March 16th, 18h00 :
I am writing this post sitting in front of a beautiful lake in Southern Chile, sipping a Pisco. Laurent is fishing. Milou and Tommy are enjoying the sun and the fantastic view. It seems almost surreal, given the hysteria around the world due to the astounding evolution of the coronavirus.
Over the past week we have been closely following the increasing and drastic measures being put into place all around the world in response to the now pandemic virus. Travelling the past months in South America, where the first cases only “recently” appeared, we have been somewhat sheltered from the panic and media hype surrounding the propagation of the Covid-19 virus which has had devastating effects worldwide. We have however been in close contact with family and friends, in particular those in Canada and back home in France and across Europe, the new epicenter for contamination. Our hometown, Mulhouse, was earlier identified as one of the major foyers for the propagation of the virus and was subjected to one of the first quarantines in the country.
We have also shared the frustration of family and friends who have had to cancel travel and vacation plans, and have been subjected to difficult conditions in their professional and personal lives. Some are not entirely sure how to get back home due to travel and airline restrictions to and from specific countries.
South America has in the past few days waken up and the governments have put drastic measures in place to prevent the disease from gaining further ground. Many borders are now closed to air, land, and sea travel, not only to and from high risk countries but for more or less everyone. Museums and national parks are closed in some countries as well. Everything is evolving very quickly and by the time this article is published, measures will likely have escalated much further.
We consider ourselves to be part of the fortunate ones. The recent escalation of events has brought us closer to those that are dear to us and has made us even more conscious of the important things in life. We are sure that we are not the exceptions and we hope that much good can be salvaged from this crisis. We would like our family and friends to know that although we are physically far away during this difficult period, you are all very present in our thoughts. Strength and courage to you all!
March 16th, 22h30
Things have escalated incredibly fast, as expected. On March 18th Chile will shut its borders to foreigners and it is recommended not to travel around the country unless necessary. Travellers like us in other neighboring countries are scrambling to find safe places to immobilize themselves for the next 2 weeks as local laws in those countries are in place to prevent anyone from making unnecessary travel. So far in Chile, travel is not forbidden, but it is not recommended………things may change in the next hours/days. We have therefore decided to head as far south as possible, while we still can, since we will still have many kilometers to travel to make it to our ferry mid-April, that will hopefully bring us around the Chilean fjords to the southern Patagonia region. We will stay in touch!
March 17th 11h45:
For those in France who are since today confined to their homes, bon courage à tous. On pense très fort à vous.