Celina Jaitley Who Resides In Austria Speaks To Subhash k Jha About The European Lockdown For the Coronavirus
Celina, how are you and your family dealing with the crisis in Austria?
WHO has made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic. Here the govt has announced a shut-down. The Austrian government is handling it very very well. My husband and I are grateful for the measures being taken in Austria. Italy is three hours away, being the hot spot.
Are you feeling the Italian fear in Austria?
Not really, we do have the advantage of an Alpine life. A lot of researchers do think the new coronavirus won’t survive for so long in warmer conditions. But the Austrian government has announced closure so we will follow whatever the government advises, they are doing their best to curb it. All sporting events have been suspended, and schools and universities have been shut until some time. Employees have been urged either to work from home or take annual leave. Schools have also been closed. So my children are studying at home, like all children across Europe.
Is there fear of the disease?
Our PM Mr Kurz said the number of cases in Austria was still very low, but the disease was deadly. Austria and Italy share a border north of Italy’s South Tyrol region. Honestly speaking, and I’m saying this not because I am half-Austrian, but our Austrian government and our Chancellor Herr Kurz has been the most proactive and responsible amongst the entire European Union towards the management of the global pandemic.
How is Europe fighting the virus?
A hundred percent curfew and self-isolation are the only responsible way to fight the virus and we are in complete support of the Government. The Government has made 4 billion Euros ($4.4 billion) immediately available to deal with the economic fall-out from the pandemic. They have even made arrangements and means to provide study material and assignments from schools via email. Children have access to their teachers via the Internet too.
So no panic?
Life on the Alpine mountains is pretty blessed, even though we are under curfew. We have beautiful mountains, brooks, orchards, gardens and a winter garden within our property for fresh air and games.
Are your twin boys happy to not go to school?
(laughs) I am myself taking great pleasure in home-schooling the boys and also teaching them Sanskrit and Hindi besides their school curriculum. The boys are fascinated by their half-Indian culture too so making the most of this opportunity to teach them about Indian ancient and modern history.