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Corona quarantine diary
Thread poster: Mervyn Henderson

ph-b
France
Local time: 16:25
Member (Jan 2020)
English to French
+ ...
"from someone who's been through it and come out the other side" Mar 18

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

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.


A 73-year-old man, who recovered, tells his story here: https://www.franceinter.fr/emissions/le-journal-de-13h. Click on "1h" at the bottom of the picture of the empty street and go to 31:30 (bottom right of the screen). It says it stops there but it actually keeps going. The testimony starts at 32:30.

Note that it is in French.

Edit: Sorry, the link isn't working.Try this one: https://www.franceinter.fr/info and start again from Click on "1h" and go to 32:52.

[Edited at 2020-03-18 16:08 GMT]


Mervyn Henderson
 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Guns Mar 18

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

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


A virus shot has a very different meaning in the US. 😁


Chris S
P.L.F.Persio
María Paula Gorgone
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
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Choices Mar 18

Anthony Keily wrote:
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.

While I understand these are stressful times, there's no need for a sermon...

I would argue that the courageous and responsible thing is to carry on as normal, taking sensible precautions, and not contribute to the hysteria.

Outdoor exercise cannot possibly increase the spread of the disease.

I'm not in a position to come up with a cure, so keeping myself fit and healthy so I can continue to support my family and the economy, while avoiding direct contact with the old and infirm, is my contribution. If everyone did that...


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
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Healthier Mar 18

Anthony Keily wrote:

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.



Getting fresh air and exercise is obviously healthier, which, I presume, is why for example France allows it as long as you carry a form and keep a distance from other people. The virus is not going to jump 3 metres from one person to another in open air.

Italy and Spain have chosen a more authoritarian approach, but that doesn't mean it's healthier or less risky. It just means these governments are more authoritarian.


P.L.F.Persio
Sabine Braun
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Erika Ballardin  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:25
Member
English to Italian
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my quarantine Mar 18

I live in a medium size town in the north-east of Italy, not too close to the second focus of infection which saw the outbreak of the virus.
My life keeps going as always, in the sense that, working from home, I didn't go out to reach an office before as well as I'm not doing that now.
My town has seen only three cases of infection, but our hospital has been enforced to become one of the main regional centres where to take care of the increasing number of people infected, at the fore
... See more
I live in a medium size town in the north-east of Italy, not too close to the second focus of infection which saw the outbreak of the virus.
My life keeps going as always, in the sense that, working from home, I didn't go out to reach an office before as well as I'm not doing that now.
My town has seen only three cases of infection, but our hospital has been enforced to become one of the main regional centres where to take care of the increasing number of people infected, at the forefront of this battle.
I'm not particularly worried for the virus, but I abide by the rules of not going out apart for running errands. What worries me are the economic consequences of this protracted lockdown, not only in my country but throughout Europe. I have already noticed a slowing down of jobs coming in, but the worst has yet to come
I miss so much going out...working always from home, I went out for a walk every evening because my mind needs a bit of fresh air...
When our Prime Minister announced these draconian measures, at first we were confused, we hadn't entirely realised yet what that could have meant for our lives. Then we felt shocked and now we live in resignation, partly worried for our beloved ones and because we can't perceive an end to all of this, partly bored when not "trapped".
Now, more than before, I can recall my parents telling me their stories about WWII, when as little children they had to seek refuge from bombing...I know this comparison is not appropriate at all, yet I think it's the only one I can do for my part as I have never had to confront with such a situation in my entire life.
However, not all the evil comes for harming. I have seen pictures of canals in Venice. Without tourists, and big ships and "vaporetti" wandering up and down, they're blue if not transparent. You can see even the bottom of the canals. I would have never said I could see this.
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Chiara Gavasso
 

expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 15:25
Member (2015)
English to Portuguese
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State of emergency Mar 18

Today, Portuguese government wiil decide to declare state of emergency throughout the country.

