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Corona quarantine diary
Thread poster: Mervyn Henderson

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:42
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mar 15

I thought it might be interesting to offer a Corona Diary, since the vast majority of us are either already cooped up at home, or are about to be. Just to see how people are dealing with it, so feel free to join in. Here’s my kick-off. It’s Sunday now, but I had already jotted down a few things for yesterday, Bilbao’s first semi-lockdown day:

Saturday 14 March:

Normally I’d hit the gym mid-morning, but a message arrived on Friday evening saying it was closed. Th
... See more
I thought it might be interesting to offer a Corona Diary, since the vast majority of us are either already cooped up at home, or are about to be. Just to see how people are dealing with it, so feel free to join in. Here’s my kick-off. It’s Sunday now, but I had already jotted down a few things for yesterday, Bilbao’s first semi-lockdown day:

Saturday 14 March:

Normally I’d hit the gym mid-morning, but a message arrived on Friday evening saying it was closed. That was on the cards, but I’d realised it was only a matter of time, and luckily I’d already picked up my stuff from the locker that afternoon. So I thought I’d do a bit of running later, but first to El Corte Inglés, among other things to cash in one of those vouchers they give you to keep buying and buying and buying, a voucher for 20 euros of canned fish. I’ve already stocked up, but more than anything it was to see what was open and what wasn’t.

I wore my mask and latex gloves. The mask’s a pain and the latex doesn’t feel as wanton and sexy on the skin as you might think. It hasn’t sunk in with a lot of people yet, and I was very conscious of the fact that I was the only one out and about with a mask. I’ve probably got the damn thing already, who knows, and I’m asthmatic too, or I was until about 20 years ago, so I don’t want to take any chances.

“Oh look, mummy, that man’s wearing a mask”, a little girl whispered to her mother. Well, whispered, but you know the way kids whisper at high volume. I half-thought of telling her I’d missed out on the Carnival this year, but what’s the point. Mummy looked, though, and smiled, a little nervously, I thought. Maybe because Mummy knows she really needs the mask much more than me with children around her. So I felt like a waz in my mask, but still much better being near this kid with the mask on. I had walked downstairs from our flat too, instead of taking the lift, and upstairs again on foot. Can’t be too careful, because there are a few kids in our block, likely as not heaving with coronas, and of course they breathe and sneeze and cough inside the lift, and probably touch parts of it too, so I have to keep an eye on that kind of thing.

PM Sánchez seems to have put the lid on my running idea after his speech to the nation on the news this evening. No running in the park, no visits except to care for relatives, no shops open apart from pharmacies, food outlets, hospitals, bakeries, newspaper kiosks and little else. You can walk your dog, he said, but no running in the park. Nitpickers might ask Mm, so can I run with my dog in the park, but not me. I’m not a socialist, but already the sterile nitpicking and moaning has started, and frankly if I were Sánchez I’d tell them all to grow up and bugger off on live TV.

So it looks like the spare room is going to be turned into a gym, with cords for skipping and litres of milk instead of barbells. Such is house arrest.


[Edited at 2020-03-15 09:50 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-03-15 11:13 GMT]
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Zibow Retailleau
expressisverbis
ph-b
Anthony Keily
Liviu-Lee Roth
Aline Amorim
María Paula Gorgone
 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Masks don't help Mar 15

Medical professionals seem to agree that masks don't help because they are designed to prevent germs from being blown out, not prevent them from coming in. When you breathe, a lot of air comes in around the edges unfiltered. They are designed for short-term use, but when people wear them all the time, they end up moist, which makes for a breeding ground for germs.

Keep 1-2 metres' distance to others.

Use hand sanitiser with 60% alcohol (when you return home).

... See more
Medical professionals seem to agree that masks don't help because they are designed to prevent germs from being blown out, not prevent them from coming in. When you breathe, a lot of air comes in around the edges unfiltered. They are designed for short-term use, but when people wear them all the time, they end up moist, which makes for a breeding ground for germs.

Keep 1-2 metres' distance to others.

Use hand sanitiser with 60% alcohol (when you return home).

Wash your hands frequently for as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice.

