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Diary from the Quarantine

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Ubu_roi

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In Italy (almost) everything shut down on Monday March 9th, and everyone is firmly invited to stay home and not get out unless they have a good reason that can proven (work, health, emergencies).

My thinking is this will happen in many other places in the near future (I truly hope I'm proven wrong, but ...).

So I'd like to share here (and invite you to share your experiences) how we are all coping with this new, unexpected, untested, strange situation, both personally and for your business.

I'll begin with what changed in my business in just 4 days since the beginning of the "stay home" decree, and in a later post I'll share what's changed in the daily life here.

I'm a software developer and trainer (both online and on site), and my customers are mostly small businesses. What happened to me is that:

- All courses were postponed / cancelled: both online and on site. I wasn't expecting the online courses to be postponed or cancelled.
- A conference for which I prepared a lot was cancelled;
- Most offices closed, and applied some form of smart working
- My phone stopped ringing, almost completely, with the exception of ...
- ... one of my customers, who are in education, that started planning how to transition some of their services from class to online.

This happened after just 4 days since the beginning of the quarantine.


So who's next?
 

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Kristjan

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Here in Estonia they shut down all the schools, libraries, museums. The whole nation is declared to be in "emergency situation". People are panicking and buying all the food from stores in large quantities.

Zero deaths and 41 confirmed cases.
I'm not sure what's going to happen next but seems like this panic itself is creating more problems than the virus.
 

Andy Black

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So who's next?
Schools closed for two weeks across the whole of Ireland yesterday.

It’s our first day home schooling and with my wife working from home.

6950E9C8-E111-4193-B4E8-32C398D956E6.jpeg

My wife had today off anyway, so I tidied up what we setup last night in the corner of the playroom:

AF2BD908-C5C9-4915-8896-1816C58D1D71.jpeg

Our three boys were great doing their homework, and we’ve been playing catching games out back with a couple of tennis balls.

View: https://youtu.be/SsjpUKzWBEA


They’re now allowed back on the laptops and tablets so mum and dad can get a few chores done.

It’s obvious we need a daily plan now, so I’ll get the whiteboard out later. It will be fun, a learning for them, and we’ll get their “buy-in”. (Sneaky dad here.)

Popped to the shops this morning to pick up a handful of things and the shelves are full except hand sanitisers. It’s nice to see plenty of fresh fruit out.

I listened to the radio in the car and someone from Denmark was explaining how things were panning out there. They too had the panic buying when schools and colleges closed, but things settled back into normality when people realised the shelves kept getting stocked.

The guest on the radio also spoke about “optimistic anxiety”. Anxiety is our friend because it will make us change our habits. But we need to be optimistic that the changes we make are going to help. I liked how he labelled the fears so people can acknowledge and diminish them somewhat.

Work wise, today hasn’t happened at all. I’ve been on top of Basecamp and emails on my phone. I’m expecting I’ll get an hour or two later this afternoon to check client (Google Ads) campaigns, and then will get a couple of hours tonight when everyone is asleep. It’s hard to concentrate when they’re playing Need For Speed on the Xbox in the playroom that doubles as my office.

Communications from clients has been quiet so far. I suspect they’re all adapting to what’s happening locally for them.

I’ll be thinking about how to help those clients, and what effect the self-isolating will have on future plans.

I’m going to do some skipping out back, and figure out some good exercises for my dodgy shoulder with this:

A4F12356-3EE3-4265-AC44-7AEA4A1C3659.jpeg

I’d love to get a punch bag up out back too...


EDIT: The sun’s shining so we’re off for a family walk along the canal.
 
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Private Witt

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Hello from ground zero Seattle. Spending the day dismantling a 350 person event I had planned in late March. Got word last night the venue is cancelling all March events. Once that is complete, I'll prep my brand for a shift to the media side of what I do.

My real job grind has come to a halt with 80% reduction in clients and will be reducing hours to a few hours a day for survival cash.

