You may be wondering how life is in Namibia with COVID 19 and what I do to adapt at present.
The Namibian government closed the borders quickly and put us into confinement on the 28rd March 2020 when we had 6 positive cases. We got released from confinement on the 5th May 2020 (phase 2 out of 4) https://bit.ly/2T9Q0qg .
To date, mid-May 2020, we have had 16 positive cases and 0 death from COVID 19, which is very fortunate.
Compared to many countries in the world, we were lucky to only be semi-confined, where we could roam freely for exercise, basic shopping and for medical attention.
Nathalie, from France, became my daily companion, friend and neighbour during COVID 19. Her husband came on a mission to supervise a vessel repair at Namdock Shipyard in Walvis Bay. Nathalie came to visit him for 2 weeks and then she could not fly back to France in time. That was my good luck😊.
With Nathalie, most days we walk alongside the lagoon or the sea where pelicans, flamingos and seals are our daily companions. Yesterday, to our delight, we saw 5 dolphins in the bay enjoying themselves and a couple of them came close to us (less than 10 m). Another occupation is to practise yoga and to cook. We started making French baguettes weekly as well as madeleines and that is a lot of fun and enjoyment 😊. Please let me know if you would like the recipes.
I must confess, I currently do minimum work and have a great time!!
It is a life back to basics and gratefulness to enjoy simple pleasures.
This period makes me appreciate what is important in life. Love of nature, family and friends have been the main ingredients.
Like in many countries, the closure of the country will bring huge economic loss and it is still too early to measure it. Tourism is the 3rd industry in the country. Most lodges, restaurants (only takeaways are allowed) and bars are still closed, all liquor shops are still prohibited to sell alcohol. Only campsites and government lodges are starting to open but there are no international travellers as there are no international flights yet.
Unlike most European countries, the Namibian government gives little economic help to people without work. A number of companies, during the confinement, reduced the wages down to 50%. Many workers returned to their tribal families where they survive from the farm produce, at minimum cost.
Namibia imports about 60% of the food from South Africa. Logistics during the COVID 19 period worked well, and there has been no shortage of food or basic amenities.
Namdock Shipyard, which employs 750 people, is now organizing 2 shifts and other distancing measures so that the number of workers is reduced at one time. They are finishing the repairs of the vessels in the dock and after that, there is little visibility of work.
Work-wise, I am gradually upgrading my database system and as soon as the lodges reopen, I will explore new areas and lodges so that I can continue to improve and advise you from experience when you come to Namibia.
Long-distance travelling may become more of a luxury. Time will tell.