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Health and safety

Health and safety forum

Corona, how is your local environment reacting

Posted by flijten on 21/3/2020 at 18:35

So, being home for quite some time already, I thought I'd enquire how y'all are holding up. In the Netherlands the following measures have currently been taken
- Work from home if possible (massively being followed)
- Restaurants, bars, etc forcibly closed
- Any kind of theme parks, poolts, etc. closed
- all sports, professional and amateur cancelled
- events with over 100 persons forbidden

- Much less public transports
- Prohibited entry from many countries, international airports all but closed down

All in all I feel like I've ended up in a movie. I only go out for groceries and walking (with my partner, keeping distance from any passers by). We did have several "online drinks" through apps as house party and others. Good fun for once, but it might get boring in the long run.

What is your life looking like currently and how are you coping?

#1 flijten has been a member since 19/12/2016. Location: Netherlands. Posts: 80

Posted by exacto on 22/3/2020 at 20:52

hi flijten,
things are very much the same here in Spokane, Washington, USA. so far only a dozen or so confirmed cases in the area, but we suspect there are many other unconfirmed cases with only minor or no even symptoms.
my job is for the most part work from home now, and those coming to the office are keeping a social distance, washing hands frequently, and wiping things down with disinfectant before and after work.
restaurants and other businesses are for the most part closed, although many restaurants still have take out or drive through pick up service. i don't know how people who make their living in the service industry are going to get through this. lots of people have been laid off (made redundant) or put on furlough. the only good news is that grocery stores are hiring. they need people to clean and stock products. from what we hear, there is plenty of supply arriving, even toilet paper, but panic buying is emptying the shelves faster than the staff can restock them. i made one late night run to a grocery store this week. some things were completely gone or dramatically reduced in quantity, but i was otherwise surprised to see lots of canned vegetables and canned bean available, for example. lots of cheese and other dairy products to be had too.
there are still a certain number of people, however, who are ignoring this and acting "normally."
our hope is to flatten the curve and get things back to normal as soon as possible. we are particularly concerned for our senior citizens, who are at extra risk from the virus both in terms of health, and because their retirement savings just got hammered by a drop in stock value, etc.
stay safe. be well. cheers.

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,831

Posted by somtam2000 on 23/3/2020 at 01:42 admin

Sorry for the radio silence, Coronavirus struck rather close to home for us with Ms Travelfish coming down with it almost two weeks ago, and that has taken up a lot of my attention. This was complicated by me being stuck in KL sorting out some visa issues for the first few days, and I left Malaysia returning to Indonesia on the day Malaysia was locked down. Happy days.

Ms Travelfish will be fine, I think, but I certainly recommend avoiding Coronavirus if you can! She has not been tested—I’d avoid going anywhere near an Indonesian hospital at the moment unless you absolutely were in need of care—but she has had all the classic symptoms. It has not been fun. Upside, the kids are fine.

As far as the situation here (in Bali) is concerned, things are very quiet. As with other countries in the region it is becoming increasingly tricky to get in here (and to get out), but life in general goes on largely like normal. As far as I can tell, many restaurants etc remain open. This is not a good thing, but more on that in a minute.

I’ve not been able to take much of a look around obviously as I’m under home quarantine due to caring for Sam, but the traffic sounds a hell of a lot lighter, and last night, sitting on the deck I saw just one flight pass over us—normally would be at least 4-5 an hour. Bali is slowing down.

The government is not doing a good job with testing and dealing with the pandemic. Hospitals are already stretched and as of yesterday, seven doctors and nurses had died as a result of catching it while treating patients. Widespread testing is non-existent—last I heard they had done around 2,500 tests... not per day—in total. Medical supplies, especially protective equipment for the staff are sorely lacking.

The death rate here is, I think about 9% now—the highest in the world. Though that is almost certainly a reflection on lack of general testing. At the moment Indonesia has just over 500 cases, but at least ten times that would not be unrealistic. The govt said they expected it to possibly reach 700,000 cases—South Jakarta is apparently particularly bad according to local media reports. It is very bad and will get a lot worse in my (non expert) opinion.

