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Living in quarantine: the journal

COVID-19 has upended life as we know it. These anxious and unusual times bring unforeseen difficulties that make us feel disruption and uncertainty. But it’s also times like these when we need one another most, to share thoughts and experiences in order to successfully cope in this crisis.

Members and partners of the HERITΛGE share with us aspects of their everyday lives, concerns about the present, aspirations about the future. 

 


 

What is the situation in your country after the onset of  Covid-19?
Bologna is in lockdown and implementing social distancing. Only essential production is active. The economy is plummeting.

How do you experience it individually and how does the organization you work for deals with it?
My social life is reduced to online interaction. The agency I work for allows to work full time from home. 

How do you think it will affect the heritage organizations and practices in the future?
Heritage institutions are now closed to the public and heritage consultancies are stuck. As long as mobility is limited, heritage organisations will have to find new ways of engaging the public and sustain themselves. Digital and virtual seem to be the new paths, but are they? 

What will be your next steps?
Reflect on how to make heritage relevant to people in the changed scenario through new heritage interpretation practices.

 


 

 

What is the situation in your country after the onset of Covid-19?
Like all over the world with social distancing, state borders are closed in Queensland, people are working from home, record government subsidies, etc.

How do you experience it individually and how does the organization you work for deals with it?
My family can’t visit to see my newborn due in a few weeks. But professionally we are still working in the office since there are no cases of Covid-19 in our region.

How do you think it will affect the heritage organizations and practices in the future?
Financially for sure, but I think all will turn back to normal if they are able to survive with subsidies.

What will be your next steps?
Staying in, and trying to stay connected with family friends, and professionally via virtual means.

 


 

 

What is the situation in your country after the onset of Covid-19?
The situation in India is like that of being in top of a nuclear reactor. They took measures in time but given the population and the access to decent quality of healthcare, things could go for a toss if the spread occurs.

How do you experience it individually and how does the organization you work for deals with it?
This lockdown has hit my organization, Access For ALL, hard as our primary work is inclusion, tactile experiences, participatory activities and bringing people together, which has suddenly become a taboo. Individually, I am doing fine as this is a time to take things slow, learn new things, deal with ambiguity of life and since I teach, I have been conducting online classes.

How do you think it will affect the heritage organizations and practices in the future?
First of all, it will surely impact tourism which in-directly affects the upkeep of the the heritage sites and monuments. For some sites it actually good as per conservation perspective that they are having less or as of now no people. And I believe that this will affect the jobs of some people. For consulting organizations, it is pushing them to see how can they explore things digitally. So it is a little different and difficult phase, which I am sure shall pass soon. 

Second and positive thought is that we are writing history, we are somehow going to be part of a timeline that will be seen as archive for artists, inspiration for writers and stories for those who survive it. So great time to document this milestone of time.

What will be your next steps?
Personally I’m working on safeguarding myself and seeking basic financial planning for at least a year. This is my top priority. Then we are collaborating with various organizations to offer free, as well as paid sessions on mental health, arts based engagement and learning for those with special needs. We are urging museums to explore digital accessibility. Let’s see what’s in store for us in future. It’s like a war, each day is a new day! I hope that we all win this war hale and hearty!

 


 

What is the situation in your country after the onset of COVID-19?
Τhe country boarders in Namibia are closed and two regions popular with tourism were on lock down until 16th April. Up to today only 16 cases reported and 3 have recovered and no deaths.

How do you experience it individually and how does the organization you work for deals with it?
Personally, it is very isolating because I can’t see friends and loved ones. I try to exercise everyday before I start my day and do my hobbies, which is craft, during my free time. At work, we are teleworking because we had put a Business continuity plan in place already in February. We are having a lot of Skype meetings and emails exchange.

How do you think it will affect the heritage organizations and practices in the future?
Heritage Institutions like museums, galleries, craft centres and heritage sites are closed leading to financial and job loss. There is need for massive promotion domestic tourism. Because even if the boarders open, internationally will take a while to pick up but nationally people might want to go outside their home for some adventure.

What will be your next steps?
We will work with the Ministry of Cultures and other partners on how to prepare the heritage sector for such crisis.

 


Joshua Mwankunda, Manager at Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority

“We have very few cases of COVID-19 and only one death in Tanzania, so there is no panic whatsoever about the pandemic. What is the profound effect is tourism. Normally we would have a lot of tourists this year and we would be expecting revenues equal to 70 million USD. Unfortunately, this means that we will have to have direct support from the government  and friends of Conservation for the loss of income in order to support the basic activities of protection and conservation.”