Travel with us : Around the World testimonials. Discover New Zealand & Taiwan with Joolen Redden from Entrada Travel Group and Jessica Lee from CW Medical

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This week our tour will take place in New Zealand and Taiwan, both of which have had extraordinary results in the fight against the coronavirus, despite its completely opposite strategies.

But first let’s talk about France and Brazil, countries where we are based at Bstaff and where we ourselves can give you live information on the spot. In France, we have had little change in the The scientific council, which guides the French government, has published its recommendations to reopen schools gradually from May 11th : the end of containment announced by the last speech of the president, Emmanuel Macron, on April 13th.

The latest figures on the coronavirus (Covid-19) were delivered on Monday evening 27 by Santé publique France.The coronavirus death toll in France reached 23,293 deaths, i.e. 437 more in 24 hours, including 295 in hospitals. The number of people in intensive care continues to decrease slowly, with 74 patients less. French are 55% to think that parks and forests should not be reopened despite the containment as they are not reasonable enough, against 44% response in favour of this measure with significant restrictions to prevent any spread of the virus.

Many events are cancelled or suspended in France. Indeed, many summer festivals such as the one in Avignon or the Hellfest near Nantes have been cancelled. In addition, Viva Technology postpones its show to spring 2021 and the tennis tournament Roland Garros is postponed to September. As for the Tour de France, it will be on the road on August 29th for a finish on the Champs-Elysées on September 20th. For the time being, France is staying home until 11 May, waiting for a gradual deconfinement.

For what concerns Brazil, situation is still quite complicated since the country has been impacted later than Europe and also because instead of facing health crisis only, Brazil has also a huge and very complicated political crisis. Luiz Henrique Mandetta was fired by Jair Bolsonaro on April 16th and the Justice Minister Sergio Moro dismissed this last week, just a few days later, both for the same reasons: disagreements with the president. 

Mandetta was in favor of the quarantine, and kept his speech of “Health first” while Bolsonaro wanted a compromise between health and economics and even said corona virus was just “a simple flu”. For Sergio Moro, the reasons for his dismissal were ethical, as the president tried to interfere in the decisions of the federal police and change the police chief for no apparent reason. Indicating, to replace the current chief, a personal friend of his family. 

As you can see, the crisis has been installed in Brazilian politics but our objective in this series of the ” World Tour Testimonials” is to share reliable information about Coronavirus and keep up with our readers. Despite the impact of our leaders and their decisions, we do not want to delay in this matter. 

So let’s go back to the topic, if you’ve been keeping up, you know the numbers, and the sad news is that they are three times worst than last week, if we count number of cases with: 73,235 current cases, 5,083 deaths, and 32,544 recovered by this day. So what has been seriously done since last week to fight this situation? 

To answer this question, at his last press conference last Monday, April 27, the new Health Minister, Nelson Teich announced new measures to fight the new coronavirus, in addition to the already announced Fund of BRL 600.00 (around 110USD) for the population in an emergency and/or irregular situation.The country has also decided to increase the number of tests that will be purchased by the government without tendering, to make the purchase faster and more efficient.

In addition, more studies are being carried out – about 30 studies are being carried out in Brazil alone. Many events organizers decided to cancel or postpone their dates, Lollapalooza music festival, expected to be held in early April in São Paulo, has been postponed to December. Sao Paulo Fashion Week that would take place this week at the end of April was canceled, and major commercial events such as the LAAD defense exhibition, Feicon Batimat in the construction sector, or Hospitalar in the medical field will be held on the second semester of 2020.

As you can see, through events the virus harms several other sectors of work and many people working in these areas. We continue our virtual world tour, presenting to you new profiles of business women who will share their daily life during this pandemics. Thank you for agreeing to find this week, to continue our virtual world tour, the testimonials of Joolen Redden, Operations Manager at the Entrada Travel Group in New Zealand and Jessica Lee, Sales Director of CW Medical in Taiwan.

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Joolen Redden, who works the tourism sector and lives in New Zealand. She is the Operations Manager at Entrada Travel Group, and she wanted to share her family life and the difficulties that her company has being going through during this period of confinement.

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Measures are not similar Taiwan. CW Medical’s Sales Director, Jessica Lee, is not in quarantine, and kindly agreed to answer our questions so that we could share her daily life during covid-19 and we could imagine ourselves in her environment.

“What are the measures taken by the government in relation to Covid-19?”

Joolen informs us about the context of her country :
New Zealand government has set up a four-level Covid-19 warning system.
Alert Level 4 – Lockdown (4 weeks).
Alert Level 3 – Restrict (2 weeks).
Alert Level 2 – Reduce
Alert Level 1 – Prepare
They also declared a state of national emergency. Jacinda Arnem, the New Zealand’s Prime Minister , wants to eliminate  COVID-19  and it’s up to us to stay home and save lives by restricting contact to limit the spread.”

