.
- Smaller or bigger ones?
- Excuse me, I did not hear you well, can you repeat?
- Smaller or bigger ones?
- Oh the smaller ones please.
- Thank you Ma'am.
- Excuse me, I did not hear you well, can you say again?
- I said: thank you Ma'am.
- Oh thank you as well, bye and stay well.

Another thing it's quite psychologically odd not seeing people faces, they say eyes are windows to the soul, that's OK but I need to see the whole face to know what a person is truly thinking, to see micro-expressions etc. Very odd, as if I landed on a different planet.



[Edited at 2020-03-25 10:43 GMT]


Mervyn Henderson
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:47
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Spanish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Everything? Mar 25

Doesn't make much sense to shut everything down with no notice. Hospitals too? Those in the know will have nipped out just ahead of the order, to stock up at the supermarkets and the pharmacies, of course.

[Edited at 2020-03-25 10:44 GMT]


 

Zibow Retailleau  Identity Verified
Mauritius
Local time: 18:47
Member (2019)
English to Chinese
+ ...
. Mar 25

@Mervyn

No, I think hospitals are still running, at least the one where few dozen coronavirus patients are being treated. But other than hospitals, yes, everything. I find it unbelievable too. Shops were closed at 2:30 p.m. and the announcement was made in the evening. Not even given a chance of panic-buying. Maybe some people indeed knew beforehand, the privileged few. I don't think they need to worry about supplies, though.
... See more
@Mervyn

No, I think hospitals are still running, at least the one where few dozen coronavirus patients are being treated. But other than hospitals, yes, everything. I find it unbelievable too. Shops were closed at 2:30 p.m. and the announcement was made in the evening. Not even given a chance of panic-buying. Maybe some people indeed knew beforehand, the privileged few. I don't think they need to worry about supplies, though.

@Lingua 5B

I agree with you. I'm afraid burglars now have a carpe diem mentality. I've been living in Mauritius for a few months. Not until today did I feel the need to look up the emergency numbers. Since the first cases, I've noticed a change in people's behaviour. They are more, well, passionate. I know several people here had their houses broken in, one by men armed with machetes. Where I live is not a rich ghetto. Still, I'm cautious.

[Edited at 2020-03-25 13:24 GMT]
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Gabriella Vento  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:47
Member (2015)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Great summary! Just one thing has been left out: build a (closer) bond with your children Mar 25

ph-b wrote:

(random order)

- Read those twenty or so books left from those bought last year but not opened yet,

- Learn how to use one or two software programmes,

- Tidy up the loft (as in: clear out years of rubbish),

- Think of new ways to get clients (there will still be clients when that thing is over),

- Fix that flipping kitchen drawer,

- Register with an on-line translation-related course,

- If none available, pick a MOOC course,

- Finish that crossword magazine bought in... 2018 (2/3rds to complete yet),

- Design a new bed for the flower garden and look up forgotten traditional vegs for the veg patch.

Anything else?


[Edited at 2020-03-15 17:45 GMT]


 

RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:47
German to English
This was posted on LinkedIn yesterday Mar 25

Heard a Dr. on TV say to get through the boredom of self-isolation we should finish things we start and thus have more calm in our lives.

So I looked through the house to find all the things I've started but hadn't finished...so I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of Chardonnay, a bodle of Baileys, a butle of wum, tha mainder of Valiumun srciptuns, an a box a chocletz. Yu haf no idr how feckin fablus I feel rite now. Sned this to all who need inner piss.

... See more
Heard a Dr. on TV say to get through the boredom of self-isolation we should finish things we start and thus have more calm in our lives.

So I looked through the house to find all the things I've started but hadn't finished...so I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of Chardonnay, a bodle of Baileys, a butle of wum, tha mainder of Valiumun srciptuns, an a box a chocletz. Yu haf no idr how feckin fablus I feel rite now. Sned this to all who need inner piss.

))
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IrinaN
Lingua 5B
Sandra & Kenneth Grossman
 

IrinaN
United States
Local time: 09:47
English to Russian
+ ...
Get a cat! Mar 25

Another circulating theory:

1. Cats are natural hosts of some types of CV (FCoV) with the genetic structure close to the current monster. It has never hurt human before and still does not. Not lethal for cats either. 2. Therefore, cat owners have been subjected to "silent immunization", which could possibly make them more resistant to COVID-19.

Gosh, this is one theory I'd love to believe in.

... See more
Another circulating theory:

1. Cats are natural hosts of some types of CV (FCoV) with the genetic structure close to the current monster. It has never hurt human before and still does not. Not lethal for cats either. 2. Therefore, cat owners have been subjected to "silent immunization", which could possibly make them more resistant to COVID-19.

Gosh, this is one theory I'd love to believe in.

Even if not, still, get a cat. They will help you in your isolation a lot. In fact, this is a current trend in the US - to adopt or at least foster shelter pets. My only hope is that the same people will not be returning them back to shelters when the lockdown is over... But at least that will save some cats from lab torture, since the first part of this theory is true.
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RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:47
German to English
That's so funny! Mar 25

IrinaN wrote: Another circulating theory:

1. Cats are natural hosts of some types of CV (FCoV) with the genetic structure close to the current monster. It has never hurt human before and still does not. Not lethal for cats either. 2. Therefore, cat owners have been subjected to "silent immunization", which could possibly make them more resistant to COVID-19.


It's like saying, I get a cold a couple of times a year so I've been subjected to "silent immunization" because the common cold viruses are also coronaviruses. Somehow I think this can be safely locked away with all the other coronavirus myths.

My four dogs would probably make a cat's life difficult, but at least you have to go outside if you have dogs.


