How Coronavirus is Changing Our Daily Lives?

Written by Rus Hughes
Madrid, Spain during the COVID-19 Pandemic

At Intelligent Labs, we have 40 people from all over the world working daily on a mission to create the best supplements. We had a chat with some of them to find out just how much is the global COVID-19 pandemic changing our daily lives? Let’s find out!

Rus, CEO of Intelligent Labs, Madrid, Spain

The Spanish government announced a state of alarm over the weekend of 14th March, with the closure of all public areas, shops, hotel restaurants – everything other than supermarkets, pharmacies and medical centers. All Spanish residents are also to self-isolate, staying at home. The police are following this up by investigating anyone on the street and fining them. I self-isolated before the order, so I haven’t seen or spoken to a real person for about a week now. To keep sane I’ve been having daily calls with as many people as possible, colleagues, friends, acquaintances and even vendors! I usually like to exercise, spending an hour or so each morning in the gym then again an hour walking each evening. Now I pace around the flat whilst doing bodyweight squats and press-ups. My step count is embarrassing, Fitbit has told me I’ve gone from 15,000 daily steps to 1,500 most days! My focus has mostly moved to work, some days starting at 6 am, working for 10-12 hours. I’m trying to keep my work capped at 40 hours a week but with no distractions, and so much to do, discipline is tricky! As an escape, I’ve gone from playing no computer games to maybe 6 hours of Red Dead Redemption 2 online, each day. If I’m not working I’m playing! Riding a virtual horse across a lush green landscape with bright blue skies and clear lakes and streams is quite the contrast to the concrete view out of my window. Spirits are still high, I’ve 7 days worth of food in the freezer, then I will go outside again!

Antoni, Chief Business Developer at Intelligent Labs, Osaka, Japan

Osaka, Japan
Osaka, Japan

I just got back from a trip to Hokkaido, the north of Japan. I had an amazing time eating great food and skiing. Osaka is the same. Shops are open, restaurants, friends meet up and go out. Just fewer people than usual. It seems that the government hasn’t done much so far. They recently blocked a few flights from key areas (China/Korea/Parts of Europe) – but most people think they have done too little too late. My life hasn’t been affected too much. I go out a lot less than before, spend much more time at home and I am avoiding crowded places. Oh, and I hate wearing a mask but I do so when I am on the train or inside a building. What’s keeping me busy? I am enjoying working on Product Management here at Intelligent Labs + luckily I have YouTube & Netflix!   view from philippines

Katrina Sese, Customer Support Manager at Intelligent Labs, Las Piñas, Metro Manila, Philippines

The President of our country has declared an enhanced community quarantine of entire Luzon to help contain the spread of the COVID-19. Strict home quarantine has been implemented in all households and transportation has been suspended. The only open establishments are those that provide food and medicine. He also instructed the labor and social welfare departments to implement measures that would ease the burden of the lockdown on small business and wage workers. He is also urging businesses to release the mandatory 13th-month pay to their employees. In all honesty, I can say that I’m not negatively affected by the quarantine which I am very thankful for. I’m really glad that I am a part of Intelligent Labs. I can work in the comfort of our own house. If anything else, the quarantine has made my life better in the sense that I was able to have more time with my eldest child, also because the school year has been cut short I am now cooking again which I haven’t done for quite some time. I was able to lessen our household expenses too! It’s like we were brought back to the old days, life slowed down again… The feeling of always being in a rush went away <3 I have joined my Highschool Batchmates in SPCP who has initiated fundraising for Philippine Heart Center’s medical supplies. It felt really good to help out in these trying times.

Belgrade, Serbia
Belgrade, Serbia

Lola, Marketing Manager at Intelligent Labs, Belgrade, Serbia

Serbian government declared a state of emergency and closed all borders for travelers. Our airports are closed too, and we have a curfew for all residents, with few exceptions, from 5:00 PM to 5:00 AM the next day. Elderly citizens (65+) are banned from leaving their homes. Help is provided for those older than 65, so volunteers will go grocery shopping, or even walk dogs for them. Our hospitals are almost always at full capacity, so everyone is doing their best to stay indoors and stay safe. The thing I miss the most is seeing my friends, going out, and just socializing. I miss my normal routine and the urban city buzz. On the positive side, my husband and I do get to go out a couple of times a day to walk our dog. It’s springtime in Belgrade, and nature is in full bloom. There are no cars in the streets, so air pollution fell rapidly. I work from home, spend my time reading, and giggle every time someone sends me a funny TikTok video. It brings me comfort that everyone I love is safe, including all my coworkers, so I really hope that the pandemic will be over soon and that we can all learn something from it. I encourage everyone to stay indoors and make things easier for all our health workers who are fighting this battle for us.

