Covid-19 as a Chance?! Participatory Podcast Project
By Participatory Podcast Team
The participatory podcast shares multilingual stories from people of all ages and corners of the world. This edition features contributions on "Covid-19 as a Chance?!". We hope to navigate the complexity of the current change process together and encourage some critical optimists along the way. Find us on social media through the #ParticipatoryPodcastProject and share your story to be featured.
Covid-19 as a Chance?! Participatory Podcast ProjectApr 17, 2020
(ESP) Oznar from Bolivia, walks you through Andean worldview and invites you to see what's behind the curtains
Good evening, Osnar Ascurinaga is speaking to you from Bolivia, from the sacred mountains of the Andes, the Apus Achachilas. We talked enough about the negative aspects and this seems like a chance to talk about the positive outcome. Well, first of all as we isolate ourselves we are forced to take responsibility for things that were there and have procrastinated by saying “when I have time, I'm going to take care of this”. In the end, the world made it so that you had all the time to dedicate yourself to those things you were escaping. The learning that I see is related to some belief that have roots in the Andean worldview, coming from the Aymara and Quechuas civilizations. The Andean worldview is very particular: there is nothing good or bad in the world. The moments when you are excited about life are not necessarily considered good, it is a moment in which you vibrate high. The times we are sad, afraid, are not a bad thing either, but are an apprenticeship. The Andean worldview divides time, you might have heard of Pachamama, a word that has sometimes been misunderstood. Pacha means time and mama is not referred to mom but it is a creative energy. So pacha-mama, time of the creative energy. According to this worldview, we live many eras, one pacha can even count thousands of years. The history of humanity is made out of many pachas and here and now, we are in the Pacha-cuti. Where cuti means return, this is the Pacha of the return. The time in which the ayayus, the spirits are going to meet again and there will be chaos. A long time ago our spirits have fought, my ancestors against your ancestors. So energetically we have something there between us that does not let us go. But this Mother-earth, the Universe, or God, as we want to call it, is grabbing it all to make us meet again so that we look in each-other’s eyes, that we see each other, so that we feel the hunger that the other feels, so that we give courage to the person who needs to face their fears. I think that it is something very wise that Pacha knows. Unfortunately, as we are simply one more element of nature, we still think of “me”,everything revolves around us, but it is not like that. When you connect with that creative Mother in this privileged and beautiful place, you will realize that we are a little a grain of sand in this vast universe. This makes you more humble. Many people in the world, especially in Europe have slaughtered mother earth which is why those who have harmed the earth the most are somehow those who are paying the most. That is what the conscience talks about and I don't refer to those who suffered loss on an individual level, many innocent people were victim. It speaks more to the ancestors who have lived in your land to get to where we are today. I am lucky that my ancestors, through mountains, plants, still live and send a message that goes beyond time and space. Plants have been here for thousands of years, much longer than human beings and therefore much wiser than us. They have the planetary cosmic information of what has happened, of what is happening, and of what will happen. They embody the spirit of nature and prepare us for those moments.The times that you have fought with your friend, that you have insulted, that you have felt fear those have been the moments of great change.When you are in chaos and you don't know what the hell is going on, this is the moment in which you are evolving and that is a message that I would like to convey to you: to see behind the curtains. If we focus on what we see on the screens, there is a being who feeds on fear and while you continue to radiate fear you give that monster more strength. What is the strongest way to fight fear? Well love, right? I think that these lands that vibrate the energy of love are a good place to start to love each other.
(ENG) Mario proposes online psychotherapy
So, my contribution to your questionnaire with regards to the changes or opportunities that this COVID-19 can offer for myself and for my community. So, for myself, I am starting to now settle, and I think I will finally have time to be with myself and I think that is probably the opportunity that the COVID-19 is offering me. To go internally and to not be as much caught up in that spin of external pressure that I was and maybe to have time for myself and to rethink some of my options in life. And, obviously, I can only do this because I have enough support because I have enough privilege that I do not have to worry with economics, right?
Now my practice is all moved online and so the same has happened with my community, my colleagues of mental health practitioners. We are all moving online and working from home. What it seems it is going to happen, at least for quite a few of my colleagues, cause they are enjoying it and their clients enjoy to receive psychotherapy online and so, some of my colleagues are dropping their offices are leaving their offices and they will start working from home. Maybe, even after the COVID-19.
Now, in terms of others changes it would be in terms of my clients I feel this context of the COVID-19 has given us an opportunity to address unresolved issues from the past that are emerging now in this context of uncertainty and fear and this is really rich for all those unfinished problems, unresolved trauma to emerge and we have a chance to work that now and to resolve those unfinished issues from the past. And maybe in terms more of a broad comment; I think that there is a hope that, at least from some of us, we will shift more from this individualistic position that we have been operating to more of a sense of community. What I have been experiencing is, amongst my community of mental health practitioners, there is a coming together, there is a lot more support that we are offering each other and a lot more solidarity. So, maybe, we will move on to something more community based.
(IT) Vincenza (35) is reorganising her social housing project
Hello, everyone, here we are again, this time I will contact you with a message in Italian. So thank you once again for this opportunity and the question what are the positive aspects that this coronavirus is bringing to our lives on a personal, community and even global level. First of all, at the world level, I would not expand very much, I would not want to generalize on information that we already know, if I think about the effects on climate change, in the sense that we have not solved the aspect of solving the problem, but we certainly have contributed with a lifestyle that fortunately led us to stay at home and instead face the situation while staying at home, and therefore in fact reducing consumption which can worsen the situation from the point of view of climate change. So in terms of the climate aspect, the other positive aspects that I can mention worldwide ...
I would like to mention and talk about my housing reality. I live in a social housing or co-housing, which is a residential site that wants to recover the old relationships of mutual aid, mutual aid between inhabitants. We share common spaces inside, once called the old court, and we recover in this way, rediscovering a sense of community that we previously took for granted. My social housing is social by definition and therefore we often organize events, remote aperitifs, or flower and nursery activities, in shifts of course, because we have vegetable gardens, planters in common. We improvise conversations between balcony and balcony, as was done once with the old railing houses that are typical of northern Italy, or as was done in southern Italy, the tradition of small villages, small towns. Each family usually went to the elderly, sitting on the doorstep, until late evening or night. We celebrated, we spent time, we also organized jobs, or we continued to do housework, that's what I discovered - rediscovered being among us.
Clearly the virus has taught us something not only from this point of view but also from the personal point of view. So I go down to the personal level, the new self-knowledge, the dialogue that a person can make, rediscovering his many souls. Rediscovering the many souls that animate the house too, therefore that dialogue is not only with his own if, but many members of the house and personalities.
