How are things where you are?

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    • #435879

      All a bit surreal these days.

      Toilet paper, rice and pasta are gone from the shops, but it’s perfectly easy to get a steak and vegetables. Other than a few beaches, people are being quite responsible with the social distancing thing.  People are out and about, but keeping their distance.

      A few doctor friends are very busy preparing the hospitals.

      Very strange atmosphere.

      I hope you are all doing ok.

    • #435888

      Sounds like a carbon copy of belfast Rob , i have personally seen very little as i have stayed at home only going out to get what i need in the shops , slowly but surely things are closing , pubs clubs ect all told to close , public transport has a reduced timetable.

      I have half a dozen family members who all work for the NHS who i worry about tbh.

      Very strange not seeing or hearing the youngsters out and about as normal.

      We will beat this thing i am sure of that … Stay well everyone keep your chins up.


    • #435896
      John Thompson

      For the first time that I can remember (over 40 years) the casinos have shuttered although casinos that cater to locals will remain open.  Go figure.  Our grocery store shelves are half empty, restaurants and bars are closed and there appears to be a toilet paper shortage world wide!

    • #435935
      Robert Apple

      This about sums it up for me.


    • #435943
      Rob Eyers

      A friend in Serbia summed it up with…”over night it went from laughter to panic”.

      As case numbers rise, countries seem to all be following the same pattern of shutting things down and isolating.

      Can’t help thinking that the degree of government power and media influence in itself is a bit scary. That’s a different topic though.


    • #435957

      I can’t believe the amount of misleading or just plain fake news some folk share , madness it is.

    • #435975

      It is scary – Brisbane is like a ghost town this week. Supplies are down last weekend we couldn’t get beef, pork, chicken – people are hoarding. (I did find a stock of cricket protien yesterday)

      Last weekend supermarkets were worse than Christmas – this weekend they are eerily quiet.

      The photography exhibition I have been working feverishly on has been postponed indefinitely. My photography workshops are also on hold.

      The past two weeks have been extremely busy as the company I work for sets up systems and processes for several thousand people to be working from home. For me the good news is I have a new home office that doubles as a macro studio! For those that follow my flickr account I’ll apologise now for the upcoming water drop bombardment as I will take some time to add unusual elements to my kit!

      I don’t think we yet know the full ramifications. There will definitely be a new norm after this, and it will take a long time for society to recover. I feel for for the health care workers who know they will be exposed at some point, and the hospitality workers – so many of my friends have lost their jobs and will struggle to pay the rent and buy the basics.

      Stay safe everyone. Look after those around you.



    • #435976

      This did give me a laugh though…



    • #435999
      Graham Hart

      The wife and I had a wedding anniversary dinner booked for last night. Here in Oz, we have recently had an imposed rule of 1.5 metre distancing inside restaurants and public places which I think is woefully inadequate given the total shut down in other parts of the world. We decided to cancel.

      We thought we’d do our bit and help the restaurant by ordering our meals as take-aways (we already knew what we were going to be ordering from their online menu). It was a greek restaurant and we ordered char-grilled ocotpus with a greek salad and Chilli prawns with a homous-based salad as well as 2 baklavas for desert.

      They put the mains in cardboard boxes (hot food AND salads together!) which left everything swimming in dressing. We’ve dined there before and could barely finish our meals but these portions were unbelievably small. Smaller than a frozen supermarket meal. I had to drive there to pick it up and then back home. A round trip of about 40 minutes so you can imagine it wasn’t particularly warm when I got home. Cost – $93.50.

      This isn’t a blast at the restaurant per se but I don’t think we’ll be ordering anymore takeaway meals from restaurants. Fish and chips from now on.

    • #436008

      Well, up to today, most things seemed relatively calm, here in New Zealand.  Today, we have learned that our total count of infections has increased to 66.  Most have happened because of people coming over the borders, but two seem to be community transmitted (still being investigated).   As I am 75yrs, the wisdom is, stay indoors, or go for walks along the beach, etc.  Yesterday at 10.30am, our time, we did view a movie at our local theatre – which has 4/5 small theatres inside.  The one we chose to view “Les Miserables” has 144 seats (we counted) and we were the ONLY people there.  A great movie if you have the chance- thoroughly up to date – takes place  in France – with French sub-titles.

    • #436029

      Down here things had not changed that much since I’ve been doing my own thing (digital marketing & website development) from home for the last two years.

      Yea, we also have the odd empty shelf (I’m still trying to figure out the logic behind the toilet paper craze) but the biggest change is perhaps that church had closed down – only cell groups are still operating and we get our weekly message online from our pastor on Sundays.

      I agree with you David that there will be a new norm after this. Hopefully not too seriously though. I get the feeling that nature itself sighs a sigh of relief. We see images from Venice with clear water canals, satellite photos with much cleaner air space. Maybe nature just wanted us to take a few steps back, realise what we have lost and to reset to new standards. Had I been the mayor of Venice, I certainly would have vouched for only hand powered boats and gondolas. No motor powered vehicle in the canals ever again! I could never understand the pleasure behind traveling per gondola on green mugg-filled waters. Really!

      Congratulations on your wedding anniversary Graham! It’s certainly one you’ll never forget! BTW home baked fish & chips always taste better than those prepared by a cafe or restaurant!

      Just a last word – not of doom but of caution: I think all of us are going to be infected by this virus at some stage. Some of us will get it and recover without knowing that we’ve had it. If you disagree then it’s quite fine with me but I’d like to urge you to live as if you believe that you are going to get it. Stay healthy, live life to the fullest, take immune boosters just in case, keep up the higher levels of hygiene to which we have been pushed by this thing. And if you test positive at any stage: consider the weak and old aged around you. Viva Salute!

      @diripics, @dchester1001

    • #436040
      Erik Fransman

      In Holland, things are pretty calm. Yes, many shops are closed, yes, people bought up all the toilet paper, yes, life as we knew it came to a standstill.
      Most businesses operate at a maximum of 50% capacity and many have closed. In my line of business, filmmaking, everything is canceled. Obviously all the Plastic Fishing trips are canceled as well. Silver lining: much less rubbish and plastic I the canals.

      The prime minister had a nationwide broadcast. The government expects that at least 60% of us will be contacted with the virus. In order to try to handle those numbers, they took measures that hopefully will “flatten the curve”, meaning we do not get it all at the same time.

      We are not at a total lockdown but no public events, no gym visits, all restaurants, and bars are closed, social distancing and so on. But we can go outside, do shopping (not as a family outing) keep our distance.

      In that way we will still all get it, but “one after the other” so hopefully the hospitals will have a better chance to admit the serious cases.

      On the other hand, the government has guaranteed that the salaries of the working people will be paid for 90% by the government, so the businesses do not go bankrupt. Self-employed people get a payment on the level of the social minimum.
      For the first three months, they have budgeted it at 30 billion euro and they have a buffer of about 90 billion. Many people always complain about the high taxes that we pay, but because of that, the country can now afford these measures.

      No matter what your political preference is, I think our government is handling this in the best possible way. Only time will tell if they were right.  Obviously there are (mostly extreme right-wing politicians) who try to gain political gain from this situation. They should be ashamed of themselves (meaning even more ashamed they should be normally)

      People are worried but do not panic (at last, not yet). IMHO largely because of how the government is handling the crisis.

    • #436273

      I have always been a little paranoid. We have plenty of baked beans in the cupboard. 🙂

      • #436281

        I went shopping yesterday, luckily just before the lockdown over here, still can’t get loo rolls, pasta/ rice, paracetamol, fries or a single can of baked beans!

        • #436784
          chris pook

          Mostly back to normal here, although there were no full size tins of beans.  I read somewhere we have great strategic stocks because the supermarkets were preparing for a no deal brexit.  Has the ring of truth to it.  I kind of wanted to come to Wales and spend some time in hills, but several thousand other people seem to have had the same idea and that is off the cards now.  Shame really.

