Where I live In Switzerland it’s pretty good because we are near to the woods so I can still see people jogging, walking…. cycling. 

In lockdown you are allowed to leave your house with your family. If you are with others – there should be no more than five people together.

girl in woods with black dog

I’m pretty busy now because the kids are all at home.

One is still at high school  the other two are waiting to continue their studies. They are doing online work at home. 

I speak Mandarin with my children, my husband speaks English and between themselves they speak a Swiss dialect. Because we live near the north of Switzerland they speak Swiss-German. 

At the beginning lockdown was pretty hard for them because they couldn’t go to see friends and socialise. But now I think now they are more used to it.  

I miss meeting friends and going to church….but I think everyone has had to re-think their priorities now.

dumplings and fireplace, Switzerland

We spend some time spring-cleaning….it has to be done.

I try to get my children to help me to clean because now they have more time. We enjoy doing it together and sometimes they cook for me and my husband… and that’s nice. 

It’s very different from ‘normal’ because we all have stay at home and you don’t get to see other people.

But the good thing is we have more family time. That is a very big change.

purple flower, Switzerland

We have lived here for 22 years. It is a single detached split level house on four levels and my children all have their own rooms. 

We also have a dog who has to be walked every day. 

My mum and eldest brother are still in Malaysia. The lockdown rules there are very strict.

They can’t go out between 8pm until 8am the next day  –  and then only one person is allowed out at a time to get food. 

When I go out I wear a mask and use a  sanitiser but I  try not to go out very often.  

My husband is still working because he works in research. I sometimes ask him to do some shopping if I need it. 

black dog at Swiss border

We miss doing our grocery shopping in Germany and France.

Things in Switzerland are so expensive. 

Just 20 minutes walk and I can go to Germany border – or if driving, it’s only five minutes, and fifteen minutes to France. 

In France, the prices are half that of  Switzerland –  but the borders are all closed now. 

It is a blessing to have a little garden…or balcony, because for those who don’t have this you are kind of really locked into your own space. 

dog and outdoor oven, Switzerland

We really appreciate the garden. 

We are trying to grow some vegetables. I’m just learning now.

I tried a few years back but I wasn’t really into it. This year because I can’t go out I have more time. The soil in my garden is clay  – which makes it difficult. We don’t have any place open to get soil. 

I work part-time work as a tour guide for the Chinese Viking cruise, but now we are jobless.

We actually stopped in March because by then coronavirus had already affected tourism in Switzerland.

For people who have lost their jobs because of coronavirus the Swiss government will pay them some money as compensation. Compared to other countries I think that is really a blessing.

And now my doctor can send things through the post  so I don’t have to go to the pharmacy. 

kettle and bread in switzerland

Before lockdown I went back to Malaysia to celebrate my mum’s birthday.

Coronavirus already affected our celebrations.  Me, my husband and my son were able to get back   – but my eldest sister, my second sister and my younger brother couldn’t make it.  

We do a lot of group chatting with my mum and siblings.

My eldest sister is in Melbourne and my brother is in Kuala Lumpur. My second sister is in Hong Kong… I am in Switzerland and my younger brother is in Shanghai. We are very International.

fresh produce

Economically I think in Malaysia things are  bad. Switzerland is bad too.. but so far thank God, we are fortunate  that my husband’s work is not affected. 

My brother has his own food business and that has been really badly affected  – he has totally no income.

And my nephew is a hair-stylist and he also has no income.

My brother in law is a pilot and has been affected a lot by coronavirus.

My sister in Hong Kong works for Cathay Pacific as a stewardess and the staff have been cut and then forced to take all their leave and forced to take unpaid leave.

She will only work until the end of the year and then she will retire. She just has a few more months to go… But it’s sad to end it this way –  especially because if you work with an airline you are actually putting yourself in a very high-risk area.

It’s hard.

flowers and road in Switzerland

All photos by Respondent

Nuala Rooney

I am designer, educator and researcher developing creative and holistic human-centred insights within the social/spatial sphere.

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