Anna Pauwels is living in a COVID-19 nightmare in Lyon, a future that most Australians can barely contemplate.
"Everything escalated from Thursday last week. First schools and universities closed down, on Saturday night it was announced that all restaurants, bars and shops had to close," she said.
"On Monday night a total lockdown was put into place and we had until midday Tuesday to prepare ourselves. We can't leave the house without our ID card and a piece of paper stating where we are going."
If you had asked the marketing project manager from Garden Suburb how France was dealing with the pandemic last week, her answer would have been that it was business as usual. It did not take long for things to deteriorate.
"I still had a colleague two weeks ago who was refusing to cancel her long weekend in Italy," she said. "Even though the number of people contracting the virus was rising, people weren't necessarily taking it seriously. Everyone was out and about, we were still going to work and there was a we-are-untouchable attitude, particularly with young people."
According to Ms Pauwels when the government announced that all restaurants, bars and shops other than supermarkets and pharmacies would be closed for the foreseeable future the French ignored the directive and people met up with their friends and family in parks and other outdoor areas.
The result was complete lockdown and now the marketing manager and her husband are confined to their home, taking turns looking after their nine-month-old son while both working remotely.
"The real issue is protecting the health care system," she said. "Hospitals in France are already working at their maximum and our emergency services can't respond to all calls. Soon we are going to have to start pitching tents outside hospitals to take care of the sick.
"The purpose of social distancing is to avoid this chaos. Protect your doctors and nurses and don't add to their workload."
"Even though supermarkets are full we haven't had much violence. Young people are helping out their elderly neighbours by doing their grocery shopping for them too."
GABY WOOLF, LONDON
GABY Woolf has slowly watched the vibrant city of London shut its doors as the reality of the swift spread of COVID-19 became more apparent.
"I was first aware of coronavirus spreading throughout China in January but didn't feel like it was anywhere near becoming an imminent threat," she said.
"When cases of the virus started to skyrocket in Italy, followed by the subsequent lockdown of the entire country, it felt a lot closer to home."
Since then, the British government has announced that people must avoid unnecessary social contact, work from home if possible and avoid pubs, restaurants and theatres.
Ms Woolf, a charity worker originally from Kotara, has lived in the UK since 2013. She said she has had to make some tough decisions to keep her family safe.
"London is at the centre of the outbreak and it's feared that thousands of people are already infected and aren't showing symptoms," she said.
"It's been hard not to feel overwhelmed and anxious about it all.
"Both my husband and I are currently working from home as well as juggling the care of our nine-month-old daughter. Even though schools and childcare centres remain open at this stage, we made the decision to take her out of day care as a precaution."
After watching the panic buying in Australia in disbelief , Ms Woolf would like to see the people of the Hunter use common sense and be considerate of others when buying essential items.
"Shop in small, independent businesses," she said. "They will need our support now more then ever."
LACHLAN LEEMING, UNITED KINGDOM
Former Hunter journalist Lachlan Leeming is now living in England covering local democracy for the BBC.
It was not until travel restrictions started being implemented that he and his friends started to realise the daily implications of the pandemic.
"The mood changed completely here last week when a host of travel restrictions and recommendations were announced around Europe," he said.
"A lot of businesses in the UK also ordered that any employees returning from overseas would have to go into isolation, which led to a lot of people cancelling holidays and work trips on the spot."
The former Carrington resident's biggest worry has become the changing travel bans, which he fears may eventually mean he cannot fly back to Australia.
"There's a lot of concern over how long the travel lockdowns across the world will last," he said.
"It's a bit concerning because in the coming months it doesn't seem like it will be easy for us to get back to Australia if any of us need to return urgently."
He said lay-offs caused by shutdowns had already forced some Aussies to pack up and head home prematurely.
"As I've got a full-time job that enables me to work from home, I'm comfortable enough, but it's a really stressful time for my housemates and friends who rely on casual jobs in teaching and bar work.
"If they're forced to quarantine or if their employers shut down, a lot of them will go unpaid. Already a lot of Australians are considering or have left the UK after losing their jobs."
SALLY BOOTH, CALIFORNIA
Teacher Sally Booth was excitedly awaiting the arrival of her second child when she first heard about the virus.
The 31-year-old former Charlestown resident, who now lives in San Diego California, gave birth just last week and the newborn was bundled home straight into social isolation.
"We first heard about the coronavirus in December 2019. It appeared fairly isolated at the time and was not a major concern to our community," Mrs Booth said.
"By January we had international travellers coming to visit and news of the spread was beginning to become more relevant to the safety of our family. I was seven months pregnant at the time, so with a baby on the way and living in a building with a generally older demographic, we started to practice small steps of social isolation and increased vigilance with hygiene. For example, taking our two year old to the play equipment at the park became less frequent."
"Besides the usual concern surrounding vaccinations that come with a newborn, we have taken the advice of the doctors and are isolating ourselves at this critical time in her immune development."
"We have stocked up on essentials and good quality meals to keep us going for at least six weeks. We are using this time to connect with our newborn."
Mrs Booth has watched what she describes as Australia replicating the spread of the virus in the USA, but at a slower pace.
"We are aware that the struggles faced back home are incredibly similar to the US and that we are all in this together... just separately."
Kieran Pryor, MEXICO
For registered nurse Kieran Pryor, a lack of resources and a large population in his current home of Mexico City is promising to create a breeding ground for the virus.
The Charlestown native is living abroad to further his study and first heard about coronavirus from international students at the university he attends.
"My Chinese friends were very concerned about their country, but the community of Mexico City did not seem too concerned about the virus," he said.
The country continued to host music festivals and national sports matches last weekend. As of Monday there were 85 confirmed COVID-19 cases nationally in Mexico.
A lack of testing has fanned suspicions that there are potentially far more cases yet to be recorded.
"My university classes have moved online, so I am trying my best at social isolation, however in a city of this size, where there are a number of other important issues already, social distancing has not really been adopted by the wider population," he said.
"I wish the people of Newcastle all the best. Newcastle is a special community, with enough resources, including access to healthcare, which I am greatly aware of since coming to Mexico.
"So look out for each other in this extremely hard time, especially the vulnerable and elderly community members."