    • #436285

      It’s actually starting to normalise here. Even found TP a few days ago. The really weird thing is that there is still a LOT of food left and always had been. If you went to a shop to grab ingredients for dinner, you would always be able to find something.

    • #436286

    • #436294

      Here in Serbia we have a curfew from 5pm till 5am, which means all shopping, walking and such has to be done before 5pm. Everything is pretty much closed except for supermarkets.

    • #436309

      Panic buying ramped up around here when all collegiate sports were cancelled. Here in the SEC, Southeastern Conference, people take their sports seriously. This was before anyone had tested positive here. Since then, local authorities have announced confirmed cases of Covid-19 in our community. I am well stocked with food and supplies. I started augmenting what I had on hand well before the panic began. My husband is in a very high rick category. He is now on paid leave.

      Hospitals and doctor’s offices have stopped elective procedures and postponed non-essential visits. A curfew has been imposed and restaurants have been restricted to carry-out (take-away for my British friends 😉 ). Some businesses such as bars have been ordered closed. Schools and universities are closed.

      I work PRN (as needed) and have not been on the schedule for 2 weeks now. Later this week I will return to work. I am a medical technologist/clinical laboratory scientist. I work in a hospital laboratory. I am a little anxious about returning to work. My worry is bringing the virus home to my husband. This will not be the first time I have had a working situation give me pause. When I returned to work after maternity leave, with my first born, the first patient I had to draw blood from was an AIDS patient. One says a little prayer that our PPE, personal protective equipment, does protect.

      I feel like we are just fighting a delaying action. I hope a vaccine and treatments will be found. Please say a prayer for everyone working on the front lines of this war against the virus.


    • #436574

      Hi everyone. I like the check in. Nice to know that folks are okay and figuring out this ‘new normal.’

      I would say we on the west coast of Canada are similar to Rob and Erik’s descriptions. We have had many cases, mostly imports and people directly connected to them. There has been pretty rigorous screening and we have been doing social distancing for a couple of weeks now. We stay home except for essential shopping trips but you will see individuals out walking their dogs, families playing basketball in their driveways and small family groups out walking or running.

      My husband and I both teach and we have been on a 2 week spring break. We are anxious to see what our return will look like next week. It appears we will be going to some form of online/distance learning. Our government has left it up to individual school districts to decide what that looks like and some areas will be making arrangements to care for children of essential workers. Lots of unknowns right now.

      Thankfully, our kids have a pretty good grasp of what is going on. This is about protecting people like their grandparents – they get that. They enjoy reading and playing board games – my husband and I had to stand-in for our first game of Dungeons and Dragons the other day! Our days aren’t too different from normal really and that makes me feel like what we are doing is so small compared to the health workers who are dealing with the really tough stuff.

      We stood on our deck and rang a bell tonight at 7p.m. to thank our health workers – you could hear cheering and clanging from all over town.

      We have seen some very kind acts since this all started and people seem to be sensible for the most part. But we are not immuned to the hoarding and I really think the media is to blame for that. My husband has been doing the shopping, previously a whole family event, and he speaks of bare shelves in certain aisles – pasta, rice and flour seem tough to find.

      Today our health minister and public health officer said they are “cautiously optimistic” that we are beginning to ‘flatten the curve’ Time will tell and I have a hunch that even when we think we are out of the woods, we will still have a few more mountains to climb. This is a marathon, not a sprint, for sure.

      Take care everyone and stay in touch. It is good to have these connections.



    • #436633

      As an update, we have had our first death from Covid 19 here in New Zealand.  The lady was over 70 and had some serious conditions.  However, so far, we are so lucky.  Our PM, Jacinda and her colleagues are very clear about the lockdown (for the whole country).  Our only point of disagreement is that returning New Zealanders, those most likely to have it, are able to say that they have a self-isolation plan, when some will and some will not.  Those without a plan are placed in a mobile home for fourteen days.  However, we think it should be all returning New Zealanders being quarantined.  That removes the uncertainty.