People swing between extremely pessimistic about what will happen here (anarchy) right through to 100% denial it is even an issue (how is the surf today?). I’m firmly towards the pessimistic end of the stick—both sad and scared for the population who will bear the brunt of the damage wrought by the incredible level of official incompetence.

Not sure what else to say—if nothing else, all this home quarantine is helping me get the redesign finished quicker!



#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,089

Posted by flijten on 23/3/2020 at 15:47

That sucks Somtam. I hope the rest of the family stays well and wish Ms Travelfish a speedy recovery!

You take care as well Exacto, I imagine the american society isn't well geared towards the social fall out of this crisis :(

#4 flijten has been a member since 19/12/2016. Location: Netherlands. Posts: 80

Posted by Craigmac on 23/3/2020 at 19:58

Hi Stuart,
Just reading the latest news and wanted to wish you and your family all he best in these uncertain times. The world has gone a little mad and we don't know when it will settle down again,

#5 Craigmac has been a member since 1/7/2018. Posts: 1

Posted by DLuek on 24/3/2020 at 14:42 TF writer

Hello from Bangkok. Known infections reached above 800 today but most people think it's much higher here. Hospitals seem to be doing okay though and one bright spot with Thailand is that it has a lot of hospitals and a pretty solid medical establishment overall.

It's partial lockdown with all schools, events, bars and even malls closed, although some malls have open doors so people can access the grocery stores located inside of them. It is quiet, for Bangkok anyway, but there are still people out and about. Restaurants are open but it's take out only. Fresh markets are open. Relatively speaking, panic buying has been minimal.

However there has been a lot of panic travel going on. The closures were announced very abruptly, causing tens of thousands of migrant workers (both from elsewhere in Thailand and other countries) to flood into the bus stations on Sunday. Many thousands of migrant workers from Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar have gotten stuck at borders after those officially closed -- as of tonight these countries were still negotiating with Thailand about what to do with these stranded people. The pictures coming in from Mae Sot crossing today were heartbreaking and angering -- many thousands of people queued up trying to get home to Myanmar.

At this point, all of Thailand's borders are closed, except for possible exceptions to let some of those migrant workers through. In fact, all overland borders in ASEAN are closed to foreigners and many to citizens as well. Some regional flights are still going but it's very difficult to get anywhere except your country of citizenship (even that can be hard), as many ASEAN countries have either banned foreigners outright or, as is the case with Thailand, are requiring "fit to fly" certificates signed by a doctor saying the passenger is COVID-free, which is next to impossible to acquire.

Today Prayut announced that Thailand will officially start a state of emergency and we expect a nationwide curfew along with restrictions of movement to take effect on Thursday. Not sure if interprovincial travel will be allowed, but I'll not be surprised if they shut down most public transport flowing out of Bangkok. For now, long-distance trains, buses and some domestic flights are still going. Out in the provinces, my understanding is that foreigners and even Thais coming from Bangkok are not altogether welcome.

Despite the rapid spread of the virus and the unprecedented border closures and international flight cancellations, Thai Immigration is being as horrible as you'd expect by barely easing regulations. Extra 30-day extensions are being offered, but to get one you have to get a certified letter from your country's embassy and then take that to Thai Immigration. (Most embassies are in Bangkok so this is no easy task for tourists and some expats in other provinces.) I myself have to go to immigration this week to do a routine 90-day address report. Over the last two days, thousands of foreigners have been crowding into Bangkok Immigration at Chaeng Wattana to try and get extensions or do routine stuff. I am fuming at Thai Immigration right now; they are putting their own officers and thousands of foreigners at risk when the top brass could end this immediately by announcing a 30-day reprieve on visa expirations, etc. The 500-baht per day overstay fee is in effect as usual, even for travellers who are stuck here and can't obtain the letter from their embassy.

From what I understand, Indonesia Immigration has done the right thing by announcing a reprieve on expiring visas and the like.

#6 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,346

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