Use 70% isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol) on wipes ready to use or microfibre cloths to sanitise phones, which are normally full of germs. Apple has approved this. Be careful with other products as they can damage the protective layer.
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Josephine Cassar
Vanda Nissen
philgoddard
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:42
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Masquerade Mar 15

Thanks, Thomas. I realise that, but I don't intend to ever be wearing the mask for long periods. And the gloves, well, you come in and you have to wash them, dry them etc.

I know that something will get through in the end. But looking outside from the balcony, nobody about (OK, a few dog-walkers!!), nothing open, and that's the point - keep everyone isolated for a few weeks, and then we'll see what's what.


Alaa El-Husseini
 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:42
Member (2012)
French to English
Good thread! Mar 15

Why no running, I wonder?

philgoddard
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:42
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
SITE LOCALIZER
@Mervyn and @ Thomas Mar 15

Mervyn Henderson wrote:
Just to see how people are dealing with it, so feel free to join in.


The Dutch government (whom we trust and whose experts are obviously the best in the world) is taking a very laissez-faire approach to the pandemic and don't seem to think that it's overly serious.

Essentially, you should stay at home (this includes your own garden) if you have "mild" "cold-like" symptoms (although the government doesn't say what "mild" means or what "cold-like" symptoms are, so I guess it's Wikipedia to the rescue), and you should call the doctor on the telephone if you have a fever of more than something-something, but otherwise it's life as usual. Oh, and you should not go to events where there are old people or lots of other people, "lots" having been defined as 99. The 99-person rule applies to e.g. music festivals, churches, restaurants, gymnasiums, and swimming pools, but not to grocery stores. In my local city, disobeying these rules can officially land you a fine of "up to" €4500 or 3 months in jail, though I'm not sure how that is going to be enforced, or whether people who "got there first" are going to be fined as well, after other people arrive and cause the event to exceed the 99-person limit.

The 99-person limit does not apply to schools because of the following logic: the virus is spread mostly by people who have "mild" symptoms, and young people typically either don't get the virus or they get less than "mild" symptoms, so the likeliness of them getting it and spreading it is below the threshold followed by the government and it's experts, and besides, it would hurt the economy unnecessarily if children were kept at home, since many of their parents would then also have to stay at home (yes, the prime minister actually said that during the official announcement of "measures").

Even before the official announcement of measures this past week, many organisations and news outlets have been advising against shaking hands, and while this was initially replaced with an elbow bump, it seems that most people have settled on a curt nod. I have not yet seen any increase in waiing.

As for my own home, we've cancelled the grandparent visits. We have no other specific plans. When we want to go out, we ask ourselves whether we now have "mild" "cold-like" symptoms, and if not, then... we go out. There has been no increase in handwashing in my home, although I now use only my own towel when drying my hands. I have not yet cleaned my keyboard or mouse.

Hay-fever season is early this year, so a lot of people who usually suffer from hay-fever are going to find themselves with "symptoms".

Thomas T. Frost wrote:
Keep 1-2 metres' distance to others.


I tried that, but it's easier said than done. I'm not sure how dangerous it is to be outside that 1-2 meter distance, but apparently most people don't understand how it works and actually walk away from you if you try to close the distance to 1-2 meters.


[Edited at 2020-03-15 12:40 GMT]


Maaike van Vlijmen
Liviu-Lee Roth
 

Anthony Keily
Local time: 05:42
Member
Italian to English
+ ...
From Lombardy Mar 15

In my part of Lombardy, it's been three weeks since the first restrictive measures were brought in (schools, cinemas, etc. closed. no sports, no non-essential travel) and we're one week into complete lock-down.

People's spirits are good and there's a lot of solidarity out there. In a way, we stopped shaking hands but are reaching out a lot more in other ways.

However things are a little grim. Open the windows and you hear birdsong and ambulances. Red Cross teams in the
... See more
In my part of Lombardy, it's been three weeks since the first restrictive measures were brought in (schools, cinemas, etc. closed. no sports, no non-essential travel) and we're one week into complete lock-down.

