What it has been like dealing with the impact of COVID-19 for a few of our export customers
CHILE: April 2021
“Here in Chile the situation is very complicated, in April more than 8000 cases a day of people contagious with COVID-19.
There is not enough hospital beds and there is a lot of fear about the virus and the work situations.”
PAKISTAN: April 2021
“We in Pakistan faced a lot of Problems in the early stage of COVID starting from March 2020 till the end of year, everyone was in a strong fear due to lock down and too much pressure and info through Digital Media and news channels. No one had the experience to fight with COVID, we are all thinking like if we go out and take a breath, we will get COVID from the Air. It was such a difficult time to live. Nobody knew how to protect and treat it, everyone was confused and using his own practice to save and treat as precautions.
Fortunately, we in Pakistan got minimum loss against so many other countries. Death rate was very very low, and infection was also controlled by the grace of Allah.
Business situations are not good at all, we are facing lock down again due to the new wave of COVID, sales visits to the factories are totally stopped and no one is allowed to visit. Only inside sales are being done for only important jobs.
We sometimes think ‘what is the purpose of living now’, only you work and stay at home, we have no other activity at all, it is totally frustrating.
People spend most of their time in Offices, homes or workplaces, extra activities are stopped, and life is totally useless as we have no activity to Enjoy the life.
Our Government has no resources as other developed countries have to support the poor community, most of the people lost their jobs, construction business was stopped, and the labor was in serious trouble to support their families.
Now Vaccination has been started for people above 60 years of age. Some have good experience, and some have bad experience, I hear many people around the age of 80 years lost their life after getting vaccinated, they got high fever and also got lung infection. Before vaccination they did not have any covid infection or any other symptoms. So there is mixed opinion on the vaccination success rate. You get vaccination, but still you have to wear a mask and keep your distance, no freedom at all, same situation as for others not vaccinated. Everyone is confused.
Let’s hope for the best, otherwise no purpose of living exists in a controlled environment without any social activity.”
ARGENTINA: April 2021
“With the viruses and economy, we have spent 2020 with restrictions to mobilize, which further aggravated the difficult economic situation that we were already experiencing.
This year began with the liberalization of activities, which helped a lot to get the country back on track.
I was lucky to have been vaccinated last month, so I am one of 5 million vaccinated out of a population of 40 million.”
DENMARK: May 2021
“Here in Denmark we are still having so many restrictions, but barely any COVID cases. Many customers are working from home, so not much sales going on ☹
The impact of COVID on the economy of our business has been very difficult and will take time to recover from.”
ITALY: May 2021
“I am a 36 year old professional female living and working in Bologna, Emilia-Romagna (Italy)
My future husband and I have been together since 2014, we bought our house in 2019 where we live with our cat and dog, Locky and Vicky.
We got engaged in 2019 and we were supposed to get married in 2020, but we couldn’t due to COVID.
I used to live my simple and beautiful life full of love, surrounded by family and friends.
During my free time, I used to relax at the beach, enjoy pizzas with friends, go to live music concerts, take care of myself visiting the hairdresser, beautician, gym and swimming pool, go for a walk in the city center, etc.
Then, all of this has changed with the COVID19. An invisible but very powerful force destroyed the meaning of “normality” and “freedom”. Everything stopped and there was a deafening silence.
The Lockdown had begun and the world around me suddenly stopped.
Gyms, swimming pools, shops and restaurants, bars, beauticians, hairdressers, theatres, cinemas, supermarkets, even parks and the streets, are all empty. A deafening silence broken only by the sound of ambulance’s sirens.
I am a simple employee who works for an automation components supplier. We are considered “essential workers”, so I had to stay at home for about 33 days (less compared to others), spent few days of smart working and then back into the office, but in a new way.
It is now mandatory to wear a mask, wash and sanitize your hands often and always sanitize the surfaces you touch. Most of the visitors (e.g. sellers) cannot enter into the office, but only see the company staff via online appointments. Many companies are now undertaking weekly COVID testing, others do the minimum required by law.
The schools are closed so children are forced to stay at home. The parents that don’t work or do smart working are able to stay with their children (in Italy the smart working is rare and not adequately understood). Many others who have to work, solve “the problem” leaving the children with grandparents even if it’s not recommended (because it’s dangerous) and because often this isn’t a choice.
Those who work are considered the lucky ones, because if you don’t do it, you don’t earn money. Thus, you can’t pay rent and bills and there is high risk of your business shutting down or have nothing to eat at the end of the day. Some financial help has arrived from the Italian Government; however, this has been insufficient and often too late.
Many people were already in trouble before the pandemic started and many others found themselves in the same conditions. The new world appears to be normal, but it isn’t. Everything around me looks strange now, like a nightmare that seems so real and from which I cannot wake up.
I cannot go out if not only for a real emergency or work, nothing more. Then when I go out, I have always to wear a mask on my face.
Common sense and education are the key to everything but not everybody applies them.
A warm and comforting hug, a sweet and passionate kiss, now have become potentially dangerous weapons.
This enemy is invisible and each of us may carry it around, “consciously or not“.
It’s hard to explain the feelings and the emotions to someone who cannot experience it. We are all forced to watch life instead of living it. How can I fully explain the uneasiness and difficulty to it is to live in such a situation to someone who is not living in this new existence?
People around me die alone, in silence. This is terrible. We are all scared. Some people deny it because it is too much to accept. Others are paralyzed by doubts and fear. Some find the courage to face the fear in his/her own way.
Everyone has got their own ideas and truths and try to impose these to others. Different points of view have divided families and friends because of the mutual accusations of hypochondria or an unhealthy climate of indifference for each other feelings.
The “war of the poor” has begun.
We live with a large traffic light that tells us what to do and how to live. Red, orange, yellow, green, white are the colours that now regulates our life, what we can or can’t do.
I believe we should re-start from the little things that fulfil our mind and spirit. Then focus on our body once our freedom is given back to us. I think of Anne Frank, how she observed the life and its details without being able to enjoy them. Despite all of this, she kept smiling and enjoying the little things. This tells me that we always have a choice. A smile, even from a distance, has the power to change the day.
We should all concentrate on good little things to produce positive vibes. Nobody can steal us the positivity from our mind!
Take a small walk with your dog (this for now it is allowed), take a relaxing bath, listen to the music, sing your favourite songs, cook, read a book, learn a new language, do exercises at home, do a puzzle…..you can spend your time in different ways that can enrich your life and help you feeling better.
In any case, I believe one day all this will be history and we will be back to life again.
We will be able to lie on the grass without a mask, to breathe the fresh air and look at the sky again.
I dream about our wedding in September, how this is going to be magical, with the sun, fewer restrictions, and many many people we love.
It is so difficult for both our mind and body right now, but at the moment we have no alternative. The only option is to never give up and stay positive.
Take a deep breath, keep enjoying all the little things and never give up and keep smiling.”
– Covid and Italy, a point of view from an employee and future bride