The whole world is now affected by coronavirus.
Physically, we need to stay separate and apart as never before in modern times. Mentally, however, the situation brings us together in a common effort to handle and control the contamination.
Here are 200 words from around the world.
Mikkel Emil Bolding Andersen
Denmark imposed the lockdown on March 11. Since then, all ninth-graders have had to stay home. Now five and a half weeks have gone by. Denmark is slowly opening back up. First to fifth grade pupils have been allowed back to school, of course with certain restrictions. Ninth graders like me are still not back at school. We will miss out on our examinations, our last-day celebrations or any proper conclusion to our public school days. We are just sitting at home, doing homework and assignments given to us by our teachers. For each passing day, I am losing my motivation to do some proper work. It is as if nothing matters anymore. Every day is spent doing the same things: I do my homework; afterwards, I play video games or watch Netflix. On rare occasions, I might go out and play some soccer. I’m not scared. I just feel bored and I miss my ordinary everyday life. I don’t really follow the news anymore. The only time I can be bothered to turn it on is when our Prime Minister is having a press conference. The only positive thing is that there is a chance that we might go back to school soon.
Is it Wednesday or Thursday? Week 16 or 17? I have lost track of time. All the days look alike. Some days I don’t even get out of bed. Nothing motivates me anymore. In the beginning, staying at home seemed pretty cool. You could use FaceTime and stuff like that and had a lot of options. But this was supposed to be a temporary thing. My patience is about to run out, and the last couple of weeks have been a drag. Right now, they’d be telling us which subject we were supposed to prepare for our examinations, and we would have been studying. We have already been through all the compulsory readings, so now we just have to do whatever comes to our teachers’ mind. I am incredibly bored, also when they come to visit each of us at home while keeping the distance. We had already started planning what to do for our much-awaited last day of school, a celebration that everyone looks forward to from the very first time they witness it. All of it has now been cancelled because of the coronavirus. It’s all pretty rough and it is especially hard not seeing my friends, let alone my family.
I am a Dane who is currently living abroad, having moved from the Philippines to Georgia in August 2018. During the covid-19 pandemic, Georgia was shut down – for the most part. It’s not possible for me to go home to Denmark. The airport is closed down. I’ve been sent home from my job. And now I’m doing remote classes online. There is a mandatory mask order that leads to large fines if you fail to comply. Cars have been banned to reduce the spread, so people use horses or donkeys to get around town. Only supermarkets and pharmacies are open. The shelves are pretty well stocked, and rationing has been imposed. You have to show ID and residence documentation in case you’re stopped – there are a few soldiers manning checkpoints in the street. It all feels unsafe. The state of emergency was declared on March 14 and has now been extended to 22 May. I hope I’ll be able to get home to Denmark for Christmas. I’m happy to be living with my German boyfriend. Suddenly you’re far away from home when the world shuts down. Everything changes and you have to find the information in a foreign language.
I would rather prefer to hear that our country was mentioned in the foreign mass media in another context. But unfortunately, our Government does not leave even slim chances of that. The leader’s behaviour shows the full range of incompetence in questions of health security and medicine. In addition, the government authorities demonstrate total ignorance of growing society tension. As the mother of two I`m actually feeling insecure now. My children are staying at home and studying under my supervision although schools are not closed. Only 10-15 % of children attend schools and kindergartens. Some teachers (especially at the age of 50+) have decided to take unpaid vacation as quarantine measures have not been taken although the majority of children is staying at home. Parents are afraid of spreading and getting infection in these circumstances. Most of people are increasingly frustrated about their future wellbeing and feel that their voices are not being heard.