In Taiwan, they have put in place protocols comprising 124 measures, Jessica presents some of them to us:
1. Specific protocols were quickly mobilized and instituted to identify cases, contain them, and allocate resources to protect public health.
2. The national health database was used and integrated with the immigration and customs databases to generate Big Data related to the disease and proceed to its analysis.
3. The citizens with higher risks of contamination (people who had made recent trips to level 3 alert zones) were quarantined at home and tracked through their mobile phone to ensure that they remained at home during the whole period.
4. An active role was assumed in the allocation of resources, including the pricing of the masks and the use of government funds and military personnel to increase their production.

“In your opinion, are these measures sufficient to deal with the virus?”

Joolen thinks they’re effective. Indeed: “As there is no cure for COVID-19 and so the next best thing to reduce the virus is to reduce the contact that you have with people. We do not know whether it will totally eliminate the spread, but we can definitely slow it down if we all work together as a country”.

Jessica tells us that according to her: “Yes, the measures are effective, which is remarkable because the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 is decreasing considerably daily. As of today (2020/04/16) we have in Taiwan 396 confirmed cases and 6 deaths only. It is a not inconsiderable achievement considering the geographical proximity between Taiwan and China.”

* Edited on 04/30/2020 last edition of this article Taiwan had 429 numbers of cases and still 6 deaths, same number on the day of the interview.

“How is the containment for you in the current context in your country?”

Joolen tells us that the government has been very responsive in quickly quarantining New Zealand. However, this is not as effective in the company she works for: “I personally work for NZ Tourism, which has not been able to put in place such essential measures so quickly. We’ve gone from around 3.9 million international visitors in normal times to 0 in NZ, which has had a massive impact on the company I work for and I don’t think we’ll recover from that for a long time.

We are now focusing more on domestic travel for work, although this will not replace the international visitors we are used to receiving. In short, the measures that have been put in place for my country is my health is fine, only the industry I work in is not doing well, but I am grateful that I still have a job.”

For Jessica: “The containment has been made very effective not only by the measure itself, but also by the collaboration of the Taiwanese people with the government to consciously deal with this pandemic.” 

“Can you explain your typical “containment” day?”

Joolen works from home and that will still be the case for her when they move to level 3 on April 27th. 

She describes her typical day: “I try to keep a routine as if I am going to work without leaving home. That way I can sleep a little longer, walk around my neighbourhood and then go to work. This involves checking in with colleagues in the tourism industry, by e-mail or “Zoom” calls. I have the opportunity to catch up on emails or jobs that have been put aside because we were too busy. We are also planning what the tourism industry might look like once we get back to work and our business is back on track. I also do online schooling for my children, lunch, dinner and grooming. So it’s a very busy day – worker, mother and teacher every day.” 

In Taiwan where Jessica lives: “Containment is set up only for people “suspected” of having contracted Covid-19, for example, people who come from places where the pandemic is level 4 (very severe). Even if they currently have no symptoms of Covid-19, they should be in quarantine for 14 days as a precautionary measure. On the other hand, the rest of the population can go to work without any problems.”

“If you have children, can you explain how their care is different from the usual?”

Joolen has a 14 year old child in “year 10” (4th grade) and another 11 year old in “year 7” (5th grade). She thinks they prefer her care to that of the teachers. She adds that: “They don’t work form 9 am to 3 pm because they only have to do about 3 hours of online teaching a day, compared to the usual 6 hours at school. We like spending more time together, but they miss their friends.”

For Jessica, it is necessary to warn and educate children to wear masks when they go to public places with other people or when travelling with others on public transport. In addition, they should wash their hands frequently to reduce the risk of contact with Covid-19.

“After all this ends, will you make any changes to your lifestyle? On your daily life?”

Joolen: “Yes, my job will change a lot and we will operate on a smaller scale until international tourists return to New Zealand. They expect them to come back in 2021.  My lifestyle and daily life will change: I will learn to better balance my time at work and my family life.You should never be too busy to spend time with family and friends.”

For Jessica, since there was not really any confinement, nothing changed except for the security measures that she strictly followed.


“Last question, do you have any particular advice to give us to cope with this period at home?”

Joolen advises us to : “Keep a daily routine, take walks by yourself (if you can), enjoy the time you have with your family and be patient.”

For Jessica, the situation is different: “Since I’m not in quarantine, I don’t really have any special advice to give, but if you go outside, the advice is the same as for children: put on the masks, avoid going to crowded public places and wash your hands frequently.”

It must be noted that once again this health crisis is not managed in the same way by everyone, given the job, responsibilities and current context of each of us. Joolen and Jessica demonstrated this to us each on their own scale by taking us on a journey through their professional and family routines and we thank them very much for that. 

Stay tuned to find out what’s going on out there while we all have to stay home, and what the news isn’t telling us.  

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or to share your experience.  We will be happy to answer you.

The important thing is to protect yourself and others from this virus, to prevent the spread of this pandemic. Stay with us for two other testimonials from two special clients based in China and USA!