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?