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Corona quarantine diary
Thread poster: Mervyn Henderson

Chiara Gavasso  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:40
Member (2012)
English to Italian
+ ...
Stay in, stay safe, keep calm and focused Mar 17

Thank you, fellow translators, for your comments.
I live in a small town in the north-east of Italy, and my routine hasn't changed much after the lockdown. I'm still working from home, my husband and I are looking forward to walking our dog or going to the supermarket for shopping. Yesterday I brought some food to my parents and my 96 y.o. grandma: talking to my mum from the street while she was on her balcony and being aware that I couldn't go to her and give her a hug or a kiss seemed un
... See more
Thank you, fellow translators, for your comments.
I live in a small town in the north-east of Italy, and my routine hasn't changed much after the lockdown. I'm still working from home, my husband and I are looking forward to walking our dog or going to the supermarket for shopping. Yesterday I brought some food to my parents and my 96 y.o. grandma: talking to my mum from the street while she was on her balcony and being aware that I couldn't go to her and give her a hug or a kiss seemed unbelievable, but that's necessary now. I'm a long-distance runner and, despite solo running's not forbidden, I'm not running. For me "stay home and go out only for necessary reasons" means only one thing. Running is part of my life, I enjoy it a lot, it helps me relax and disconnect from anything. But it's not a primary need and sacrificing it now is nothing compared to the huge sacrifice that so many people directly involved in this emergency are making. I'm working out at home, I'm practicing yoga every morning now - it's really amazing how it helps me kick off my day and provides me some good energy. I'm doing the cardio workout I did in the gym at home now, I'm trying to eat clean (despite my innate craving for sugary food and carbs!), and to keep calm. I'm enjoying the cleaner air - pollution's decreased significantly -, the spring coming in, the birds chirping and no other external noise, I'm enjoying saying hello to and smiling at the very few unknown people I meet on the street. It's being difficult, everything I hear or read is related to the coronavirus, I'm afraid. On top of this, I don't have so much work, and I think it may be like this for long. It takes a lot of effort and constant personal and mental discipline to go through this difficult time. But I know it'll make me grow and be stronger.
We're (more or less) all in the same boat - connecting with other translators probably helps us feel better.
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expressisverbis
Giusy Nardelli
Sabrina Bruna
Elizabeth Tamblin
María Paula Gorgone
Sandra & Kenneth Grossman
Josephine Cassar
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:40
Member (2018)
French to English
masks Mar 17

Here in France, masks are for healthcare workers and infected people only, since there are not enough to go round.
My understanding is that the masks are great when you are already sick, they prevent your spittle landing on someone and infecting them. Not 100% effective but much better than nothing. A friend has started making them - the first for the mother of a small baby who was frightened of passing it on to her baby. I'm thinking I shall make one for myself and whoever else might wa
... See more
Here in France, masks are for healthcare workers and infected people only, since there are not enough to go round.
My understanding is that the masks are great when you are already sick, they prevent your spittle landing on someone and infecting them. Not 100% effective but much better than nothing. A friend has started making them - the first for the mother of a small baby who was frightened of passing it on to her baby. I'm thinking I shall make one for myself and whoever else might want one. Only problem is time because I still have loads of work. Not quite sure why deadlines are as usual when it's obvious that museum brochures are not urgent, but I'm happy to have work still.
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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Business as usual here Mar 17

I started the day with a swim in the town pool, and then I cycled to the optician's for an eye test and popped into the supermarket to buy food for supper. When my daughter came home from school we walked to the other supermarket to buy the things I forgot earlier, and then I cooked supper for the whole family who came over. All while doing a full day of translation. And all without mask or marigolds.

Tomorrow I'm going mountain biking after work while my daughter goes kayaking.... See more
I started the day with a swim in the town pool, and then I cycled to the optician's for an eye test and popped into the supermarket to buy food for supper. When my daughter came home from school we walked to the other supermarket to buy the things I forgot earlier, and then I cooked supper for the whole family who came over. All while doing a full day of translation. And all without mask or marigolds.

