With actually 147,863 cases in France and 29,015 in Brazil, the world current crisis is not ready to end tomorrow. While politicians and caregivers are doing their best, the number of deaths has not ceased to rise, giving way to widespread panic. We present to you some testimonials about this whole situation.
In France, while the containment has been in place for a month now, Emmanuel Macron announced last Monday evening that the containment was extended until May 11. On that date, “nurseries, schools, colleges and high schools” will be reopened “gradually”. On the other hand, bars and restaurants will remain closed. Festivals and gatherings will be banned at least until mid-July. Some testimonials say it might not be easy economically wise.
In Brazil, people aren’t all living the situation the same ways. In fact, some are doing the quarantine and some are not, there are no fines for the moment, we don’t have level 1, 2, 3 or 4. It’s more flexible. There were some disagreements between federal and regional governments but Brazil decided to go for the confinement and 60% of the population are respecting it, although it’s very hard due to the poverty in some areas.
At Bstaff, we try not to panic and keep it positive. After all, this confinement gives us time to get organized and reflect on ourselves and our company. We work from home, and use digital tools to communicate and exchange with each other. We continue to develop our projects and ideas while protecting ourselves and others from the virus.
Coronavirus currently affects almost the whole world. At our level, it is difficult to imagine how others experience what we are all currently living because of the cultures and political decisions in each country. For a better visualization and a virtual world tour, let us present 8 different profiles of business people who will share their daily life during this international pandemic! Each week, you will find the testimonials of two people from different countries who will share their daily lives with you.
Starting today, please find the testimonials of Julia Mafran, International Sales and Marketing Coordinator of Schmersal – Böhnke Partner in Germany and Luana Soares, journalist and tourism blogger in Sweden.
Feel free to share with us which profile you identify with the most and to testify about your experience in confinement from your country!
As you probably know, Germans have recently been able to break out of containment because the epidemic is “under control” in their country. One of their citizens, Julia Mafran, International Sales and Marketing Coordinator at Schmersal – Böhnke Partner, has kindly agreed to talk to us about her experience in containment.
In Sweden, the strategy is not the same as the one in Germany. We were fortunate enough to be able to contact Luana Soares, a Swedish journalist and blogger, who kindly describes to us how her country’s current context is facing this health crisis.
What are the measures taken by the Swedish government within the framework of Covid-19?
Julia: “I live in Cologne, Germany and here each region has decided to follow its own rules as the governors deemed necessary. The NRW government, the region where I live, decided to close all activities considered non-essential. People who could do home office stayed at home and the government encouraged social isolation by running several campaigns to raise awareness. Schools were closed and public transportation were reduced. To go to supermarkets and pharmacies people had to respect the distance of 1.5m and only a limited number of people could enter the establishments. The outdoor activities were maintained, as well as going to the park, but you could only go with your family (people who live with you) or in a group of 2 people, respecting the mandatory distance.”
For Luana, the situation is different, since Swedish government is more flexible and leaves more freedom to its citizens. Luana: “As I am journalist, I am following all this situation. The Media says that there will be no lockdown. The only measure from the prime minister, Stefan Löfven was for people having symptoms to stay at home. That is very cultural, very Swedish… Here is like this, nobody is better than anyone else, so nobody will tell you to stay at home. This has to be your choice. So, people who can stay at home and work from there will do it for their own will, but shops with storefront keep working as normal. The only things that are closed are high schools and universities. Kinder-garden and middle school are still opened. Events with more than 50 people have also been canceled.”
We ask her whether the event market was one of the most affected sectors.
Luana: “Yes, but you know, I think it’s awesome how companies are recreating themselves, for example this week I had an event called Secret Breakfast which takes place once a month, the venue is always a surprise, we get a text message with the address one hour before the event starts. This time the organizer has sent every participant a coffee machine with the caps and we did the event online. It was very funny! “
From your testimonials, are these measures effective in dealing with the spread of Covid-19?
For Julia, social distance is certainly the most effective measure to reduce viral contamination.
Luana thinks it’s difficult to say : “Indeed, no country have proved yet that the lockdown is effective and Sweden is very criticized for not doing it, even from a part of its own population. As if they were totally against of the rest of Europe, and all the other countries are just copying the Chinese example, because they think it has worked.
We will know in few months who was right and who was wrong but I personally like the vision of the Swedish prime minister concerning the freedom of each one. For example, Italian government are giving fines to a lot people but here they can’t do it, Swedish people wouldn’t understand it. Here people are staying at home by their own, to think about their well-being and the others, the Swedish families, theirs and the others. Things are definitely not normal, there is no traffic, public transport is empty, people who can stay at home do it. But a ray of sunshine comes out and people are already outside. This is my vision. I do not know how to affirm what is right or wrong but having a complete lockdown is very complicated.”