      On the lighter side, we went for a walk today around our local area.  MANY  houses have toy bears (and other such things) in their windows.  This is great, because parents taking their children for a walk, have something of interest to have their children look out for, count, discuss, etc.  People can be so imaginative!  😀

    • #436652
      chris pook

      Hi Everyone.

      Good to hear that you are all well.  Here in rural Cambridgeshire we are locked down with our 3 children and Pippa the dog.  I like where we live and the people in it, but most of my closest friends are overseas, and so this Social Isolation is fairly normal.  The Lockdown also is a bit like being at work, where we would not routinely leave the places we lived and worked.  The lock down in the UK is gentle though, for now.  You can leave home to exercise, and to shop, and many businesses have been declared essential are remain open.

      I like the style of the guys in Northern Ireland, who have declared Off Licences as essential.  (For those who don’t know, an Off Licence is a shop licensed to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises.  Home booze, hooray!)

      I don’t think our gentle approach will last.  The number of cases we have is increasing by 25 – 30% a day.  It is relentless.  Although we are building emergency hospitals, I think it could be a case of too little and probably too late.  Let’s see what happens next.

      I’m interviewing for a Regional Directors job next week.  Based in either Dubai or UK, flying into Nigeria for 20 days a month.  I could do with the work.  My time off has been great, but I need to get back on the road; even if just virtually.  Wish me luck, Nigeria would be interesting.  They have a home baked seccesionist movement in the south, Islamic State in the North, rank 10th in the world for oil reserves, and have endemic corruption from the bottom to the top.  It will be just like the other places I have worked, only they drink beer at the weekend and life football.  What’s not to love.

      Wife is well.  She is good in a crisis.  Children have been brilliant.  Schooling from home for the last couple of weeks, and I admire their work ethic.  Lord only knows where they get it from, must be their mum.  Keeping them occupied now that half terms has started could be more problematic.

      Some enforced time at home has been good for us really.  We have done more sorting out than we usually would, and I am probably going to get my tax return in without a fine this year.

      I have put ‘read the manual’ on my list of things to do for a Seconic Litemaster I paid too much for and have never used.  Youngest is going to shoot some film with the Texas Leica this afternoon and we will have a go at developing it together later.  That should be fun.

      The main challenge is not to bring forward Gin O’Clock every day to the point that we are looking for good breakfast wines.  That and getting the discipline to walk past the fridge without opening the door.  It is only a little house…

      Best wishes to everyone, stay well, stay safe, stay sane.






    • #436696

      Now you have put the idea of breakfast wines into my head.

      Gin’o’clock was 3pm yesterday, but it was a Sunday and I was cooking of bbq in the backyard.

      Speaking of the backyard, I have planted some herbs that apparently attract bees inspired by some of Leanne’s work. Hopefully they start showing up soon. The rest of the yard will be getting quite a makeover in these coming weeks I think.

      • #436785
        chris pook

        Wifeys birthday tomorrow.  Amongst many other things I have bought herbs… call me a prepper…

    • #436894
      Pat Garrett

      I’m not sure where everyone lives, but her in the northeast US (state of Maine), much of what you write sounds familiar. Apparently diarrhea is a worldwide phenomenon as so much toilet paper flies off the shelves. We just ended a 2 week stay-in period which, yesterday, was extended till the end of April. All non-essential services are closed. Grocery stores are emptied almost as fast as stocked, only X number are allowed in a store at a time, many have special hours for the vulnerable/seniors and plexiglass shields separate cashiers from customers.

