March 2020 recap

Hello friends! It’s time for my monthly recap. I’m linking up with Kristen for “What’s new with you?” – although I expect my answer is the same as most of yours, namely some form of lockdown. Nonetheless let me start at the beginning of the month, when life was still relatively normal.

whats new with you

1st March was Jan’s 40th birthday. He’s didn’t want a proper celebration but there were gifts and I made malted chocolate cake. We walked into town and had a coffee then in the evening we ate at one of the few restaurants in Basel that’s actually open on a Sunday. At that point Basel carnival, which was to have started at 4 am the next morning had been cancelled a few days earlier (along with other events with over 1,000 participants) but there was no indication yet of how much worse things were going to get. We briefly spoke to the staff about the situation and they were mainly worried about what they were going to do with the extra food and beer they had bought.


The Friday after that I went into the office in Germany, then on Wednesday 11th June we were supposed to take a night train to Vienna and then continue on to Poland. After having mild cold symptoms starting on the Monday I woke up that day feeling much worse and called in sick to work. That day Poland also announced the closure of all museums, galleries, libraries, etc. Right up until I was supposed to leave for Zurich I was debating whether to risk travelling, but when I read that Poland were conducting health checks at the borders I decided not to  – also because I really didn’t feel up to spending 10 hours on a night train just to have to turn back. My temperature was higher than normal (when you’re infertile you get to know your normal temperature very well!) but never higher than 37.3ºC (a fever would be 38ºC). The next day I read that the Czech Republic  – which our train would have passed through  – had closed its borders for non-Czechs. Jan cancelled his holiday and worked from home on the Thursday then went into the office on Friday while I went to the doctors on the Thursday (who agreed I had nothing more than a cold) and got a doctor’s note for two days, which meant I got those 2 days of holiday back. I kept my holiday for the following week though since part of it was days I needed to use by the end of March anyway.

My family decided to still fly to Poland on the Friday since their flight wasn’t cancelled. An hour after they arrived the Polish government announced that bars and restaurants would close and there were also plans to close tge borders. Any foreigners still in the country at midnight on Sunday would have to go into quarantine. So on the Saturday MY family headed to the airport and were initially put on standby for the lsst flight out that day. Ryanair then announced two rescue flights so they were taken off the standby list to be placed on a rescue flight only for the employee to realise the flight was already full and put them on standby again. For a rescue flight where anyone who had managed to get a place was in the actual airport. So how exactly could there be standby places? Anyway, they also booked a place on a bus to Berlin for the next morning only Flixbus to also cancel all bus services to and from Poland. After hanging out at the airport all day they were finally told all flights had gonr and they should leave the airport. Luckily they were able to go back to the apartment they had booked! They had also managed to find a taxi driver who was willing to take them to Berlin and booked new flights from there. The next day there was briefly talk of them being dropped at the border between Poland and Frankfurt an der Oder then walking into Germany and taking a train to Berlin but the taxi driver then decided he would drive them all the way  (good people are out there! I hope he’s got back into Poland without issues!). After a night in a hotel in Berlin, my family caught their flight to Düsseldorf and transfer to Newcastle without issues. In the meantime Germany had closed its borders with Austria and Switzerland but flights to the UK were unaffected at that stage.

Meanwhile,  here in Switzerland, my canton  (Basel-Landschaft) became the first to announce that all bars and restaurants and all shops except pharmacies and supermarkets had to close. The national government then announced on the Monday that the rest of Switzerland had follow suit. I was supposed to have a dentist’s appointment in March but it was postponed until May! Emergency treatment only (no pain = no emergency) and that dentist isn’t actually able to open at all – only designated emergency dentists can see patients for urgent cases.