Other opportunities lie in the public point of view, such as the dematerialization of offices, and paper, the digitization of public administration and the very important role of smart working or smart school, which unfortunately we discovered with an unforgivable delay compared to other countries, especially northern European countries that used it already. Now it finally arrived in Italy. Or the infinite possibilities of online communication that have always broken down barriers. So these are all the opportunities that this virus has left us, as a rich legacy, which is making us discover the tradition of the new concept of community flanked by technology that supports us and keeps up with modern times.
Here I hope I have answered your questions and if there are other opportunities, I am available, I am Vincenza, I am calling from Milan and we are still at home, in quarantine. A hug to all of you.
(PL) Asia sees the needs of the weakest being forgotten in the pandemic
I am rather pessimistic and have little trust in the possibility of changing our economic system, which imposed its principles also on our private lives. When the pandemic has begun many people around me started to see in it a chance for humans to wake up from a consumer lethargy, and for the system to change. I saw it from the beginning rather black and had dark thoughts. They confirmed partly by some of my friends, who had complained about the inability to go to the store like Ikea and buy something new for home. On the other hand, also because of what is happening in Spain, the people are obliged to buy in the nearest supermarket, which means they are unable to support for example food cooperatives or small ecological stores, which are located in another district. So practically the entire food market is focused on large supermarkets, which once again shows that the crisis will lead us to strengthen those units, those institutions, that were already strong and had capital, but destroy these small institutions, small businesses, small farmers.
As always, simply those who are big will come out of the crisis unscathed, while the fall will affect the smallest and most vulnerable. I hear however that more and more people start to grow their own food, that the market anxiety and the uncertainty whether in a month or two months it will be possible to buy lettuce or cucumbers in the store, makes people reach for seeds, reach for their own gardens and start their own cultivation, what is positive. Also, some countries are already closing exports of their own food products, e.g. Romania and Serbia, trying to protect their own market. And in Poland it is going to be difficult anyway, as the drought, which is said to be the largest in past hundred years, is ahead of us - we see its consequences already, it will be very difficult to grow food.
The crisis is to me a sad possibility to violate human rights as well. When the main media keeps dealing with pandemic, the weakest and their needs are being forgotten, it is not being told how their rights are violated. Whether the crisis will be a chance for a change or not depends on how the society behaves, what I unfortunately see pessimistic.
I feel that after the crisis, when we will be finally able to leave our houses freely, some fights will start: fights for jobs, private fights, between private individuals, rather individualistic than collectivist thinking (will dominate), while collectivism could lead us to a change in the system and taking power in societies own hands. And I think that this crisis will cause more gathering of power and capital in large institutions. "
(FR) Flora (8) and her mom are buying local food
Hi, my name is Flora, I'm 9 years old and I'm doing this message with my mom. The good things right now are family games and quizzes during confinement, which is actually a preventive measure to avoid the spread of the virus while waiting to have masks to protect us. Indeed, apart from these masks that we are impatiently waiting for, it would be good to stop the relocation of companies. Delocalisted production explains the delay in the supply of masks for all French people, while we would be able to manufacture them in France too. Then, another positive point is the consumption of local French products, fruit, vegetables, meat etc.
(ENG) Maria gained a new perspective on her life
I am Maria from Brazil, living in Sweden. What positive things did Corona bring to me? It is tricky to say because a lot of people are suffering and you kind of feel guilty about feeling grateful in a situation where a lot of people are feeling sad. But for me, the whole situation brought a lot of light into my life, a lot of things became more clear to me: what are the important things, and what are the non-important things? I heard that quote that said: "When everything is uncertain, the things that are important become more clear". And I think for me, that is the Corona-crisis. It made me forget all the chit chat of life, and all the nonsense that sometimes you focus on. It made me reflect and realise: what do I actually want to do with my life and who do I want to do it with? I am not sure how things will be after this, but I definitely will not look at my life in the same way.
(EN) Rissa sees the bigger picture
Ok about the Coronavirus...What is the positive thing that this virus or this Pandemic created is that you get to slow down. You get to just stay at home realise what are those things that you deprive yourself from doing if you are a very busy person. You get to cook for yourself you get to be with your loved ones just at home. Things that you do not realise while you are very busy with your career, with what you usually do every day. This crisis gave you the time to reflect on the things that... Oh, I have never done this, I have never done my laundry, I have never been this productive for a day. While on the other hand, the major opportunity is that it is very obvious that the world is not prepared for anything that is as bad as this. No movement in the economy and financially everyone is struggling. Well not everyone. Financially it greatly affected everything. Health. Even the most advanced health system can be crippled by a pandemic that is not excepted to come in the first quarter of the year. It shows there the balance between the advantages and the disadvantages. Basically, we have learned how to see the bigger picture because this involves the world.
(GER) Maria strives for trust and solidarity after the crisis
My name is Maria, I am 28 and I work as a language teacher in Berlin. I see many things in these times that can positively influence our society. I think, for example, that we normally live in a very routinised world, getting up, going to work, to university, studying, etc. This crisis, this quarantine, has pulled us out of it and held a mirror up to us. Suddenly, all the problems that our society has had are much more visible. We suddenly see the homeless, the loneliness and the fragility of the old people in the elderly homes. Suddenly we see the loneliness of children who cannot cope alone without the help of adults, without the help of teachers to learn. I believe there is a great room for development and improvement in our societies. I hope that after this crisis we continue to think about the vulnerable people, the so-called "group at risk". That we do not ignore them. Myself, I write postcards every week to my friends who are isolated in elderly homes. The big challenge is to continue to maintain trust and solidarity after the crisis.
(ES) Gabriela encourages to reassess oneself
My name is Gabriela, I'm from Chile, I was living a little more than a year in Portugal, and in January, February, I moved to Germany, on a working holiday. I went back to Chile to leave my things and to see my family two months to later go back to work, and unfortunately or perhaps for the better, the coronavirus situation happened while I was here. I am from Valparaiso, and well I am very grateful that I have been here with my family. Obviously going to Germany and starting from scratch with little contacts there, the situation would have been perhaps less easy, so this is a very positive aspect. And the rest, really, gives material to a lot of analysis, everything that we are living, on a political and social level... I do hope that this situation serves to rethink things, on a personal level, because obviously the other situations, rather political aspects and more, is beyond our reach, but internally I think it is a favourable moment to reassess ourselves, make decisions, and try to see what aspect we can improve, taking advantage of all the time we have available now. So my message is that, that we take a little time to analyze what we want, what we can improve and be grateful for the time we have now with our loved ones.
