Hello From Seychelles
Hello old friend. It has been a really really long time.
I have finally made some time to put into this little space of mine. It is rather ridiculous that it has taken a global epidemic for that to happen, but still here I am!
Of course I am going to be talking about Coronavirus, I mean, who isn’t talking about it!! I understand that lots of people are not looking to read even more about it, but I think for me, this is more of a way to ease my anxiety about the situation!
Here in Seychelles, we have so far been extremely fortunate. We are currently sitting at just* 7 cases of Covid-19. Without wishing to sound dramatic, it feels like we are watching the world shutdown all around us.
*When I say ‘just’ I don’t wish to undermine these 7 people, it must be truly terrifying for them and their families. What I mean is that we have been at this number for a few days now, so for now at least, it feels like the country has been able to contain the virus spread.
The Effect in Seychelles
So as I said, so far the cases here are thankfully very low right now. But already the impact on the country has been huge. Our borders are (rightly in my opinion) closed so no more tourists can enter the country and risk spreading it even further.
Of course, no tourists is a major problem here. With the biggest industry being tourism, business has taken a huge hit. Nearly all hotels and restaurants are closed. Of course the impact goes beyond that, car hire companies, tour guides, taxi drivers, tour operators and many many more businesses are hugely effected.
The government has guaranteed salaries for ALL employees here which is rather amazing but business owners will of course be suffering. It is hard to see so many of our friends businesses effected
It is probably safe to say that the bigger impact on us is yet to come. Even if we are extremely lucky and the spread of Covid-19 has been contained here, our country relies very heavily on imports.
Obviously, with the rest of the world being so impacted, imports to our country will drop, and who knows by how much!? The biggest thing for us to worry about that is of course food. Since we moved here back in 2012 availability of produce has improved hugely. There is very little we are not able to get now, this is almost certainly not going to be the case soon.
While we can certainly do without life’s luxuries, a bigger worry would be more about livability of more vital food stuffs, basics and essentials. There is such a small agriculture industry here, one that almost certainly could not maintain a population!
All in all though, I think it is safe to say that so far, we have been extremely lucky!
The Effect On Us!
Schools are closed and we have now had 2 weeks of homeschooling. I have never been so grateful to be married to a teacher!!!! Mark has loved teaching the boys! They have tended to keep school activities to the morning! The afternoons have been about down time. Oh, and getting to the beach!
At the start of the week a travel ban was announced to all Seychellois citizens. A couple days ago this was extended to residents as well. This means that currently we are not allowed to leave the country. I’ll be honest, that freaked me out a bit. Not that I want to leave, but just being told you can not was rather surreal.
Daily updates about the cases here in Seychelles come via the Facebook page of the Department of Health. They usually come in around midday
We have been doing our best to keep our fridge and freezer topped up – without being greedy or panic buying! Mostly we are just replacing what we are eating daily instead of doing any big shops.
When I say *we* have been keeping the fridge and freezer topped up, I mean Mark! Our car has been in the garage for 2 months now! We have been waiting for parts from abroad and while we think the parts are now in the country, the clearing agent has closed because of the virus we basically have to just continue waiting. Luckily, Mark has the scooter which he can go out and pick up supplies with (I could drive it, but frankly I am just not good at driving it so best leaving it to Mark!!!)
I feel uneasy about being happy that we are not personally effected too badly right now, it’s almost a guilt. I see how bad things are in the rest of the world and it makes me worry so much about our families. It really feels like we are just in this very weird bubble over here. It’s also hard not to get caught up in the selfishness of how our lives are effected. I get frustrated about not seeing our friends, about the (in all reality very small) disruption in our lives. Then I check the news (for the 1295428th time of the day) and get a stark reminder how little we really are effected. Then that spurs more guilt!
Counting Our Blessings
So while there is A LOT to be worried about in the world right now I wanted to take a minute to write down everything I have to be thankful for during this crazy and scary time.
- We have had an extra 2 weeks of ‘family time’ I have been home from work, the boys and Mark home from school! While Mark has still had lots of work to do we have had a lot more time together than we usually would have.
- Running: I am so grateful that I took up running again back in November, getting out running regularly has been a huge sanity saver. It gives me time to clear my head and rationalise my fears. It also gives me time to chat with another Adult!! So pleased to have a running buddy, thanks Faye 🙂
- Homeschool sharing! As I mentioned the boys have been able to see their friend. Most days the boys start homeschool here at our house and then go round to their friends house to do some more activities. This has given everyone a break and has kept things fresh for the boys!
- Simple Pleasures. At the moment we are not on official lockdown, so we are able to get out of the house, have a swim and a run around. The benefits of this have been immeasurable. With social distancing and most places being closed, it has taken us back to our roots. Our life now feels a lot like when we first moved here, simple…..Obviously with the addition of 2 kids its not quite as simple but I think you get what I mean! I’m honestly really grateful for that. With being inside most of the day, I have never appreciated our beautiful beaches more!
- Empty Beaches. It is a truly unique opportunity to get all the amazing beautiful beaches to ourselves. There must really be only a couple of tourists here now and the beaches are super empty.
- I am also so happy to be able to still chat with friends and family. This whole thing has been a major reminder of how far we are from the rest of the world, and how tiny this little country is. To be able to still talk with everyone definitely is amazing. It is something we have always been very appreciative of since moving abroad, but this has definitely brought it back to the front of our minds.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that the situation remains stable here. I am of course also hoping so much that things start to get better everywhere else sooner rather than later.
It has felt SO good to spend some time writing on here again. I hope to be back on here again soon!