Tomorrow I'm going mountain biking after work while my daughter goes kayaking.

I guess we're taking a different approach in the UK at the moment.

I do wonder whether cooping people up in their homes will do more harm than good. Letting everyone out to walk the dog and exercise the children might be tricky in a city, I suppose, but surely the house arrest doesn't apply in the countryside too? At the very least, someone has to work the fields and feed the cattle...
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Liviu-Lee Roth
Kevin Fulton
Mervyn Henderson
Christine Andersen
P.L.F.Persio
 

Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:40
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
quarantine diary Mar 18

Here in Boston, the city has shut down completely. Cinemas, department stores, restaurants, pubs, libraries, schools, universities.
A few days ago, there were people in the streets. Now it is a ghost town. Our real estate agent has asked us to report "voluntarily" if anyone in the building has contracted the virus. They are thinking of stopping all public transportation. My only "journey" is three blocks away to a supermarket, a cautious twice a week, garbed in mask and gloves. Starbucks w
... See more
Here in Boston, the city has shut down completely. Cinemas, department stores, restaurants, pubs, libraries, schools, universities.
A few days ago, there were people in the streets. Now it is a ghost town. Our real estate agent has asked us to report "voluntarily" if anyone in the building has contracted the virus. They are thinking of stopping all public transportation. My only "journey" is three blocks away to a supermarket, a cautious twice a week, garbed in mask and gloves. Starbucks will only provide take-out. People are buying guns in droves (what do you expect, it's America).
Meanwhile, it could be worse. I work on line and via Skype. This week I am working with clients in China, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, the UK, Lithuania and Greece.
No need to go outside and exercise, I have a home gym. Meanwhile, there is the Internet, Amazon Prime and Netflix (movies streamed online by subscription), about 5,000 books, 2,000 music CDs, several hundred DVDs, the radio, our wine collection. And my wife and I have each other. We wash our hands frequently (Japanese are lysophobes of the first water) and take our temperatures three times a day. We are hunkered down for the long run. Outside there is a deathly silence.
It is estimated that eventually unemployment in the US will reach 20 %, a figure not seen since the Great Depression. Millions of people without work, money and food.
Meanwhile tens of thousands of "migrants" from Central America on the Southern border are clamoring to be let in to partake of our free food, housing and medical care. They are in for a shock (as I'm sure are the some 50,000 refugees on Greece's doorstep).
In the next several weeks, the US Government will send USD 1,000 to every US citizen to tide them over.
This cannot end well.
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Mervyn Henderson
Dan Lucas
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:40
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Gun stores ... Mar 18

... still open for business, then. That's encouraging. Enough to make Charlton Heston's cold dead fingers twitch in their cold dead clutch.

P.L.F.Persio
 

Susanna Martoni  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:40
Member (2009)
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
Hard hard story in Italy Mar 18

Good morning to everybody.

As you certainly know in Italy the situation is serious and dangerous.

Today the number of infected persons is more tha 31,000 and data seem not be improving, nor numbers decreasing.
Today's newpapers open with an article about Pope Francis (be together, spiritually and think of your family as a precious resourse), with some stories about the many young people who are in the hospital at the moment (also babies) and fortunately several po
... See more
Good morning to everybody.

As you certainly know in Italy the situation is serious and dangerous.

Today the number of infected persons is more tha 31,000 and data seem not be improving, nor numbers decreasing.
Today's newpapers open with an article about Pope Francis (be together, spiritually and think of your family as a precious resourse), with some stories about the many young people who are in the hospital at the moment (also babies) and fortunately several positive experiences.

I especially like the title and content of a series of articles titled "La prima cosa bella" (The first good thing) where we can appreciate beauty, in general. People helping, things improving, sense of life).

We are and remain at home. Practically, only supermarkets and pharmacies are open. Most of the companies use forms of support such as the temporary redundancy fund because are stopping activities, schools are of course closed (online and remote learning systems).