I've looked at my personal budget n major changes are needed, mostly with food and unnecessary waste. In long term this may help with needed changes, but in short my life has been completely rearranged and looks like I'll be spending a lot of time at home and just need to take advantage of time and use to tighten up my brand and diversify as the world will reopen once again.

Luckily my apartment complex has killer gym and since cutting crap food out there are no excuses not to focus on fitness and diet.
 
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Ubu_roi

Ubu_roi

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As for personal life, things are quite surreal in Rome, Italy. I woke up one morning and:

- I cannot leave Rome without a proven reason: health, work, emergency;
- All bars, restaurants, pubs are closed;
- All shops, except food and items considered necessary (electricity, cleaning and some others) are closed;
- Meeting with friends, relatives is forbidden;
- All schools, gyms, theatres, churches and most offices are closed;

When you get in a shop to buy food, only few people can enter, so you have to queue before getting in (actually I went to buy some food half an hour ago and only waited 5 minutes, but it's still strange and impressive)

I find it quite incredible actually that those things are happening here.

What we can (still) do includes:

- running (or cycling) outdoors
- shop for food and necessary items
- go to work

On the flip side, we still can easily find everything (including toilet paper, which has never been an issue here. Maybe because we all have bidet in Italy) except masks, that we do not produce in Italy and are waiting to import from China.
 

Andy Black

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An hour ago we bumped into a niece as she stepped off a bus. She’s just been to the dole offices to sign on. She worked in a childcare centre up till yesterday, and all schools, colleges, and childcare centres were shut down in Ireland yesterday. One minute you’ve a job, the next minute you’re signing on.
 

Jon L

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I'm in Bellevue, WA (few miles from Seattle). Its kinda crazy here. The streets are bare. I've only gone out of the house twice in the last week. On Wednesday, I decided to keep our kids home as I wasn't happy with the fact that the local school district was still open for business.

My younger daughter got sick and is now recovering. There aren't enough tests, so she wasn't tested for the virus even though she has the symptoms. I am fastidious about cleaning high touch objects in the house. She is a very affectionate kid and needs a lot of love and attention, so its pretty sad when I tell her I don't want to come close.

We've had about 30 deaths here in Seattle. It takes about 17 days for the disease to progress from initial infection to death. If there's a 2% death rate, the math here says that we have many, many thousands of cases here in the Seattle area even if the official tally is 457.

There's a run on various essential items at the local grocery stores. Walmart had 4 individually wrapped toilet paper rolls left. Rice and beans were gone. I overheard a Walmart employee tell someone else that hand sanitizer lasts about 30 minutes before it is sold out again.

I'm also running out of work to do.

So yeah. Fun times.
 
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Ubu_roi

Ubu_roi

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Something funny:

All barber shops are closed in Italy right now, so the is no way to have your hair cut.

Something I didn't buy when preparing for this mess is a hair clipper, which I promptly ordered on Amazon. Tomorrow will be the first home made hair cut in my life...
 

ChrisV

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I'm in the US and schools are all closed. I've started a self-imposed quarantine. I've got enough food and supplies to last me for a bit and am not going out unless absolutely necessary.


Something funny:

All barber shops are closed in Italy right now, so the is no way to have your hair cut.

Something I didn't buy when preparing for this mess is a hair clipper, which I promptly ordered on Amazon. Tomorrow will be the first home made hair cut in my life...
These are the funny things. There are so many things that you don't even think of with a quarantine. The obvious ones are food and the necessities, but it's the little things that are funny.

You can probably get a hairclipper off Amazon depending on your hair. Doing if yourself really isn't that bad if you have a simple hairstyle.
 
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Ing

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Germany: schools closed, toilet paper out, panic on low level.

I made holiday in Croatia this week. Dirt bike riding.
We wanted to go home tomorrow. But Thursday evening it wasn’t safe to get home cross the borders to Germany, so we decided to driver home Thursday night.

