Cherry blossom season in Seoul, Korea. No I haven’t traveled there recently. I took those images a year ago when life was still normal.
Now everything has changed. Because of a virus. Covid19 better known by its street name corona. I canceled a business trip to Seoul just three weeks ago when coronavirus case numbers in Korea were jumping up from 30 to 300 to 600 to over 1.000 within days. At the time of my decision there were no travel restrictions in place. Now they are. Not only regarding China and Korea. Almost every country has introduced travel restrictions. Italy and Spain are locked down and parts of Austria are too.
In Austria all schools and all none essential shops will be closed starting on Monday. So beside super markets and pharmacies everything else will be closed. All restaurants and cafes will be closed too and so are all museums and cinemas. Every minute we get more restrictions. The government urges people to stay at home and I guess if that doesn’t work we will be not allowed to leave the house anymore just like it’s already the case in Italy and Spain.
Don’t get me wrong. I think it is necessary. I think that beside very few exemptions like Japan and Korea most countries waited too long to introduce measures and now they are running out of time. I know that right now it looks like this is mainly a problem in Europe but it is a question of how many people you test. As of the 14th of March Austria only tested a little more than 8.000 people. That’s not a lot but according to CNN the USA tested only about 13.000 people! If we compare populations they should have tested more than 300.000 just to keep up with Austria. South Korea managed to test 20.000 people a day for almost two weeks now.
If you read what I wrote above and don’t feel very comfortable don’t worry. That’s a normal reaction. We should be worried now. But more than that we need to do everything to avoid a further spread of this horrible virus.
Yes, according to the scientist it kills mostly old people and people with serious health issues. But that’s not a reason why young people should not behave responsible. They should think about their parents or grand parents. If they don’t restrict themselves they could literally kill their own parents or grand parents.
Life will change for all of us at least for the next couple of weeks. It will not be easy. I know that very well. I’m a social person and I love to meet friends. But now I don’t see them. Obviously I also love to travel but now of course I can’t do that either. I will work from home like thousands of others and I’m lucky because my job allows me to do that. There are much more people that can’t work in a home office because they work in shops, restaurants, cafes, museum, cinemas, airports … and all the other none essential sectors that are closed down. They have to worry regarding their health but also regarding their jobs or their businesses.
I’m no drama queen at all but I understand when a situation is serious. The current situation is serious. It will go away of course. Everything does. The big question is how fast and how many lives it will cost. At least this is something that we all can influence.