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DIY, cleaning and feeling strange: Life under lockdown in Brussels

“It feels bizarre. I’m in touch with students via internet and I’ve cleaned my desk. It’s slow progress,” Cardoen told Reuters by telephone from his apartment in Brussels after posing for a photo from his window.

Like millions of Europeans confined to their homes to stop the spread of coronavirus, Belgians are finding it hard to be suddenly cooped up inside just as the warmer spring weather arrives, unable to go to the local cafe or see friends.

Many are bracing for a long lockdown.

“It’s like a calm sea before the tsunami,” Belgian nurse Francoise said. She had not yet had to care for coronavirus patients at the hospital, but “it’s likely to happen soon.”

Like Italy, France and Spain, Belgium has imposed a lockdown until at least April 5, closing shops, restaurants and schools, with residents told to stay home for all but essential activities such as grocery shopping and physical exercise.
With 37 deaths so far and 2,257 people infected by the coronavirus, Belgium’s Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes told Belgians on Friday: “It’s tough but we must stick to it.”

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