I am a teacher, originally from the UK, teaching in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for 5 years.
1st - 5th March 2020
"That's it, we're going to close. Tomorrow will be the last day. Then we will close for 4 weeks."
Such a sudden move. Are things really that serious?
"The first 2 weeks will be a your spring break holiday, moved forward."
*The next 2 weeks will be online learning."
We understand that there is a pandemic. We don't know how serious this is.
There are moves to change this, so that the online learning will take place in the first 2 weeks. Then, we can have our holiday at the planned time.
Rejected by the Ministry.
"The 2 week holiday starts now."
I remember a colleague telling me;
"I'm going to Philippines. I don't care if I lose my job."
I suspect he has a love interest
But in fairness, not many of us has grasped the situation at this point. There's only a few cases of infections.
6th - 22nd March 2020
The UAE has definitely taken it seriously.
I look to my homeland of the UK. The message is, *business as usual." Schools are open. Football matches continue with large crowds.
Meanwhile, in the UAE, more things get closed. Children's parks, closed. Indoor play areas, closed.
The holiday is spent preparing for online learning.
The highlight is the second week of the holiday, was to take our children to an open field. Apart from that, more preparation.
Towards the end of the second week, we face reality. This is a serious pandemic. We watch the news one night and it fills us with dread.
I struggle to sleep.
No country, however advanced, can cope with a large number of cases in one go.
We need to take this seriously.
"I think our lives are all about to change."
Images are mine
Part of a triple freewrite catch up, prompts by @mariannewest
Freewrite catch up 1
Not Writing About Fireflies (story freewrite catch up 1)
Freewrite catch up 2
The Colourful Robot (freewrite catch up 2)