Hello from St. Petersburg! This isn't supposed to be a strictly factual OR deeply philosophical post... just a little journal entry during this strange life episode.
How many cases are there in Russia?
-Officially around 150, but it's unclear if there are enough tests available and at what point people are seeking medical attention. Pneumonia wards are pretty full, though.
Is there panic?
-Something shifted over the weekend and people started panic-buying, and some new quarantine measures were introduced at the beginning of the week. At this point people seem more skeptical and annoyed by it than scared. But a few people are nervous, especially if they have older relatives.
What are local people stocking up on?
-Mostly toilet paper and buckwheat. Other popular dried goods are oatmeal, flour and pasta. I found it interesting to see empty bread shelves in pictures of U.S. stores. What do you do with extra bread, put it in the freezer?
What protective measures are in place?
-You can read about it online, but the borders are closed and schools/universities are mostly switching to distance education. Behind the scenes there are vaccines and testing kits being worked on. Stores, restaurants, and other businesses are still open.
How are you keeping busy?
-We have enough homeschool materials until the end of the school year...did actually have a math book on order, not sure when we'll get it...oh well! Although I want to finish up this school year, I think kids that are home from school have a chance to relax a little bit from the high demands of an academic setting! Spring is coming and nature study is about to get more interesting, as long as we can all get outside.
-Watching: Frozen 2...even my son LOVES it and has been enjoying repeat viewings.
-Listening to: 1) Little Big...disclaimer, most of their hits are not family-friendly. They are a local group and have a really fun beat, so I'll have to look for something similar with safer lyrics. But they've been on the news lately because they were headed to Eurovision. 2) Family-friendly option: Simon Khorolskiy on YouTube. Has a few hymns in English and the rest are in Russian. Many of them are Baptist hymns, some translated from English so you would recognize the tunes. My daughter LOVES them.
Are you working from home?
-My husband is working on getting his lessons for his college students online. Going to be an interesting experiment! I do understand that it's a stressful time for people learning how to work from home AND have their kids underfoot at the same time.
How are you staying calm?
-I think it helps to pinpoint what your EXACT fears are, and give those to God. Right now my husband still has work and our daily activities haven't changed too much. And we have plenty of food and supplies! We just want our loved ones and fellow citizens of the world to be safe.
That's about all I have time for, feel free to ask more questions or answer them for your own country/community.