How many Dominicans live in New York

Living in the Corona crisis: Austrians report from all over the world

New York's way out of the Corona crisis is steep and rocky. The shutdown "New York State on Break" has meanwhile been extended to May 15 and the school system will not start again this school year in the city. The population is urged to only go out on the streets with face masks or masks. In the streets, the omnipresent sirens of the emergency vehicles echo day and night and people wait in long lines in front of grocery stores and pharmacies to be let in. The number of daily deaths shows at least a clear downward trend, from more than 700 daily Covid-19 deaths ten days ago to fewer than 400 last weekend. One hears again and again of illnesses or deaths in the closer social environment: a soccer coach who has died and leaves three small children behind; a teacher who was infected by her husband who worked as a doctor; a musician who is in intensive care; or a recently recovered work colleague who is now donating plasma to help patients. Covid-19 is actually everywhere in New York City.

Austrians report

Austrians living abroad have sent me messages about the Covid 19 situation in their respective countries in the last few weeks. Below are their reports from Egypt, the Dominican Republic, France and Georgia, in alphabetical order.

Egypt

C. has been working for an international organization for a long time, the last eleven years in the Arab region, in Palestine, Sudan and currently Egypt. As a regional consultant, she is usually on the road a lot for work. Now she works from home in her apartment in Cairo, which she shares with her two “baladi” (street) cats.

“As of April 24, Egypt had 4,092 confirmed infections and 294 deaths, with the number rising dramatically, especially in the last few days. With a population of over 100 million, this still seems very little and many wonder what the number is in reality, since only around 50,000 people have been tested so far. In the middle of March, my office decided on “working from home”. It makes me smile that many Austrian friends speak of the “home office”, while that has not caught on with us in English.

We have had curfew from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. for the past few weeks. Schools and universities are closed, churches and mosques have been closed, restaurants are only allowed to offer “take away”, and many shops are closed, especially on weekends. However, when you go out during the day, it is difficult to imagine that Covid-19 is a reality. You see a lot of people in the streets, only a few with masks. Construction workers work shoulder to shoulder. The “Bawabs” on my street - the Egyptian version of the caretaker / security guard - sit tightly around a small table in the morning and share their “fatour” (breakfast), which often consists of cooked fava beans and flatbread. Colleagues have also told of young people who meet during the day and behave as if they had never heard of "social distancing". It is now joked that Egyptians would try to stand so close together to crush the coronavirus.

I'm not really comfortable with all of this, as I've been working with offices in the region for weeks on converting their programs to Covid-19 and being prepared for a possibly exponential increase in the number of cases. I am used to traveling to countries that are not routine travel destinations, for example Syria, Iraq, Somalia or Yemen. After these trips I am often happy to be safely back in Cairo. Covid-19 has turned it all upside down, because for the first time I have the feeling that it is actually nowhere really safe. However, it is nice that here, too, we take more care of each other. My Greek-American neighbor, whom I didn't know at all until recently, brought me biscuits that I had baked for Orthodox Easter and we now often talk in the stairwell from a safe distance.

The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan began on April 24th, a time of reflection during which believers spend a lot of time in the mosques. Ramadan is also an opportunity to “break the fast” with family and friends, and “Iftars” (the first meal after sunset to end the daily fast) bring people closer together. Iftar meals are also usually organized, with long communal tables where people in particular can dine. The previously quite moderate Covid-19 requirements have now been relaxed somewhat - a delicate balancing act by the government between economic interests, religious and social needs and important health measures. Exit lock is now from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. and shops can unlock longer and every day again. Nonetheless, Cairo, a city that actually never sleeps and, especially during Ramadan, does not come to rest at night, this year will have to celebrate much more calmly and inwardly. "

Dominican Republic

Alfred lives with his Dominican wife and twin daughters, who are almost two years old, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He worked for the United Nations for 40 years, first as a UN soldier and since 1985 in logistics and administration. In total, he has lived and worked in 21 different countries, for example in the Congo, southern Lebanon and Haiti. There are currently 6,135 confirmed Covid-19 infections in the Dominican Republic and 278 deaths.

“The Dominican Republic is around a third smaller than Austria and has 11 million inhabitants. I think that nobody can say exactly how many people really live, live, work or even survive here. The president has promised financial support in this corona crisis, but a large part of it will certainly end up in the pockets of those who do not need it.

Everything started very slowly here, but unfortunately neither the upper classes of society nor the broad masses adhere to certain regulations. But it's getting better. There is a curfew between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. If you get caught with a car or a moped, you lose the vehicle until the end of the measures. If you go on foot, you risk imprisonment. Politicians and influential families are certainly not harassed. More than 40,000 people have so far been arrested for ignoring the curfew and imprisoned for one night. They are now planning even tighter controls on the curfew.

Shopping is pretty decent and almost everything is still available. For the first time, I was proud to be older, because from 65 you don't have to queue in long lines (I'm 64). My wife takes self-sacrificing care of our twins and they can now watch baby TV more, I cook and clean more. I feel very sorry for all the poor people here. Nobody cares about them and good medical care is not available for everyone. We try to help a little here and there. We wanted to register for the return flight to Austria on March 24th, but were turned away because I am not a stranded holidaymaker and therefore not entitled. In addition, my wife cannot enter Austria anyway, as she is currently not granted a residence permit. "

France

Since completing his medical degree in 2002, Stefan has lived by the sea in the south of France. After a "long stony French training path" he is now working as a senior physician at the university hospital in Nîmes in the hematology department.