(EN) Aida sees an opportunity to localise development
Hi! My name is Aida, and I am originally from Colombia. Right now I am doing an internship at the United Nations Organisation in Copenhagen, Denmark. Personally I think that the Coronavirus is giving us an opportunity, in my field, the aid industry, to focus on local people and local staff. In the development sector you see a lot of foreigners, usually from the Global North, going to the Global South to collaborate and support infrastructural, or educational projects, children rights etc. Right now, this so-called crisis is allowing us to see how important the local staff is, which is another way of empowering the professionals, the people that have been working within and for the community. If COVID would not have taken place, things would remain business as usual. People go travel to work, and several times local people are not taken into account, because simply the foreigners have more skills or more experience. It is very important to support, assist and see with different eyes the way of how development works. I also think that it is a great opportunity to see business as usual...not as usual. Meaning what? Meaning that the normal was wrong. That the way we were doing things is not the way we shall do. We were used to have some behaviours and beliefs that hurt the nature. And now you can see that a new normal is taking place with this Coronavirus. Perhaps there are a lot of opportunities. Of course, sadly, there are victims, people suffering. For example in my home country, a lot of people are starting to be hungry, because there are not enough jobs, there is not enough basic needs supply by the government. Of course, there is sadness around, there are victims, but this is an opportunity to learn, I believe.
(GER) M, from Germany gets to know her friends anew
I am 64 years old, retired and live in Hildesheim. I have always been outdoors a lot and now I meet many more parents with their children there. This is certainly also due to the increased time they spend together. I find it a very positive aspect that they spend this time together outdoors in nature. I myself meet my friends much more often only outdoors in nature for walks or short hikes, and I have now noticed that completely different topics have come up, that we are also more intensively involved with each other and get to know each other anew and discover other sides of us. That is a very exciting thing.
Furthermore, I think that the shopping behaviour has changed, we rather think about what we need now, so that we don't have to walk into the shop a few more times. I make myself a note. It's different in the shops too. You can't rush into a shop like that, often you have to wait outside in a queue be patient until you are granted access. What is also nice is that there is no more jostling at the cash desks, since the distance must be kept. Thus, the hectic pace of everyday life is also taken away to a certain extent.
(PT) Rita (30) from Portugal, treasures growth with her daughter
Hi, I'm Rita, I'm 30 years old from Portugal. I've been in quarantine for 54 days. Today in Portugal is Mother's Day the 3rd of May. And maybe motherhood has been one of the fundamental aspects, of the few positives, in this COVID-19 pandemic. These last two months have allowed me to strengthen the relationship with my daughter. She is only 2 years old, there is a lot she does not notice. But it's great to spend a little more time with her. On the other hand, I am also always heartbroken because I often want to give her the attention she deserves, that she needs because she is without her friends, without school, without all the activities. And I'm working remotely. In other words, my heart is divided between keeping myself productive and being the best mother possible under these circumstances. But anyway and despite this demand for time and attention, this difficulty in managing everything. It's been great to be able to enjoy a few little moments that weren't possible before. Waking her up every day from her nap, putting her to bed. Despite some tantrums in the mix... But it's been very nice to see how she's evolved over the last two months. How we're creating a little human being and seeing a new discovery everyday. In the old days I couldn't have these little moments because I left her in kindergarten and picked her up too late. And that's the only positive thing I can see in this, despite other things, but the one that really touches me the most is motherhood. And to feel that this has strengthened my relationship with the little one. She won't remember any of this, and that's good, but to me these moments feel good.
(IT) Elisa from Italy, uncovers beauty in unexpected corners
Hello everyone! My name is Elisa, and in the past days I set my attention on a term that I would like to elaborate on to answer the question about the opportunities that we could draw for our future. The term is "anti-fragile". "Anti-fragile" is a neologism that was coined by Nassim Taleb and indicates a person who acts opposite as to a fragile person. A frail person in a situation of tension and stress becomes demoralized and does not react. On the contrary, instead, an antifragile person, under pressure and when circumstances do not go as planned, not only does she or he face the situation, but rather improves performance. So why did I want to start from this concept? Because we all know that this is a very difficult situation and that scares us from many points of view. But this does not mean that we must break down or lose trust. The covid emergency is inviting us to reflect, reflect on our limits, I am not talking about the personal limits of each, but I mean the limits of humans. It is inviting us to review, to redesign our priorities, not only in a personal level but also on a global level. We have seen how nature is recovering, making us understand how human action can sometimes be deleterious. And so maybe this is a wake-up call that arrived just in time to make us change direction. And it is we, who must seize it to ensure that it is not all in vain in the end. I do not want to dig too far into this topic which is quite complicated, but will speak a little more on a personal level. I realize that I have been rediscovering creativity, I had fun taking pictures in corners of the house that I never thought of photographing because I didn't find anything interesting in then. I observed the same angle of the house at different times of the day fascinated by the play of light that the sun creates at different times. So, somehow my vision has changed, my attention to detail has intensified and now even the most insignificant details attract my mind. And these things that were before my eyes, have always escaped me, on the one hand because I was too busy trying to meet a deadline, on the other one, because I went to look for beauty outside the home. But all these things I am saying are important to keep being mentally strong. Because to fight this virus it is not necessary to be only physically strong, obviously we have to exercise, but we must also read a book, listen to music or play. Keeping your mind active, keeping creativity and inventiveness active. So let's take advantage of this moment to enrich ourselves even more, to become stronger psychologically, to learn how to behave as anti-fragile people.
(EN) Emily from Canada, takes a chance to slow-down fast-paced life
Hey everyone my name is Emily. I live in Toronto I have been social distancing for about a month now. As I think many other people have. I see COVID-19 as an opportunity in many ways. First, for those who live a very fast-paced life I think they get to slow down a bit and really feel the present. I think it is great for anyone who is looking to reinvent themselves and maybe to consider a different path or figure out what truly makes them happy. I also think it is great for consumerism. I think we need to remember that we don't always need to be consuming things and that we can just let ourselves be with our families and make things at home etc. I think this is really great for the environment. I'm very excited to see what the results are of this sort of thing on the environment.
(IT) Alice (23) observes dolphins in Venice
I think the positive thing in all of this situation is that there are news of animals taking over the cities and just watching nature taking the space that we took away from it. I think it is a very good moment to realise how small changes in our behaviours can actually have a great impact. I think it is so useful to see results if everybody does small changes in their behaviour. This is something that cannot be done just by some individuals, it has to be done by everybody. So, I think that is the positive side… I mean, there are dolphins in Venice! I would have never imagined so. I lived there and I still remember the smell and the colour of the brownish water in Venice and that was like two years ago and I would have never imagined seeing purer water in the channel. So… Yeah, I guess that is it.
(FR) Sinda (33) encourages you for a change of path
I'm Sinda, I live in Paris and I'm almost 34 years old. I am living in Paris and have been in confinement for more than six weeks now due to Covid-19. Today I am drawing negative but also positive points from this situation. The negative points are above all on the moral level, the anxiety that one can feel to be confined, the deaths which are also unfortunately counted every day throughout the country and the world. But next to that, there is also the commitment of some citizens, the impact on social networks, the virtual world, our adaptation too, which is quite developed. Humans adapt quite quickly to new situations. The opportunity that can be drawn from this, whether for oneself or for the community - is to ask oneself the right questions. And one of the questions is: do we want to live and return to a so-called "normal" life, knowing that it may not have been normal for us and for other societies? What do we want for our future, what do we want for the generations to come? Do we want to continue on this path at the economic level, at the political level, at the human level? It is difficult to answer all these questions in a very short period of time, but these are the questions we ask ourselves as citizens, as individuals. And I think that in community, all together, we will find the answers. I wish good courage to all those who are confined, and thank you for listening.
(PT) João (28) does not want to waste time anymore.
Every crisis has something positive in itself because it forces us to ask questions that we probably did not ask before. And only by formulating new questions we can obtain new answers and grow as citizens, as a world, as human beings. So this would be the first great opportunity that comes from a crisis. And this is no exception, this pandemic that we are experiencing. On the other hand, this health crisis makes us realise that we are not so different from each other. Yes, we are different by culture, by social class, by opportunities, on many occasions, unfortunately, different. But in this case of health, in this specific case of the pandemic, we are not different from each other, we are equally weak. We are equally vulnerable. Because we are obsolete, because we are finite, because we are human. And the pandemic does not choose this or that group of people. We are equally vulnerable and therefore we have much more in common than aspects that can differentiate us from each other. Secondly, this pandemic makes us realise the importance of time. Time is something limited and that we cannot buy. And we live in a world where we waste too much time. Or rather, in which we do not enjoy it as it deserves. Life is a gift to be lived, to be used and we waste too much time. On the other hand, another opportunity that we can see in this pandemic is the willingness to discover others as an opportunity in itself. We live too much in our indifference, in our selfishness, in our interests, ideas and goals. Others will be part of our lives and now we miss them. Then, let this pandemic help us long for each other and thus build a different world, more human, more of God certainly.
(ES) Asia on the importance of local food production
I am quite a pessimistic person, and I have not believed in the possibility of change in the socio-economic system in which we live for a long time and when the pandemic started and many people saw in it an opportunity for this change, I saw it as very dark. Mainly because many economic alternatives that I knew and that I saw, such as organic stores, small cooperatives were very affected by the pandemic. And that did not happen with the big supermarkets, the big chains, which are the ones that now sell the most, because people cannot move to support their cooperatives, their small stores, in another neighborhood. I think that from this pandemic the big companies are going to come out much stronger, while small businesses, as well as some economic and social movements that have already started to emerge in recent years, will be much more affected. On the other hand, many people also tell me that during this pandemic more and more people realize the need to produce their own food, that many people no longer know if in two or three months they will be able to buy food in the supermarket, because there are also countries that have already closed the borders to export their own food production, so suddenly we live in a system where countries really keep their food within their borders. We have to produce our own food. So there are many possibilities, opportunities, but I still think that as soon as the pandemic ends we will return to the same system as before, except that it will be much worse because there will be fewer jobs, which means that people will work in even more vulnerable conditions, worse conditions, and that will greatly harm people in many of the sectors.
(IT) For Marco an opportunity to stop, reflect and change
Hello everyone! I'm Marco, from Rome. And I also wanted to share my experience and my impressions on this quarantine life that we are all facing and I will try to give a maybe different and positive perspective, because it is the only way in which we must try to take events in general, especially when events are so big, so out of our control. I think the only thing we should do is simply accept what is going on and stop, to reflect because such this occasion that forces us to stop our hectic activity and stay a moment at home, and live a sense of time as it once was, I think it is an occasion we have now and we might not have in the future. Therefore, both as individuals, in our private life everyone will surely have something to think about, but also as a collective, even more important, as a collective such a moment gives us a chance to make a change, to unite, to come to new conclusions and to start again in a new direction, better than the one we were headed towards in recent years, which according to me, was not positive at all, and it would not have led us to anything good, considering the climate crisis and the political scenario we have. And therefore this epidemic, on the one hand, is certainly a misfortune, for the suffering it creates and the economic damages, but on the other, it can also be seen as a more unique than rare opportunity to stop for a moment, reflect and change course. Because the moment has arrived in my opinion. And I don't think we will be given another opportunity to start again and to reflect on what we are doing, on our lifestyle, on our way of interacting and behaving. So in addition to trying to relax, to be quiet, to work for those who can, in these days, a very important thing is that you try to ask questions, then everyone will bring his own, but in short, this time may not be lost time, it may not be in vain, and it is worth trying it also because we have the responsibility to do it from my point of view. so I would like to encourage those who listen to this message to try and think what they can do in their own small way, when this thing will end up, and try improving something, no? Okay, I will stop moralizing here and I greet you all, have a good day and a good quarantine.
(FR) Claire (25) sees a circle of solidarity
I see many positive aspects in the current corona crisis. One of them is that you can refocus on yourself and on the activities that you really like to do and that you don't necessarily have the time to do in everyday life. Because we work, because we have studies, because we have a family. Right now, personally and with my friends, we are doing many things that are important to us, and that feels really good. I'm getting back into art a lot, drawing, listening to a lot of music, reading, learning about the world, and that's something I haven't done in months. You can also take care of yourself, do sports, whether it's outdoors or at home. In terms of the opportunities you could create, there are a lot of things that were there before and that are even more present now. In France, for example, the NGO French Popular Relief is very present. And new things are being set up, more recently. For example the "Brigades Solidaires Populaires". This is a project that is currently European, and which may be extended to other countries, which brings together volunteers to help people in precarious situations. I think that all together, and for the most motivated people, we realize that the world is going bad. The corona crisis can recreate a circle of solidarity for those who need it, which unfortunately was sometimes a little abandoned or not our priority. At the moment I think that many people realize how important this is and how much solidarity is the core of human values.
(PT) Marta (25) from Portugal on reinvention
Hello, my name is Marta I am 25 years old and I think that the COVID-19 crisis can and should be seen as an opportunity to reinvent ourselves, at a personal level but also at a professional level. I think this mandatory break in our daily lives has made us look at life differently. In my personal case, I decided to get to work on different projects and created a podcast. At the click of a button, I also created new contacts and friendships - which might sound a bit odd, doesn't it? But I also deepened relationships and caught up with people I hadn't spoken to in centuries. Concerning work, as a communication professional in the field of travel and education, both my colleagues and I were forced to take a huge detour in our projects, programmes and events. In the end, we decided to adapt from the physical to the online. We created lives, webinars and reached people we would never have reached if we hadn't done it like this. We also had to postpone events of course. But the funny thing is that this crisis made us reflect a lot on how we've been carrying out different projects. And you know what? We decided to do things differently. Sometimes less is more, and I think that's a great lesson the coronavirus taught us. If it's boring, sure. But we have to think positive and look for opportunities.
(ENG) Wanda in the U.S. misses the hustle and bustle
Hello, my people! My name is Wanda I'm 38. I live in New York City, near midtown Manhattan. Right now New York City feels like it is winter. Every day I have a sense of nostalgia. I miss the city's hustle and bustle. People watching, food, exploration. How I keep sane? Actually thanks to a friend that I randomly met I take workout sessions every day. Which is pretty awesome. I also do Instagram live on Wednesday's in Spanish and Friday's English and I share stories of New York City because I love it. Another opportunity is that there were two entrepreneur ladies that I wanted to meet but I was so hesitant to connect with them. Recently I found that they host zoom meetings and now I have been able to speak with them and be inspired by them. And it is wonderful. Actually today it was raining and the city was lively, foggy and grey. I went down to the pier as it rained because I love rain in New York. And as I was there, there was a lady whom I struck a conversation with. It was so good to speak with someone. As the sky cleared, New York City showed itself with all its splendour. And as I walked back, I realised that just like this fog that we are in it is going to clear and New York City will be lively again. And l like that a lot.
Welcome to season 2!
Welcome to season two of the Participatory Podcast Project! This time we asked our friends around the world if they could see anything positive stemming from this moment. If there was any opportunity they could create or an opportunity that was being created for them, for their community or for the world. The stories will take you from Canada to Poland and from Italy to the Philippines. So tune in and see you there!
(IT) Mimi (41) from Italy is creating a sustainable future for his children
Ok here I am finally. I'm Mimi, 41 years old, from the province of Naples. My thought for this Covid goes to the luck we have of having two daughters here with us, which allow us to be cheerful, to pass the time, to have fun and above all to hope that everything will end soon. Precisely because children always make us think about the future and how to leave them a sustainable world. Always keeping in mind that many others instead live with difficulties this moment, our story is about spending a lot more time with them, thinking about their education, their games, having more fun without the frenzy of running back and forth for work. Staying indoors at home can also be a benefit, even if on the long run it becomes very heavy.
(ESP) Maite in Belgium on homeless people as an especially vulnerable group
How has this been affecting me and how am I coping? Well, the first two weeks of quarantine I was truly quarantined and forced to work from home. To avoid being locked up in the city, I went to the outskirts which allowed me to spend more time with my family and that helped me to live it in a quiet way without feeling so much like isolation. Now, this week, as I work with homeless people which are a very vulnerable and forgotten population. So, instead of being quarantined, I am in double work. So, we could say that it affected me positively because I really love working in the field. This has mobilised us more, it made us act much more and it impacted in the sense that sometimes injustices and indifference become much more evident. Because it was a population that, from the beginning, was being overlooked. About how I try to cope with it... I try to maintain a healthy rhythm, as far as possible, not exceeding work too much... Because since there are not many activities, it's natural to think "well it's not like I have something to do or people to see"... So, sometimes, I end up staying longer than I should in the office but I try not to do it to maintain a healthy pace and not to exploit myself. And that's it!
(ENG) Alice (23) on differences in risk perception in Italy and Sweden
I guess the fact that I have reflected the most in this quarantine, is that the government has a critical role of defining the risk perception of its citizens. Why do I say so? Because I'm from Italy but I'm actually living in Sweden, and I remember when Italy was just the only country that had scary numbers of death from the Coronavirus in Europe, I had a totally different perception of risk compared to my colleagues here in Sweden. Why? Because I was bombarded by my mum, by my friends, by my family about how they were living it. And I felt completly "incompresa" [misunderstood].. I'm not sure how to say that in English, but people wouldn't understand me. Because here it was just the flu, just the flu, but I was affected because my country was affected, my people was affected, but now almost a month has passed that my friends and family are in quarantine, and I'm actually not really, I'm trying to.. but I still go out, but now I feel a bit like the contrary.. I don't feel understood by my italian people, because I'm afraid of sharing a moment outside, or telling them that I've gone.. i don't know.. to the cafeteria, or to the library, and I'm afraid of what they will think of me, of their judgement but also I'm afraid to hurt them because they're in the house and I'm not, so yeah, it's amazing how much we influence eachother, and I think it's also very interesting how people are not afraid of the planet falling apart, they are not afraid of wildfires, of the tsunamis, or i don't know.. their afraid of sharks, and coronavirus, when the coronavirus still is killing less people then a normal flu. Is killing still less people then hunger does, and I'm not saying that it's not something serious, because I do believe it's something serious, but there are so many other things to worry about that we never do. And i hope that at the end of this journey, people, me included, will change their behavior and will take more prevention measures for many other things and not just for the coronavirus.
(DE) Steffi (22) from Germany enjoys volunteer work online
I am Steffi, 22 years old and study biochemistry in Düsseldorf. My situation has changed a bit: the start of the lectures has been postponed and all lectures will be online from now on. We also have a lot of practical work in our studies, such as lab work, which currently cannot take place. We are waiting for a solution. Probably we will end up having block practical courses with small groups. Otherwise I would have been allowed to participate in an exchange program with a US-American university for a year, starting in August. Now we have to wait and see how things develop over the next few weeks, to see whether this can take place at all or not, for obvious reasons. Otherwise the exams were postponed, which I was happy about at the beginning, because I thought, cool, then I can study a little more and maybe even have a better grade at the end. But then I was a little down because of the uncertainty about the exchange. I took some time for myself, because the last months were stressful too and enjoyed holidays, books and a lot of good food. Now, I am doing more for uni, e.g. laboratory reports that still have to be handed in, or for voluntary work, such as the online magazine Treffpunkt Europa. I've also gotten myself more involved into things I haven't had time for lately: writing more articles or working on the magazine's social media. Apart from that, many volunteer positions now simply continue online. We don't sit together over a pizza, but via online video conferencing services. Apart from that, everything happens at home, because staying at home is the most important thing now.
(ES) Raimundo (26) in Chile reflects on his privileges
I've been quarantined for almost 4 weeks. At first, it was a very strange, a very bizarre feeling. It's the first time in my life that I find myself in a situation like this. I think a lot of people probably feel the same because it's something that's practically never happened before. At first, I felt trapped because I really like being outdoors. Being closed makes me want to go out. All of a sudden, I was in a bad mood. But you get used to it and create your routine in the house, you spend more time with the family, you take advantage of the circumstances to cook, to eat, to have lunch. And you find out things you didn't know about the other, so it's been a good opportunity to be with my family more since, although I live with them, I don't see them that much. I have to be thankful for my job. Appreciating what I have. Having the resources to work from home and realising how privileged I am. Also realizing the importance of helping, doing my part by staying home. And we will be much more grateful once we are able to go out again in the open air, the mountains, climbing, wherever!