São Paulo, Brazil
Jady G. Sampaio Araujo
People are mostly following social distancing here. Our president said corona was just a ’little flu’ and wants people back at work, but thankfully the government of my state has been very strict with quarantine measures. I am working from home, quite busy actually. Trying to eat healthily and stay sane. I hear a lot of ambulances now - this is a quiet neighborhood, but I hear the sirens more often lately. Can’t help but think who’s in them... One of my relatives got the virus but recovered from it. We were all very worried. I’m a little nervous about all the uncertainty - I had an exchange coming up next semester, now I don’t even know if my university will reopen this year. I know a lot of people are losing their jobs. But I’m trying to focus on what I can control. Gardening and sunbathing in the yard have been some of the few respites in these times.
I started the quarantine like a robot, with no feelings. While I was restocking the pantry, the government declared quarantine at first, national curfew a few days later. Finally, there were important mobility restrictions imposed at the end of the week.
A few days later I got sick, which lasted almost three weeks. The doctor said it was laryngitis, but it felt worse than that. Feeling my physical body, I was finally able to connect with my emotions. I was not a robot anymore. I felt distressed, overwhelmed and powerless. There are so many people in need, but so little I can do.
How do I reconnect with the outside world? How do I wash out the feeling of guilt for all the basic things I have at home?. How do I battle the sensation of powerlessness?. What can I do to support the community? How to remain sane ….
A friend told me that pain doesn’t really leave room for being compared. We all have experiences, we all have a voice. So, as a storyteller, writing, listening and reading stories was what really warmed up my spirit. This is how I tried to keep inspired for tomorrow, when we will gather together again to share these stories. This is what reassures me now.
I am a single mother of a four months old baby girl. I live in a shared room, and I am worried and scared. I am responsible for a child and I risk infecting her, if I get the virus. What can I do now? I can’t provide for myself, I can no longer buy diapers for my daughter, and we are not allowed to go anywhere. Every time I go out to look for help, the authorities stop me and tell me to go home. I don’t know if I am going to overcome this crisis, and if I am going to survive.
I live in a disadvantaged neighborhood of Casablanca. I am 20 years old and I worked as a cleaning lady in a café. Now I have lost my job because of the lockdown. Since the first COVID-19 cases were detected in Morocco, the government has taken drastic measures to tackle the pandemic at early stage. School are closed, restaurants, cafes, and other gathering spaces are closed, international and national flights are suspended, highways are closed, and interprovincial public transportation suspended.
Those measures are particularly harsh on vulnerable people and informal workers like me, who lose every possibility of making an income.
My name is Taja, and I live in a small village Landol near Postojna, Slovenia. Before the virus came to my country I was a normal teenage girl who went to school, hung out with my closest friends, visited grandparents and relatives, and took singing lessons. Now that the virus had evolved in Slovenia and the schools had closed , I can’t even visit my relatives and it’s making me really sad L. Now we are homeschooled and I really don’t know what to think about it. I like it because I can spend more time with my family and I can exercise more and take care of my body. However, I don’t like it because I am afraid that anyone I really love and care about will get the virus, get ill or even die. But on the other hand I miss my friends, relatives, and even teachers too, which I thought I never would. I often watch the news local or worldwide and I really hope that doctors (who work really hard of course) will find the medicine to stop the coronavirus. I hope that the future we will be more careful about things like coronavirus or any other disease. The virus is a new experience we are trying to handle. Sometimes, when I am sad I think: it could be even worse, I can go out for a walk or cycle not every person can. I have read the book by Anne Frank story and it touched me. In a way I can compare to Anne Frank, she had the worst scenario that could have happened. I am alive, healthy and that is all I wish for now.
Reality Bites. If you had said to me at Christmas, that by March you would be self isolating with your family for the majority of 2020 (maybe even longer), I would have laughed in your face.
Not only self isolating, but protecting yourself , and those you care about from this deadly virus going around. It all seems very similar to the storyline of the purge. These times we live in, certainly are not normal – nor should they be treated normally. Nobody’s life is the same these days. Everyone has started treating their life differently. Maybe, everyone will start to appreciate this extraordinary opportunity we are lucky to have more. That opportunity of course, being to live a life as you want to.
