Quarantine Stories

We here at AppStudio are in lockdown, like most of the world. It hasn’t affected us much: everyone in the company has always worked out of home offices. Development, support and sales are all happening as they always do.

AppStudio has users in over 80 countries. I thought it would be interesting to share a bit about how things are in your area with the others.

Here, in Toronto, Canada, where about half the company works, all non-essential business have been stopped. Schools are closed. All restaurants and public facilities are closed. About the only thing which is open are grocery and liquor stores. Thankfully, both are fully stocked - there is no restriction in supplies.

Hospitals still have space. They’ve moved everybody out that they can. People are only going to emergency if they really need to. They are getting ready for the peak, which they think is still a week or two away. Healthcare is free here, so people are not hesitant to get the treatment they need.

The various levels of government and political parties have put their differences aside and are working together. The response of the government seems deliberate and well organized, like they are working from a playbook worked out in advance. (Probably the case - a lot was learned from the SARS crisis).

We’re expecting the shutdown to last at least 3 more months - I’m guessing 6 myself.

Friends are meeting up and hanging out on Zoom. Getting together at 6PM for a beer or glass of wine with friends is a great way to stay connected. We’re doing a lot of walking. We’re also lucky to have a small gym in the house.

Programming is a great way to spend the time. I find it’s tough to stay stressed about the outside world when I’m in the flow. Creating or fixing something make the time go quickly and gives a great feeling of accomplishment.

How are things where you are?



At Brazil is like at canada, but i think its very strong solution, but i have to acept it.




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Scotland: As in Canada home working, if you are lucky, is possible. All restaurants, pubs, regular shops, & schools are closed. You are allowed out once per day for food shopping, emptying the dog or exercise. There seems to be a clampdown on driving to a park or a beach etc as they were too crowded. There was a degree of hoarding going on and a lack of Pasta and toilet rolls quickly appeared. Some supermarkets were cleared of all but the expensive bottles of wine. (Well it’s thirsty work being at home and unable to drive.)

I agree with George this will most likely last 6 months and only really be over if a vaccine is available. The big difference between our countries seems to be one of leadership. It felt as if our lords and masters were slow off the mark and making it up day by day. It was only yesterday that the chief medical officer stated that 3 months was going to be a minimum period. The government were more suggesting that things had to be done for 3 weeks. You only had to look over the channel to see the truth. However our great leaders cannot see over the channel or talk to the neighbours. Far from being ahead of the game by looking at SARs we seemed to have little planning and even fewer virus testing supplies. This is still a hotly debated topic.

I expect cases to peak here later than London in around 2-3 weeks. Our lockdown possibly occurred on time as we are behind London in terms of spread. Lockdown in the UK was just 1 week ago.

I am lucky living in a rural setting with lots of green space beside me. A flat share in an inner city would be much less palatable. Is it wine o’clock yet?


I’m in a county north of Tampa, FL. Same here. Flour, Eggs, Yeast have been spotty, but it is just people hoarding, or cooking as they can’t do otherwise. Of course, TP is a palette a day per store - lasts 30 seconds. Senior hours in the early morning - not sure what that does.

What amazes me is the social circles I’m seeing in the neighborhood. Everyone is walking, or golf carting (really - get some exercise) and saying Hi at a good distance. But there are groups of families who are hanging out together every day. 4 families in particular near me. Nice people. But I’ve counted over 25 of them, with their families that are now not social distancing. I tell myself this is better than everyone just going to the bar or restaurant.

The thought of 3 to 6 months on lock-down is just not sitting with me. And surely most everyone else. It’s not my nature. I really hope we can get back to business in the later part of April. I think the world needs to be concerned about the economy - it’s a tough decision to balance safety vs keeping our countries economically stable. Our leaders have big choices. And none of the choices save everyone.

