Lockdown in Seychelles
Well, things certainly took a turn since my last post! Not long after that it was announced that we had a new case of Coronavirus here in Seychelles.
The first case that was contracted in the country. The borders had been closed for a while already and we were all starting to think we had got away with no more cases!
It was of course no surprise when a lockdown was announced to start on the 9th April. I cant deny that it was a big shock to me that there would be no allowance for exercise.
Up to this point we had been making a point to get to the beach every day. The day before lockdown we knew we had to fit in one more trip to the beach. We went to Anse Lazio and soaked up the very last bit of sunlight.
The poor guy who had contracted the virus sadly had his details leaked. Soon the whole country knew he was and where he had been. It turned out he had been to the hospital feeling unwell, was sent home and it wasn’t until he returned a second time that he was then tested and diagnosed with Coronavirus.
During the time between the two hospital visits he had of course been out and about, so we were all very certain that we would shortly be seeing more and more cases.
Somehow, that did not happen. Each day we would were checking for updates waiting for the news. It didn’t come. The Department of Health had done extensive contact tracing and testing.
Lockdown On An Island With No Cases
On Praslin it was all a little surreal, we had no cases on our island and yet we were restricted to our homes. It was of course understandable as there is always a lot of traffic between the islands, but still hard, especially for the kids. We were definitely missing our regular trips to the beach.
Not being able to get out for exercise was quite tough. It did encourage me to get back into Yoga again though which has been nice. Mark was doing loops of the estate, and even did a couple of half marathons around a loop of less than a kilometre!
We made sure that the boys did lots of scooting up and down the road, and we were definitely very thankful for the climbing frame in the garden that Mum and Dad had bought!
It was the Easter holidays during part of the lockdown and we didn’t continue ‘home-school’ at this time. In some ways I wish we had continued just to help keep some routine, but I can’t deny the lazy days did feel good.
Some days were definitely tough. Arthur especially struggled, I can’t help but feel 6 is a tough age to be living in this strange time. It’s hard enough for me to wrap my head around! I made sure that every day we had plenty of time for cuddles, reassuring that we were safe.
We were all pretty excited that the lockdown was going to end before the public holiday weekend at the start of May. Sadly though, the government extended the lockdown to the other side of that weekend.
A Glimpse At The New Normal
By the last weekend of April we had, amazingly, no further cases. No deaths and the patients all recovering well. Which meant lockdown was able to be lifted on the 4th May!
During the weekend the President informed the country of how life would look after lockdown ended. I think, ‘lockdown exit strategy’ is the phrase being used (isn’t it weird all the new words and terms created from this!?) To name a few:
- Borders remain closed until June 1st. After this time repatriation flights will resume, but it is not yet really clear when and how tourists will be allowed to enter the country.
- Any non-seychellois residents leaving the country will not be able to return for 3 months.
- Any one entering the country will have to go into quarentine.
- Staggered re-opening of schools and businesses
- No public meetings of more than 4 people – including beach trips, festivals.
- No house parties (dinners etc)….this is a big one for us as it is our main way of socialising!
The fact that Schools were going to be allowed to reopen, was a very exciting prospect for all of us! But of course this too would have to have big changes. But I’ll go into that soon!
Looking Back and Ahead
So lockdown is now over which is of course is amazing! We are however starting to realise that our plans for the Summer are probably going to be cancelled. I know things could be much worse, we are so lucky. But it is still sad that we wont get to see our family and friends back in the UK if we do have to cancel!
As a country, I feel like Seychelles is in a truly fortunate position right now. We have the time to prepare and get used to social distancing for when new cases which will almost inevitably come once the borders re-open.
For now, we are getting used to our new normal while still holding out some small hope that the Summer is not totally cancelled! Of course, at the same time we don’t wish the borders to be open to soon anywhere and risk anyone else being affected by this truly terrifying virus. It is crazy the mixed and often conflicting emotions the past few months have caused.
Honestly, I can’t believe how much has changed in such a short space of time. I am really thankful for the time we got to spend together during lockdown. Of course it was hard some days not being able to get out, but what a privilege it was to be able to be home and safe as a family. For the Seychelles this is undoubtedly a major blow for the economy. It is so heavily dependent on tourism , I do hope it is able to recover from this.
Impossible To Summarise!
As you can tell from the last 2 paragraphs, I really don’t know how to put into words my feelings from all of this!! I hope you kinda get what I mean! I think really it’s just trying to juggle the ‘selfishness’ of how we are directly impacted and soaking in the massive global impact! If you are still reading this now VERY long post thank you! I think I’ll end it there!