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Dear diary…well, not quite. But as I am not traveling, I can not travel blog. Plus, let’s face it, who wants to read travel stories, when the world has become an almost, do not travel zone?
Instead, I decided I’ll write my musings about coronavirus while in Croatia.
If you like, bookmark this page, and I’ll update you as we go along with trying our best to avoid this beast that is COVID-19.
Back on February 23, my family and I were enjoying the sights and delights of our neighboring country Slovenia. We were on our winter school break. That seems like a lifetime ago now. But in reality, it’s been just over two weeks.
On the 24th, we took a family day trip to Postojna caves and were so excited. As we approached the ticket booth, we saw a busload of tourists arriving.
I gasped “are they Chinese?”, as soon as I said it, I instantly felt awful.
They left the bus, one-by-one all wearing masks and looking sheepish. The poor things have no doubt be subjected to gasps like mine, and glaring stares while on vacation.
Mr. Chasing the Donkey, and I agreed to keep our distance in any case.
As we meandered down to the meeting point, we realized something. There were many Italians who were also going to be 120 meters below in that cave with us. The Italian led group was seated on the train seats behind us.
I gasped again, “do you think they are from the northern part of Italy that went on lockdown last night?”.
Of fuck. I thought to myself, “why am I so paranoid?”.
What are the chances the virus will be on one of them and leap forward onto us? As we now know, very likely.
Skip forward those two weeks, and I am now writing to you from my sofa (I have an office, but much prefer this spot!), in self-imposed Coronavirus lockdown.
Am I crazy?
If you ask Mr. Chasing the Donkey, he will, for sure, say so. I have been slowly buying things like non-perishable items and nappies and, yes, of course, bog roll for the past ten days. He said I was mad.
Until last night.
On March 10, we had news reports of a kindergarten teacher in the Zadar hospital. The news reported she was in isolation for suspected coronavirus.
That bothered me. I had been saying for days; it’s time to close the schools and start to implement stronger social distancing rules to save our little country from the heartache our neighbors across the Adriatic are facing.
I mean, no country wants to be the next Italy. But there is no way Croatia’s medical system could cope with even a fraction of what they are facing.
So then it happened, I said, fuck it. Our kids will no longer go to school and promptly texted the teachers.
That was that. I am the mother. I decide, not the school, not the Prime Minister, not even the President.
Come catch me if you want to. I’ll cough hard in your face.
Thankfully the kindy teacher was reported to be well and was quickly diagnosed with a bacterial infection.
But, my mind was already made up. And Mr. Chasing the Donkey agreed with me. No school for the kids.
We went to bed. I never slept.
My mind was racing, and I could not stop thinking that simply not attending be school would be enough. It would not be enough to protect my little asthmatics.
My two kids suffer allergies and have asthma. The older son takes steroids twice daily, as is allergic to several things that pop up in March. Including, if you can believe it. Olive trees.
Typically olive trees blossom between March and April. Those dainty, fragrant, cream-colored flowers send my kid into a coughing fit for days. We have sleepless nights, and the poor kid always ends up unable to breathe and spend time on the nebulizer.
So, there is no way I want to see him coughing and suffering from coronavirus – at the same time, he has his allergies/asthma.
Upon waking up the following morning, Mr. Chasing the Donkey said he was off to the shops to buy fresh meat and veggies as he had a message from a person he trusted to say it’s now time to prepare for stricter measures in Croatia.
He shopped his ass off.
He came back with a giant bag of onions, snacks of all kinds, and several kilos of meat, which I bagged up and froze.
We were then set.
So, today it begins. Life behind closed doors…well, maybe not all the way closed. Let’s see. But certainly, there will be no traveling, which will hit me the hardest. And, no parties or socializing are in our future.
Coronavirus toll in Croatia: 27
The big news of the day: gatherings limited to less than 100
Dear diary. I joke, I joke.
Whoah, I feel so much better today after making that drastic call to stay bye-bye to the world. I slept like a baby, better than I have all week.
Unlike in my home country, Australia, our shop shelves are full; no one is stupid buying anything, well, not yet anyway.
The Croatian Government has kept us all calm and is updating us a lot. There are details about each step – every action and – I have to say I am so proud of my adopted home country!
Unlike the dope ScoMo in Australia or Trump, the Bozo – our Prime Minister, Andrej Plenković has a brain. He speaks with calmness in his voice. He sounds confident and intelligent.
It’s weird to say, but I am actually feeling much safer here in Croatia than I would there in Australia – at least from what I am seeing on the news – or hearing from family and friends. Australia looks the wild wild west right now – what a mess.
The news this week has moved so fast—cancellations and restrictions of all kinds.
I mean, who would have thought that Croatia would have travel restrictions on people flying from the UK or Germany, but now we do. More on all the changes here.
Depending on where you are arriving from, foreign citizens who do not have a permanent residence in Croatia, are required to undergo 14 days of health surveillance in government quarantine or 14-day home isolation. It’s totally crazy.
As I said, I feel safer each day, knowing so much is being done.
Best of all today it was announced that all schools would be closed from Monday. I breathed a sigh of relief for my kids, all kids, and the teachers.
By mid-morning, the school had contacted me with a plan. We had to go pick up my sons’ school books, and the teacher advised that will send us video lessons that she will record. In addition, there will be lessons played on the national TV station each day.
I really can’t ask for more than that!
Bravo Croatia. Just another reason for me to love living here.
So, now, it begs the question:
How Far Do I Take Home-Isolation?
I am yet to figure this out.
Do we never leave the house? Do we let people come over? Do I take the kids to the park? How many times do we go to the shops?
I am yet to answer this all. And, much like the ever-changing rules that Croatia keeps making to keep us safe, I’ll also just wing it and see how this all pans out.
I told our cleaner she can still come on Tuesday, as I know she is being cautious also. She has elderly parents and also cares for a sick member of her family.
Plus, with two kids at home and extra cooking and my client work to be done – I also do not want to think about cleaning. I’ll asses that choice again in a few days.
I plan to not see people for now. I kind of want to see what our friends do. After all, what is the point of staying home, and then just let people come over who may also be sick?
Gah, my heard hurts to think about it. I am off to get a G&T.
Coronavirus toll in Croatia: 32
The big news of the day: Strict rules for those coming from the UK, announced school closures, Ryanair postpones Zadar base until 2021 (shocking!)
Coronavirus toll in Croatia: ?