LIke @GaryGorsline, I’m in Florida but a bit further south and on the Atlantic coast… about 20 minutes north of Fort Lauderdale. Our little city is on lock down. Everything but grocery stores is pretty much closed. Even most of the restaurants with carry-out food have closed. Not a barber shop or anything else like that open.

The grocery stores are catch as catch can. Sometimes they’re well stocked and other times not so much. Like Gary said, it’s surprising the things you can’t get… like baking supplies. I’m always baking things like bread from scratch so disappearing ingredients have slowed that down.

Other things like getting some work done around the house has been cancelled. We need new awnings around the patio but everyone seems to be closed (or too busy to answer their phone and return calls).

Only the young people in the neighborhood are not really social distancing. Us older folks are staying safe.

I’ve been working from home for years so nothing about my work day has really changed except my friend is now also working from home. This time of year I spend most days working on the back patio and staring at the pool. A ceiling fan keeps the temperature perfect. It’s really quite wonderful.

The funny thing for me is watching my friend go through her learning curve. It’s the little things like making sure you’re dressed for work because you never know when your boss is gonna video conference you. Or not eating all the yummy stuff at once because when you’re on lock down and you plow through everything in two days, it makes for a long 4-7 days before you can replenish. LOL Other that, just teaching her to not interrupt… sigh.

Love the stories so far - keep them coming!

One thing I’m noticing here is that every day brings a few more tweaks to the social distancing strategy. Yesterday, the aisles in the supermarket were all changed to one way, so people don’t have to pass each other as much. Lineups outside of stores are becoming more common as they limit how many can be inside at once.

I work at home (in rural USA) but have lost my work due to my customer’s shutting down or slowing down. But I still have my personal projects to keep me busy. I really needed the break anyway.

I only go shopping every 1-2 weeks, this is my normal routine because of where I live. So it’s been over a week now and I’m sure some things have changed.

When I went to the grocery store last week I needed some distilled or RO water for our milk pasteurizer. They had plenty of drinking water but I found none I could use. When checking out, the cashier asked, as usual, “Did you find everything OK?”. I explained my need for distilled water and she said they had 24 packs of it up front. It was in the small personal size plastic bottles, a lot more expensive then the bulk gallons I usually buy. I said it was too costly and explained my need. She then said she could do a price adjustment without the need for approval and sell me a case at a significantly reduced price.

I don’t think this would have happened at other times. I think there is a lot of this type of thing happening all over. Sometimes a crisis like the one we are all in brings out the best in people.

From Coburg in Bavaria, Germany: Lockdown here too. Many restrictions. We may shop food, have a walk (best alone or with partner) and enjoy spring sun in our garden and on our terrace with temperatures only a bit above zero C. I am more busy with my IT hobby than ever since I retired. Sister in law is a piano teacher in a town 3 driving hours away from my place. She and her peers had to stop teaching at music school because of Covid-19. So we installed with my online assistance and Anydesk different video conferencing software e.g. Google Duo, Skype, testing what is best to stream the performances showing faces of the participants and the grand piano keys. To improve this we bought and installed external webcam and headset. Getting a good webcam really was a problem, because local shops are closed, online shops like Amazon suddenly could not deliver any good webcam. Rare now as toilet paper :smile: Finally I got probably the last two directly from LogiTech and the shipping took much more longer time than usual. Now we have to cope with preferences like zoom/wide angle properties. Every piano lesson is very different, depending on the hard- and software the student has available at home.
A friend in a distant town who is a freelance artist painter cannot deliver to galleries any more. One organisation decided to install a online gallery. My online job with AnyDesk was to get jpg pictures of the paintings, a signature of the artist on a filled in and signed contract to the gallery people. Quite a bit of different software was needed to get this properly done.
People who not so long ago hated IT now are depending on it and get excited about the new possibilities. I now can fully enjoy my hobby and are happy with these people who saw themselves in great trouble by Corona.

