What has been first in China, reached Europe in the last couple of weeks: The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus is called a pandemic by the WHO (World Health Organization) and at this time, there is no specific treatment or vaccines against Covid-19.

Thus, countries adopted different measures and policies to contain the spread of Covid-19. Initially, the virus emerged in Wuhan, China and after hiding the problem from the public at first, China executed a strict lockdown in Wuhan which is currently being gradually loosened after China no longer reports any new infections. Taiwan and South Korea could flatten the curve through extensive testing, quarantine measures and public health education. 

In Europe, Spain, France, and Italy implemented countrywide lockdowns as countries with one of the highest infection numbers and death rates. But also Germany has imposed a contact ban. The same can be observed in Great Britain but is criticized for hesitating so long. 

The call to each and every one of us, which follows from this and is specifically formulated by heads of government and presidents in speeches to us on television: We can help to #flattenthecurve by #stayingathome and #socialdistancing. Therefore, we asked some of our members how they experience the crisis, how they have been affected and what their country is doing against Covid-19. To share also some positive points, our members will give recommendations on what we can do while staying most of the day at home. 

Today we speak with Andreas Brox who reports from the situation in France and how he has been affected by the Crisis. We will also talk with him about what is now most important.

Happy Andreas in France before the outbreak of Covid-19

SCC: Where you are staying right now?

Andreas Brox: I moved from Bordeaux back to Germany this week, because of the developments around the Corona pandemic.

How is France reacting to the Corona crisis?

France has announced a countrywide lockdown last Monday. It is only allowed to leave the house for grocery shopping, going to work, taking care of relatives and to do individual sports, close to your home. This is enforced with controls by the police, which can issue a fine if you do not carry a document with you that states one of the reasons to leave the house. Many parks and public places, like beaches and rivers sides, are closed.

How do you feel about the actions of your country against the Corona crisis?

France seems to have acted quickly, with first closing schools and universities and a few days later deciding the countrywide lockdown. The restrictions are extensive, but I guess necessary. Positive was in my view that the announcements and rules were very clear.

Now we want to talk about your own experience: What is most important for you during the Corona Crisis? 

I think it is most important to act responsibly and see how you can help and protect others around you. Despite how shocking the pandemic is, I think it’s a time to concentrate on the really important things and show solidarity for everyone more affected than oneself.

How do you spend your time at the moment?

I am constantly listening to podcasts and spend a lot of time on the phone with my friends. At first, I was only following the news and dealing with organizational issues. Now I can use the lockdown to do things I never had time for.

To give our readers some practical tips on how to cope with staying at home, or being in quarantine, what are your tips? 

Do any projects and hobbies you can do at home! I can especially recommend cooking and baking. And to contact friends and relatives you haven’t been in touch with for a while. My podcast recommendation is “the Ezra Klein Show”.

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