Toni Monsales, Inventory Manager at Intelligent Labs, Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines

I live in a quiet neighborhood so the view outside my window is always empty and I haven’t been out of the house since the community quarantine was implemented in our city. Our local officials implemented some necessary measures to stop the virus from spreading. All shopping malls, schools, spas, gyms, restaurants, bars, airports, and seaports. We have this 24-hour curfew were minors (under 18 years old) and senior citizens (above 65 years old) are no longer allowed to go out except for emergency cases. Streets and markets are disinfected every night. Military and police were deployed to ensure that all these measures were followed. Personally, this situation is quite overwhelming and stressful. I am very thankful that I have strong support from my family, friends, and work. At home, we avoid too much exposure to the news. We talk about the current situation and how we feel about it, watch, or read the news for updates from government officials and health experts only just to stay on top of what’s going on. We try to stick to our normal routine as much as possible except going outside. We stay in touch with our friends, share our hopes and jokes to get by and try to laugh and enjoy our time together. Laughter is the best medicine.

Marie, Amazon Specialist at Intelligent Labs, Philippines

Picture of houses

Like the rest of the world, the Philippines was hit with the Covid-19 virus. As of March 23, 2020, we have 462 confirmed cases, 606 Persons Under Investigation (PUI), 6,321 Persons Under Monitoring (PUM), 33 deaths, and 18 recoveries. Metro Manila in Luzon has the most number of Covid-19 cases. Our government has implemented a month-long enhanced community quarantine in Luzon. Other cities followed suit, some declared a state of calamity or went into their own version of lockdown. Mass public transportation has been suspended, and only businesses that offer food, medicine, and gasoline are allowed to operate. The government has urged private companies to adopt a work-from-home arrangement. The national government also urged agencies to allow a moratorium on lease rentals, and reprieve in utility bills. It also appealed to employers to release in advance the 13th-month pay to sustain the income loss during the quarantine period. At this time, it’s a joint effort by the government and the community. It can’t be done by the government alone. And it is during this time of crisis where we see all the extraordinary people rise up to the occasion. Padayon, Pilipinas!

Picture of a street in Barcelona
Barcelona, Spain

Tim Armstead, Email and Marketing Automation Manager at Intelligent Labs, Barcelona, Spain

This is one of the main roads outside our apartment. Usually incredibly busy and this was taken in rush hour! Barcelona implemented the lockdown 12 days ago. Fortunately just after my Birthday so we managed to go out that one night at least. The government is shipping in ventilators etc but unfortunately, now they have to prioritise with the limited resources they have and give ventilators to those aged under 45 first.- the implication for older people is obvious. My wife and I remain upbeat as much as we can and keep to a routine.  Each night we go out onto the terrace to applaud the nurses and doctors here. It’s quite a show of support from the local community.

Picture of a street in Ukraine

Daria, Designer at Intelligent Labs, Ukraine

The Ukrainian president declared a state of emergency, so mostly everything is shut down. No schools, uni, gyms, coffee shops, and cafes. In grocery stores you can buy no more than 5 units of one product – so we still have toilet paper! The only thing that’s hard to find are the protective masks. People can still go outside, but they need to practice social distancing (3m away from each other). It’s okay to go to work if you have to, but most people stay at home. I live in a small town where usually not much happens, so I thought that my life wouldn’t change that much. However, I do miss long walks and meeting with my friends at our favorite cafe. The good thing is that I have my coffee machine, so now I am a little barista and can make good coffee!

Lauris, WordPress and Web Developer
Riga, Latvia
After the Coronavirus global epidemic, people went into full panic mode. Government tool full scale of measures and closed schools, limited public transportation, and canceled all public events. Most people are working from home.
Our everyday lives changed a lot! We are staying at home and only go out for a short walk. Most people are concerned about the upcoming recession since quite a lot of people are losing their jobs.
palm tree and blue skies
Algarve, Portugal

Jessica Gonçalves, Portuguese translator Algarve, Portugal

Portuguese government asked for non-essential shops to be closed such as local coffees, shopping centers and such. Remote work is encouraged, but those who still have to go to work can do that. Supermarkets are open but there are new restrictions regarding the number of people that can be inside. Also, there’s a specific time where only medical professionals can shop. This pandemic affects everyone because people still have to work and we all have bills and rent/mortgage to pay. Personally, even though I normally don’t go out much I feel stressed and anxious to have a little of my freedom taken away since we cannot leave the house for anything that is not health or work-related. We can go out to help others, though.