I am working at a patent right now, but the professional situation makes me think in pessimistic terms. The government is supporting workers and people by also introducing new doctors and healthcare assistants, money, resources, aids.
For our work, and freelance professional activities in general, 600,00 Euros should be available for each of us, this and next month.

We have to be strong strong strong and hold on tightly.

Un saluto a tutti!
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Christine Andersen
Sabrina Bruna
Chiara Gavasso
expressisverbis
 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:40
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
In the rural west of the UK, a slow turning inwards Mar 18

Here in rural west Wales, the economy is overwhelmingly dependent on two industries: agriculture and tourism. The former seems to be holding up, but the latter is going to be hit harder than ever before.

There have been announcements in the media of coronavirus in Pembrokeshire, but I have heard no word-of-mouth reports as yet. For year-round residents, some things are shutting down indefinitely; friends tell me that yoga classes, singing, and the weekly circle dance group have all
... See more
Here in rural west Wales, the economy is overwhelmingly dependent on two industries: agriculture and tourism. The former seems to be holding up, but the latter is going to be hit harder than ever before.

There have been announcements in the media of coronavirus in Pembrokeshire, but I have heard no word-of-mouth reports as yet. For year-round residents, some things are shutting down indefinitely; friends tell me that yoga classes, singing, and the weekly circle dance group have all come to a halt. I suspect the farmer's market in St Dogmaels, voted best food market in Britain in the 2016 BBC Food and Farming Awards, will have to close soon.

During the tourism season (roughly late March to late September, but it doesn't really get going until May) I work for one half-day every week at the information centre of our small town, which is run entirely by volunteers and completely self-funded. Unlike myself, most of the other volunteers are retired or semi-retired. Given that they are thus in the "high risk" category, and that a tourist information centre attracts non-locals by definition, yesterday it was decided to suspend the spring opening indefinitely.

On a day-to-day basis, life has not changed much for me. Work-wise, the month of January was very slow in terms of orders received (probably the worst in the past five years), but February was an improvement, and March is looking better again. Japanese clients seem to be gradually recovering, and I am still getting requests from some European clients. My fingers are firmly crossed.

Our family is gradually implementing social distancing, but the wild cards are the two schools our children attend. I can see why they haven't closed, but I suspect it is only a matter of time. Our house are isolated at the end of a long track, surrounded by woods and fields, so once the children are corralled we would normally have a good chance of avoiding infection. Shopping would then be the most likely vector for transmission, and shopping for ourselves and others cannot be avoided, as my elderly mother has begun to self-isolate and she needs our support.

As I write, the roundabouts and roadsides around Cardigan and Newport are full of daffodils, intermingled with snowdrops in the more shaded areas. Elsewhere, all that can be seen at this stage are the buds of the pussy willow, curtains of catkins, and some early celandines.

When April and May come the woods and hedgerows will burst into a mass of flower, as will the 185-mile length of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park coastal path. The field behind my home will briefly become an undulating shimmer of bluebells, with a few photogenic hill ponies scattered for effect, as it does every spring. It's sad to think that very few visitors are likely to enjoy this seasonal bounty in 2020.

Regards,
Dan
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Susanna Martoni
Chris S
Oksana Weiss
Mina Chen
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:40
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Process Mar 18

I suppose a couple of weeks ago the Italians trapped at home were looking across at Spain in astonishment as we all wondered idly here over a wine or two at the local watering hole about what was going to happen, because you don't really believe the lockdown until it comes.

Now we're in the same boat as Italy, a boat that's not sailing anywhere, I read about Chris and the swimming pool and Dan and the yoga classes, when they're kind of still on the brink of all this, as it were, and
... See more
I suppose a couple of weeks ago the Italians trapped at home were looking across at Spain in astonishment as we all wondered idly here over a wine or two at the local watering hole about what was going to happen, because you don't really believe the lockdown until it comes.