From western Canada (Alberta). The only thing keeping me sane is programming. It’s something to keep me occupied for at least 6 hours a day. We’re having an unusually late spring here and that helps too. I’m an avid golfer and if the weather was good it would be driving me crazy. I’m hoping my golf course will open - I would think that’s something where you could practice social distancing (my foursome always walks the course - no golf carts)

Tampa Bay Update: I’m just north of Tampa Bay. With State Wide stay at home orders, not much has changed with the order. There’s a bit less traffic. I’m closing on a selling a home in two weeks, so I’m traveling between homes and storage a lot to finish up the move. I did notice there are 2 to 4 times as many people in the Home Depot/Lowes parking lots than in the grocery stores. Walmart food pickup is working well. Liquor store delivers efficiently :slight_smile: Southeast Florida is where it’s bad. Over half the cases and most of the deaths. Our neighborhood has lots of trails and there are more people out walking and biking than in cars. There are not as many golf carts as expected, people are really walking :slight_smile: Off to Walmart for grocery pickup. Takes about 36 hours to get on the schedule. Beats going into the store.

David here checking in from Ireland.

The sun is setting here after a beautiful cool sunny spring day. There is a lovely stretch in the evenings. The garden is bouncing back to life, and there is great feeling of life and enthusiasm in the bird song and the bees, and anticipation of the season ahead. Spring is definitely in the air.

This contrasted by the constant threat of corona virus, the awful illness, death.

It is really difficult to reconcile the two. Ireland was fairly quick to respond, and the rates here are modest, but still significant, and hospital resources are now stretched.

We too are homebound, self isolating, minimal excursions, only for food shopping. Every non essential outlet closed. Pubs and restaurants were first to shut. Entertaining ourselves at home, board games, tv, netflix and amazon prime. Keeping up daily local walks, social distancing, happy to do it. There are four of us here - everyone cooking and helping out - its lovely - maybe this is the right way to do things? Lots of Zoom and Team going on to keep in touch with family and friends

From the day to day perspective, work is much the same - a bit busier than usual helping other people and businesses work from home.

Its all grand - but worrying and artificial - and we reckon it will be like this until June at least.

Take care


That southeast Florida that Gary mentioned is where I live… It’s 1/3 New Yorkers (complaining about EVERYTHING!), 1/3 third world country and the remaining 1/3 are normal people walking around saying WTF did I get myself into? It’s the kind of place where turn signals are considered completely optional and the stripes on the road are merely suggestions.

But dang! We do have great weather, especially during the winter months so we get tourist from all over the world so this type of outbreak was simply a matter of time.

By and large, I think the local governments have been trying to contain this but our state governor has only been good on TV (so bad the newspapers have been tearing him up!)

The food delivery services are slammed… most have 3 - 6 day backlogs. Usually easier to just walk to the store and grab the few things you need. The stores are stocked pretty well… they even had toilette paper! The pool guy came as scheduled as did the lawn service so all in all, my life is still unchanged.


Here in Sao Paulo / Brazil we’re in lockdown too. Most people working from home (as possible) and strong dependency from delivery services. At least more 1 month in this situation…

Best regards and keep safe!

North Tampa update: The grocery stores are now stocked pretty much as usual. There are limits on tiolet paper, rubbing alcohol, none on liquor :nerd_face:. The explosion of cases has not happened in Florida as a whole as expected (yet?). However, where @PPetree lives in south Florida is getting hotter everyday. Everyone is hopeful the stories that it is over in China are true.

It is also disconcerting to see New York State ranked above any other country in the world.

Many have settled into groups - once you’ve been exposed to someone, like a relative who keeps your kid one afternoon - The adults have, for the most part, given up on trying to keep the neighbor kids apart.

But if the numbers continue to stay level, then I guess we did a good enough job. Let’s hope.