Maybe it was a virus like this, that we needed. Day by day I, personally, am looking more towards the day that this isolation ends. By then it is important for myself and everyone to have achieved different things of significance, because what a waste of valuable time if we have not! It is important to make each day different in some way, whilst at the same time sticking to the same routine. Certainly there should be something to look forward to everyday, even when reality bites. Its not as if time has just paused this year. This year will be just as significant as the rest when you think back on all those years on your death bed. So make it significant. Make it a year to remember. Make it the year you become a better person who has eveloped old and new skills and talents. It will make it all worth it when that day comes. That day, of course, being when freedom is regranted to everyone.
Randi Haakan Jensen
Just before the lockdown began, we “escaped” the city and went to our beach apartment in the same region. The thought of being trapped in an apartment with two boys (7 and 4), made me panic. Also, the big city seemed more dangerous; the more people, the more risk. We’re on the 5th week of working from home both of us with the kids at home. The school sends homework but it’s difficult to get them to do it, mostly because we don’t have time to do it with them. They invent new games in new corners of the house or garden each day but there are some difficult hours each day where they are bored and we have to work. The feeling of not doing enough at work nor for the kids is very hard. Going shopping creates anxiety. I was on the verge of crying the first time I put on a mask to enter the pharmacy. We do the grocery shopping for, at least, one week at a time. Yoga and Martini is what gets me through this. We know that we’re going to be here at least 2 more weeks and likely more. And then what…
Brooklyn, New York
Brian J. Kerrigan
I awake and weep
For the city that does me keep.
That screech, it haunts my every day.
I pray I pray it goes away.
I awake and weep
My city’s heroes need their sleep.
That blare, it hurts my heavy heart.
I wish I wish it would not start.
I awake and weep
The city’s curve it is too steep.
That squeal, it shivers down my spine.
I hope I hope it rests its whine.
So clap New Yorkers far and wide
We have the world right by our side.
And pray and wish and hope we’ll keep,
That we no more, awake and weep.
Ascencion de Guarayos, Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Cirila Tapendaba Urapiri
My name is Cirila, and I am from the Gwarayu indigenous people. This pandemic impacts my family. My children haven’t been to school since March 20th , when quarantine rules came into force. For small municipalities like mine – and others where indigenous people live – online education doesn’t work. Only very few of us can even buy a computer, and internet connections is expensive, or there is no internet signal at all.
The economic impact is severe in my family, too. If I do not work, I do not eat. Most Gwarayo people are artisans or labourers, and this is one of our major concerns right now.
As the leader of an indigenous organization, I have several limitations in order to coordinate with national and international organizations that we used to contact and ask for aid. Now also they are impacted.
We still don’t have confirmed Covid-19 cases in my minicipality, but we are in huge risk, because the main city is six hours away, and health service has several limitations. Some measures have been taken in order to prevent an outbreak of the virus, for example to divert the main highway. Trucks are not allowed to pass through the municipality, delivering vital news and information on COVID-19 in Gwarayu language and call people to stay at home, to stay in their communities.
The feeling of knowing that something really bad is going to hit your country seems like a bitter déjà vu. The feeling of knowing that the government isn’t going to take the right measures to deal with this invisible enemy is even worse when you live in a relatively healthy country with a sadist president.
Covid-19 mortality levels in Brazil will be determined by the zip code of where people live. If you live a peripherical area, you have at least ten times more chances of dying. Simple like that.
Health has become a wealth issue and this heartbroken reality highlights perverse aspects of unequal societies. How is media going to ask people to stay at home if workers depend on their wages to buy food? How is media going to ask citizens to wash their hands if they don’t even have access to basic sanitation?
Government should be a relief for those who are suffering the most in times like this, but Bolsonaro keeps only saying “So what?” for over 7000 families who are now grieving their loved ones due to Covid-19.
I can only feel disgust from our president and pity for all those affected by pure negligence.