How is containment proceeding in the current context in your country?
According to Julia: “Most people are respecting isolation and staying at home. There are not many people on the streets and the buses and trains are much more empty. When I go to the park to run or enjoy a sunny day, it is common to see only families together or people in groups of two.”
In Sweden, Luana shares with us that: “The prime minister took the opportunity of his Easter speech to announce Covid-19 measures, as people use to travel a lot during these holidays. The government has recommended for some who had a symptom to stay at home. To be aware, not to organize events or meetings and to avoid to travel even if everything is open as normally. Borders are closed too. If people go out, they do not know when they will be able to get back.”
Can you tell us about your typical day of “containment”? Do you work from home or has nothing changed in your routine so far?
Julia has been working from home for over a month and is now back at the office: “My typical quarantine day was waking up around 7:20 am, doing my morning yoga, drinking up my glass of water with lemon, taking a shower and start working at around 8:00 am. My boyfriend was quarantining with me so we took turns at work to change the environment a little bit. One day I worked in the bedroom and he worked in the living room, and the next day we changed. At around 12:15 we cooked lunch, ate and then worked until 5:30 pm, but of course we had about a 5 minute coffee break. At night we did exercise at home or sometimes went running in the park. We plan to go to the supermarket at most twice a week and avoid all types of contact with other people.”
Luana‘s routine has changed a lot because she usually travels at least once a week: “This is the first time I stay an entire month here, although I have an office here too. The office keeps working as usual. My life is not normal. Before, I used to have 2/3 events per week and now they are online, but I cannot complain because we are in a lockdown here, apart the events and my social life which decreased a lot even without being deprived of anything. Business are open, you can go to the market, go out to the restaurant. I am conscious that I cannot go out without an specific need but life is practically normal. I personally go out if I need it. I am conscious of the risks without being paranoiac.”
Do you have any special advice for dealing with this period of confinement?
Julia: My advice is to create a routine at home and not just work and then lie on the couch. Physical activities helped me a lot, in addition to meditation and yoga, which are two practices that relax me a lot. Another tip is to try to learn something new since people have more time at home. My boyfriend and I took forró classes through videos on the internet, cooked various recipes that we previously considered super difficult and even made pizza.”
Luana: “Yes, I have a big experience with home office. So, I think each one has its way to be and do not have to give in to pressure willing to be ultra-productive during this period and do not compare yourself to others people social media. So, my advice is: if you are an active person, who likes to do a lot of things and stay busy, look for new things to do, because it is tiring to stay at home, and we are in the middle of a crisis. Now, if you are quiet, do not stay with this agony to stay productive. We do not have to stay agonized by this. This is also a moment to connect with yourself. If you want to watch a movie, watch it! You want to work out, do it! Do not stress too much. I personally, as I am spending a lot of time at home, I am taking the opportunity to do what I like, to relax. If I want to watch a movie or drink a glass a wine at 11:00 in the morning I drink it! (laughs)”
Last question: Once all this is over, are you going to make any changes to your daily lifestyle, is there anything you think you could share with us?
Julia tells us: “I used to practice yoga/meditation only after work, and after covid-19 crisis, I was able to wake up a little later because I didn’t have to drive to the office. I then started doing yoga in the morning as well. Within a few days I could already feel the difference and I saw that I could concentrate more, besides feeling much more relaxed and attentive to daily activities. Now that I’m back in the office, I wake up early to practice at least 10 minutes of yoga and a few minutes of meditation before going to work. Another habit that I’ve changed in my daily routine will be to wash my hands more often, it’s really become an everyday habit, and also to disinfect the food after coming home from the supermarket.”
Luana replies that: “What I will take from all this is washing my hands more often, becoming more hygienic. Just kidding ! (laughs) I don’t know, I don’t know if people are really going to change. Will it be that in a few months people will not simply go back to their old habits and continue to do the same things? Personally, as it is not in a lockdown here, I have not yet had time to think about it in a more global way. I am still more in this personal contact with my inner self, for example growing plants at home, I am also learning to drive boats. So maybe the answer is, between one trip and another is to enjoy more time at home, enjoy my garden, the time at sea and living a lighter and balanced life.”
End of the testimonials
Stay tuned to know more about the quarantine routine of those far away, what the news doesn’t tell us, what’s going on outside while we must stay at home. Leave your comment if you have questions about our contacts or about France or Brazil. We will be happy to answer you. Next week, two speakers from New Zealand and Taiwan will share their testimonials. Stay with us!