Since December 2019 a virus emerged from China, currently holding our world in its grip! Widely known as the Corona, aka COVID-19 outbreak, even declared by the World Health Organization as a pandemic. One of the most recent overviews of the current infections worldwide is:
If you haven’t been living under a stone the past few months, of course you know all this already. And this is certainly not a blog with medical tips or how to deal with hygiene and so on, as I’m no doctor or specialist on this matter. There are much more reliable sources for this, so I'm happy to share a few links to those:
Most trustworthy sites:
Situation updates for the Netherlands:
More detailed daily updates:
Travel advice for the Netherlands:
As a travel blogger, that used to travel about 12 times a year, and a small business owner, this has a big effect on my life as well. Therefore I felt I had to write this blog to help myself, and others, to take responsibility, and share my experiences and tips, which can hopefully help you in some way as well in these uncertain and troubling times.
No projects or trips the coming months
Traveling is my biggest passion and I mainly work with travel related companies and brands, so to me this whole situation is also very impactful and caused me to lose almost all projects and trips the coming months.
This saddens and troubles me of course, however I can’t tell you how happy I was to return healthy and well from my trip to Italy in February, just before the real outbreak started there! And to get back home safely from the Dominican Republic last week, feeling quite anxious on the airport in Madrid for our stopover, on the same day the infections there doubled!
Wearing a mask for the first time in my life
I wore a face mask for the first time ever, and can tell you that it felt quite scary and uncomfortable, as wearing it correctly comes with many restrictions. Once you put it on you cannot take it off anymore, can’t eat, drink or touch the outside, as this can contain the virus, is highly infectious, so needs to be disposed of carefully. I am however happy I did, as even though I’m healthy and think I would survive an infection, I would be terrified to infect any one else, even worse my loved ones!
Nobody could have expected how rapidly things would develop, only to see most countries in Europe go on lockdown just 1 week later! Even though the Netherlands is not on complete lockdown yet, currently all schools, bars, restaurants and gyms here had to be closed until the 6th of April, most airlines and travel agents are cancelling flights and trips, and travel is highly discouraged by the government as of yesterday.
This is the current overview of travel advice and safety risk per country, in which most of the world used to be green, and is now orange and red. Meaning the government does not advise going there, unless strictly necessary, and you will not be insured when traveling to those countries at the moment:
Corona pandemic restrictions in the Netherlands
Although we are still allowed to go outside in my homeland, I strongly feel I should stay in the coming weeks, maybe even months, until this situation is under control. We all have the responsibility to stop this disease from spreading to contain this pandemic!
To help you understand the importance of staying home, I want to share what I’ve learned about the virus so far by explaining what a pandemic even means. A disease outbreak that's infectious and widespread with over 115 countries detecting the virus and more than 10 confirming at least 500 cases, will get the label pandemic. Also defined by the World Health Organization as: "an outbreak of a new pathogen that spreads easily from person to person across the globe".
But although the outbreak has been labelled a pandemic it doesn't mean it can’t be contained.
Why you should stay in too
At first Corona was said to be a variation of the normal flu virus, but in reality it's much more serious, because of the following:
The transmission of this virus is much easier (some medical experts say that the virus can survive on surfaces for up to 3 days)
and most importantly it’s highly infectious; 1 person can infect up to 3 people, which again infect 3 people, and those all again 3, which can already mean more than 100 infections in 1 night out for example,
the virus can incubate up to 9 days, therefore most people might not even have symptoms, but can still transmit it.
Besides that it’s more like a pneumonia and very deadly for the elderly and people with diabetes, compromised immune systems or respiratory/lung problems etc. Therefore it’s very risky to go out and potentially expose them to the virus if you are not sure that you're not infected.
Because of all this containing the virus should be taken extremely serious, and it’s important NOT to give Corona “a ride” to its next destination!
That's why I believe that the only way to stop this virus from spreading is to NOT travel, but also to stay at home and inside as much as possible. Luckily while being able to cuddle my kitties even more now:)
Of course it breaks my heart to be restricted like this and it's easier said than done, as you have to be able to work from home for your job.
But as a freelancer, used to working at home, I’m happy to share some tips with you to stay productive, positive and keep you from going bananas, when you are able to stay at home these days and have more spare time now that you cannot go out with friends and family for a while.
50 things to do - how to stay productive & positive during a Corona quarantine
Take that online course you've been thinking about, you can even follow painting classes online
Follow some webinars
Work on your website and/or making your business more online focused to be more versatile and able to overcome setbacks like this better
Take up a new hobby or restart one you used to love, like drawing, painting or sculpting, or learn to play an instrument
Start up that project you've been postponing
Finally set up that Tiktok or other social media account you always wanted to, and make some fun video’s
Start a journal, write a book, short story or start a blog;)
Count your blessings and make a list with everything you're grateful for
Take time to reflect on what have you accomplished and which goals you are setting for yourself in the next year
Be aware of the fact that you don't have to endure those traffic jams anymore for a while!
Work out at home, you can do calf extensions on the steps, pushups and planks anywhere really, or use furniture for lifting😊
Try out at-home aerobics or yoga videos, or download a fitness app with curated workout playlists
Read a good book, online or offline
Work in the garden, if you have one, or create a jungle balcony or plant decorated window
Appreciate your home more and get creative with decorating
Have a good spring cleaning
Sort out your closet and keep all the clothes you haven't worn in more than 3 months apart for charity
Do some ironing, personally I still have heaps of clothes waiting for me:(
Do your administration/taxes, I still have to do my 2019 report
Catch some sun rays, spring is coming, I even wrote this blog on my garden lounge set in the sun and can't wait for the blossom tree in our garden to explode:)
If you don't have a garden maybe you can create a window lounge seat?
