At the South Pole, in space, at the bottom of the ocean
AT THE South Pole, in space, at the bottom of the ocean; with half the world under lockdown, there are only a few places where life goes on as normal despite the coronavirus pandemic.
International Space Station (ISS)
A good 400 kilometres lie between the ISS and the surface of the Earth – far enough to escape the clutches of the coronavirus which has now reached most of the globe. But even astronauts have had to take precautions. On Thursday three spacefarers made their way from Earth to the space station. Ahead of the launch they were kept in strict isolation to avoid bringing the virus with them.
Residents of the Neumayer III German research station on Antarctica need not worry about contracting the coronavirus. Nine scientists are currently spending the winter there and are set to remain cut off from the world until the end of October, when they will be relieved by a set of new crew members.
Nations don’t like to let it be known where and when they put their nuclear submarines out to sea. But there are any number of them in the water at any time, their sailing periods limited only by the supplies they can carry. And, as crews are often spared hearing bad news for psychological reasons during missions, there could even be subs out there that haven’t yet heard of coronavirus.
News of the pandemic has reportedly sent the super-rich scrambling to set sail on their superyachts. The plan is simple: stock up the luxury vessel and moor it in some picturesque cove, preferably off a privately-owned island. The only issue is having to wait two weeks to see if the obligatory crew are in fact virus free.
The Big Brother House
Anyone who was in isolation before the pandemic, is safe. At least in theory. Take the inhabitants of the German “Big Brother” house, who were informed during filming of the current series by broadcaster Sat.1 that a deadly virus was spreading outside. But even they aren’t safe: There are many ways the coronavirus could enter the house from the outside world given the large production crew. But at least in Germany the show goes on. In Canada, earlier this month the houseguests of that country’s “Big Brother” were forced to leave and the show shut down after the government ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses.