Leda Špiranec (My Pandemic Diary)
So, there it is. Eleven months. The whole world has been dealing with corona for eleven ducking months. The thing that bugs me about it is that even though it is most likely a new virus, there were viral (pun intended) corona outbreaks before, like SARS, MERS, and it was horrible but people managed to an extent to control it. This one just keeps on winning. Ducking hell. And it’s not EVEN that. It’s the fact that some countries – actually, their governments knew that this situation was likely to happen in the near future, then saw it happening and still stood still.
It is like motionlessly watching a tsunami wave coming at you and you’re pretending that you are a waterbender and that wishful thinking is going to stop the damn wave. Then again, I have little right to be mad about this because I know that I am lucky and privileged. I didn’t get infected. Even if I had, I didn’t get any complications or strong symptoms. I live away from my parents and grandparents so at least I know that I won’t be the one to infect them even if I am unaware of it. And, in the end, I didn’t lose my job, cause I didn’t have one in the first place. I am still studying, peacefully and a bit more carefully enjoying my student life.
My whole family, apart from my sister, has corona and while I know that in most cases they recover and are fine, I am still worried, knowing that my dad has asthma and my mum is a heavy smoker. My family keeps on laughing it off because in between all the worries for the economy, always being aware that their jobs might be in jeopardy, worrying about my sister and me, and in combination with all the other numerous precarious situation they’ve been through in their lives (some of them being the war in their 20s, surviving several earthquakes in an epidemic and more) this just one more obstacle. For them, the most important thing is that my sister and I are good, healthy, and happy, and when they get to read our uni essays from time to time, it all makes it worth it. To them, we were/are their dream, and I always forget that. For them, life is wonderful. And here I am, trying to learn from them, from a distance. And yeah, from time to time you’ll see me listening to Smith & Burrows’ cover of Wonderful Life.
One year ago everything was normal. Weird to think about that time. It feels so far away. Now, we live in a new reality, so different from what it used to be. How can the whole world change within not even a year? Sometimes, this is incomprehensible to me. But I don’t feel like I am in the position to pity myself though. Of course, it is a shitty time. But I feel like it is a much less shitty time for me than for the majority of the people, who are really suffering. It is a bearable time of shitness if you wanna say so. Even though I moved to a new city during this pandemic, I have found really nice friends and I actually like my study programme, which I don’t take for granted because you never know what will come your way. And apart from the void of not going to a good old rave and not hugging my besties, which are ridiculous problems, I am doing pretty okay, and I hope that you are okay too. I am convinced that everything is gonna be alright, to say it in Marley’s words, and, yes, it might seem a bit unrealistic for the near future but hey, hope keeps you going right?
So keep hoping for the best and let us leave no one behind.
I think a lot of us had imagined at least once how it’d be like to live through some really historical times. Maybe you cannot compare it with a lot of past events, but Corona, as we know it today, has changed our lives in ways no one would have imagined a year ago. It is weird when something starts to affect you directly and it is not just “I heard this happened in x city or y country.”.
The first feelings that I had towards Corona were frustration and anger. Why did this have to happen to me, my friends, and my country? Why was I not able to go to school with my classmates anymore?. It saddened me when I realized that I barely remembered my last day in high school. Then the fear of losing security came. As I stayed for 2 months in a countrywide lockdown, suddenly, normal things were not allowed anymore. I did not know if I will be able to go to school again, take my exams, move to another country for university. All of my plans for the future were suddenly covered in uncertainty. I think this is one of the scariest things: to lose security, be financially or in your personal life and future plans. My worries might be nothing compared to what some people have gone through, but they did affect me at that time. As long as it makes you feel bad, it is valid and you have all the rights to feel that way.
I slowly realized that something good can come out of it, somehow. I started to appreciate people and our moments spent together more, I started to think about my family and relatives and decided to visit them as soon as it was possible.
We should take more care of our surroundings, keep everything clean, and be more considerate of others. In these situations, the most important thing is to be united. We all have to work together to get over this and I hope this mindset will be kept for future events as well. Even if life as we know it will never be the same, I am sure we can live happily and look forward to what the future will bring us. This is one of the ways I managed to overcome all of the worries that I had because of Corona:
Even in a bad situation, there’s always a positive side. Even if you can’t see it yet.
COVID, an acronym that no one predicted would change our lives in an instant.
The coronavirus pandemic flipped my world upside down. I was in my freshman year at University and my first time away from home. I was just starting to get a hang of university life, growing up and becoming an adult. But then life threw me a curveball. I had to return home fast. I had zero motivation to do anything, especially school. As an artist, it was heartbreaking for me that I had lost all of my creativity. It felt like the world around me was collapsing. Returning home so soon was hard, but being stuck indoors for 6 months was even harder. My head was always spinning, thinking this will never end and there was no way out of it.
It felt like everyone had bad news. Watching the news was painful: the uproar in social issues rose, while there was the fear of catching the virus creeping up behind me. Social media became a struggle and a search for truth. The world didn’t trust our governments. And then there was University; but how could I focus on school when it feels like the world is about to end tomorrow. It took me a long time to realize that I was struggling just like everyone else and that I needed to look at life from a different perspective.
Quarantine was difficult for me; it was like nothing a lot of us had ever experienced: the uncertainty, the wanting to cling to any sign of hope. Having school work helped in many ways, mostly as a form of distraction. I think that in life because it is so fast-paced, we tend to forget or avoid certain experiences that should define us. Quarantine forced me to face things that I had avoided thinking about for so long. Quarantine allowed me to question myself and where I was going in my life and my future in ways that I had never experienced before. One song that kept me sane was What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. It allowed me to forget what was going on around me and to enjoy 2 minutes and 11 seconds of bliss.
This was/is a hard period of time for everyone, but I’d be lying if I said that I hadn’t learned anything. I know the crazy state of the world right now, but I’d suggest that you use this time to focus on the things that really matter in your life. For me, it’s my family, friends, and, most importantly, my mental health. You don’t have to be working out or super productive. It’s ok to take your time and do what makes you feel good. Check-in on your loved ones and support them. Take care of yourself. It’s ok not to be ok. Everyone is going through something. Reflect on your relationships, your priorities, habits, and overall wellbeing.
These are truly hard times for us all. But we will make it!