Guest post by Gemmy from GemmyPenny Diaries
A surprisingly warm morning in January I drove to work. The streets where quiet. The radio was playing a new song and I hummed along not really knowing the lyrics.
When they said on the morning news that we had our first case of covid-19 up high in Finland. I was not afraid, because it was still so far away. The workday I spent in peace, humming to that new song that I heard on the radio.
In the middle of March the press conferences started to play on a daily basis. The government wanted to share their information with everyone. But with that the bulk buying also begun. Toilet paper, gone. Canned foods, gone. Hand sanitisers, gone. Panic was in the air.
When the borders around Finland closed and the ferries to and from our island stopped transporting people, many felt safer. But we also felt trapped. The question on everyone’s mind was: “How long?”
The schools, restaurants and movie theaters closed shortly after, because now covid-19 had been found on our island. 10 people was the limit for gatherings and the elderly and sick where recommended to self isolate. People were recommended to work from home and keep social distancing. Public transportations stopped moving and stores had to either close or shorten their opening hours due to the loss of customers.
Convenience stores reacted quickly and deemed the first opening hour only for people at risk. The newspaper was free for everyone to read and the online community grew.
Happily we were allowed to leave our homes. But many still of course chose to stay indoors.
At the end of March I along with many others were laid off from work.
In April as the corona cases stopped appearing and the islands own government deemed there was no social infection, people started to spend more time outdoors because of all the time we’ve been given due to the loss of employments.
Wherever you looked people were investigating new forest trails and exploring new/old places that you’d never taken the time to visit before.
We call it now to “Hemestra” which means “vacationing at home”.
In the middle of May the schools opened up again. It looked like we were already turning towards the ”normal” we were used to. Because we had not had any new cases of covid-19 in a month. People started moving around more, the social distancing was forgotten and less people used hand sanitiser when entering the stores.
Now it’s June and a couple new covid-19 cases has appeared.
The restaurants opened yesterday, but they are only allowed a limited amount of customers and they must close at 10 in the evening. The island borders has allowed some travels, like for work. But the full opening of the borders is still uncertain. Some ferries have chosen not to move until the middle of July.
“Well, we need tourists to keep the economy going on this island.” a man said. “But wouldn’t it be too soon?” I asked. ”There’s still a month to July.” he answered ”A lot can happen in a month.”
About the author
Gemmy is a cat mother of two who lives on a small island in Finland working as a hairdresser and a salesperson in a clothing store. You can check out her blog at GemmyPenny Diaries and can also find her on Instagram and Twitter!
Quarantine Diaries is a blog series where bloggers from different countries share their quarantine stories to narrate their experiences and remind us that we all are in it together.
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