York, PA, USA
It was 14th March when we heard we were going ’remote’-teaching our classes online. At first, it was to be two weeks; but then two became four and four has become the rest of the year. My well-crafted lessons are now reduced to bullet points, Zoom check-ins and email exchanges. My students aren’t all showing up, as fatigued and frustrated by this as can be. They miss each other, they miss their schedules and, I think, they miss us, too. I count myself lucky, though: friends and relatives who are teachers did not get the chance to do so remotely until much later than we did. They lost a lot of critical instructional time and are now wondering if their students will truly be prepared for next year. I think we all do, honestly, but I think my students are better off. To make matters worse, we face the possibility that we will be starting our next school year this way. It is hard enough to try to deliver meaningful instruction over unreliable internet; take away the laughter, smiles and tears, and you’re left with nothing.
Kyzyl, Tuva, Rusland
My name is Sean P. Quirk, I am from the United States of America by birth but have lived in Russia for the last 17 years, in the Republic of Tuva, in Southern Siberia. I live in the city of Kyzyl and I have many jobs, but my main job has been producing musical tours for the Tuvan band ’Alash Ensemble.’
My life has been affected because we had to cancel very many concerts, we lost a lot of money and had to flee home quickly to Tuva. Then I was quarantined in a hospital for 14 days. Now I spend most days working in my garden, teaching my children, and learning to cook new recipes.
Sometimes I have to go to the city for supplies, and I am very sad becase most people here do not take it seriously. 30 percent of people are not wearing masks, and of those that do, 75 percent do not wear them properly - many just hang off their chins.
I miss having concerts. I miss performing on stage. But I am enjoying the quiet time with my family.
My wife and I have an apple orchard 160 km south of Sucre in Bolivia. Thus, we can take care of our work exactly as before the Corona crisis and move freely around our fields and in the neighborhood. To a large extent, we cultivate the daily necessities ourselves, and the rest we provide on our weekly shopping trip to the village of Alcalá 5 km from here. We’re lucky.
Since March 17, there has been a curfew in and out of Bolivia. You have to go shopping one day a week and not by car. Even down in the village you get a fine of approximately 1.800 kroner, if you come running. People keep a good distance from each other in the queue in front of the village shop.
The many migrant workers from Santa Cruz and neighboring countries have begun to return to Alcalá. They need it, when work stops. And here at least food is enough. But there’s a huge risk of spreading the virus, and it needs to be controlled.
We have enough cider, but it’s difficult to get nicotine to the evaporator. But the worst of all is, that I won’t be coming to Denmark this year, as I usually do.
Here in Denmark, the coronavirus isn’t that spread, but we are still isolated.
I have been at home since March 11, and that’s a lot of time.
Every day seems like the same. Is it Monday, Tuesday or maybe Wednesday? I don’t
Nothing happens, and it feels like I’m a lion trapped in a cage.
I can’t go anywhere.. Where should I go? Almost everything is closed.
This has been my life for almost 8 weeks, and it starts to feel normal.
Not to see my friends in real life, and not train like I normally do.
Have to study online, and talk with my family over the telephone.
Almost everything is cancelled or postponed. My confirmation, our family vacation
and my grandma’s birthday.
But there’s one important thing I miss. I’m a control freak, and I like to know
what’s going to happen in the future, but now I can’t, because no one
knows what’s going to happen.
Are we flattening the curve, or is it getting worse?
Can we start opening our country a bit more, and can I go to school?
Our future is uncertain, but I hope that our lives will be normal soon.
I am the #24 COVID-19 patient from Romania. I got the virus probably from London where I was on a business trip in late February. I remember that back then I was considering if the trip was safe or not since the virus was already present in Europe. But I decided to go because in the UK there were less than 10 active cases and I had some important meetings in London in order to learn how to list and operate 2Performant.com on the stock exchange.
After I found out that I was positive, the hardest part was mentally because I didn’t know how serious it would be in my case. I was also worried about the health of those around me.
Fortunately, I had a moderate form and I didn’t pass the virus on. It also helped me a lot that my family, friends and colleagues were there for me.