 

RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:25
German to English
Meanwhile... Mar 18

...in other news, Pennsylvania decided to close all of its liquor stores, i.e., both the state-owned stores and their licensees. Apparently they were cleaned out after the closure was announced. Now that's REALLY going to curb the spread of the virus, because lots of people will now travel to neighboring states to stock up on liquor/spirits. People have been writing in social media about how it's bad enough to be cooped up at home with the kids for weeks on end without being able to have a stiff... See more
...in other news, Pennsylvania decided to close all of its liquor stores, i.e., both the state-owned stores and their licensees. Apparently they were cleaned out after the closure was announced. Now that's REALLY going to curb the spread of the virus, because lots of people will now travel to neighboring states to stock up on liquor/spirits. People have been writing in social media about how it's bad enough to be cooped up at home with the kids for weeks on end without being able to have a stiff drink.

Here in Texas, many liquor stores (you can also buy beer and wine in the supermarkets) are now offering curbside pickup so nobody has to even go into the stores. Way to go. If Governor Abbott tried to close the liquor stores entirely, there would probably be blood on the streets. After all, this is Texas, where there more guns than people (except here in Austin, where there are more dogs than people - a consequence of the city's "no kill" policy), and if there's one thing that unites most Texans, it's the ability to drink vast quantities of alcohol. And to distill and brew it, too: blink here in the Hill Country and you'll miss the news that another microbrewery or distiller (vodka, gin, even whiskey) has opened up just down the road. Tito's Handmade Vodka, distilled here in Austin, is now the #1 vodka in the US, apparently (it also helps that it's gluten-free).

All bars are now closed in Austin, even the famous Broken Spoke, the last honkey tonk establishment. Restaurants are closed, too, but only for dine-in. In fact, Austin residents are being positively encouraged to order pick-up or delivery from local restaurants and food trucks to help make sure they don't go bust and have to lay off staff. So, many wait staff (servers) have now been converted into delivery drivers. Rather to my surprise, a real sense of community feeling and solidarity with threatened businesses and workers is now emerging. This is significant, because around 50% of the food consumed in Texas comes from the restaurants in the state, and tourism and hospitality account for a large proportion of local GDP in Austin.

Otherwise, it's the usual "no gatherings of more than 10 people", so a lot of other shops and services have closed (hairdressers, nail salons, etc.). Those workers who were employed can get benefits, but a lot of them are self-employed and now facing financial disaster. The City is looking at ways to help, and we've also decided to help people we know.

The "lethal lethargy" that informed and underpinned federal government policy for so long seems to have given way to blind panic and "actionisme" at the top. Funny how the US and the UK are still so similar after almost 250 years: dysfunctional, single-issue heads of government who seem to be constitutionally incapable of manning up in a real emergency.
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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:25
Member
Spanish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Wednesday 18 March Mar 18

You can’t say the Spanish government isn’t throwing everything it’s got at this over here. Last week there were “too-little-too-late” malcontents various murmuring in the background, but now they’re only murmuring about the “too late” part of it. Sánchez’s grimly wheeled in the army, the navy and the air force and all their healthcare facilities, the private clinics and hospitals ditto, giving any companies or organisations anywhere 48 hours to report any and all facilities, e... See more
You can’t say the Spanish government isn’t throwing everything it’s got at this over here. Last week there were “too-little-too-late” malcontents various murmuring in the background, but now they’re only murmuring about the “too late” part of it. Sánchez’s grimly wheeled in the army, the navy and the air force and all their healthcare facilities, the private clinics and hospitals ditto, giving any companies or organisations anywhere 48 hours to report any and all facilities, equipment and stocks they might have to the Ministry of Health. And all controlled on the central government’s say-so, which some see as normal, while some nationalists in the Spanish State’s autonomous regions regard it as a virtual coup. Take your pick.


[Edited at 2020-03-18 19:04 GMT]
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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:25
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
A little hasty, perhaps Mar 18

RobinB wrote:
dysfunctional, single-issue heads of government who seem to be constitutionally incapable of manning up in a real emergency.

Would it not be sensible to wait a few months - or even longer - before we jump to politically-tinted conclusions? It's very early days for this crisis. I don't see the UK doing noticeably worse or better than other European countries at this point, nor do I particularly disagree with the government's approach. Every state is trying to find something that works for their own specific set of circumstances, which are changing day by day as part of a protean global situation unprecedented in its scope.

This is not, after all, a competition.

Regards,
Dan


Thomas T. Frost
 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
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No Mar 18

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

Italy and Spain have chosen a more authoritarian approach, but that doesn't mean it's healthier or less risky. It just means these governments are more authoritarian.


