Message in a bottle (a.k.a. Chronicles of Coronavirus)

Message in a bottle (a.k.a. Chronicles of Coronavirus)

I send an S.O.S. to the world, I hope that someone gets my message in a bottle.

Sting – 1979

Tuesday 26 May

Hopes for a Fresh Start

Note: I updated yesterday post with another interesting data source, you can find it in red at the end of this page.

In Italy, the total number of people that tested positive to COVID-19 started decreasing on the twentieth of April; that day there were approximately 108000 people officially infected. After thirty-two days, on the second of May, the number had halved.

European countries are trying to re-open to tourists as the summer approaches. The image below, illustrate the current situation.

Today in a conference call I heard from one of my customers that India is re-opening its air space to flights. There are 500-600 flights open for sale these days. In normal times, there are around 8000 flights available. Things have to start somewhere.

Skift,  a media company that provides news, research, and marketing services for the travel industry, is maintaining a roadmap assembling news on reopening of borders and services related to travel. The information comes from different media and web sites.

IATA is maintaining a database of passenger requirements that are necessary to enter the different countries, a map is available online that helps to navigate through the mess of requirements.


Chronicles of Coronavirus

As more and more countries implement social distancing policies to try to contain the Coronavirus epidemics, some news websites estimate that today, more than a billion people are at home. Since this unwanted guest made his way into our houses, we are forced to rediscover life in a confined space. Today I start my chronicles from confinement. It is a way to defy boredom, reach out to the outside world and share what happens in this part of the world. These are difficult days, but we will overcome difficulties and who knows, maybe learn something from all this.

A sky full of lanterns

A sky full of lanterns

During 2020 Chinese New Year, raging Coronavirus was claiming a heavy death toll in Chinese province of Hubei, when me and my girlfriend travelled to Taiwan for a short trip. One morning, we visited the National Palace Museum, hosting some of the finest Chinese imperial era pieces of art sent to Taiwan during the civil war between the Communist and Nationalist armies. Later that same day, we took a train to the small city of Pingxi, just a few kilometers East of Taipei, to attend the local sky lantern festival.

Traditionally, at the beginning of the Lunar Calendar year, just after Chinese New Year Spring Festival (過年、春節), Chinese farmers used to write their wishes and prayers for a fruitful harvest, reliable water sources, lots of rice, protection from the elements, safety of farm animals onto paper lanterns and release them into the sky to reach the heavens.

In Taiwan and the Pingxi area, sky lanterns came to symbolise a wish to give birth to more boys to help out on the farm since the Taiwanese Hokkien wording for “adding a boy” to the family (添丁) and the word for sky lantern (天燈) have a similar pronunciation, roughly pronounced tiām dīng and tī dīng.

In a magical night, while the whole world held its breath hoping that the Coronavirus would not spread out of China, we looked at thousands of paper lanterns slowly ascending in the dark sky and wished that moment could last in our memories.

Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival Video

Photo credits


Unfortunately the virus spreaded throughout the whole world. I am keeping a chronicle here