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:47
Member
Spanish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Thursday 26 March Mar 26

Kind of superfluous to tell you I went downstairs to get the paper and throw out the rubbish. So I won’t bother today, because you knew that already. Although I don’t think I’d mentioned the rubbish before. It’s called multi-tasking.

“More deaths than in China”, squawks the headline. 738 dead in Spain in one day alone (have they got that right?), Italy 6,800, Spain 3,434, China 3,281. Forget the GDP rankings – now we’re down to coffin-counting. The main picture, in f
... See more
Kind of superfluous to tell you I went downstairs to get the paper and throw out the rubbish. So I won’t bother today, because you knew that already. Although I don’t think I’d mentioned the rubbish before. It’s called multi-tasking.

“More deaths than in China”, squawks the headline. 738 dead in Spain in one day alone (have they got that right?), Italy 6,800, Spain 3,434, China 3,281. Forget the GDP rankings – now we’re down to coffin-counting. The main picture, in fact, is four chaps in white suits lowering a coffin into a grave in Vitoria. All good pre-breakfast stuff. And a little plug for the local authorities down below: the Diputaciones (provincial councils) have been more flexible than the state in tax deferral. Well, that’s a relief. A tax relief, in fact. I feel better already.

Busied myself with the post-return cleaning. Washed my gloved hands thoroughly. Took them off and washed the insides, and left them out to dry. Put bleach on a cloth and then washed down door handles, the gas heating button, this computer and, er, the keyboard … (oh, bugger, just a minute … there, done now), my keys to the door, even the two 20 euro coins in change I’d been given and had put in my breast pocket (difficult getting stuff out of your trouser pockets with latex gloves on, isn’t it?), and I even gave the newspaper a wipe where I’d touched it, for God’s sake … Finally I stood there going through it all in my head, checking it all off, and I’d dealt with everything this bloody virus might have touched. Suddenly I realised there was one thing it had touched that I could do nothing about: my soul.



Did you like that? The soul bit, I mean. Quite dramatic, I thought. It’s like one of David Caruso’s lines. In CSI Miami, you know. Nobody can do the cool sunglasses routine like David Caruso. Sure, the ambiance of those Gucci forensic gloves and special Armani lab goggles helps, like Miami Vice updated to the 21st century, but he’s the big star for that reason only, and although the other CSI boss men, little Gary Siniese in New York and chubby Paul Guilfoyle in Las Vegas, have to wear lab coats every so often, you’ll never see Caruso in a white coat. They say it’s in his contract. No lab coats. Just the sunglasses. Nobody can do shades as coolly as David Caruso can. Other actors learn their lines, but David Caruso just stands in front of his bathroom mirror for a few hours every day slowly taking those shades off and putting them on again.

They blend a couple of Caruso trademarks and lines into a whole routine. For instance, there he is with his hands crossed over his crotch looking down at the ground, always positioned skew-whiff to whoever he's talking to, occasionally raising his head a little to look at people or staring up at the sky, but mostly he concentrates on the ground all mysterious, and looks at everyone askance. And they give him these deadpan lines. Somebody might say, for instance: “It’s a tough world out there for a 20-year old black kid, Horatio.” He’s been staring up at the sky as this is said, and then he slowly takes off those shades (or slowly puts them on) and says: “It’s a tough world out there for all of us, Alex.” Or the suspect they’re questioning shouts: “I don’t care, see? You can’t prove a thing," and Caruso just puts on those goddamn shades of his, looks at him up and sideways and says: "You may care sooner than you know, Mister."

But that’s not all – as soon as he’s said these non sequiturs, he instantly walks off out of shot. Well, I say walk, but you watch next time. I really don’t know how they do it. Either he's on a kind of trolley tied to a rope around his waist which somebody pulls to the side at the critical moment, or he doesn't actually walk, and just shifts his upper body to the side off-camera. It’s a mystery. Like why women borrow your disposable razors and put them back with the plastic cap on, thinking you won’t notice. And you don’t. Not until you slice half your frigging cheek off the next day, and find the razor’s black with armpit hairs.


[Edited at 2020-03-26 07:42 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-03-26 07:47 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-03-26 09:31 GMT]
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Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:47
Member (2012)
French to English
@Mervyn Mar 26

Loved the soul bit!

 

Erika Ballardin  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:47
Member
English to Italian
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Maybe lockdown is working... Mar 26

After three days in a row the number of infected people "seems" to lower in Italy.
The news is spread with caution.
The lockdown might be working...


Mervyn Henderson
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
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Spanish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
@IrinaN - Cat burglars Mar 26

Breaking news – at least one hundred cats were stolen in a daring robbery last night at a well-known cattery outside Bilbao, presumably to be taken off and sold as furry Covid-19 deterrents on a burgeoning black cat market. Or rather, a cat black market, as the animals targeted were not restricted to black cats only. Details are still sketchy, but the feline booty apparently included Shorthairs, Longhairs, Wirehairs, Siamese, Norwegian Rex, Sphynx, Cornish Rex, in all sizes and colours. Catter... See more
Breaking news – at least one hundred cats were stolen in a daring robbery last night at a well-known cattery outside Bilbao, presumably to be taken off and sold as furry Covid-19 deterrents on a burgeoning black cat market. Or rather, a cat black market, as the animals targeted were not restricted to black cats only. Details are still sketchy, but the feline booty apparently included Shorthairs, Longhairs, Wirehairs, Siamese, Norwegian Rex, Sphynx, Cornish Rex, in all sizes and colours. Cattery employee Aintzane Iturriaga sobbed bitterly to camera following the large-scale pussy pilfering, pointing to row upon row of empty cages.

...

Subscribe for the full story …
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