Sally in Guadeloupe

Back to the beginning of the confinement on March 16, Guadeloupe is also going through the epidemic. Sally, an interpreter and translator, shares her COVID-19 crisis with us.

Testimony instigated by Martin Cloé


How did it start for you? When did you become aware that it was about you to?

From the first cases revealed in Bordeaux. I had just been there for professional reasons, and besides the fear of getting sick in a seasonal climate that I am no longer used to and that involves the circulation of many viruses, I have redoubled my vigilance knowing the existence of this newcomer in European lands. I was quite shocked – more than usual in any case – by the carelessness of my peers, delighted to slam the kiss while being carriers of flu or other friendly colds! I had big immune problems during my teenager, and some automatisms remained: I am wary of what is dragging and could affect me with more or less severity.

When I returned to the West Indies a few weeks later, the crisis was unfolding exponentially, on the Old Continent: I took the opportunity to move from Saint-Barth (the irony that a first case was registered that day) to Guadeloupe, where I kept a low profile (aware that I had gone through several risk areas, starting with airports), and observed my state of health in search of the slightest symptom.

A few days before the announcement of the containment, I decided to do some serious shopping, in order to hold 2 good weeks if necessary. In the end, I feel as if I read the situation at a time when denial still reigned supreme.

Sally’s confinement (credit Sally Stainier)

What does your days are looking like compared to before?

Because my professional activity is mainly in the field of telecommuting, the course of my days remains substantially the same. Apart from the impossibility of doing as much outdoor sport as I’m used to, no major upheaval. I take this opportunity to do everything I don’t have time to do in normal times: rest, call my people around the world and refine my accounting!

How do you see the future?

Dark. This is the second major economic crisis in my adulthood. I lived the first full life, between Spain and the United States. Not all countries had been affected in the same way and the realities of these two were creepy.

The psychological and social impacts of the health crisis will be added to the consequences of the upcoming recession. I dare not even estimate the shortfall of my own company, in a year 2020 that promised to be glorious. I know the impact will be felt in the years to come – in the same way as after the 2017 cyclonic season. Personally, I am not worried about becoming an entrepreneur but I cannot think of all those entrepreneurs who will have to close down or go further into debt. 

I count on our galloping creativity and diverse solidarity to reinvent what must be in our lifestyles, work, consumption (and therefore thought!) – we cannot avoid what comes so much to tackle it with vigour, determination and openmindedness!

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