I was hospitalized for a week and I was able to get back to my family after 2 negative tests. In Romania, the protocol assumes that any positive patient is hospitalized.
I feel that the biggest problem now are the restrictions which affect our freedom. While I understand why some of them are important, I wish we can get back to our lives as soon as possible.
On the other hand, I have now felt that for the first time in history all mankind has a common goal and is getting together, from Romania to Denmark, from the United States to Australia, from China to Brazil. We all know that we will not be safe until the last of us is safe. And that means we either got the disease and recovered, or we got the vaccine (when and if it will exist).
Best wishes from Romania.
It was just a normal year. Most people were at work or at school when it happened. COVID-19 started.
At first it wasn’t a big deal, but then things started to change. Now we are here. Most of us are stuck in our hometowns. This really affected my daily life. It gave me more time to study, but it also made me less social. I used to spend time with my friends at least twice a week, but now I can only call them. Since we get school work at home I can’t see any of my classmates. I miss a lot of them. Before this virus I felt hard-working now I just feel lazy. I used to dream about the weekend now I dream about the end of the quarantine. I got closer to my family, but further away from my friends. We have been away from school for a long time so I think we will have school in the summer break too.
COVID-19 really changed my daily life. I hope it ends soon because I can’t stand the thought of not seeing my friends for such a long time.
David Victor Johansen
The lives of many have changed. All our economy is on standby. Jobs are being lost and so on…
My life has also changed. I am not having school in the usual way. I am having virtual lessons. My life is kind of lonely. Little people to be with, no parties, no vacation and a whole different everyday life.
It is also going to change in the future. My future job might be affected, my future everyday life and the way I am going to travel. It is something I am going to tell my kids but...
I am not the most affected. People are dying all over the world. One of my friend’s grandmother died to COVID-19. It must stop.
Sometimes I am terrified that I am going to lose my grandmother to this also. Terrified that one I know gets it and spreads it. I am terrified of the future life.
The world cannot do like this much more. Economy is on standby and many countries is on total lockdown.
Let’s stop it before it becomes a big crisis for our future. My future.
I also want to live peacefully and normal like before.
I started as a driver for the organisation Kandy Blue Heaven, about 10 years ago.
I had to learn to talk English and after a few months I became successful.
People liked me because I had a lot of acknowledge about my country and I knew a lot of beautiful spots in Sri Lanka. People like me because I am honest, very helpful and I have a lot of humor.
One tourist from Belgium helped me to get my own car. It is not easy to pay this back. I also learned about the internet and learned to write in English, what is not a common thing.
Last year I lost a lot of clients due to the terrorist attack in April 2019. But now tourism came back. ...until corona.
Again I have no income and I am the most important person to see that their is food on the table.
So I look whom can help me and my family in this difficult situation.
My name is Karin Albers, 31 years old and born in the Netherlands but living in Yogyakarta, Indonesia since 2013. I am the Vice Principal and PYP Coordinator at the Yogyakarta Independent School. Starting March 16 our campus has been closed, however distance learning has continued ever since. It has definitely been a challenge to adapt to online learning, especially with our younger students, however the school community are managing very well. We are trying to focus on wellbeing as much as we are on ‘academics’, by exercising together, offering yoga and meditation sessions, gardening, cooking and baking, creating ‘The Happy News’ newspaper, making time capsules to remember this unusual time and more. We are continuously showing ‘Acts of Kindness’ by giving our support to the people we care about. COVID-19’s lockdown has a profound impact on many people who are in normal circumstances already struggling to get by or who are mainly depending on tourism. The children have been wonderful helping some of the less fortunate people in Yogyakarta by donating masks, clothes, food packages, thank you notes and more. Our motto is: In a world where you can be anything, be kind!