Michael Benedikter, German (Austrian) translator, Austria

The Austrian government shut down borders, schools, and universities, then bars, discos, and restaurants. Everyone is encouraged to work from home. At this time, I am very glad to own a house where I already had prepared a Home Office for me outside the house in a small cabin (just a year ago). For me, life did change, as I don’t have to drive with the car anymore. I just use it to buy food and get my stuff. I also do more gardening and house repairs in my free time now, because I am at home and I can easily switch between work and free time. It feels a bit, as the world would be slowing down and you have more time for stuff you couldn’t do before because of stress and time issues. Now also it becomes more clear what’s important in life – your family, your home, and socializing with others.

Arwen Kok, Dutch translator, Netherlands

Picture of trees in the Netherlands

This is a picture taken out of the window of my parent’s house, with whom I’m staying right now. It’s always quiet and peaceful here, but it’s even quieter now. I still see people walking their dogs, going for a run and cycling by, but there are fewer of them every day. In Holland pubs, restaurants and sports facilities are closed, but a total lockdown isn’t enforced yet.I almost feel silly to say that the situation isn’t affecting my life in a major way (yet). I’ve spent almost all of 2019 in China, where I lived and trained in a traditional kung fu school. Because I was at times the only English-speaking student and because I had very little money, I got used to spending time in my own company for months at a time and going completely back to basics. I turned inwards and strengthened my mind and body and it was lonely, but also wonderful. I’m very lucky to be able to sit this one out in the home of my parents and because my work is online. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this, especially when I see videos of the situation in Italy and the impossible choices that have to be made by doctors there.I hope you all stay safe and well!

Ioannis Nikitidis, Medical Doctor and Registered Dietitian, Greece

I decided to resign from my University job in Cyprus and get back to Greece to be close to my family. It was a big decision, but we need to set priorities because work never ends! The government in Greece is taking strict measures, everything is closed except pharmacies, bakeries, supermarkets and we are only allowed to go out having a paper with the reason we are out, the time and our personal data. Many people find it difficult to stay at home, but it’s a good opportunity to be closer to your family, rest, and maybe be more creative and reevaluate your life and personal goals! We all hope summer will change the conditions and we will get back to our normal life! Until then, the only things we can enjoy without permission is the sun and our balcony!

Picture outside a window in Ottawa
Ottawa, Canada

Lamia Kader, Medical writer, and reviewer at Intelligent Labs, Ottawa, Canada

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow, health officials continue to ask residents to practice social distancing as much as possible. This includes; avoiding non-essential trips, canceling gatherings even with friends or extended family and working from home. All deliveries should be left at the door, to maintain a 2-meter distance between one-another. The government launched the e-learning program as schools are closed. Also, all non-essential businesses are ordered to close. So, working from home, avoiding going out, watching the news and exercising at home is how a day can be safely spent. Despite the fact that developing a vaccine will take many months, and with the WHO declaring that the coronavirus won’t disappear by summer like the flue, we’re still hoping this outbreak could be contained somehow.    

Kenyatta Cosby, Medical Reviewer, Rockville, Maryland, USA

The Federal government in the United States has recently announced a state of emergency for all 50 states and temporarily closed its southern border with Mexico and the northern border with Canada. Our local state government has ordered all non-essential businesses to reduce day-to-day activities and that all fast-food chains and restaurants can only provide take-out services.The current Coronavirus situation has forced me to reflect on my life and family and take note of the things most important to me. Such items include spending time with my family at the local mall or eating at our favorite restaurants which are all essentially closed. With no end in sight, I take tremendous comfort in the ability to work with a great group of global colleagues.

