Locals from Australia, UK and South Africa share how they are living life amid lockdown

Julianne from Australia, Marianne from UK and Alka from South Africa share how they are dealing with lockdown and what is the status in their nations.
People,quarantine,lockdown storiesLocals from Australia, UK and South Africa share how they are living life amid lockdown
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Coronavirus has almost put the entire world on hold. In a bid to flatten the curve of the spread, almost all the nations have imposed lockdown. The only best thing we can do right now is staying indoors as there is no vaccine or cure available. The new quarantine life is something very new and it comes with several challenges. Many people have been complaining about how the same has been impacting their mental health.

In India, the positive, as well as death cases, are increasing and we are in lockdown phase 3 and the shutdown may get lifted on May 17. But what is the condition in other nations? We asked three locals from three nations, i.e. UK, South Africa and Australia to share their quarantine life, how the government is taking care of them and if they are facing any issues. Read on to know more.

1. How are you and are you safe? What is your mental state right now?
We are well and safe, very lucky to be able to relocate to the country and work from there. Though once here we cannot move freely around only to buy food and necessities. Being in a remote place things are quite normal but surreal. Speaking of mental state, I am very lucky to be a creative person and happy to work on my own in my own space.

2. Is everyone following lockdown/quarantine rules? What are the penalties if not followed?
Most are obeying the lockdown rules as there’s nowhere to go. The public spaces like beaches, parks, national parks, camping grounds, sports fields, tennis courts and swings are closed. The use of phone and internet contact is huge. Penalties are fines from $1000-$5000+ depending on what you have been charged with.

3. Is the government doing everything it can to combat this pandemic? Any new policies and measures?
The government is trying and working hard. I think they are continually looking at how other countries are working and medical research has certainly got busy, especially now and a slap in the face to this government for cutting the financial support to those companies. Talking about policies, it is the same as other countries in lockdown. No travel between towns, cities and borders are closed. No traveling overseas. Isolation of 14 days in a hotel not at home as was the previous ruling.

4. How good or bad is the status in your region/country? 
We are an island and compared to the rest of the world very very lucky to be where we are. We are also a wealthy country which has certainly helped the government policy of helping the unemployed, small businesses, students, the money being thrown into the economy is huge. 

5. What are the issues that you facing due to this current scenario?
Issues personally, I can’t see my mum as she lives in another town. All our daughters are living away from home so no family gatherings. We brought our eldest daughter home early from London, very lucky as she was on the last plane out of Abu Dhabi that day. She is isolated but still unwell so it will be tested tomorrow hopefully.
We talk on social media to extended family and friends. I paint, create, garden, walk and dream of a returning world filled with deeper compassion, slower movement and respect to the world and our understanding of climate change.

- Julianne, Australia

1. How are you and are you safe? What is your mental state right now?
I am ok, mental state seems to move between a short period of calm and longer ones of general anxiety - the need to be on guard against this threat.

2. Is everyone following lockdown/quarantine rules? What are the penalties if not followed?
As we go further into lockdown it seems people are taking it more seriously but there are still plenty of people who are blasé about it. I blame the tepid early response by the British Government which made people feel it is no that serious.

3. Is the government doing everything it can to combat this pandemic? Any new policies and measures?
The government says it’s doing everything but I have no faith in that as they seemed very interested in herd immunity initially.

4. How good or bad is the status in your region/country? 
There are plenty of cases in my borough of Southwark. I think that’s cause there are 3 hospitals in it.

5. What are the issues that you facing due to this current scenario?
The main issues are isolation, personal safety, food shortages, less money due to being furloughed and general job insecurity.

By Marianne Walker, UK

1. How are you and are you safe? What is your mental state right now?
I am fortunate enough to be safe and to have a home during this time and food and running water. My mental state is not doing too well. It did start well at the beginning of the quarantine but then got muddy towards the middle of it.

2. Is everyone following lockdown/quarantine rules? What are the penalties if not followed?
The majority of the people are in South Africa. They are a few who have done some terrible things like breaking in to school to steal supplies or breaking into liquor stores as it is illegal to purchase liquor or cigarettes during the quarantine. The penalties are either jail time or a fine.

3. Is the government doing everything it can to combat this pandemic? Any new policies and measures?
The government has advised a few days ago that under circumstances you need to leave your house, they have asked us to wear a mask.

4. How good or bad is the status in your region/country? 
Before quarantine, it actually was not to bad but it got worse with the number during quarantine which didn’t make sense. So a lot of local people think the government was lying about the number that was infected before quarantine, making them sound lower than it was. I think that it is troubling but is definitely not as bad as Europe or the United States.

5. What are the issues that you facing due to this current scenario?
I would like to have gotten more art supplies so I could work more during this time and experiment. However, I realize that this is a petty problem compared to the people who don’t have homes right now.
- Alka Das, South Africa

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