The coronavirus has meant that all schools in Uruguay have been shut down and that half the country is out of work. I find myself taking part in online lessons from time to time, but it is very hard. I am also in the process of activating my unemployment insurance, but as a matter of fact I was gaining little while I was working and now I will get even less. My partner is still working which means we have got sufficient income. The hardest thing is that we cannot meet with our family and friends. Life is passing very quickly, we seem to be wasting all these days locked in at home, not even knowing when all of this will end. I am grateful that I can be together with my partner, but I feel sorry for all those who are suffering domestic violence. We cannot allow this situation to be romanticized. We must realize that behind #lavarselasmanos and #quedarnosencasa (#washhands and #stayathome) a monster is thriving. We must stay calm. Keep demanding that the government handles the economical and social constraint, because the strategies so far have not been sufficient. We should not allow that people lose their homes, we should lower the rent, and we should pay more attention to the victims of domestic violence. Make sure that the other struggles do not stop, that they are not camouflaged by this virus.
The current situation in denmark, is kind of chaotic, people have many different
ways to behave.
I think it’s hard to come with the right words that explain the different behavior people can have in lockdown.
So let me try with a little story.
-I’m running outside like any other normal day, i’m running by people,
I holde to the side so I don’t bump into them totally normal, I smile on my way by.
But then the person I ran by began to yell at me. I stop instendly and look back, and she says
“what the hell gives you the right to run so close to me, and after smil to me like that!
You know that you can have covid-19 and infect my right?!.”
At the moment I was in shock, in shock over that people don’t infect each other with kindness,
careness and hope. That people don’t give a smile on the way by. A smil don’t infect.
The most important thing right now is that we all stand together,
that we show others that we are there for them.
I hope that Covid-19 is over soon so people can get the smile on their faces back :)
Narcis George Matache
I predicted the pandemic in Europe. In January, I was working in the office of a MEP on changes to the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism and one of the tasks was to follow the corona epidemic in China. After days of immersion in the Chinese situation, I came to the conclusion that it can’t be stopped and Europe will follow soon. I warned my housemates to not make any plans for the Spring already from the beginning of February. I was talking about the incoming pandemic with everyone, my family, friends, work colleagues, etc. There was a clear disbelief from their side and the more I talked, the less I believed in my own words. Unfortunately, fast forward one month later and the “glorified” work from home became the new reality. My chances to obtain a job after the internship dropped to zero. The pandemic killed my dream to work in the European Parliament.”
Tiberiu Bogdan Melinte
It was still cold outside, when I got a call from the automation company where I have my internship in Bucharest, that it was time to move out from the student dorms to a more secure location, a private apartment near the company. At first, I didn’t realize the gravity of the situation, I was just glad to get better accommodation. As the situation worsened and the strict rules started to be imposed, I started to feel anguish. Inside my laboratory at the company, I was feeling sheltered and the worries of the world would just bounce away. However, the moment I had to go away, the reality will sink in again, stronger after each action. To simply walk a few hundred meters from work to home, I had to wear a mask and gloves, keep a signed declaration of why I am outside in my pocket and pretend like everything is alright for my own mental sanity. Soon enough, less and less people showed up to work until I realized that the only reason, I was still going it was because I was deemed to be an essential worker to keep the company running.
Hurdugi Village, Dimitrie Cantemir Municipality, Romania
The pandemic never hit our village. I mean don’t get me wrong, the television and the restrictions imposed made it real enough, but we never seen a corona patient in our village. Some of the other villagers seemed to even question the existence of the virus. We had a few scares, when the Romanians from abroad started to come back home (from red areas like Italy and Spain), yet in the village everyone had enough to do around the house so to reduce the movement around proven to not be a difficult task. As a construction depot owner, I continued to work during the pandemic as our clients found a stronger appetite to build around the house. Although I was scared of the virus and wanted to shelter myself from it, while doing some home improvements, I never had the luxury. The competition, the other construction depot in the village stayed open and forced me to do the same. Following the news every evening proved to be tiring as it made it feel like the pandemic will never be over. The feeling of being powerless against this invisible enemy overwhelmed me and made it very difficult to do my job.