(ENG) Marc (56) from Italy enjoys working at his pace
Hello, I'm Marc, I'm living in Rome, I'm 56 years old. So my experience of Covid so far has been positive in the sense that I've avoided commuting and getting stressed by the trafic jams, this is very positive. Another positive point is that I can manage my work almost as I want. I can take a nap when I'm tired, work long hours, or just take half a day free and not having to report it to anyone. The negative thing is that I'm missing human contact a lot and especially hugging and kissing my daughter and son. This is it.
(PT) Rita in Switzerland enjoys digital communication to socialise
To answer the questions of the podcast: The biggest impacts of COVID, in my life, have been social and in terms of workload. I work in the health sector, I am a physiotherapist but since I am not at the forefront, so to say, the workload has gone down a lot and this takes some dynamism and, consequently, interest in what we do. Also, the fact that very special precautions need to be taken mean that, although we are working less, we get more tired, not only physically but also mentally. Regarding social life, the fact that I am an immigrant means that however small, social life is fundamental. So, with this whole situation, I am stopped from having it in person but, on the bright side, we are lucky enough to live in a modern age with millions of alternatives that end up alleviating a bit of the distress of being alone... So, not so bad.
(ENG) Maria in Sweden encourages you to treat yourself well
How am I coping with Corona? I am trying to do everything I normally would, to study, to work, to exercise, to meditate. I am trying to keep my routine going, which has been extremely productive. But I am also allowing for moments in which I feel bad, I feel sad, I feel confused or lazy, because it is a very emotional journey to be self-isolated at home. So I try to keep things normal when I feel normal but I also myself not to be normal when I don't feel like it. Because this is not a normal situation. And also, one thing that it making me feel better, is to cook a lot of amazing food that I normally think about to learn - but I never have enough time. And then, cooking something nice for myself is a way of feeling grateful, a way to feel you achieved something, and it is also a piece of love you are giving to yourself. Try to focus on all the things you can learn with this Corona-crisis, all the things you would like to change in your life, and change in the world. Because this crisis also gives us a sense of hope, of wealth - even if now it is hard, even if now it is hard and there are still many things to live in the world and in life.
(EN) For Malek (30) in Mayotte the pandemic is called Hunger
Je m'appelle Malek. J'ai 30 ans. Je viens de Yémen. Je suis demandeur d'asile à Mayotte. Je veux tout partager avec vous sur notre situation à Mayotte. They have told us that we gonna be protected if we gonna stay home. No, it is impossible because there's another pandemic which is " Hunger ". We were born to suffer in life, escaping from Yemen due to the war, facing all the difficulties and obstacles in Mayotte, facing the pandemic of COVID-19 and finally being quarantined at homes with nothing in our hands. The consequence of all this chaos is death. We can not stay home with cuffed hands dying because of hunger unless the Human Rights Organisations and other associations will give us their hands, save us, cure us and stand beside us. Before all of this crisis came to our life, we used to adapt to Mayotte's life by going out, helping others and gaining some little money. It was a bit easy but now, it is more complicated. If we go out, we are going to be arrested and charged by the police. On the other hand, we are so afraid of being affected by the Corona Virus. For us, staying home during the confinement is just like a slow death, suffering a lot. أنا مالك شماسي كمتقدم لطلب اللجوء في جزيرة ميوت الفرنسيه أناشد جميع المنظمات الانسانيه والمبعوثيه الامميه ومنظمات حقوق الانسان الى الالتفات لنا والالتماس لوضعنا السيء في هذه الاوضاع الراهنه نتيجة هذا الوباء المستجد. لانه ان لم يكن هنالك احد يلتفت لوضعنا، فسوف يكون هنالك أرقام قياسيه لضحايا فيروس جديد والمسمى ب فيروس الجوع والفقر . Thank you all Malek
(IT) Giselle from Italy gives herself permission to feel
For some time I considered it exaggerated to talk about "surviving" the quarantine of isolation, especially from the point of view of those like me who live isolation in a fairly privileged way, since I work from home and I live with my family. My father works in an elderly home, but at least for the moment, he's fine. I have no specific needs or shortcomings, but I realized how wrong it was to compare the experience of others and assimilate it to mine, just because it is similar from a materialistic point of view. It took me 37 days, since the beginning of the quarantine, to allow myself to reflect on this situation for real. And it has been 37 days of fear, but which is not erased by the experience of gratitude. And I have learned that it is possible to be grateful for what you have, even when you are afraid. And I am afraid, every time my father goes out to go to work, every time I hear the car with the speakers telling us to stay at home, or when I turn on the TV, or when I think about my sister far away in the Netherlands and her loneliness. It is possible to be grateful even in the craziness that is happening, but you also have to give yourself permission to be afraid and accept the emotions that come and that are the result of what we are experiencing.
(EN) Carolina (24) from Italy wants to drive far away
So how I'm coping with the Coronacrisis? I'm 24, from Rome. Practically speaking I coped by running, by running home. I had to quit Africa where I was doing my research in Benin, paradoxically, because from a place where there was no virus, to the epicentre of the problem. From an emotional point of view, I'd like to say not well. I don't know, I feel like the world is falling on me and there's nothing I can do and I have nowhere to escape. The quarantine experience is interesting, because what until yesterday was your comfort zone, literally, your comfort zone, now becomes your challenge. And for instance, when you find out that your boyfriend was having an affair, and is now going to reunite with someone else in Chile, you don't want to crawl on your bed anymore, you want to take the car and drive far away. I want to steam off my anger, not cry on my pillow. Anyway, and the rational part of me wants to say "well". I mean, yeah, I mean, well, I'm part of the lucky ones, so I can't really complain.
(EN) Nora (32) from Germany makes future plans
Hello, my name is Nora, I am 32 years old, living near Koblenz, a town in South-Western Germany. I am actually not too worried about my own health in the Corona-situation, but I am very much worried about people with chronic diseases, elderly people... I am still in touch with some of them, so of course, I don't want to risk anything and I obey the laws related to COVID-19 here in our country. So, I am staying at home most of the time, and I haven't had so many phone calls in recent years I guess. I am constantly on the phone if I am not working. I am writing a lot, but I prefer having an extra phone conversation, which helps in order to not be lonely. With my friends, we tend to make nice plans about the future, having dinner together, going outside, hiking together in a group. I am really looking forward to this, that helps at the moment. I also think it is quite interesting that you tend to remember people you haven't been in touch with for many years. It is nice to talk to old friends you haven't heard from for a long time, also texting international friends and comparing their life situations with yours, and finding out that it is pretty much the same everywhere. We should really stand together in this very difficult situation.