People's spirits are good and there's a lot of solidarity out there. In a way, we stopped shaking hands but are reaching out a lot more in other ways.

However things are a little grim. Open the windows and you hear birdsong and ambulances. Red Cross teams in the street now and again to make home testing visits. Yesterday we were told that the public health service, one of the best in the world, is now at breaking point. There are simply no more spaces in ICUs. Also yesterday we got news of the first personal acquaintance going into intensive care. This morning my sister-in-law woke with a fever and her sister-in-law (who's a nurse) is ill but can't get tested.

The positive thing is that the lock-down is working. Things are really quiet and the experience of the initial red zone in the south-east of Lombardy is encouraging. They have only a tiny fraction of the new infections they had at the beginning of the month. So we just have to sit and wait and take things easy. The unfortunate fact we're all aware of is that conditions for the health services will continue to deteriorate for a long time after the peak of infections has passed.

[Edited at 2020-03-15 12:38 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-03-15 12:38 GMT]
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Liviu-Lee Roth
Maria Pia Giuseppina Nuzzolese
Emily Scott
philgoddard
expressisverbis
Natalija Galacheva
 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Air Mar 15

I read somewhere that the virus can survive for a number of hours in the air. If that’s correct, there’s still a risk even if you observe 1-2 metres’ distance, which is definitely more difficult in a city than in a quiet province.

Saxony-Anhalt, the former GDR state where I live, was the last German state to get the virus and numbers are still low. I live in a town with about 8,000 inhabitants, who are generally not international travellers but very local people, so thi
... See more
I read somewhere that the virus can survive for a number of hours in the air. If that’s correct, there’s still a risk even if you observe 1-2 metres’ distance, which is definitely more difficult in a city than in a quiet province.

Saxony-Anhalt, the former GDR state where I live, was the last German state to get the virus and numbers are still low. I live in a town with about 8,000 inhabitants, who are generally not international travellers but very local people, so things are still pretty calm here. For how long is impossible to predict.

I take my precautions anyway. I had two months without work last summer after suffering a retinal detachment on the right eye and then three months without work later in the year when the same happened to the left eye in November – just two weeks after cataract surgery. I managed to avoid dipping into my savings after the first operation, but just had to do it a few days ago. I was just slowly getting my workflow up and running again when this corona thing hit. Oh, and I lost €500 a year ago when a German electricity supplier went bust. It has been a slightly inconvenient year.

I’ve been doing a few rounds of cost cutting to compensate, so I’m not in a financial disaster zone. Most of my revenue is from the US, whose economy is generally in a better shape than the eurozone’s, and most of that is related to home entertainment equipment, which is presumably not the first sector to be hit by a pandemic. At least the German government has promised guaranteed credits to companies and freelancers to keep them afloat if necessary.
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Anthony Keily
Local time: 05:42
Member
Italian to English
+ ...
@Elizabeth Mar 15

Here there's not a ban on running per se, but people are being told to JUST STAY AT HOME AND DON'T GO OUT AT ALL IF POSSIBLE! In other words, you can go for a run, but it's better not too. And if you do go out you have to carry self-certification to justify your presence out of home to the police. There are a lot of patrols about enforcing these bans.

With good weather last week too many people headed for the parks and river banks for walks or runs. Inevitably they stop and greet. T
... See more
Here there's not a ban on running per se, but people are being told to JUST STAY AT HOME AND DON'T GO OUT AT ALL IF POSSIBLE! In other words, you can go for a run, but it's better not too. And if you do go out you have to carry self-certification to justify your presence out of home to the police. There are a lot of patrols about enforcing these bans.