I spent my week off work mainly making Easter cards for PostPals  – with no idea how long the postal service would continue functioning or what delays there may end up being I wanted them all out as soon as possible. I also managed a bit of reading  (but less than I would have liked). And I copied all the necessary documents and sent off the form to renew my residence permit. Who knows when it will actually be processed now though! Jan’s work announced that anyone who could work from home should, so on the Monday he got a car and went to Zurich to fetch all the equipment he would need and then set up the spare room and has been working from there ever since. For most of that week the furthest I went was the post box (probably 3 minutes away) and a single trip to the supermarket (approx. 5-7 minutes walk), but on I think the Wednesday I had to take a tram to near the train station to pick up a prescription – I have a repeat prescription at the chemist next to my doctor’s surgery (the ones for IVF stuff are near the fertility clinic but I obviously won’t be needing any of that for a while!). The tram was basically empty but there were about 10 people at the pharmacy (queuing out the door since they had to keep their distance and there was a system in one place where you entered through one door and left through the other).

Weirdly, during that week it was the one year anniversary of my due date. So if things hadn’t gone wrong I would have had two 1-year-olds now and been returning from maternity leave in the middle of this pandemic. Not sure how I feel about that. It’s weird. However, I will say that I am sick of people either making “hilarious” jokes about a baby boom in nine months or complaining about being at home with their children – and I get that it’s hard being stuck inside and struggling to entertain them while the whole world seems to be collapsing, but those aren’t the complaints I mean. If you’ve seen them you’ll know.

Anyway… I went back to work on the 23rd and discovered that by then all my colleagues were working from home. Luckily that’s always an option so everyone already had everything set up. I also found out the company would be applying for “short term working” at some point and on the Friday my boss spoke to everyone via a Skype call and explained that they would be applying from 1st April and exactly how it would work, although I later learned they can’t apply for me. Luckily I’ve had plenty of work so far – currently I have enough to last until the end of Monday and I also have 24 hours of overtime I can use. That week (which was last week) I went out twice – to the supermarket on Thursday where I bought enough for a week and Jan and I went for a walk on the Saturday. As soon as we reached the field we wanted to walk around I felt guilty for adding to the masses  – I’ve never seen so many people there!

And that pretty much brings us to the end of March. The one other thing I have to mention is that I called the fertility clinic on Friday only to be met with an answering machine message stating they are closed and all current and future treatment is cancelled until further notice. I was expecting it but it’s still a bit of a blow. Who knows when we will be able to try another transfer now? I don’t expect it to happen before the summer anyway.

Let’s end this with something good… on the last day of the month I received mail that I didn’t remember ordering. It turned out to be a colouring book from my good friend Naomi with the message to make it pretty while stuck indoors. I know her in real life (from school!) but she has a blog, which you can read here.

And so endeth the first of my lockdown diaries.

How have you been keeping yourself occupied at home? Or are you one of those that still has to go out for work? (In  which case THANK YOU for ensuring that society keeps running, and if you work in care of the health service for looking after those in need. I for one appreciate your efforts).

One more thing – don’t forget check out the link up!


21 thoughts on “March 2020 recap

  1. Strange and uncertain times the world over. Being in Australia, we don’t have the complexities of borders that you have in Europe – your family’s time at the airport/with taxis sounds like a nightmare!
    I work in health so am still working, although thankfully I can do my work mostly from home. I feel lucky to have a job – most people I know have lost their work.

  2. I’m glad you could celebrate Jan’s birthday in the beginning of the month. It sounds like things are pretty shut down where you live too. I’m working from home now too, which is odd, but I’m definitely grateful for it. My dad was laid off for at least two months, so that was a bummer. Thankfully, my sister can work from home too, so most of us are doing okay. It’s just a very scary time.

    I am hoping to read more this month though. I didn’t do that well in March, though I got some in – all things considered. hah I’m sorry to hear the fertility clinic is closed. I hope that things go back to normal sooner than later and you can keep trying!

    I LOVE the Easter cards you made. So cute. I really need to get some snail mail out to friends.


    1. Yep, we’re pretty much shut down. It’s not too noticeable for me since I only really go to the supermarket where we live and those are open (with lines all over the floor and constant reminders to keep your distance from other shoppers). If I could go into the city I bet it would be weird seeing all the shops closed and nobody around.

      Sorry about your dad’s job. I’m glad the rest of you can work from home though.

      I read way less in March than other months! Hoping to pick things up again in April.