(FR) Claire (25) calls for solidarity for those on the frontline
Hello, my name is Claire, I'm French, I live in Grenoble and I'm 25 years old. Since the shut down started in France, three weeks ago now, my life has been quite turned upside down. I love to go out and see my friends, which is complicated at the moment. I was offered to come and live with friends, but I decided to go back to my parents' with my brother. I wanted to be close to my family because I think that at the moment, I prefer to be with them and take care of them. The impact on my daily life is rather moral. Physically it's fine, but mentally it's complicated because I'm someone who likes to go out and take my mind off things. Staying indoors is not easy, especially with such a nice weather, spring has arrived and you have to stay home. Luckily for me, there is a balcony. I can enjoy the sun. We try to be positive, to think of all those who are on the front line of the situation. We try to stay in solidarity. And above all, I try to keep myself busy in a different way. I try to spend more time with my family, to cook together or watch movies with them. Besides that, I do a lot of creative work, and I read a lot. It's a complicated situation but I think you can live differently and focus on yourself and your family. Courage to everyone!
(EN) Ásta from Iceland adapts to change
Hello! When the COVID crisis came around, I was and I am still doing a one-year-masters-programme in England. As I am originally from Iceland, and my family is there, I decided to go there for some time. This crisis affected me in some ways - there is, of course, some uncertainties. I was quite lucky with my course, that we didn't have many things that still had to be cancelled. We had finished our lectures for example and had only one exam coming up. I do realise there is a lot of people in difficult situations in challenging circumstances, my thoughts are of course with the people suffering mentally and physically. But I also think that everyone can realise and think that we are allowed to grieve and think of the losses that we each individually have to face. Because everyone has in whatever circumstances they were when this came around, to face some loss, change, adaptations, something that they did not choose, something that is completely out of our control most of the time. I myself am keeping myself calm and coping with this mostly by mostly trying to set up some routines, trying to do the works I am supposed to be doing, I set up lists of things that I have to do, and things I want to do. I go out of the house every day and try to do some exercises and fun things as well, not to get stuck in news and things going around.
(PT) Carolina (24) from Portugal gets stranded on an island
Hello, my name is Carolina and I'm Portuguese. I am here to tell you how this crisis has impacted my life and how I'm dealing with it. First of all, this crisis began by impacting my vacations. Yeah, I was one of those more than one thousand people who got stuck overseas and struggled to come home. In fact, this crisis evolved all of a sudden and in 24 hours, not only had I reached my first destination but the pandemic was also declared and several airports closed. In my case, I ended up being stuck on an island in the Philippines for 12 days, which you could argue that it is not bad, but the truth is that chaos was installed and the idea of being stuck in a foreign country in the middle of a world crisis wasn't the best. First and foremost, it was necessary to screen the news we received, especially those forwarded via WhatsApp and that no one quite knows the source. Therefore, it is important to remain calm and not to rush into decisions. Now, being back home, the quarantine didn't scare me. Actually, I'm lucky enough to continue working from home. The only thing that makes me more uncomfortable in this crisis is not knowing when I'll be able to see my friends again, and especially my family, due to these movement restrictions. That's my main concern, obviously, always keeping in mind that this is the best plan for us, right? Staying home, being restricted, at least until this passes.
(ES) Juan (23) from Bolivia flips the economic side to the brightside
Hi, I'm from Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. I am 23 years old and well this time of global pandemic has affected me in terms of my work. Because we are all in quarantine and I'm not part of the productive sector allowed to continue working. I was gathering money for my degree and maybe some travels. I am currently in the last year of my university degree, in chemical engineering, and I have purely research courses, where the money is flying away. Since I was developing new products within the scope of my thesis and all the expenses would come to me suddenly as soon as I finish this quarantine. Perhaps the thing that would hit a little harder would be the economic side, or in the worst-case scenario that my semester at university gets cancelled. Although we are currently attending classes online. But as they say, you have to see the positive side of all things in life, and thanks to this I was able to find myself again, I get to spend time on doing things that I couldn't because of the university and work schedules, like going back to cooking, finding new passions, having fun in my own way, being myself, and enjoying every moment. Because being locked up makes you see that each moment in life was special and that perhaps cannot be repeated again, that you have to enjoy it until it can no longer be done. and nothing, my experience. Thanks for everything!
(IT) To Sonia (23) in Sweden normal life feels absurd
At the time of the Covid emergency I am in Sweden, and it seems to like a parallel world, people leave the house as if it were Easter Monday. I have not seen a person with gloves or a mask, not even shop assistants. No one talks about the Covid virus, except in some newspaper articles, and on the news on TV I suppose, but I don't see it, because I don't understand Swedish. It really seems to be living in another universe, because being Italian and hearing every day my family who is in quarantine in Italy, it feels even more absurd. And for this reason I do not feel in the position of being able to take an opportunity from this experience, because here the experience has not yet arrived, life continues normally. We will see what will happen, I will keep you updated. Greetings from Lund!
(EN) Jayzl from the Philippines sees bluer skies
Hello, I would like to share the experience of my family, here in the Philippines, so I have a cousin who is a nurse, in one of our regional hospitals, and one of her patients was suspected of Covid 19. Then once it has been declared, she also has been declared a person under investigation and because she went home the following night, all my family back in the province, they were all declared as persons under monitoring. So they were cleared fortunately, because my cousin was cleared of the test, tested negative. However, since my hometown has been hit the worst in the province, there was another one who tested positive who was found out to have gone to the market, where my god mother and god father have a stall. Therefore the market was closed and they have been declared once more, persons under monitoring, so we're waiting for the results. Here in Manila we have been locked for three weeks, and the Quarantine has been extended until 30th of April. So the very busy street of Etza, which is the busiest street of the whole island, suddenly became empty, and the pollution level became better.
(ES) Santiago (24) in Turkey nurtures relationships
Hello, I am a 24 years old Colombian, currently living - halted - in Turkey, Istambul. I want to give a positive perspective of what COVID has meant to my life, although, I am currently alone since my family is thousands of miles away. In this opportunity, I have become closer to my friends and to the people close to me. In a way, my romantic life has improved since, in these moments of preventive quarantine, I have had the opportunity to spend more time with the person I am interested in and it has been an opportunity to get to know each other more and have a different lifestyle. I have also been able to connect more with my friends here, whether through the internet or before when we could go out, and all that type of social life to distract my mind from the situation that's going on right now. So, although everything is very negative to a certain extent, it's always important to see the bright side of everything.
