Tag: Trapped

My Family Is Trapped In Paradise During The Coronavirus Pandemic, But It’s No Vacation

I am hand-washing our laundry for the second time in three days. The first time, I packed our wet clothes in a fury as we raced from the northern Balinese fishing village of Lovina to Denpasar, in the south, hoping to catch a flight home.

An hour into our drive, a mechanical issue with our scooter had us back at our homestay, our hastily packed, still-damp laundry now smelling of warm, wet dog.

COVID-19 is forcing my family to end our six-month Bali adventure earlier than planned.

My family and I live aboard our sailboat off the west coast of Canada. Both work-from-home writers, my husband and I homeschool our two youngest children. While living at sea offers us a peaceful and wildly beautiful life, it can make for some rugged and challenging conditions. So it was that we decided to spend the winter in the warm, tropical embrace of Bali.

Bali has long been a popular tourist destination known for its vibrant culture and spirited citizens. Spending six months in this magical land was to be a homeschooler’s dream ― language, culture, nature and global citizenry all wrapped up in one endless educational experience.

We arrived last October and set about exploring the island’s abundant temples, near-daily ceremonies and simply gorging ourselves on fruit. Then January happened.

Reports began trickling through to mainstream media about a small outbreak of a pneumonia-like illness out of Wuhan, China. On Feb. 1, I received the first email from the Canadian Embassy about the novel coronavirus with generalized information for travelers on following basic health precautions. We carried on exploring rice fields, taking jungle hikes and meeting locals who helped us along as we practiced speaking Indonesian.

I now receive a daily email with increasingly urgent language and instructions from the Canadian Embassy on the sole topic of COVID-19.

So, what’s it really like to be trapped in paradise during a global pandemic?

It’s scary. It’s beautiful. It’s filled with anxiety and fear and calm and peace. I vacillate between wanting to just get home and wanting to just stay put.

Do we risk exposure in the travel home or do we risk staying here? I live in doubt followed by firm decisions, only to encounter more doubt, rethinking and changing plans, and, through it all, daily life continues around my family and me.

Do we risk exposure in the travel home or do we risk staying here? I live in doubt followed by firm decisions, only to encounter more doubt, rethinking and changing plans, and, through it all, daily life continues around my family and me.

We have been staying at a homestay, Bali’s version of a bed and breakfast. Staying here long-term through the pandemic would mean renting a villa ― a home where we can properly isolate ourselves if the Indonesian government orders us into lockdown. And suddenly, a whole new realm of logistics opens before me of navigating morning markets and setting up a house with nothing more than

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