Europe became the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic two weeks ago. Since then, countries across the bloc initiated restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.
Although there has not been a coherent, pan-European strategy, countries such as France, Italy and Spain initiated strict lockdowns.
We asked people across the continent, from small business owners to musicians, how they are handling the restrictions, and what tips they have for others across Europe.
Margit Sperling | Madrid, Spain
“This has been really hard on my small business,” Margit, who runs a food tour business, told Euronews.
“Thankfully, a lot of people have chosen to cancel not postpone their trips which is great and we will see what happens.”
So how is she spending her time on lockdown?
“I have been staying at home and have been cooking and reading and doing lots of projects, just trying to keep busy,” she said. “So stay healthy and we hope to see you back in Spain as soon as we are ready.”
Alexandra Turney | Rome, Italy
Alexandra is a teacher in Rome, where schools have been shut for more than two weeks.
“I think the secret for keeping sane is keeping busy, planning your day, reading, writing in my case, and getting sunlight and air where possible,” she said. “Going up to the roof terrace and enjoying the sun.”
Karoli Hindriks | Tallinn, Estonia
“Being an entrepreneur and a founder of a start-up that is helping to relocate people to Estonia, Germany and Spain, those countries with their borders closed right now, it’s obviously a very nerve-racking time for us right now,” Karoli told Euronews.
Karoli said there has been a “lot of worry”.
“In order to keep myself sane, in Tallinn, I am still able to do my early morning runs, just trying to keep away from people but I know my Spanish colleagues can’t do that anymore. Things change fast also here in Tallinn,” she added.
Claire Bleumer | Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Claire Bleumer, a cellist with Cello Octet Amsterdam, has not been able to perform in front of an audience since the start of the pandemic. The group’s concerts have been cancelled until the first of June. In order to keep performing, the cellists have been taking to YouTube.
“We released the first one last week where we play one of our favourite pieces, Da Pacem Domine which is by Arvo Pärt. A wonderful piece of music that he transcribed for especially for us. You see all of the cellists, at home, playing their part and it all comes together in this video,” she told Euronews.
Paul Connolly | Belfast, Northern Ireland
Paul Connolly is a musician with the The Wood Burning Savages. During the lockdown, Connolly said his top tip is “setting a routine each day” and to “check in with your friends as much as possible”.
“We’ve set up a record listening club where we listen to a record and talk about it on FaceTime. I’m trying to set myself some goals as well. I’m trying to write some songs and I’m trying to learn how to bake.”
Ed Glucksman | Cornwall, England
“I’m coping with social isolation by engaging with all the great content that my library provides online,” Ed from south-west England told Euronews.
“I’m also catching up with family and friends whenever I can and most importantly, I get outside, I do some exercise, I do some gardening well within the restrictions the government has laid down.”