Coronavirus: ‘It’s surreal, life as I know it has completely changed’

The top stories from Irish Abroad this week

 Operators of the Milanese Environmental Services Company (AMSA) sanitise the square of the Central Station using a disinfectant diluted water to avoid further spread of the COVID-19 on Friday. Photograph: Marco Ottico/EPA

Operators of the Milanese Environmental Services Company (AMSA) sanitise the square of the Central Station using a disinfectant diluted water to avoid further spread of the COVID-19 on Friday. Photograph: Marco Ottico/EPA

 

All eyes have been firmly fixed on updates and information on the global spread of the coronavirus outbreak this week. Lockdowns, State of Emergency declarations and travel bans are some of the measures countries have taken trying to stop or delay the fast-moving Covid-19. Irish people living abroad have kindly shared their experiences, fears and challenges they now face where they live.

Abroad readers living in Italy give us an inside look at the reality of living under lockdown: “People fear me as much as I fear them. Self-isolation is not easy.” Irish living in California explain the changes since the State of Emergency was declared: ‘Tensions are high, people are worried” and back to where it began, Wuhan, where an Irishman describes how everything changed in 24 hours. Galway woman Dairín Frawley describes her new daily routine in Seoul, South Korea, which has a population of 51 million, with drive-through testing, no human contact and thermal screening tents to access her workplace. If anyone would like to get in touch with their experiences where they live email abroad@irishtimes.com

In other news, Suzanne Lynch writes about Dermot Shea, who is the latest in a long line of Irish-Americans to lead the NYPD and John O’Donovan in London writes about being in a long-distance relationship with Ireland: “Austerity forced me out of Ireland. Now I don’t know how to return.” Finally, Dubliner Charlie Jermyn describes how he has never felt homesick for Ireland, but does yearn to return to Hong Kong: “I feel homesick for a place that isn’t my home.”

If you would like to contribute by writing your own story (about 700 words), answering a Working Abroad Q&A or sharing your insider’s guide to the city where you live for the Welcome To My Place column, you can contact abroad@irishtimes.com.

You’ll find plenty more stories by and about the Irish diaspora on irishtimes.com/abroad.

To receive this digest to your inbox each week, you can join the free Irish Times Abroad Network here.

Thank you for reading. 

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