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Being at home invited us to return to ourselves. I’ve been taking more time at breakfast with my parents and my 3 dogs. I’ve been reviewing the meaning of happiness and the infinite capacity that human beings have to reinvent themselves. In this sense, I stand on a privileged spot. “For the sake of the economy”, many workers are obliged to keep going with their daily roles. Everything seems in suspension, but in fact a lot is happening. We are being able to perceive our own flow and the way we interact with the world. We are able to look more closely to our individual and collective structures. Structures that support our health system and allow us (or not) to take care of others and ourselves. Structures that supply our economy with scarcity and violence, whether in abuse with animals, natural resources or human resources. Everything is extremely interconnected, but we cannot seem to realize this. In the face of all the measures to deal with COVID-19 across the globe, it´s clear the impact we have on one another. Even though here in Brazil there´s much conflict around political matters, I’d like to believe that more than ever, we’re together!
Almost every day I am asked by teachers, by friends , how I feel in isolation, what condition did this situation bring me, namely the pandemic with COVID 2019. Well, probably this unfortunate situation is felt in Romania as well as in other countries of the world. I believe that everyone has been affected by this situation, But I personally think that I was one of the most affected people because I am in the final year of high school. During the pandemic I felt sadness and disappointment because I couldn’t attend that graduation ball that everyone was waiting for, I could not spend my last moments of high school with my colleagues and teachers. It was like a nightmare I wanted to wake up from. All this time, I stayed isolated in the house voluntarily, I learned, I made plans for the future, but I always thought of the ’good old days’ when I had the freedom to go out for a walk, or I was thinking about the last day of school, which shouldn’t have been the last, and the way I told my classmates a simple ’see you tomorrow’ as I used to do, but that goodbye never happened again.
Copenhagen, Denmark (originally from Kwidzyn, Poland)
You rarely consider the full spectrum of consequences when you choose the life of an immigrant. Oftentimes this decision is made when you hardly care about the consequences. Sometimes the consequences are hard to imagine before they become your reality.
Was I upset with my mum putting her health at risk when she jumped on a plane not fully recovered from influenza to visit me in Copenhagen at the end of February? Sure I was. Am I happy that she did it? Yes, I am.
I can’t help but think of myself as naive and unaware when I picture us saying goodbyes before she left for Poland on the 9th of March - my old self still in denial, still trying to ridicule “this whole corona-panic-mode”.
Me and my oldest son, 3,5, often look at the family photos these days. He hasn’t seen my dad since June and he can’t quite remember who this older man was. And after missing out on "this older man's" last days before he fell victim to long-term cancer and passed away in August, there’s only one question playing on repeat in my head at the moment: will I see you again, mum?
After a very hyggeligt bit more than a year living in Denmark, I went back home at the end of 2019 to finish my studies. Even before the semester started and with only 128 confirmed infections with coronavirus, Argentina went into a full lockdown. Most citizens are now only allowed to shop for groceries and can’t even go out for a walk.
This has of course changed most of my plans. Fortunately, I can assist online classes and prepare some subjects for when university opens. I have also plenty of time to work out a little at home, watch some series, and play tons of videogames.
My boyfriend from Denmark who accompanied me home for Christmas holidays is supposed to come back and visit me in July. We still don’t know if this is going to happen or if we have to wait several more months to finally see each other again.
At the time of writing these words, 26 days of lockdown have passed, the number of infected has raised to 2443 and 111 lives were lost. Even though the numbers are optimistic and show the effectiveness of social distancing, this fight is far from being won.
