ZAGREB, March 22, 2020 - Like 235 positive tests on coronavirus was not enough? Like almost a complete lockdown was not the peak? Last night we fell asleep thinking of how to protect ourselves from that terrifying invisible enemy, corona, only to be woken by another one, even scarier - Jura Ozmec, AIPS Secretary General and Treasurer.
 
An earthquake! Not one, but three giant ones! And after that huge trio, more than 10 smaller ones. All in the last 6 hours. You can hear them, you can feel them, but you can't stop them. You can't do anything but hope they will end soon and hopefully you'll be untouched when they finally do. How powerless and insignificant one feels! “So tiny under the stars” - one of our poets would say.
 
I live in the centre of the Croatian capital Zagreb. Yesterday I tweeted that for the first time in my life it was the silence that woke me up. In the city centre. Silence as a result of stopping all the public transport as one of the measures of fighting corona. People have been ordered to stay at home. That is something I have never ever experienced and I'm almost 60... Today, I can say that for the first time in my life a murmuring murmur woke me up. Murmur with strong swinging, which lasted for about 15 seconds. At 6:24! I have never experienced that either. Never. A noise, strange noise of demolition and destruction coming from other flats in the vicinity and from outside, was fearsome. To hide? To run? To stay in bed? I can't tell you how long those 15 seconds really lasted in my mind. They seemed like eternity. When it finally stopped, we found some of our pictures on the floor, together with some other things from the shelves. Our pets seemed fine, thank God. Next year our building will be 100 years old and our thick walls have never before witnessed such shaking. Zagreb was hit by a stronger one, indeed, but that was back in 1880. Then it was 6.3 and the first one today was 5.5 by Richter. Second one 5.0. In the next 3 to 5 minutes after the initial shock, you can only think of checking up on your kids. Despite no electricity, mobiles are working! What a relief. Everybody is fine!
 
Unfortunately, I do have some journalistic war experience and in an instant I remembered all those bomb scares in the 90's and I spent the next 25 minutes recollecting all the crucial elements... so 5.5 magnitude in the Zagreb suburb, 10 kilometers deep. I found the photos showing demolition through the centre of the town. I am sending all that facts to my dearest ones. One of Zagreb's most popular buildings - Cathedral was seriously damaged; half of the roof from one of two towers was missing. Later I found out that the cross from that roof fell in front of the bishop's room! I don’t think I have ever sent so much messages to so many addresses so quickly. WhatsApp, Viber, SMS, calls, almost at the same time. And with only one important message - remember to keep the distance! Keep the distance! Keep the distance! People were running out of the houses without any coronavirus protection, even hugging each other, lucky to be alive. Keep the distance! Please keep the distance. 
 
Then I forbade my TV associates to spread any unconfirmed info like “we expect next earthquake in the next 3 hours, strong and deadly...”, which was all over the social media, because panic is the worst thing that can happen. Just keep the distance! Do not panic. Keep the distance. If you compare corona with an earthquake, despite everything, corona is still danger No 1. Keep the distance. Six hours after waking up in horror, we do have most of the facts. All of my family and friends are okay, people from all over the world are calling and sending messages. 
 
Now we have to fight our fear of a new strike. In weeks to come, maybe even months, we will definitely experience some more earthquakes, but according to the experts, those shouldn't be strong ones.  A lot of apartments are damaged, a lot of people are very scared, but they are returning to their homes, if they can. At the moments, our Army is cleaning the town, but many people are looking for some place to sleep tonight, because they are not sure if their homes are safe enough (experts are checking the buildings in the city centre). Renewal will start tomorrow.
 
Just, please, keep your distance.