Just more infected. I see you don't know these countries well, I do, as I am Italian citizen living in Spain (resident) now blocked in Italy. I recommend to be more informed before stating.

Regards


Josephine Cassar
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Michele Fauble
expressisverbis
 

RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:25
German to English
London's not calling Mar 18

Here's the latest update from the Financial Times about plans to put London on lockdown by this coming weekend:

Officials are "being briefed on plans to close down London — the worst affected part of Britain — as early as Friday, with police being put on standby to prevent the possible looting of deserted town centres.
According to one person briefed on the proposal, there would be a full lockdown of the capital with only one person allowed to leave home at a time, with no
... See more
Here's the latest update from the Financial Times about plans to put London on lockdown by this coming weekend:

Officials are "being briefed on plans to close down London — the worst affected part of Britain — as early as Friday, with police being put on standby to prevent the possible looting of deserted town centres.
According to one person briefed on the proposal, there would be a full lockdown of the capital with only one person allowed to leave home at a time, with no entry to local shopping areas.
Supermarkets would be guarded by police, while pharmacies would be among the few other shops to remain open.
Two officials briefed on the proposals said residents and business would be given just 12 hours’ notice of the new restrictions. They could initially be in place for about a fortnight."

According to the FT article (at https://www.ft.com/content/4648d3d4-693c-11ea-a3c9-1fe6fedcca75 if you can get behind the paywall), this could be followed by a lockdown for the whole country.
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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Informed Mar 18

Angie Garbarino wrote:

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

Italy and Spain have chosen a more authoritarian approach, but that doesn't mean it's healthier or less risky. It just means these governments are more authoritarian.


Just more infected. I see you don't know these countries well, I do, as I am Italian citizen living in Spain (resident) now blocked in Italy. I recommend to be more informed before stating.


If the virus doesn't infect at a distance of two metres in open air, then it helps nobody to make it illegal to be outside, provided that this distance is observed, regardless of how infected the country is. But it may destabilise some people more quickly if they are confined inside than if they were allowed some fresh air and exercise. This could exacerbate depression, violence and suicide and generally make people less able to cope with the stress.

Of course, I know how Italians and Spaniards are (please don't make presumptions about what I know or not based on conjecture, and please don't turn this debate into ad hominem attacks, which would just make everything more unpleasant for everybody), so perhaps the government consider that the two-metre rule will not be respected – i.e. they consider more authoritarian rules necessary than in the North.

I understand your frustration, but it's unfair to take it out on others. None of us wanted this.

[Edited at 2020-03-19 00:29 GMT]


 

RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:25
German to English
Two meter/six foot "rule" Mar 18

This is just an advisory distance, not exact science. The virus can evidently hang around in the air (especially still air) for several hours, so you can keep 2m/6ft away from everybody else and still be infected. It can mitigate the risk, it doesn't remove it.

Angie Garbarino
Michele Fauble
 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Inside/outside Mar 18

RobinB wrote:

This is just an advisory distance, not exact science. The virus can evidently hang around in the air (especially still air) for several hours, so you can keep 2m/6ft away from everybody else and still be infected. It can mitigate the risk, it doesn't remove it.


This is actually a very interesting question. It seems unlikely that the virus could hang around in the air outside for several hours. How would it not be blown away?

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/stephaniemlee/coronavirus-plastic-stainless-steel-surfaces describes some recent experiments:

'The scientists ran a battery of tests with a strain of SARS-CoV-2. They sprayed it into a rotating drum and measured how long it stayed in the air: three hours.'

Three hours in a confined environment. But we're talking open air.

'He also noted that in the open air, viruses tend to dry out from humidity or be killed off by ultraviolet light.'

Has anyone found more information about this? Some countries ban outside exercise, France allows it if you carry a form (as always, paperwork is very important in France), others have no restrictions. Obviously the risk is higher in a crowd in a city than in a sleepy province town. But what do we know for sure?