With good weather last week too many people headed for the parks and river banks for walks or runs. Inevitably they stop and greet. That also means more people on the streets of the town, entering and leaving their buildings and potentially infecting common spaces and door knobs, buzzers, etc.. The local police had to seal off the parks and send people home.
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Maria Pia Giuseppina Nuzzolese
 

expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 04:42
Member (2015)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In Portugal: Mar 15

We are in a situation of alert, and people are in panic, too many feelings at this moment.
There are 169 confirmed cases of COVID-19, one recovered patient and zero deaths, and many suspected cases.
Most cases are concentrated in the northern region around Porto and, increasingly, in and around the capital of Lisbon.
Portuguese islands of Madeira and the Açores are under strict vigilance.
Tomorrow, public and private schools will be closed, universities, supermarkets st
... See more
We are in a situation of alert, and people are in panic, too many feelings at this moment.
There are 169 confirmed cases of COVID-19, one recovered patient and zero deaths, and many suspected cases.
Most cases are concentrated in the northern region around Porto and, increasingly, in and around the capital of Lisbon.
Portuguese islands of Madeira and the Açores are under strict vigilance.
Tomorrow, public and private schools will be closed, universities, supermarkets started to implement their restrictions, banks will be working with doors closed, night clubs, bars, cafés, shopping centers, and other social spots will close earlier and under heavy restrictions.
Yesterday, at 10 pm, people came out to their windows and balconies to applauded health professionals for their work.
I don't have the right words to express what I am felling right now… so…
A very big hug to everyone in the World!
Courage and warm thoughts!
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ph-b
France
Local time: 05:42
Member (Jan 2020)
English to French
+ ...
Time to...? Mar 15

(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,
... See more
(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]
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P.L.F.Persio
Liviu-Lee Roth
philgoddard
Cécile Kellermayr
Chiara Gavasso
Daryo
Oksana Weiss
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:42
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Doggone Mar 15

Sunday 15 March:

Put my mask and gloves on and went out, see how far I’d get. When I saw the two policemen walking towards me, I looked all round me except in their direction, and whistled a couple of times:

“Here, boy! Here, boy!”

As they fell into my line of vision, I took the initiative when I saw that quizzical look:

“Oh, hello, officers, just walking the mutt. One of the things that Mr. Sánchez still lets us do. As you know, of co
... See more
Sunday 15 March:

Put my mask and gloves on and went out, see how far I’d get. When I saw the two policemen walking towards me, I looked all round me except in their direction, and whistled a couple of times:

“Here, boy! Here, boy!”

As they fell into my line of vision, I took the initiative when I saw that quizzical look:

“Oh, hello, officers, just walking the mutt. One of the things that Mr. Sánchez still lets us do. As you know, of course.”

“So where’s the dog?” asked one of them pleasantly.

“Well, he’s run off. He does that sometimes. A right little rascal and no mistake.”

“Don’t you know all dogs have to be on a leash in Bilbao, sir?”, said the other one, a little harshly, I thought, marking his card as the Bad Cop.

“Well, yes, but as I was putting it on, my mask slipped a little, and as I was fixing that, he got free and took off”, I answered, looking around everywhere again. “Here, Fido! Come here, boy!”

“So where’s the leash?” asked the Good Cop, pointing at my empty gloved hands.

“Well, actually, he ran off with the leash still on him, you see. Oh, look, there he is, that terrier over there by the tree, about fifty yards away, see? So, sorry about all this, I’ll be on my way then …”

“Are you sure that’s your dog, sir?” said Good Cop. “Is that your son?”, pointing over at the tree, where some interfering kid had appeared from nowhere and was petting the dog.

“Yes, I mean no, but Fido’s sociable like that. Look at the little pet. When he wags that funny little stumpy tail of his, what kid could resist stopping to pet him?” I raised my voice a little, moving off towards the tree. “Now come on, Fido, less of the larking about, come on now!”

Good Cop smiled, moving with me.

“That dog over there doesn’t have a leash, sir.

Bad Cop stepped up menacingly.

“You don’t have a dog, do you, sir?”

For crying out loud. So you have to have a dog to be a dog-walker now, do you?

“OK”, I sighed, “it’s a fair cop. No, actually, I’m on my way to buy bread. Basic and/or necessary foodstuffs, like Mr. Sánchez said.

“You just passed a bakery as you were walking towards us, sir”, said Good Cop, nodding across the street. “So why didn’t you go in?”

“Because I don’t like their bread. I prefer the Labeko bread, from down in the Casco, so really that’s where I’m going. Labeko’s is much tastier and crunchier, and they use a special dough, you know, so that …”.

