From pithy remarks to reflective thoughts about living in the time of Corona, friends of SAPeople around the world – from Paris to Singapore to Sweden and Canada – give us a snapshot of what it’s like where they are right now.

eiffel tower coronavirus times

Elizabeth in London, whose work ground to a halt overnight and whose husband runs a small restaurant company, which “may go under”.  “We are still going out & about our daily business. It’s odd because everything is seemingly carrying on as normal. Then you walk past the Apple Store and it’s closed. Or there’s minimal traffic. Staff everywhere are being friendly and you feel such a sense of decency, and dare I say keeping calm and carrying on. Until you go to the supermarket. Some of the public are something else. Such shameful and selfish behaviour.

“For the first time, I can feel my stoic parents are scared. As my mother says, she is not scared of dying, but the panic of knowing there are not enough ventilators to go around. Do we run the risk of visiting them? I think yes. They can’t stand the thought of being left alone for four months. My (South African) sister-in-law who lives here is at stage 4 cancer and has a sore throat and headache. She has spoken to the advice line, and is not entitled to a test, but says she feels proud and lucky to be advised by the NHS.

“It’s bringing us together. Until we’re told we’re not allowed to! I walk every Tuesday morning with the same friend around Richmond Park. Yesterday we laughed and laughed. The sun shone. She fell over in a splat of mud. I noticed she posted on Instagram yesterday that the best way to start a day was the aforementioned. It’s making us more appreciative of those we love. Just wish it could extend to the supermarket aisles and those we don’t know and love.”

Ted in Delhi. “Life on the street doesn’t seem to have changed much. Museums and big places of gathering like the Taj and the Red Fort are closed until April. People are avoiding crowded areas like Old Delhi’s Spice Market, but shops are open and street life continues. Most stores have someone at the door dispensing hand sanitizer.”

Joe in Harlem, New York. “It’s quiet. Lots of anxiety out there. Financial disaster looming for many. It seems calm amidst the slowdown/shutdown.Yes. I’ll be working out in the apartment and the park. I have bands, tubing and a balance disc for exercise.”


Sanjay in Singapore. “Is there panic here? Not much. Malaysia closed its borders so people were a bit freaked out yesterday. But seems okay.”

Bruce in Casablanca. “We’ve been in self-quarantine for more than a week, which turned into compulsory quarantine last night at 6pm. Morocco’s borders shut down entirely, so no way in and no way out.”

Paula on the Gold Coast, Australia. “I think Australia is too slow in locking down. Coles etc are now opening at 7.00, till 8.00 just for pensioners and disabled people to shop and employing lots more people to fill up the empty shelves. Still panic buying. We are now getting daily updates on the State of the Nation from our Prime Minister.”

Louis in Canada. “It’s been ok, we’re just staying in now. All classes are cancelled for a couple weeks then they’ll be moving online.”

From Maria in Uruguay. “Everything is normal in Uruguay. They still have toilet paper. Around 29 cases.”

Sophie in Germany. “Life is restricted in a couple of ways – you’re not supposed to go to playgrounds with your kids or meet friends or go clubbing… but actually it’s quite calm and I finally have time to study for my finals 😂”

Elizabeth in Sweden, lying in bed with flu, writes: “All very subdued. But not running out of toilet paper here!”

Vanessa in Paris. “The mood is tres weird.”

police quarantine france
Police are stopping people in France to check they have an ‘attestation’ form with them, and are not meeting up with anyone who does not live in the same home as them.

Jade in Antibes. “Weird is the word in France. We’re on lockdown for two weeks, stuck at home, and have to print out and sign a form if we need to go anywhere urgently for food, medicine, exercise (or to walk the dog) or work. I’ve been watching the police outside our window stopping people who are walking together because we’re not allowed to meet up with anyone who doesn’t live at home with us.”