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

Monday 15 of June

Back to the Future


Yes we can.

On eight of June, New Zealand’s Prime Minister said that a major milestone had just been reached as the last person infected by Coronavirus tested negative and was declared healed. All restrictions, excluding border closure, have been lifted as New Zealand focus now shifts to recovery.
Fighting the virus in New Zealand was simpler: the nation is made of two islands, making people movements easier to control, and is blessed by a unique natural situation, that allows social distancing at little cost.

New Zealand was also the last place were I made a proper road trip. Back in October 2019, with my girlfriend, we drove three thousand kilometers in the South Island. In two wonderful weeks we explored rivers, mountains, fjords and glaciers, bringing home a lot of great memories.


Diary


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


Coronavirus

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