(PT) From Portugal, winning anxiety one day at the time
Hello, I live in Portugal and I have been at home for 3 weeks and working from home. I am a routine type of person and this breaking of routine has influenced me up a lot. I am still trying to adapt to this completely different day to day. I suffer from anxiety, and it has been a journey to deal with it within these four walls. The first weeks were the most difficult so far, mostly due to work. I am the Director of Operations in a company and the possibility of having to fire people took the best of me and of my anxiety. We didn't fire anyone and if everything continues to go as planned, we won't have to. Sports and yoga have helped a lot to clear the mind and keep calm. But the longing starts to hurt, I am especially missing parents... But my family, my husband, my sister and my small dog have helped me a lot. Thanks.
(EN) Vincenza (35) from Italy taking care with no deadlines but pleasure
Hi everyone, I'm Vincenza, I'm 35 years old. I'm italian and I'm from Milan, so one fo the most affected areas in the world, I think from Coronavirus. And yeah this virus has affected my life in a serious way, in the sense that I'm an International Volunteer for the Red Cross, so my organization obbliged me to come back and to stop my field mission. I was in Africa, so this virus has impacted my life in this way, my organization obbliged to evacute all personnel, so now I came back to Italy, at home. It's quite hard for me, passing from the real action of the field mission to the inactivity of the quarantine, stuck at home. How do I cope with this situation? I find some distractions, I do things, I do action, but with no pressure, no deadlines, but with pleasure. I try to do each day something useful for me, for myself. I'm writing a lot, listening to music, listening to radio, to pdocasts, being in contact with friends, wharing my feelings with them. But to do everyday, finding something that can distract my feelings form this situation, in order to be prepared to post-virus life and have the sensation of not having wasted my time, so this is my experience. Thank you for this opportunity, thank you for sharing, because sharing is a bit caring.. so I would like to say hello to everybody, and I tell it also in Italian: "grazie per l'occasione, grazie per questa partecipazione e speriamo di rivederci tutti e di tornare alla nostra vecchia vita e di riabbracciarci, ciao" [thank you for the opportunity, for letting me take part, I hope we get to see eachother again, to comeback to our old life and hug eachother ! Bye]
(DE) To Celina (27) from Germany volley-ball is now more then just a sport
My name is Celina, I am 27 years old and live in Dresden. The restrictions that came with Corona took me by surprise due to their rapid development. At first I didn't really want to believe that the virus would spread rapidly and that it would now reach us, or what the consequences would be. But how does Covid-19 affect my life? Actually, I can't complain: I have nothing specific to endure because of the virus, I don't have to fear for my existence like many others. But the virus makes me think. And some things have changed for me, too. I was supposed to start a new job Mid-March. Due to the virus, my start has been postponed to the beginning of May, and I am now looking forward more and more to starting work, to having a regular job again, to having colleagues around me. On the other hand, the virus has taught me to spend time with myself again and I am rediscovering old hobbies like drawing and handicrafts. Furthermore, I suddenly realize how many different contacts I normally have. I start to miss my volleyball team, because our training was cancelled. But this strange situation shows that there is more than just the sport that connects me and my team. Recently we took part in an online pub quiz via Skype conference. As I am a church member, I now realize how much I miss the worship services with the church, especially at this time around Easter. But there are also some positive things to report. So for a few weeks now I don't see anybody anymore, except a family I help with child care. Since I am their only social contact, we spend a very intensive time together, which will, I am quite sure, strenghten our bonds even more together in the future.
(FR) Wissal (27) from France on new social rules
Hello, I would like to thank you for your initiative, which I find interesting! I'm a Tunisian student, I'm studying in Paris. Following this crisis, the courses are still maintained, but online. I live in a university residence where we started to organize our collective life together. For example, we make a schedule so that the kitchen is only used by two people at the same time. The same goes for the laundry machines. As far as I'm concerned, I lost my student job, which has been a small disruption for me financially. Otherwise I try to enjoy the 12 m2 of my room, listen to music, read books and above all not to be passive. I try to renew my energy, and even if the lock-down is a bit hard, we will get out of it.
(EN) Romy (25) from Germany replaces coffee breaks with "virtual fika"
I wouldn't say Corona is impacting me too much in the moment, luckily, because I am writing my master thesis, and the only thing that is very sad is that I cannot meet up with my classmates in the university anymore to exchange about progress and motivate each other. To overcome that, me and my classmates started a "skype fika". "Fika", in Sweden, is a term for a moment to drink coffee and have a snack together. And as we were studying in Lund, in southern Sweden, we first learnt about "fika" in person, and now we do the virtual version over skype while being in different places around the world or sitting and writing our master thesis from home. I am 25 and I am in Germany now.
(IT) Ric (24) in Italy has been in quarantine since a month
Hi, I am 24 years old and live in Northern Italy near Turin, and I've been stuck at home for over a month. And although it may seem strange after a month in quarantine, you get used to it. You even get used to staying a meter away from other people, you get used to online lessons, to university exams via skype, you get used to everything. We got used to seeing our friends only through a computer, to greet our relatives only through a computer, and we should also get used to wearing masks when we leave the house, but this is not a big problem, because you leave the house less and less often, and only for matters of pressing necessity. But there are things we can't, and we don't want to get used to. We do not want to get used to seeing hospitals taken by assault, and we do not want to get used to seeing intensive care unit beds disputed between more patients, and above all, we do not want to see the army trucks taking away the victims. Because there are habits that once the emergency is over we can finally abandon, and then there are the victims, those do not come back.
(EN) Gudrita (30) in Iceland is taking creatives chances
Hey, I am Gudrita from Iceland, and before my 30th birthday, I decided to challenge myself and start a big fundraiser for an art project in Bali that I have been planning to do for at least two years. When boarders started to get closed, I tried not to panic, but it was hard, and I tried to promote my project and fundraiser. It was difficult but I didnt surrender, and I am really happy because I just reached the goal! I know that there many other important things going on but I think it is also important to keep on being creative.
(PT) Maria from Brazil is looking forward to hugging friends for real
The impact that the corona crisis has on my life is that it made me realize how time and time quality is measured by the people with whom we share it. Most of the things I do in my routine concerning work, study, exercise I have been able to maintain, even in the corona crisis, by adapting them. So, my life has not changed much in terms of what I produce daily. But what has certainly changed a lot is the opportunity to see, share, explore the world and for people to be together. So I think what the Corona crisis has taught me is that, often, we are with people and we actually pick up the phone to text someone else, to see something on Instagram and we forget that being together, present, being able to hug, touch and laugh together is actually the best part of life. So I think the Corona made me enjoy being together much more, eye to eye, skin to skin and not through a screen.