It’s been almost 3 weeks since the last post. Tomorrow Florida lifts some of it’s stay at home orders. Restaurants are allowed up to 25% seating. It may go to 50% in 2 weeks if “it goes well”, as the Governor says. This week was an abrupt change from last week. The traffic was much more and I noticed cars parked at the small office buildings, where it was totally vacant 2 weeks ago. Stores have most of the supplies. Still a limit on TP and rubbing alcohol, but not on drinking alcohol :slight_smile: The beaches and parks are now open, but you can only go there to walk/exercise.

There’s a lot of talk among business owners about reopening now, not in a couple weeks. Many want it open now, as they are dying from lack of income. In Florida we have a death rate of 0.006% of the population. And in the last 6 weeks our population effected financially, eg, unemployment, increased by 9.4% of the states population. As I said in the beginning, our leaders have some tough decisions.

I have a funny post that talks about the stay at home orders: https://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/g5u99d/wow_this_sums_up_everything_we_have_been_told_so/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf

And a post from a doctor in the Bronx who has another view on the situation: https://nypost.com/2020/04/27/ive-worked-the-coronavirus-front-line-and-i-say-its-time-to-start-opening-up/

Good luck. Stay Safe.

The lockdown continues here in Canada. The curves have flattened, but the country won’t open up until the health experts say it is OK. (The politicians here are respecting the experts). They’d like to see the infection rate and death rate drop to half of what they are now before any reopening. Even then, it will be a gradual and measured process.

People are in good spirits and are supporting the lockdown for as long as it takes. Money is flowing to individuals and businesses in need.

When this is over, the world will be a different place.

The boat ramps opened yesterday! I have fresh mackerel!

When “the other” returns we’re having Rum Runners by the pool!

The local hospital is going to restart elective surgery, the local grocery store (Publix) still has ZERO toilette paper. Meats are increasing hard to find but my butcher shop (Doris’s Italian Market) had EVERYTHING I needed so I stocked up and I can get through the next 6-8 weeks without buying any additional meat (which is good since there’s no toilette paper to be had!)

Those under 40 years old continue to congregate around our neighborhood while those older continue to keep our distance and shake our heads in bewilderment.

Iguanas have taken over and destroyed our vegetable garden. If I showed you what they did to 6 kale, 1 zucchini and 1 cucumber plant your mouths would drop! (I ordered a BB gun yesterday.)

I have a tentative offer on my company and 4 weeks to cross the finish line.

Good luck with the acquisition.

The 40 year old comment is definitely the case. It’s hard to walk the neighborhood without having to avoid a street because there is a gaggle of kids and their parents playing street hockey, baseball, flag football and all those things I want to do too (but the body says no, and so does common sense). Many have compared this to living under communistic rule. Tomorrow they open up a on a “limited” basis. I doubt it will be as limited as mandated, I see people just pushing their way into whatever it is.

Tomorrow the community pool reopens. Not the fitness center, or cafe, or bike shop. I’m a bit confused by this, but I guess since you’re outside it’s aok. (I’m going to go by the pool tomorrow and see how crazy it is). Everyone already bought up all the blowup baby pools.

It seems over the last week that our street, like many of the others, has become a gathering spot for the families. Our neighborhood is mostly new parents with 1, 2 or 3 rugrats or yardapes. And they are now congregating in the early evenings. Nobody, especially the kids, are distancing. 25 to 35 people. And dogs.

In our county, we have 9 deaths, 380 cases total, and currently 18 in isolation. We’re just not seeing the problem, so I’m sure that’s why everyone is simply over the distancing. And no masks or gloves. Even when they get a package now, when 3 weeks ago you saw everyone wiping down packages with gloves.

I can imagine the feelings are quite different in NYC, Spain and Italy. My daughter is a infectious disease fellow at Vanderbilt Medical Center (soon to be the chief fellow) and she lost another patient to the virus this week. Her view point, after seeing the death of many patients, including John Prine - country singer, is much different. And I can imagine the care givers in the really hot spots are also viewing this differently. I see many of them suffering from PTSD after waging this battle.

Stay safe.