Postcards from Home is a series of audio postcards from people around the world to document life during the Coronavirus pandemic. DM me to take part (@mscrow on Twitter)
23 - Sabine Eichbauer “We just hit a wall with our usual lifestyle, everything changed”
Today’s postcard, recorded on 17 July, is from Sabine Eichbauer. The episode is longer to accommodate the fact that she lives in both Italy and Germany.
Sabine handles multiple businesses including wine growing at her vineyard, Podere Salicutti in Tuscany, managing restaurant Tantris in Munich with her husband, and she continues to practise architecture. She is mother to two young girls.
When we spoke, Sabine had trouble pinning down where home was. The panic of lockdown has prompted a reassessment of what home and happiness means to her. She shares some of that reflection in this postcard.
Full episode notes: mscrow.com/pfh23
Podere Salicutti: salicutti.it/en/
Sabine on IG: www.instagram.com/s_eichb/
22 - Higor Boconcelo "It's now a physical solitary life but digitally crowded. I miss human touch"
Today’s postcard, recorded on 15 July, is from Higor Boconcelo who lives in São Paulo, Brazil. Higor is a user experience designer for a large tech company.
The mega city of São Paulo has been particularly hit by Coronavirus with its many football stadiums converted to emergency hospitals.
Unlike daily-wage workers in Brazil, he’s been able to work from home during lockdown. In this postcard, Higor describes life in solitude during the pandemic that has also led to burst of creativity.
Full episode notes: mscrow.com/pfh22
21 - Nunu Kaller "I was sitting in my bed unable to stop crying. I thought, I have to do something"
Today’s postcard, sent on 7 July, is from Nunu Kaller who lives in Vienna, Austria. Nunu is an author and activist who focuses on sustainable living, feminism and body positivity.
In this postcard, Nunu talks about the book she’s been writing during lockdown that addresses consumerism and shopping more intelligently to achieve meaningful sustainability.
Distressed by the sudden loss of income experienced by small business owning friends during lockdown, Nunu set up Austria’s ethical answer to Amazon which has now launched as www.doitfair.com.
You can look up Nunu’s work at nunukaller.com. Her Instagram is instagram.com/nunu.kaller.
If you enjoyed this podcast please do leave a review, it helps the podcast reach new listeners.
For the full episode write up see mscrow.com/pfh21
20 - Pankkara Larrea "I haven't kissed anyone hello in three months"
Pankkara Larrea is a wedding and family photographer who lives with her husband and two Yorkshire terriers in Bolivia. She recorded her postcard on 2 July.
Pankkara revels in the joy and love that comes with photographing big life events so the shift to lockdown, curtailing of work, and sudden sharing of her home workspace, was significant.
In this postcard she talks about how her vigorous pace of creative activity hasn’t let up and why she believes there’s no going back to an old normal.
Pankkara’s website: https://www.pklfotografia.com
For the full story see: http://www.mscrow.com/pfh20
19 - Shagufta Siddhi "I have missed seeing people so badly"
Shagufta is an educator and also director of an intercultural learning project called Ganga Jamini. She lives in Delhi, India, with her husband and four year old daughter. She recorded her postcard on 23 June.
Shagufta set up Ganga Jamuni to connect young people with their vibrant and diverse cultural heritage; a response to the current populist political climate in India.
In this postcard, Shagufta talks about shifting learning online during lockdown, a period that brought family closeness but also financial stresses and emotional hardship.
India’s government ordered a nationwide lockdown relatively early on 24 March and for a while it looked like COVID-19 had been contained. The WHO praised the stringency of action and India’s capacity to deal with the outbreak.
But this sudden decision, and the subsequent shutdown of transport networks, meant that daily-wage migrant workers suddenly found themselves with no money, place to live or source of food. Desperate, they took the dangerous decision to walk, hitch and cycle back to their home villages.
Over a series of phased relaxations the country has started to open up - ostensibly to stimulate the economy - with regions experiencing high outbreaks continuing to observe stricter measures. In turn, cases of Coronavirus have increased. By 12 June, hospital morgues had run out of capacity and beds for the most serious cases were in short supply.
In Delhi, cases are expected to rise to half a million by the end of July with the city’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, predicting a need for 150,000 beds. In a bid to temper the shortfall of hospital facilities, multi-specialty nursing homes, railway coaches, hotels, banquet halls, and stadiums, are being turned into COVID-19 care centres.
As of 26 June there are 497,359 confirmed cases of Coronavirus and 15,401 officially attributed deaths. Reports from hospitals suggest this number to be inaccurate.
India is the fourth most affected country in the world.
Ganga Jamuni on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gangajamuniheritage/
Ganga Jamuni on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gangajamuni/
WHO praises Modi: https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/coronavirus-who-praises-indias-tough-and-timely-actions-to-stop-covid-19-spread-2211807
Migrant workers take dangerous journeys home: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-52672764
Overwhelmed hospitals results in death of a pregnant woman: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/12/india-coronavirus-agony-i-did-everything-to-save-my-wife-and-baby
150,000 cases by July: https://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/3-000-new-covid-cases-in-delhi-total-at-59-746/story-JKGytNHeuLjO9Z2GBKz4eL.html
Converting spaces for COVID-19 care: https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/delhi-coronavirus-aap-govt-arvind-kejriwal-amit-shah-6458924/
Underreporting of COVID-19 deaths: https://www.ft.com/content/5049c66f-449d-4a13-ba1c-f95893b60597
18 - Lucy Graney "the Coronavirus, it’s just pushed us over the edge"
“We’ve both been left unemployed…before, we were hanging on and now we’ve just fallen…the Coronavirus, it’s just pushed us over the edge”
Lucy Graney lives with her husband Will and their two young children in Salford, U.K. Before the pandemic she was a sling librarian, consultant and a prolific content creator publishing on Facebook and Instagram.
Both Lucy and Will recently made the move to self-employment which meant they weren’t eligible for any government grants to sustain their businesses through lockdown.
In this postcard, sent on 11th June, she reflects on family life in isolation, being Autistic and the challenges that their current situation presents as lockdown is lifted.
Lucy’s scenario is not unique, especially to those who are newly self-employed. In the government’s bid to avoid fraudulent claims to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), those without a tax return for 18/19 were prevented from applying.
A recent Treasury Select Committee highlighted that a million people in the UK have been left without income support because they were excluded from COVID-19 salaried or self-employed schemes. Recommendations included an urgent review to help the many people like Lucy and Will.
According to the Fawcett Society, by this summer 51% of parents with young children will struggle to make ends meet. In particular, women in the UK have been disproportionately affected by the Coronavirus pandemic in terms of childcare responsibilities, job losses and poor mental health.
Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies highlights that the widening gap between out of work benefits and the rising cost of living adds to the precarious situation that families face.
Little Lifts Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/littleliftsblog/
Little Lifts Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/littleliftsblog/
The Government SEISS website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme
Guardian on the million who slipped through the cracks: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jun/15/more-than-a-million-left-out-of-coronavirus-income-support-say-mps
Fawcett Society on Coronavirus' impact on women: https://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/news/parents-struggling-and-women-keyworkers-are-anxious
Guardian reporting of the research: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/20/uk-women-bear-emotional-brunt-of-covid-19-turmoil-poll
IFS COVID-19 and inequality research: https://www.ifs.org.uk/inequality/covid-19-and-inequalities/