Kim Langdon MD, Health writer and fact-checker, Columbus, Ohio, USA

Hi, this is Dr. Kim Langdon (OB/GYN) from Columbus, Ohio. I am a freelance medical writer and reviewer for Intelligent Labs. I work from home, so this has not impacted me much except not seeing my children in person. My daughter is totally crushed because this is her year of graduation from The Ohio State University—and with all the canceled concerts and parties. The Ohio governor shut down public gatherings as far back as February. No gatherings over ten people are allowed currently, and everyone is told to self-isolate. Bars, restaurants, small businesses like hair salons are all closed. Restaurants are open for deliveries and pickup.

Picture of houses in Olsztyn, Poland
Olsztyn, Poland

Ola, Polish translator, Las Rozas de Madrid, Spain

I’m currently staying in Madrid, which has been under a lockdown restriction since Monday, the 16th of March. Apparently, the state of alarm may be prolonged for another two weeks, which would mean spending Easter in a quarantine. Overall the situation is difficult and overwhelming, unfortunately, there are still people who don’t take it seriously and go out in spite of the risk they’re creating. Hospitals are full, there isn’t enough medical equipment or space but hopefully, we will reach the peak soon, and after that things will be easier to get under control. To me, this period had been quite stressful as well, mainly because I’m away from my home and family. Luckily, I’m still surrounded by lovely and kind people here; whether it’s in Spain or online like it is in the case of Intelligent Labs’ team. To finish, since my hometown is where my thoughts are these days, I’m attaching a photo of it – enjoy the view of beautiful, albeit quite empty right now, Olsztyn (Poland)!

Johanne, Danish translator at Intelligent Labs, Malmö, Sweden

Picture of an empty street in Malmo, Sweden
Malmö, Sweden

I have now been in self-isolation for 14 days. Even though it’s not encouraged as much in Sweden (where I live) as it is in Denmark (where I’m from), I’ve chosen to follow the rest of the world and #stayingtogetherapart. I’m not seeing friends, going out running or to the grocery store. I’m staying put! As I am writing this, I must honestly say that I am worried, due to the lack of reaction from the Swedish government. The streets are still full of people and most are still working. My hot yoga center is even open, even though it’s one of the sweatiest places around. It worries me. However, it makes me hopeful that most of the world is coming together to deal with this as a collective community. Not just as citizens of a specific country, but as people all inhabiting this earth together. So I trust that the Swedish government will soon follow the example set by the rest of the world. Until then, I am doing my part and staying home.

Petra, German translator, Germany

My name is Petra and I live in a small town close to Heidelberg. The government in Germany isn’t very strict when it comes to Corona. Since Friday stores, schools and kindergartens are closed and people start working from home. So far streets are a little more empty than usual but not a lot, due to the great weather we have at the moment. The only thing that is always empty at the moment is the toilet paper racks at the supermarket!

Picture of Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen, Morocco

Els, Belgium translator, Chefchaouen, Morocco

Morocco went into the State of Emergency and we are not allowed to go on the street. Army and police are patrolling. I feel blessed that this is the view from my window. I am able to be in close contact with nature and keep a healthy lifestyle! Veggies, fruits, and spring water are plenty. I also feel blessed because I am staying with good friends and working online for this amazing company that is not letting us down!view from morocco

Mervi, Finnish translator, Oulu, Finland

Moi! Finnish Government including our president has set an Emergency Power Act, which is a law like in wartime. Our borders are closed and our flight company Finnair is getting people home from abroad. Schools are closed and elderly people (age 70+) are not allowed outdoors. Like everywhere else, we’re a bit short on toilet paper and pasta! Even though in Finland we usually have a very good internet connection, now when everyone is working from home the connection is quite poor. The Finnish government is trying to support entrepreneurs, who don’t have clients now, but I think it’s going to be tough in the near future.I work from home, in the center of Oulu, in northern Finland. We still have a little bit of snow here. In the second picture are my co-workers Justina and Roosa, who are English bulldogs. 

Busteni, Romania
Busteni, Romania

Sabina, Romanian translator, Busteni, Romania

Hello everyone! I am Sabina from Romania. I live in Busteni, an oasis of peace located in Prahova Valley at the foothills of the Bucegi mountains. It is one of the most popular mountain resorts from Romania, offering spectacular views, plenty of vacation opportunities and activities (from skiing to hiking).On the 20th of March 2020, 308 cases of coronavirus infection were confirmed in Romania. Of the 308 infected people, 31 were cured and released from the hospital. However, for safety reasons, more than 45 thousand people were still kept in the domestic quarantine. I sincerely hope that the situation will remain the same because our hospitals are not prepared for something more serious. We are in a state of emergency, and everything is shut down except supermarkets and pharmacies. This state of emergency will allow the allotment of more funds for necessary medicines and medical equipment, under simplified procedures.

