Kazakh people living abroad tell about COVID-19 situation in their countries
The COVID-19, spreading like fire, quickly affected almost the whole world. The Kazakh citizens returned to their homeland from different parts of the planet in order to be safe. More than 7,000 Kazakh citizens returned to Kazakhstan since the beginning of the global pandemic. Still a lot of Kazakh citizens, for various reasons, had to remain in the epicenters and worst-hit countries in terms of coronavirus cases. They told us how things are going on in those countries where, it would seem, only yesterday, it was considered so prestigious and safe to study or work.
Diana Esposito, Salerno, Italy
The coronavirus outbreak led to serious consequences in Italy. Terrible things happened. Fortunately, now the number of COVID-19 related deaths is decreasing. You probably know that during the peak of the epidemic, thousands of people died here per day. The country reported nearly four or five thousand new coronavirus cases daily. Luckily, I live in the Southern Italy, where the COVID-19 outbreak seems to wane. The rate of infection is declining. I believe that this success is the result of the quarantine measures that were introduced by the government authorities in order to contain the spread of coronavirus.
In Italy, each region has its own President - it’s like the governors of the regions in Kazakhstan. Our governor was one of the first in the country to impose the rigorous lockdown restrictions. Now we can see what this timely action led to and are very happy about it. However, it doesn’t mean that we will get back to the ordinary life yet. Restaurants, beauty salons and entertainment centers will still be closed. Only some shops were allowed to reopen. It was announced that the pizza delivery services will be operating again. Italians love pizza so much, they can’t live without it.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus outbreak is no longer a threat to the country, but its consequences are, especially the way it hit the national economy. The government allowed people to use their pension funds due to the lack of money among the population. The whole business sector misses out on revenues. The Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte speaks live every day and talks about supporting measures to restore the economy.
However, the country hasn’t come up with the concrete steps out of the crisis yet. If you speak to any Italian, you will find out that nobody knows what they will do next. In the Southern Italy, the majority of people used to work in the tourism sector, including myself and my family. Tourism industry, hotel and restaurant business sector hasn’t received any financial assistance from the government. Nearly 70 percent of the population was left without work.
Our, Kazakh, people found ways to break the stalemate. For example, I obtained a new qualification online and changed my area of activity. However, most Italians are not like Kazakhs in this regard – they are gentler and not that nimble. I can totally feel them. They were left without income, but they still have to pay bills. More than 200 euro must be paid for electricity and 400 euro for heating. This is the current situation in Italy, which was a famous travel destination for tourists, who came from around the world to eat delicious dishes and enjoy breathtaking views. The COVID-19 crisis made me feel sad for this country, but I try to believe that everything will be fine.
Nazira Berdaly, Los Angeles, USA
The large number of coronavirus cases in the United States are due to the large population and high population density. Each U.S. state has its own laws. In California, that’s where I live, the state of emergency was announced on March 6. We do not go outside very often. However, people do not panic here. They are still doing sports and walking their dogs and cats. Schools, kindergartens, entertainment centers, shopping malls, parks and beaches were temporarily closed. International and domestic flights, as well as maritime and automobile transportation were suspended. The public transport is running in Los Angeles. Grocery stores and pharmacies are open. People switched to remote work. Schools switched to a distance learning format. There are some shut down cities in California with the strict quarantine. Thus, the neighboring San Francisco announced the lockdown, just like Almaty or Nur-Sultan. There are more than 44 million people living in California. Therefore, in fact, the death rate and the number of coronavirus cases in the state are not that terrible.
Assiya Bagdaulet, London, United Kingdom
The coronavirus pandemic affects not only the human health, but also his or her mental state. Local experts say that the influence of COVID-19 on the human mind and his mental state will continue for many years to come. Currently, experts in this field say that the number of people suffering from depression and other mental disorders is growing amid the spread of coronavirus. The epidemiological situation in the United Kingdom is exacerbated due to several reasons. First, very few people were tested for coronavirus in the country. Therefore, the rate of infection is increasing. In addition, in order to help the economy of the country, the UK lifted lockdown measures too early. Only after the coronavirus situation deteriorated, the government decided to announce the state of emergency again.
Didar Korkembay, Vancouver, Canada
I study at the Simon Fraser University. The mode of everyday life changed there as well. At first, it affected only the learning. The format of exams was changed to online. All universities switched to distance learning. Compared with Kazakhstan, in Canada the state of emergency is not that strictly controlled. For example, people here can still relax outdoors. However, the entertainment centers were closed. Restaurants work only for take away. In the British Columbia, that’s where I live, the coronavirus incidence rate decreased by 50 percent. I believe this is due to the social distancing. I am sure that in my homeland, in Kazakhstan, people comply with the quarantine rules as well and soon the country will win in the fight against COVID-19.