  3. Wow, that is quite the drama with your family’s travel plans. Glad they made it back ok! My s/o lives around the corner from a state park and it was JAM PACKED last weekend because it was finally warm out, but since then they have closed all the parks in our area. Unexpected happy mail is the best 🙂 Those cards that you made are so cute, and the cake looks delicious! Happy belated to Jan! Stay safe!

    1. So much drama! I was constantly refreshing German news to make sure they were still letting people in and the airports were open. They closed the border to Switzerland right before my family flew so I was really glad we had ended up not going.

  4. Oh my! Quite the ordeal for your family’s travels. They must have been worn out after all of that. Glad they got back okay!

    Many hugs to you as you process all the feelings that come with the anniversary of when your twins were supposed to be born. I cannot imagine what that must be like. I agree with you on all the baby boom jokes and those particular complaints about about their children though! Way too many of them. Sorry your treatments are on hold because of all this. My last IUI is also.

    Glad you are able to work from home. We are fortunate to be able to also. Also, your Easter cards are wonderful!

  5. OOh, I didn’t realise you had a family holiday in Poland planned. I’m so glad your family got home to Northumberland ok! That would have been awful being stuck abroad. I AM sorry to hear about the fertility treatment and I am sorry if people are being insensitive about children.
    Your postpal cards are beautiful.
    I’ve nott been to work since Monday 23rd as we’ve had very few kids coming to school for Keyworkers so we are on skeleton staff but I’ve been writing and researching blog posts every day for school, making resources, replying to comments etc. It has taken a surprisingly long amount of time to make posts that are clear and easy to understand and detailed. Even my year 1 lesson on Peter and the Wolf (which is mainly a collection of videos took more than 2 hours to compile finding videos, adding questions and making resources.
    Apart from that, I’m not sure what I’ve done! Woken up late most days!

      1. I think it is for a lot of kids (except the nob who posted an anonymous ‘Bitch’ comment on it this morning. Always someone who has to ruin it. I’m pretty sure it’s the brother of a nice girl who has been posting comments regularly- the only other time I got nasty comments was 2 years ago when she was also leaving me regular comments. Some stupid teenager ‘I’m so funny’ thing- lucikly I moderate comments so it won’t appear on there but it IS upsetting.
        Wooooah, 2pm!!! My record is 12pm on Saturday morning!

  6. I find it really interesting to see how the rest of the world is handling this pandemic. Thank goodness your family made it home! And yay for getting to celebrate Jan’s birthday before the hysteria hit. (We had a dinner for K JUST before the world shut down, but we had it at home with his parents and mine.) And I’m so glad you and Jan are safely working from home! I’m so sorry about the fertility treatments. That’s heartbreaking and I hope this ends soon so you can start back up again. I’m grateful for the time home with my family, although I’ve done my fair share of complaining because K is laid up from surgery and I’ve been M SOLE caretaker… It’s quite tiring when the only time you can leave the house is for a quick walk (and she has to come along anyway, lol).

    1. Oh, no, I hope K’s back on his feet soon. It’s totally legitimate TO complain – it must be so hard trying to solo parent a baby and not being able to have a real break. The people I mean were the ones in the UK hoping their jobs would be included on the list of key workers so they could send their kids to school because having to spend the next month looking after them would “drive them crazy”.

      1. I hope the people with those children will realise the important job that we teachers do and stop being so flippin finickety over really stupid little things and not supporting us when we try to tell them problems about their kids!

  7. I do think this whole quarantining situation has brought out some of peoples’ true feelings about their children! Some of the bloggers with kids I’ve followed aren’t nearly as peppy as they used to be! Plus, it’s fascinating to watch people kind of unravel over it.

  8. ugh that sucks about the fertility clinic. i’m sorry.
    girl. don’t even get me started on people complaining about their spouse or kids right now. i can’t. i have to stay off social media sometimes because it drives me bonkers. especially all the divorce jokes. HAHA SO BLOODY FUNNY.
    ok, i’m calm.
    Happy belated birthday to Jan! i wish i could bake so i could make that cake. YUM.
    hope you’re staying safe and healthy 🙂 xx

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