Laura Kingdon
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:25
Member
Spanish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Thursday 19 March – a right royal virus Mar 19

Went down for the paper. Stairs, but no mask and just the plastic gloves. ‘Basque Country just shy of 1,000 infected, 40 dead and “the worst is yet to come”’, croaks the headline. Golly. I always need my coffee before I do anything in the mornings, but today it mightn’t hurt to throw a shot or two of Jameson’s into the mug of coffee. Or even throw a shot or two of coffee into the mug of Jameson’s. … but no, after this and the coffee it’s down to a round of exercises.
... See more
Went down for the paper. Stairs, but no mask and just the plastic gloves. ‘Basque Country just shy of 1,000 infected, 40 dead and “the worst is yet to come”’, croaks the headline. Golly. I always need my coffee before I do anything in the mornings, but today it mightn’t hurt to throw a shot or two of Jameson’s into the mug of coffee. Or even throw a shot or two of coffee into the mug of Jameson’s. … but no, after this and the coffee it’s down to a round of exercises.

Last night at 8 pm we had the usual round of applause on the balconies for the healthcare workers, although I think it’s generally accepted and appreciated now that there are a lot of people out there working for the common good, and not just in the health service. But if people need their heroes, they also need a villain or two, and it’s difficult to consider a virus as villainous. The most obvious choice, then, is politicians, but Spain has been fed up with most of its politicians for years now, constantly bickering and incapable of forming viable governments, and there isn’t any particular politician who would fit the bill. So, step forward … …

Last night’s nine o’clock news kicked off from the Royal Palace, where King Felipe VI was making his solemn speech to the nation. It was what you would expect, along the lines of: “… we share your pain … dark days ahead … all pull as one … our brave nation … honi soit qui mal y pense … my utmost confidence … stalwart doctors and nurses … tirelessly working … bloody but unbowed … silver lining … we shall overcome … light at the end of the tunnel … you’ll never walk alone …” etc. Don’t get me wrong: it would have been the same from Elizabeth, Gustav, Harald, Willem-Alexander or any of the rest.

The name of the bug, “crown virus”, is rather unfortunate for Felipe. He would most probably have been watching the pre-recorded stint himself at the palace at nine o’clock. Having few neighbours within earshot at the palace, what he wouldn’t have heard as it was aired was the loud banging of saucepans from balconies. Albeit with many exceptions, of course, I tentatively venture that this generally occurred up and down the country, too, as I doubt it was just the Basque Country and Catalonia (for the obvious reasons), and the banging even got a ten-second slot on the news slightly later. The angry metal chorus is the reaction to what they’re calling “el virus de la corona”. And also, if PM Sánchez was a little late getting his act together, Felipe had been silent up to that point, with not one word to the great unwashed on the issue, and had slid into the crease even later.

No space or time to go into it all here, but suffice it to say that the monarchy has had its trials and tribulations in the last few years. The saucepan fracas concerns his father, the ex-king, who abdicated in his favour, and the news, which broke recently, of the sum of 65 million euros pa reportedly donated to an aristocratic Nordic lady of his acquaintance, by way of a token of his affection. The first thing you think is, if you can give away 65M to someone, you obviously have a lot more than that stashed away somewhere. An awful lot, a big big lot, a huge ginormous lot. But where? Not in one of those patriotic transparent Spanish bank accounts, surely. No, silly, sshh – say the chattering classes, and murmur the words “bank”, “Swiss” and “accounts”, though not in that order. And the people on the balconies think that, especially with everyone cooped up ahead of economic meltdown, someone should be doing something to get it back.

Why would you give someone 65M? Some columnists who know about these things claim that the lady had certain ambitions. Royal designs. A place at the palace. A leg-up in exchange for a leg-… well, they say some frightful things, let me tell you. In the last few years Felipe’s been doing his best to showcase a new squeaky-clean monarchy, which is no mean task, considering the past shenanigans of his pop and his commoner bruv-in-law. The latter’s now in prison for major cookie-jar misdemeanours various (F’s sister was also investigated on what were originally his & her charges, but the prosecution did its level best in her defence (yes, you read that right), and she was let off with a slap on the wrists, but someone had to pay, so her husband had to go to the slammer). Well, as the only male inmate of a female Big House, but still rather unpleasant when you’re used to the good life. So the latest move was to waive any claims on his father’s legacy. This was announced a few days ago, well timed indeed, what with all the Covid-19 Coronavirus Cafuffle, and it looked good at first sight. Except that he’s not actually waiving all of it. Just any dodgy bits.

The banging continues.


[Edited at 2020-03-19 08:08 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-03-19 08:23 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-03-19 08:34 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-03-19 09:00 GMT]
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Andrew Morris
 
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