“Come off it”, said Bad Cop. “We can’t help you if you won’t help us, sir.” He sounded like Det. Sgt. Ronnie Brooks from Law and Order UK, only in Spanish. “You’re out and about for no good reason. You’ve got to get back home right now. Where do you live, sir?”

“Just down this street, but actually I’m buying the bread to take to a sick relative down in the Casco. Visits to dependent family members, as Mr. Sánchez said. Now, I’d really better get going, because I said I’d be there at 11, and it’s almost …”



Escorted back home in the end.


NOTE:
This is only to provide some light-heartedness. Seriously, better to fall into line with what’s going on around Anthony’s neck of the woods. Here it’s not as bad yet, but it will be if we don’t toe the line. I really don’t need to go out, but like Anthony says, once one person goes out running, everyone will (although I was thinking of doing it at 7 am, so …), and in the end you’ll have a crowd.

Today I’m going to concentrate on improving my slightly famous Tolosa beans ‘n’ chorizo stew.
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Liviu-Lee Roth
Sandra & Kenneth Grossman
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:42
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Home, boy Mar 15

The police are certainly moving in on dubious dog-walkers and bogus bread-buyers now. I've just been told that a group of people hanging around the square near here for no good reason other than sitting around in the sun has been dispersed.

 

Yolande Hivart
Austria
Local time: 05:42
Member (2016)
German to French
In Austria Mar 15

Here the country had been progressively shutting down all through the past week.
As from tomorrow, people can be massively fined if they leave the 4 walls for another reason than to go shopping for groceries (even in mixed supermarkets, they will not be allowed to sell from the other parts than groceries and drugery), go for work or help someone. No more trips at the park. Gatherings of more than 5 people are forbidden if they do not live together. Most stores or companies in contact with
... See more
Here the country had been progressively shutting down all through the past week.
As from tomorrow, people can be massively fined if they leave the 4 walls for another reason than to go shopping for groceries (even in mixed supermarkets, they will not be allowed to sell from the other parts than groceries and drugery), go for work or help someone. No more trips at the park. Gatherings of more than 5 people are forbidden if they do not live together. Most stores or companies in contact with client that are not for survival are closed. I hope i will still be able to get some ink for my printer from an online store.
On Friday I was shopping around Vienna. I have heard that on some shops they have been running out of toilet paper for one week now. I was surprised to see that they were running out of fruits and vegetables too. People had been shopping so massively that one had to fight to get the last carrots or patatoes (and i am not talking about things like bananas, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, apples, pears...all gone).
In my part of the country there is still some toilet paper, they ran out of fever thermometer.
Many people got the chance to be working from home, trains in the non confined parts are still running however somewhat late.
Every meeting had been cancelled.
All through the next week the country will be holding breath.
I hope there will be some offers in proz for translation, I fear that it will be scarce.

[Edited at 2020-03-15 14:30 GMT]
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Jennifer Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:42
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
A scene I witnessed a few days ago Mar 15

I was in Boots the pharmacy in my small seaside town in the UK a few days ago and witnessed this:
a little girl, aged about 3, was quietly picking up cosmetics from a display, licking them and putting them back on the shelf. I noticed her mother (or "carer"?) a couple of display racks further up the shop busy with her mobile phone. I approached the mother and pointed out what the little girl was doing. The mother looked, saw what was going on, shrugged and resumed talking on her mobile.... See more
I was in Boots the pharmacy in my small seaside town in the UK a few days ago and witnessed this:
a little girl, aged about 3, was quietly picking up cosmetics from a display, licking them and putting them back on the shelf. I noticed her mother (or "carer"?) a couple of display racks further up the shop busy with her mobile phone. I approached the mother and pointed out what the little girl was doing. The mother looked, saw what was going on, shrugged and resumed talking on her mobile.
I didn't buy anything from Boots that day, I can't explain why ...
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Andrew Morris
Chiara Gavasso
Mervyn Henderson
 

expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 04:42
Member (2015)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Update: Mar 15

Number of infected in Portugal rises to 245.
3 recovered by now, and 2271 suspected cases.


 
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