In EU normaly borders are open, i think like in US between states.
It was ghostly: seei police on the borders and beeing stopped by maybe 20 men with machine guns.

back in Bavaria we try to make the life as normal as possible.
But: schools closed, no toil...., borders around closed.

What will come?
On monday I ll work again .
 

r6203

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Something funny:

All barber shops are closed in Italy right now, so the is no way to have your hair cut.

Something I didn't buy when preparing for this mess is a hair clipper, which I promptly ordered on Amazon. Tomorrow will be the first home made hair cut in my life...
Ha! I want to do the same though over here (Germany) barber shops are still open but I don't want to get touched near the face by anyone right now.
 

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Ubu_roi

Ubu_roi

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Day 6 of the quarantine

After 6 days traffic is down 75% in Rome: the air is crisp and there's a quality of silence you can usually only experience in the countryside, or in the mountains. It also helps that most of the air traffic is no more.

Police are stopping people, especially by car, and asking for the reason of travel. Newspapers say that police pressed charges against 20,000 people in Italy for disobeying the quarantine. I've never been stopped, but I go to my office on foot.

Everything is quiet and orderly: there's plenty of food in every shop, small or big, and pharmacies are open for business as usual.

Shops allow only a set number of people inside, depending on their size. So for example in the shop were I buy food closest to where I live, they only allow 10 people inside at the same time. So you wait outside, at 1 meter distance from your neighbour, until someone gets out. Yesterday there were at least 20 people waiting, so I decided to postpone my shopping. Today there was no queue at all.

Italy being Italy, there are some funny things happening also: I receive "flash mobs from home" messages at least twice a day. Yesterday at noon there was "clapping for the hospitals staff" at noon, and "singing " at 8 pm. Tonight there was "put a light at the window".

It's actually funny: there's a nice article with videos and images here: Watch: Quarantined Italians are singing their hearts out. It's beautiful.

I hear that the quarantine is extending to several other countries in Europe.
 

ShamanKing

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All schools in Elk Grove/Sacramento, Ca are closed. Big Stores are running out of things fast. I don't have kids but I needed children's medication for my niece. There are none at the local Walmart, target, and similar stores but i did find some at my local CVS. I recommend stocking up if you have children. I spread the word quick and good friend was able to stock up on some and formula (running low also).

Right now I am at my local Starbucks. I see the guy that's always here like me lol. Still many customers coming in and out. People are still engaging in conversations and laughing having a great time. That makes me smile. Might go to Costco in a bit to observe.
 

Andy Black

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F*ck me. What is wrong with people?

On Thursday the government issued social distancing advice to not have gatherings indoors of over 100, and outdoors of over 500. Now we see images from Saturday of people thronging the Temple Bar area in Dublin and rammed into pubs. It's not just in Dublin either apparently.

It seems like we need an enforced lockdown because of the ignorant and selfish few.

Apparently there's even been groups of hens and stags with Covid-19 t-shirts and hazmat suits. I'd love it to be a case of the Darwin Awards, but unfortunately these gobshites are going to spread this to people who aren't f*cking retards.

31134

31133
 

r6203

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Unbelievable. On Thursday the government issued social distancing advice to not have gatherings indoors of over 100, and outdoors of over 500. Now we see images from Saturday of people rammed into pubs.

It seems like we need a lockdown because of an ignorant and selfish few.

Apparently there's even been groups of hens and stags with Covid-19 t-shirts and hazmat suits. I'd love it to be a case of the Darwin Awards, but unfortunately these gobshites are going to spread this to people who aren't f*cking retards.

F*ck me. What is wrong with people?

View attachment 31134

View attachment 31133
But Andy, „it’s just like the flu“...

I don’t know if people are that dumb or ignorant, or both.

I saw people on Instagram partying in clubs last night...
 
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Ubu_roi

Ubu_roi

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Day 8 of the Quarantine

It's interesting to see how businesses are reacting to the disruptive changes we are living.