Now we're in the same boat as Italy, a boat that's not sailing anywhere, I read about Chris and the swimming pool and Dan and the yoga classes, when they're kind of still on the brink of all this, as it were, and I think, God, that was us until not so long ago. Sooner or later Boris is going to have to do the same, and it'll be a shock when it comes.


...


I know I've flogged the dog thing unnecessarily, but here's another anecdote: a man in Bilbao was questioned by police after he'd been reported for "walking his dog" on eight separate occasions one morning (somebody's on lookout duty from the balcony all right).

[Edited at 2020-03-18 09:31 GMT]
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Sabrina Bruna
Susanna Martoni
Apolonia Dermit
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Country life? Mar 18

Mervyn Henderson wrote:
I read about Chris and the swimming pool and Dan and the yoga classes, when they're kind of still on the brink of all this, as it were, and I think, God, that was us until not so long ago. Sooner or later Boris is going to have to do the same, and it'll be a shock when it comes.

Fair point. We know the proverbial is about to hit the fan, but for now it's largely a case of keep calm and carry on.

What's happening outside the cities in Spain and Italy? Is rural life not continuing a little more normally? Are there really roadblocks and snitches on every corner?

Not for the first time, I'm so glad we live in the sticks and not in a flat five floors up in the heart of a city. Even so, I'm dreading having two teenagers hanging around for weeks, lovely though they can be.

Can't help thinking there'll be more suicides and murders than deaths prevented...

[Edited at 2020-03-18 10:16 GMT]


Dan Lucas
Kaspars Melkis
Laura Kingdon
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:40
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Real reports? Mar 18

So far I've only heard about the Covid-19 process from what I've heard on the news or read, but little or nothing from someone who's been through it and come out the other side. The only personal report I've seen says it starts with a sore throat and a fever, which I knew anyway, but he's in hospital now, and doesn't say any more about it, apart from that he feels fine now at the hospital. He's 22.

 

Oksana Weiss  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:40
Member (2011)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
Hallo to rural UK from rural Germany Mar 18

When it is over, Dan, I promise to come and do the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park coastal path (at least now I know about it!). For now, while the schools are closed but it is not yet prohibitted to go outside, I do Nordic Walking with my son in the woods on the hills. We meet no one on the way, apart from occasional hare or deer, and you are right: the spring is coming and the nature is awakening, full of scents, colours and sounds. This is the best cure from negative thoughts, the way to cl... See more
When it is over, Dan, I promise to come and do the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park coastal path (at least now I know about it!). For now, while the schools are closed but it is not yet prohibitted to go outside, I do Nordic Walking with my son in the woods on the hills. We meet no one on the way, apart from occasional hare or deer, and you are right: the spring is coming and the nature is awakening, full of scents, colours and sounds. This is the best cure from negative thoughts, the way to clear the mind from disturbing thoughts and to calm oneself down. Everything is going to be all right, eventually.Collapse


Susanna Martoni
Dan Lucas
Mina Chen
P.L.F.Persio
 

Anthony Keily
Local time: 16:40
Member
Italian to English
+ ...
@Chris Mar 18

I live in rural Lombardy. In the first week or so of restricted movement (before full lockdown) there was a lot of disregard for pleas to stay at home. The result has been (and nobody doubts it's a result) an explosion in infections. We have a (relatively) lower rate of infection in my province, but things are still bad and we're having to set up emergency hospital facilities to deal with the flood of critical cases being brought in from elsewhere in region.

Testing is no longer ava
... See more
I live in rural Lombardy. In the first week or so of restricted movement (before full lockdown) there was a lot of disregard for pleas to stay at home. The result has been (and nobody doubts it's a result) an explosion in infections. We have a (relatively) lower rate of infection in my province, but things are still bad and we're having to set up emergency hospital facilities to deal with the flood of critical cases being brought in from elsewhere in region.