      Two weeks ago, Maine had it’s first case of Covid and today’s report is 303 with 5 deaths. The first “homeless” case was recorded today – a frequent resident of a shelter.  We live 25 minutes from Maine’s largest city which is in the middle of the highest number of cases and home to the hospital where I worked for years…Protective equipment and respirators are barely adequate for present but nurses, doctors and others are also getting ill. Our son lives in a group home with 2 other men and full time 24 hr staff. He is in a location and situation that is high risk and we cannot see him (a staffer face timed with us Sunday so we could see each other) as no visitors are allowed and the agency is taking every precaution to keep the clients and staff safe (I found out today, staff have to carry papers with them stating they are essential workers). We cannot have our son home because we ourselves are in a high risk category…

      Today the governor had harsh words for those coming from out of state to their summer places or to bunk w Maine relatives in hopes of escaping Covid (we are 2 hrs from Boston and 4 hrs from NYC).  Likely you have heard of the war zone known as New York City. A hospital ship arrived in NY harbor yesterday and non infected patients will be moved to the 1000 bed ship freeing up rooms for covid. Central Park is tent city with hospital tents and ICUs set up and ready to go. 500 ambulances are being dispatched to the city to help. Police, EMS, doctors and nurses are becoming ill. They are desperate for supplies which are beginning to come in but will they come soon enough?

      No dining in here either, virtual schools and University for 2-2 1/2 weeks, so many jobs lost, beaches, national parks in Maine are all closed in effort to prevent congregating. Church and our small groups are all handled virtually. Neighbors are checking in on each other. I fear despair will be setting in soon as bills are coming due and so many live from paycheck to paycheck. There are executive orders to waive late fees, no evictions, no turning off electricity to customers etc. during this time as well as the promise of some relief checks. Many food banks are supplying food and those relying on schools for 2 meals daily wil continue to get food – many creative solutions.  No passengers in your car unless someone with whom you live. Only reasons to be in a car – working at an essential service, going for medical care (elective surgeries cancelled, office visits by telehealth now), groceries or prescriptions or you’re on your way to care for a relative.

      Tonight’s news said New York City has already experienced more deaths than they did on 9/11. Very sobering and that was followed with the advisory that these next 2 weeks were going to be very difficult and very painful.  And that’s how things are here today. I am glad someone started this thread. It has been helpful to me to hear your stories and it has helped me to share the story (more like a horror sci fi movie) we are living right now. Our daughter is 20 minutes away, but we need to stay apart. Thankful for technology that means we can at least see each other.


      • #436928
        chris pook

        Hi Pat, thank you for sharing your story.  We are all united in this one.

        Big (virtual) hugs!


        • #436946
          Pat Garrett

          Thanks @Chris – yes, all in this together. Amazing how you can make “cyber friends”, never meet them and yet feel so connected.

      • #436945
        Pat Garrett

        A correction: total number of US deaths as of yesterday was more than all the lives lost to 9/11 (not total of NYC deaths)

    • #437544

      We have entered the next phase of social isolation here in B.C. – homeschool! Or as our education minister likes to call it “continuity of learning” As both my husband and I teach, that looks like our home phone being tied up for hours, contacting families to assess their needs (health, food and technology in that order) hours of zoom meetings and attempts at figuring out how to make our instruction accessible online. The good part is we don’t spend as much time thinking about everything else. The bad part is two teachers and two students (our kiddos, grade 4 and 7) using a “light” wifi plan. Also, headaches from being attached to a screen all day.

      We are very lucky though. Outings for walks and bike rides are still allowed and there is evidence, from our numbers, that our province is making some headway in flattening the curve.

      Shopping, according to my husband (he is the only one that goes) is a little odd. Lots of produce and dairy but baking supplies are hard to come by. Apparently everyone in our city bakes now! I had to make my own baking powder today (I am a prepper as well now, Chris!)

      Spring is on its way and seeds are planted indoors and out. We have lots of games, puzzles and books and enjoy each other’s company. We aren’t stuck at home, we are safe at home (I borrowed that one).

      Rob, I can’t wait to see your bee images! What herbs did you plant? And you Chris?

      Take care everyone and stay in touch. It is so nice to be connected this way! Like Pat, it brings me some comfort to hear your stories and share my own. Stay safe all!

      • This reply was modified 7 hours, 46 minutes ago by LeanneC.
    • #437553

      Some people are suggesting this is gonna be for six months. Second week with two kids under 5 in a very small house and we are gonna struggle!

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