One of my customers has a yoga school, and has set up online lessons for his customers. I helped him with the web site and software setup. Who knows, potentially he may even get to reach more people than in his school.

They closed all open air markets in Rome. But a guy (let's call him Paul) selling fruits and vegs now brings his produce for free in our area. Once my wife learned this, she told the whole building where we live, 10 apartments.
5 of the families in our building ordered from the guy. This is a 50% market share! Imagine what would happen if all of the buildings around us knew that Paul brings their produce without any additional costs.

Several others are in jobs that don't allow to continue under the circumstances.
Some others, that probably could change a bit the way they work, just keep complaining and waiting for the government to help them.

Apart from that, quarantine means mostly a lot of silence, eating better, and saving a surprising amount of money for every day living (fuel, eating out, entertainment, travel expenses have immediately gone to 0).

And I had my first hair cut at home. It was easier than expected. The result was a bit shorter than I'm comfortable with, but we'll do better next time.
 
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Ubu_roi

Ubu_roi

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Day 11 of the Quarantine:

We are slowly adapting to this new reality, that contains much less noise.

I feel almost guilty in saying that, but in some ways my working and personal life are better than before: not having to answer clients' calls, not having to do live lessons allow me to concentrate more on the more important stuff: I've finished a book, I'm planning new online courses and completing long tasks. Also, I'm starting thinking about the "after" phase.
(I realise this may sound insulting if you are ill, or know somebody who is affected by CV. I totally understand this. I'm just trying to find the good in those strange times).

A side effect: for a couple of days, I've been obsessed with news about the virus, including the addictive thread about it in this forum. I've decided I'll read the news about it only twice a day, morning and evening.

I know the lockdown is in place in several other countries now. A tip for people starting the lockdown in these days: something that helped me hugely is running outside (for now you can still do it here in Rome as long as you are alone, and I pray we'll be able to keep doing it).
 

Jon L

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Day 11 of the Quarantine:

We are slowly adapting to this new reality, that contains much less noise.

I feel almost guilty in saying that, but in some ways my working and personal life are better than before: not having to answer clients' calls, not having to do live lessons allow me to concentrate more on the more important stuff: I've finished a book, I'm planning new online courses and completing long tasks. Also, I'm starting thinking about the "after" phase.
(I realise this may sound insulting if you are ill, or know somebody who is affected by CV. I totally understand this. I'm just trying to find the good in those strange times).

A side effect: for a couple of days, I've been obsessed with news about the virus, including the addictive thread about it in this forum. I've decided I'll read the news about it only twice a day, morning and evening.

I know the lockdown is in place in several other countries now. A tip for people starting the lockdown in these days: something that helped me hugely is running outside (for now you can still do it here in Rome as long as you are alone, and I pray we'll be able to keep doing it).
I know of people with the virus. Its no joke. But, its also nice to hear positive stories like yours - people adapting to their circumstances and bringing some good out of it. Thanks for sharing.
 

sparechange

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Schools closed for two weeks across the whole of Ireland yesterday.

It’s our first day home schooling and with my wife working from home.

View attachment 31036

My wife had today off anyway, so I tidied up what we setup last night in the corner of the playroom:

View attachment 31037

Our three boys were great doing their homework, and we’ve been playing catching games out back with a couple of tennis balls.

View: https://youtu.be/SsjpUKzWBEA


They’re now allowed back on the laptops and tablets so mum and dad can get a few chores done.

It’s obvious we need a daily plan now, so I’ll get the whiteboard out later. It will be fun, a learning for them, and we’ll get their “buy-in”. (Sneaky dad here.)

Popped to the shops this morning to pick up a handful of things and the shelves are full except hand sanitisers. It’s nice to see plenty of fresh fruit out.

I listened to the radio in the car and someone from Denmark was explaining how things were panning out there. They too had the panic buying when schools and colleges closed, but things settled back into normality when people realised the shelves kept getting stocked.

