It’s a weird time to be a travel blogger.
Last Sunday, we learned that northern Italy was under strict quarantine, the military rolling in.
By the end of Monday, the quarantine had extended across Italy. The streets were eerily quiet. Friends posted photos of grocery store queues with people standing five feet apart.
Thursday night, here in Estonia they declared a state of emergency. Schools are going remote beginning Monday. Concerts and gatherings are banned. The borders, usually almost non-existent here in Europe, are back up and running, asking people where they’ve been.
Almost half of the US’s states have declared their own states of emergency. European countries are implementing various levels of quarantine. Flights are being cancelled left and right. My tech clients are all working from home. My colleague in Seattle is trying to navigate working from home with three kids now doing remote learning in the next room over.
I’m not a doctor or a disease specialist, so I’m not qualified to weigh in things like severity or the wisdom of various measures. Though, I will say I found this podcast (by an actual doctor) helpful. And I’ll also say that I find 45 banning flights from some European countries and not others rather ridiculous since it’s easy to hop from Paris over to London and board an alternate flight.
But I digress.
What I’m doing today is checking in. Telling you that we’re in Estonia. That yes there is an official state of emergency here. But that it seems like a precautionary measure. There have only been 27 cases of COVID-19 and the measures (which are relatively minor and mostly involve minimizing large gatherings) are there to make sure it doesn’t balloon.
We are staying in a very nice apartment with a freezer full of Luna’s special diet. We’ve got good internet. Clients seem to be trekking right along pretty much as usual. And our visas in Estonia have several months left on them (and are easily extendible for another 6 – 7 months).
We are, in other words, doing fine. Tired, sure. Anxious, sometimes. Uncertain what this means for our Swiss visa process, yes. But fine.
That said, with all the quarantines and the possible grounding of flights and friends of mine scrambling to get back to family and friends, it feels like a good time to take a short break from my travel-related content here on the blog. People seem to mostly be dealing with the here and now, not planning future trips. So continuing to post about European travel feels a little like screaming into a void.
This might mean the blog gets a little quiet for awhile (though teaser: I have BIG good news in the midst of this mess and I will be sharing that with you soon). And it might mean I write about other things a bit (it seems, for example, like a good time to put together a list of good books to read when you’re isolated at home and need to escape into another world for awhile).
Either way, I’m still here. I’ll post when I have something not-travel-related to share. And hopefully these temporary measures won’t last, and I’ll be back to sharing hikes and fancy dinners and weird abandoned places with you soon.
Finally: how are you, friends, readers? What’s the situation like on the ground where you are? How are you feeling?
How am I feeling? More than a little ticked off that so much is being cancelled. But I’m trying to remind myself it’s not a bad thing to be cautious and that I have plenty of books to read! Mainly just completely bummed some friends and I cancelled a trip set for two weeks from now to Washington DC to see the cherry blossoms. I’ll get over it. Linda
Glad you all are doing well. I feel as though the totalitarian regime has begun here in the US. As of yesterday the governor of my state basically told all schools to shut down asap. and for folks to avoid going to church. Not very religious but, it does give comfort to folks in times of crisis. I realize that Most of this is precautionary but, really wanting to go on my vacation in June and not be stuck in the US. My daughter now will have “school” remotely for two weeks and then the 3rd week is spring break. Hopefully after spring break school can return to its regularly scheduled programing.
So glad that you and Chad are well. I am just outside of Atlanta and some schools are closed, some business are closed, and some restaurants are closed. The media, unfortunately, is not helping, and the resulting panic and hysteria (which, of course, never help any situation) are just making things worse!
Less than two weeks ago, just before all of this began, I booked a trip for December. We will be spending about a week in Switzerland and then a week in Rome, stopping in Florence for a day along the way. I am so excited about this trip and for now am just trusting that this will be over by then. I’ve had a lot of fun combing through your archives for info about Switzerland and had actually planned to reach out to you with a couple of questions about the Bernese Oberland.
I hope you will continue to post! I enjoy your writing, both travel and non-travel related. I think that those of us who love travel are always happy to read and dream about it, and have a half-dozen hypothetical trips planned in our heads at any given time. Researching and reading about the places I want to visit is definitely my escape from reality!