Washington DC, USA
I am an Iranian journalist and writer. I am waiting at the airport with my beloved ones, for my husband’s permission from the USA, so we can flight. My husband and I are moving to the USA. Our destination is DC, but because of Corona, we could not even rent a place from Airbnb and we have no idea where we are going to stay. When I take a look at my dad’s face with a mask that he has on his lovely face, I come to the tears. I cannot believe that I can’t even hug and kiss him to say goodbye. Then they call us and say that we can flight. my best friend, Taraneh, and I look at each other for few seconds and at the same time there is something in our mind saying: “I won’t hug you because of yourself.” But suddenly we both hold each other tight and start to cry. She whispers something:” be good”
They are calling our name again. As our plane leaves the ground I keep hear Taraneh’s voice in my head while I am crying: ”be good” and I leave my beloved ones and my motherland behind me to be good…
Gaindakot, Nawalpur, Nepal
Chura Mani Bandhu
The countrywide lock down started about a month ago to control the spread of Corona virus compelled to confine me in my house in a semi-urban area of Gaidakot, Nepal. I am spending most of the time with my wife watching television and finalizing some of the works I started to write earlier. In order to maintain social distancing people were requested to stay whereever they are. The schools, colleges and industries are closed and public transpotation is stopped. Though the Corona cases are low in Nepal (59 in May 3) in comparion to the developed countries of the world, effectcs of the epidemic are grave. Especially the workers who depended on daily wages have been suffering from hunger than the disease. As they felt that heir basic needs cannot be fulfilled where they were asked to stay, they fleed and travelled hundreads of miles on foot to reach their destinations. Similarly, the trend of home coming of thousands of the Nepalese workers from India has not yet stopped despite the barriers on the boarders and arrangement of quarantine. This tendency has shown that the developing countries are still far behind to manage a suitable living condition for their workers.
A text about how it felt to be sent home from an international college after six intense months, knowing that we wouldn’t come back the rest of term. Saying goodbye to all the friends that had joined me on this rollercoaster and coming back to a world where my memories didn’t make sense to anyone else.
I had just left the nest, opened the doors to my own life and flown away in the bright sky. It was tough, it was interesting, I felt brave; and suddenly a bat came in the way. I was forced to turn around, to be locked into the chamber of my past, oh how I longed for the ending moments to last. I was pulled out of the fat nutritious soil and put back where my roots didn’t fit, in great turmoil.
The last moments we held unto so dearly, eyes full of tears seeing everything clearly. How lucky we were to be here together and how these memories would stay in us forever. We were ripped apart, but still holding on, and as I lie in my mother’s arms, I know we can stay strong.
What impresses me the most in all of this mess, is how strong we are together nevertheless.
Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
There’s an old proverb that states: You only acknowledge what you have when you lose it.
How I miss the wander, how much I want to see the street, to experience the city. Under this gap, I’ve got in touch with my affective memory of what is banal, imperceptible in the face of routine.
I think about the cordiality of some corners and the rudeness of others. I remember the hook-ups avoided or not. Dodges and desires combined filtering the paths.
How I miss confusing the outfit and coming down from Santa Teresa full of jackets and arriving at the city center feeling the heat. The weather in Santa Teresa, a mountainous area, is way colder and it’s very windy up here. Arriving in the city center, I felt the tropical city, the hustle and bustle, noisy, with all that I need. And then bumping into acquaintances, forcing mismatches, finding an unnecessary offer…. I miss hating the long way back, having to climb about 100 steps (I always lose track of the number) on the stairs that goes to my house. And finally jumping over the very last step, mocking and celebrating: I’m home!
Schools in Slovenia closed on the thirteenth of March because of the Coronavirus. I was very sad when our teacher told us we will not be able to see her and our friends for a long time.
Distance learning was a bit strange for me at the beginning. We get learning material on school’s website. Our teacher gives us all the instructions, sometimes we see educational films or learn to sing a song on the internet. I also have a video guitar lesson twice a week. I spend more time with my family now which is very fun. We go hiking, cycling, rollerblading. My sister and I made a small vegetable garden. At home we sometimes make scientific experiments for children or pancakes for dinner with our parents. When I want to relax, I read a story book, see a cartoon or play my guitar.
My distance learning is lovely, but lonely. I can’t wait to go back to real school again and see my friends and my teachers. I hope we all stay healthy.