The guest on the radio also spoke about “optimistic anxiety”. Anxiety is our friend because it will make us change our habits. But we need to be optimistic that the changes we make are going to help. I liked how he labelled the fears so people can acknowledge and diminish them somewhat.

Work wise, today hasn’t happened at all. I’ve been on top of Basecamp and emails on my phone. I’m expecting I’ll get an hour or two later this afternoon to check client (Google Ads) campaigns, and then will get a couple of hours tonight when everyone is asleep. It’s hard to concentrate when they’re playing Need For Speed on the Xbox in the playroom that doubles as my office.

Communications from clients has been quiet so far. I suspect they’re all adapting to what’s happening locally for them.

I’ll be thinking about how to help those clients, and what effect the self-isolating will have on future plans.

I’m going to do some skipping out back, and figure out some good exercises for my dodgy shoulder with this:

View attachment 31038

I’d love to get a punch bag up out back too...


EDIT: The sun’s shining so we’re off for a family walk along the canal.
Homework? Pft you should throw those books in the garbage and make them read TMF & Unscripted!
 

ZF Lee

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Homework? Pft you should throw those books in the garbage and make them read TMF & Unscripted!
Reminds me of my thoughts on what fresh graduates will find when they step out to what's left of the workplace after the crisis, and next year...

shocked fire room meme gif.gif

For my own business degree, I was shocked to find perfectly grown professors struggling with Zoom calls and Moodle arrangements.

Even more shocked to find perfectly grown college kids, always stuck in their phones, staggering in the Moodle lessons outline and missing stuff out. And I thought the younger kids were more tech-orientated....

We've got A LOT to clean up after this event.
Not so much the virus, but the underlying issues behind the SCRIPT.
 
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Ubu_roi

Ubu_roi

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Day 17 of the quarantine

Over 2 weeks have passed since the lockdown of Italy. Several things happened in the last few days:

- Over 2 billion people are now in lockdown; think about it, over 2 billion people must stay at home now!
- Rules here in Italy have become more strict: not only all non necessary shops are closed, but also any non essential offices or trade;
- Parks are closed: you can still go running in most regions (not all), but only close to where you live;

Yesterday with my wife we were wandering what we are missing from the "normal" times, and we were amazed that there are mostly small things that we miss (except of course the huge freedom of going anywhere).

Anyways, one of those small things is real ice-cream (ice-cream shops are closed to customers). Well what happened is that for the first time we used a food delivery service and had our ice-cream brought at home. We enjoyed it like small children receiving a treat.

This also helped us realise how privileged we are: staying safe, not having to worry about the food on your table is a luxury that many people, at this time, do not have.
 

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Defection

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Day 17 of the quarantine

Over 2 weeks have passed since the lockdown of Italy. Several things happened in the last few days:

- Over 2 billion people are now in lockdown; think about it, over 2 billion people must stay at home now!
- Rules here in Italy have become more strict: not only all non necessary shops are closed, but also any non essential offices or trade;
- Parks are closed: you can still go running in most regions (not all), but only close to where you live;

Yesterday with my wife we were wandering what we are missing from the "normal" times, and we were amazed that there are mostly small things that we miss (except of course the huge freedom of going anywhere).

Anyways, one of those small things is real ice-cream (ice-cream shops are closed to customers). Well what happened is that for the first time we used a food delivery service and had our ice-cream brought at home. We enjoyed it like small children receiving a treat.

This also helped us realise how privileged we are: staying safe, not having to worry about the food on your table is a luxury that many people, at this time, do not have.
Thanks for keeping updated on this man, it's really interesting.

Maybe consider getting an ice-cream maker either soon, or when this is over? It's a great opportunity to create it exactly how you like it, and a good opportunity to spend some enjoyable time with the wife, too.

I wish you all the best and hope that for everyone's sake this doesn't go on for too long.
 

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Here's an interesting, detailed diary of someone's experience inside China during the lockdown.


It covers a lot of ground, from the way things went down, to the author's emotions, to the importance of social capital, to where they stand right now.
 

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