“The days in the hospital are long, unfortunately the staff was already decimated by illness before the outbreak of Covid-19 and basically understaffed, a phenomenon that is widespread here in France. According to reports from Italy, entire wards were cleared and converted into Covid-19 wards, the number of intensive care beds tripled and surgical interventions reduced to a minimum. Unfortunately, there have been major difficulties in getting tests, not just for patients but also for medical staff. Everything is currently done via telephone patient advice, which is very time-consuming. Countless emails have to be answered. A separate isolated Covid-19 suspect bed ward has now been set up to test patients before they are referred to the hematology or oncology ward. False negative tests are unavoidable; if suspicion persists, tests are repeated and imaging tests performed.

Masks and hand disinfectants are now available in sufficient quantities and it has been mandatory to wear masks in the building for weeks. All patients have to use the main entrance of our institute, where four medical students question their symptoms, and nobody can escape the forehead thermometer. The most serious of these changes are visiting restrictions, especially for palliative patients who do not have time to say goodbye. In the neighboring main building of the university hospital, there were several outbreaks of Covid-19 in various departments, but there is now a significant decrease in the recordings. Of 65 inpatient Covid-19 cases, 16 patients are in the intensive care unit.

The curfew is largely accepted and strictly controlled here in the south. Guardians of the order often take it more seriously than necessary if I can believe my patients and colleagues. The centralistic approach of the government, which prescribes the same measures in all regions, is also criticized. I myself have been checked twice on the way to work at toll booths, of course there was always no certificate of any kind, but after the police questionnaire I went on without a parking ticket. All records are broken when it comes to travel times, provided that the maximum permitted speeds are adhered to, of course. There have been no traffic jams in the region for five weeks, only trucks are on the way.

At home, when they were young, the children took command, a vegetable garden was laid out, and we are all eagerly awaiting the first tomatoes and strawberries. The supermarkets work as before, there is sometimes a lack of toast and that in the land of the baguette! With Netflix, Canal plus and Playstation, the children’s time is running out for digital remote schooling, but this is working satisfactorily and the announcement that schools will be reopened in mid-May is met with resistance within the home. Occasionally it gets sporty, a round of jogging around the block, further is not allowed (1 km) and for most of them is sufficient due to condition. In contrast, our old table tennis table is in great demand, France - Autriche 21:19, I (sometimes) let the lady of my heart win, for the sake of peace at home. Bon courage et faites attention à vous! "

Georgia

Andrea, born in Graz, has lived in Georgia for six months. Half of the 3.7 million inhabitants live in and around the capital Tbilisi. The average income is around 350 euros. Andrea is working to discover her next professional passion.

"In Georgia, the republic south of Russia and east of Turkey - Eurasia, with all its turbulent history, kindness and hospitality, there are currently 496 infected people, 149 of them recovered and six deceased. The relatively low numbers like the rapid action of the This is due to the government: Already at the beginning of March, with three infected people, schools, kindergartens, universities, among other things, were closed gradually, as were the borders. Since the imposition of the state of emergency on March 21, public transport has been suspended, a nationwide curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. It came into force shortly afterwards. It is compulsory to wear a mask in closed public spaces. During the highest public holidays for Orthodox Easter, the use of private cars is also prohibited across the country.

However, the government does not dare to close the churches entirely. According to the media, some clergy are resisting the official church line, calling on believers to stay at home or even closing their churches. On Palm Sunday you could hear the crowd in and in front of the churches. After Easter Sunday, pictures of empty churches and exemplary distance were circulated. The fact remains that everyone receives the Lord's Supper from the same spoon.

Shota Rustaveli Avenue is generally like a motorized anthill in a hormonal state of emergency. You bathe in people wherever you go. Zebra crossings are funny white lines on the ground, a motorcycle always has priority. Also on the sidewalk. Now the sparse pedestrians seek encouraging eye contact. For the first time I hear the chirping of birds. Small shops, restaurants, bars lock single-handedly. Without government orders. In the digital Austrian group there are still some rough jokes going on, followed by first world problems.

Revolutions, freedom struggles, wars. Deficiency, corruption, poverty, struggle for survival. A brief outline of the last twenty years for Georgians. So I favor the idea that people whose lives and livelihoods are not at stake for the first time don't see the point in panic. Just do what needs to be done. With insight. With cohesion.

I am everything. Calm. Alone. Reasonable. Apprehensive in a country whose language I hardly speak, let alone understand. Sometimes I like to hang out with myself crazy. If not, I'll listen to the neighbors. There's something creative about the pipes. If the roommate above me haunts her onion potato, it wafts swiftly through my bathroom. The same applies to noises. Laughter, excited conversations with women, running training every evening at 11 p.m. punctually.

I don't feel alone anymore than usual. On the contrary. And from my landlord I learn with a wink that a small glass of chacha - the kind of schnapps that one can blow out all candles right away - accompanied by a clove of garlic is no harm in times like these. Preferably before breakfast, mind you. "

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Dear readers! How are you? What is your experience in times of the coronavirus? How do you and your family deal with the crisis? I look forward to reading from you in the forum. Or send me your testimonials or photos to [email protected] Stay healthy! (Stella Schuhmacher, April 27, 2020)