Juan Jurado Collado, French translator, Franceview from france

Here in France, the government doesn’t have enough masks and tests, and people are dying each day, now in my town too. They have told us to stay at home but to go to work, and people think that it’s nonsense. My life is not so much affected for now, as I work from home and have a garden, but for people with kids and an apartment with only two rooms, it must be difficult.

Katerina Moraitaki, Translator for the Greek/Cypriot MarketCrete, Greece

Picture of Crete, Greece
Crete, Greece

I live in Greece and the situation here is getting worse over time. Since today (23/3/2020) the government announced strict restrictions on all nonessential transport. So, we are allowed to leave the house for very specific reasons such as going to the supermarket and to the doctor. When we want to leave the house, we need to sign a form declaring the reason for moving and keep that form with us at all times. My husband and I are working from home and we try to spend time with our dog and complete a jigsaw puzzle of 2000 pieces.

Lukas, Czech Translator Nymburk, Czech Republic

Czech borders are closed and nobody knows for how long. We have curfew until the 1st of April with exceptions like shopping for groceries and taking care of the elderly. I think the curfew will prolong for sure but no one knows for how long. Since I’m quite a nerd not much has changed in my life, but I cannot go to the gym anymore, so I try to exercise at home to keep in shape. I do miss meeting with my friends and mostly miss my girlfriend who is currently abroad. I have no clue when will we meet and it drives me crazy. Anyways I hope u guys are safe out there. Hope we will start living normal lives soon. Take care!

Andrea, Italian translator for Intelligent Labs, Italy

Picture of a street in Italy

Italy is one of the countries that is suffering the most from the coronavirus emergency. I live in the area with the most deaths, and since the government prohibited people to go out of their homes (unless it’s for food shopping or for health reasons) I’m staying at home 24/7. During this period we’re all forced to rethink a bit our lives, and in order to escape from depression, I am trying to find some positive aspects even if the situation is very tough. From my balcony, I see the surrounding hills, but I also see a roundabout that usually is very crowded with cars. Now I can hear all the kinds of birds chirping, and the quality of the air has improved a lot. Spring is flourishing, in spite of what is happening around us… nature and life are stronger than any virus!

Mattias Karlander, Swedish translator, Sweden

The streets are mostly empty and it feels like a lockdown even though most preemptive measures rely on people’s own will and responsibility. A lot of the focus lies on protecting and supporting older people. Even though there are not many mandatory restrictions, the Swedish people listen to the authorities and adapt to the circumstances. Solidarity, common sense and a sane portion of worry are things that permeate Swedish society right now. Personally, the uncertainty makes me worry for my friends and family, especially those who would probably not survive being infected.

Milorad Radusin, Medical doctor and writer for Intelligent Labs, Novi Sad, Serbia

The Serbian government is taking numerous measures to stop the spreading of Covid-19. People older than 65 can’t go outside of their homes, schools and kindergartens don’t work, and many people work from home. There is an aggressive campaign aimed at the promotion of protective behavior from the novel coronavirus. Scenes from China, Italy, and Spain are not “somewhere else” anymore. We have our first deaths from Covid-19 and we are aware that our invisible enemy is certainly in our vicinity.

Mónica, Spanish translator, Spain

In Spain, we are under lockdown since March 16th and so far, the Spanish government has confirmed we will have to stay at home at least until April 12th. It is only allowed to go out to go to the supermarket, to walk your dog or for medical reasons and, unless there is a good reason, you must always do so by yourself. Almost every business is closed, except for those which are considered necessary. Some hospitals are operating over capacity, as we are one of the countries with the highest number of cases. I decided to stay at home on March 14th and, honestly, I am very grateful to have a remote job that is keeping me busy several hours a day. I have decided to take this as positively as possible and use all the time I have now to do those things I never have time for: I am doing more exercise, reading more, learning new things and creating travel photo albums. Overall, people are taking the quarantine seriously and, ironically, we are somehow more connected than ever. Video calls with friends and family have become a daily thing. Every evening at 8 PM, people recognize relief workers’ work with big applause from their windows. Many people sit on their balconies and play music or share something with their neighbors. Staying together in the distance is certainly helping to keep all of us sane and strong.

Picture in Monica, Spain