Testing is no longer available and those ill are just being told to stay at home unless critical. These include members of my wife's family and my friends. What is going on in our hospitals is beyond anything you can imagine. Nothing like this has ever been seen or experienced in the last 70 years. In Bergamo, 50 km down the road, people are dying too fast to be buried. A field hospital has been set up next to the existing state-of-the-art facility, but it's still not enough. PPE has run out for doctors and to date 2600 healthcare staff have been infected.

Lombardy, like Wuhan, was unfortunate enough to discover a massive cluster at a point where containment was the only option. The situation in the rest of Europe is not comparable to Lombardy (with the possible exception of Madrid), but that does not mean things will not get bad if restrictions on movement are not enforced.

How you act in the window you now have will determine how many old people (and not only) will die in the coming weeks and how many doctors and nurses will fall ill.

Is it really necessary to stay cooped up at home? Yes.
Isn't it healthier, if you live in the countryside, to go out for a little air and exercise? No.

This is not a time for experimenting with different approaches, philosophies or lifestyle choices. It's a time for putting individual behaviour aside and for shared courage and responsibility. Looking at the UK from here, most of us imagine something truly terrible is on its way. I hope for your sake we're all wrong, and if we are, please have a chuckle at our continental alarmism!

But just remember there is no plan B and these days and the actions you take in them cannot be wound back.

So you're biking and your daughter's kayaking. I'm just hoping I don't fall ill because there's no more place in the ICUs and I don't want my daughter to have to watch me struggle for breath like a landed fish.
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Mervyn Henderson
Andrew Morris
Sabrina Bruna
Chiara Gavasso
Philippe Etienne
Ann Marie Bohan
Fatine777
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:40
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Anthony ... Mar 18

... better copy Boris in on that one. Well said.

And Leo, while you're at it.

[Edited at 2020-03-18 13:48 GMT]


 

Zibow Retailleau  Identity Verified
Mauritius
Local time: 18:40
Member (2019)
English to Chinese
+ ...
on an African island Mar 18

According to the Mauritian government, there aren't any cases in the country. Life seems normal. No one is wearing a mask; handshakes and 'faire la bise' are still going on. However, the toilet roll shelves in the supermarket which I frequent have been bare for two days, and the school in which my husband works might close up.

If there's an outbreak here, I will be more worried about the underprivileged. But don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that it's OK for people who can afford m
... See more
According to the Mauritian government, there aren't any cases in the country. Life seems normal. No one is wearing a mask; handshakes and 'faire la bise' are still going on. However, the toilet roll shelves in the supermarket which I frequent have been bare for two days, and the school in which my husband works might close up.

If there's an outbreak here, I will be more worried about the underprivileged. But don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that it's OK for people who can afford medical bills to get sick. I just wonder if people who have nothing get the virus, who will take care of them.

I hope we can all ride this out. Best wishes!

[Edited at 2020-03-18 13:49 GMT]
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P.L.F.Persio
 

Andrew Morris
ProZ.com team
Meanwhile in Barcelona Mar 18

Total lockdown here too. We could in fact sneak out as we live on the edge of the city, right next to a massive natural park, which is four times the city's surface area. But we don't. Perhaps civic consciousness, or perhaps we're just afraid of what the neighbours might think. We're aware that we have a relatively big flat, with a balcony, and a terrace on the roof, which makes it much easier than it is for whole families cooped up in one of millions of smallish flats. But above all we're prett... See more
Total lockdown here too. We could in fact sneak out as we live on the edge of the city, right next to a massive natural park, which is four times the city's surface area. But we don't. Perhaps civic consciousness, or perhaps we're just afraid of what the neighbours might think. We're aware that we have a relatively big flat, with a balcony, and a terrace on the roof, which makes it much easier than it is for whole families cooped up in one of millions of smallish flats. But above all we're pretty used to working from home anyway, and to not going out that much.

From what I can see from my window, there's very little traffic out there. And the odd police drone hovering in the sky...
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