Play with your kids and/or pets more often
If you don't have pets look at pictures or videos of puppies and kitties, or make a list of funny videos to cheer yourself up
Call your family and loved ones regularly, Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts or FB are perfect for video (group) chats
Learn something new, like calligraphy or a new style of dance via YouTube
Check on your neighbors and elderly more often to see if they need help or want to chat
Reminisce on past trips and cherish those moments, as you realize now how much freedom we still had then
Make those photobooks you always wanted to
Challenge yourself by making something from those DYI boards on Pinterest
Interview your grandparents on the phone, and make a podcast out of it or write a book about their life
Do your own wine tasting with all the bottles you still have at home
Make lists of all the museums, sporting events and concerts you want to visit when they reopen
In the meantime there are 12 renowned museums offering virtual museum tours, which you can find here; galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours
Do some small online shopping and discover fun new web shops
Buy some giftcards to give to others to help the small businesses which are struggling now
Take a bubble bath and have some me-time (do a mani-pedi-,face mask, start a skin routine, use essential oils etc.)
Go for a romantic picnic in your own garden, on your balcony (if you have one), or in the living room with the windows open😊
Take advantage of this extra time to have a romantic evening with your partner incl.massages, candles, the works;)
Join an online stay at home challenge
Play video or board games together, remember Colonists of Catan?! Or break out that good old Lego!
Complete a puzzle, take on a Rubik's Cube or crossword puzzle
Download Duolingo, or a similar app, to teach yourself a foreign language
Meditate, or just try lying down with your eyes closed, while focusing on your breath to start with
Bake some cakes, cook more by breaking out those recipe books that were catching dust on the shelves, or test your cocktail making skills
Start a betting pool on which couple will be the first to be pregnant after this babyboom time;)
Get inspired by the many beautiful blogs and inspirational websites out there
Go all out on Pinterest with making beautiful boards of your interests, and repin what makes you happy
Become more social on either social media platform; Instagram, FB or LinkedIn groups for example are perfect to start conversations and find likeminded people to connect with
Start planning that epic trip for later this year or next year, and travel virtually now
Although this last one is a much less productive tip, it's a highly soothing one, if watched correctly😊 Therefore I made a Netflix list for you with all my personal favourites to binge on per theme/mood:
Thrillers/Fantasy series: Outlander, Suits, you, Breaking bad, Homeland, The Stranger, Once upon a Time, Vampire Diaries, Grimm, Merlin, Queen of the South, Prisonbreak, The 100, Limitless, Gotham, El Chapo, Narcos, Shooter, Designated Survivor, Shannara, The order, Timeless, Black Mirror, Dynasty, Blacklist, Riverdale, 3%, Vikings, Supergirl, Lucifer, Travelers, Sabrina, Arrow, Flash, The originals, Teenwolf, Pose and so on.
Feel good series: The big bang theory, When calls the heart, Good witch, Jane the virgin, Anne with an E, Glow, Insatiable, or watch some Christmas themed movies or series (if you haven’t seen all of them already😊)
Movies: Chambers, The tourist, Rampage, Matrix all editions, MIB all editions, Spiderman all editions, Batman all editions, Inception, Divergent, Insurgent, Salt, Twilight all editions, The Davinci Code, Angels & Demons, Steve Jobs, Legend, The ugly truth, Hancock, Memento and so on.
When/if this virus is more contained the coming months, or hopefully weeks, I can’t wait to go outside again to cycle and explore the Dutch flowerfields. The first tulips are already starting to bloom and I always love seeing this beauty in real life:
Until then I will stay in, wait patiently at home, and want to end this blog on a positive note by sharing some good news articles for a change. Although negative and bad news unfortunately rule at the moment, some positive developments can also be found if you search for them:
A possible 'treatment or cure' for the corona virus was found in Australia; Australian-researchers-CURE-coronavirus
An antibody for the Corona virus was found in the Netherlands; biorxiv.org/content
China found good success rate in treating Coronavirus patients with a combination of existing drugs on trials; chinese-medics-reveal-what-helped-cure-coronavirus-patients
And a Corona virus vaccine is being tested on humans in the US at the moment; coronavirus-vaccine
Let’s all pray that these vaccines and a possible cure will be developed and available for the whole world soon, so that we can go out and enjoy life and travel again by this summer.
In the meantime I hope you can benefit from my tips, but of course there are many more fun things to think of, so feel free to let me know here or through social media, via the buttons at the bottom of this page, if you have anything to add!
I hope that together we can prevent social distancing from becoming social isolation, that we can stay connected and help each other get through these scary and uncertain times.
To be honest I do feel a bit conflicted about sharing travel inspiration and tips the coming weeks, but that is what I love doing and also what my business and website is about. Although it may seem irrelevant now, I do feel we need something to hold on to and stay positively focused on the future, don't you?!
Even though it's better to not book a trip or travel right now, it is something to look forward to in the foreseeable future. Therefore I urge you to not cancel your trips, but instead postpone them to save tourism.
I hope you won’t hold it against me when I share travel and inspirational content again after this. And do hope you will still enjoy it and keep visiting my website and social media accounts to help my business survive as well.
Wishing you love and strength, stay safe and positive everyone!🙏💖