With the corona restrictions easing down (at least in the Netherlands), we reflected upon what we did while in quarantine. The estimator committee is currently scattered around the world, adjusting to the “new normal.”
As somebody that is very bad at doing nothing, these quarantine times are quite heavy. At first, I thought I could fill up all my free time with home workouts and doing a big Spring cleanup, but then I got bored of those things as well. The solution: I’ve been playing games on the Wii with my housemates a lot and have watched more reality television than ever before (recommendations: Love is Blind, Too Hot To Handle and Tiger King are amazing!!). However, after a few weeks of living the lazy life, I found ways to keep myself busy doing other things again. I have, for instance, picked up the sporty lifestyle again and have joined some outdoor classes of Erasmus Sport, went to tennis practice and have been training on my swing on the golf course. And in order not to become too much of a fitgirl, I interchange being active with drinking a beer on the balcony - it’s all about balance in the end, right
When I first heard about moving online education for two weeks, I considered going home. I wanted to stay for a few days in Rotterdam before going home, just to get some things settled. I finally booked my flight Monday afternoon to leave the next day on Tuesday, because I heard that Qatar is closing down on Wednesday. Unfortunately, later in the evening, I heard news that the borders are going to close starting that Monday evening. I had some friends that were already on their way, and when they arrived, unfortunately they could not enter and had to either come back or direct their flight elsewhere. So I am still in Rotterdam and waiting until the border opens so I can go back home. But overall things are going good and I am staying positive. I mostly spend time at home with my roommates, switching up our study spots by going to each other’s rooms, solving jigsaw puzzles, origami, tik-tok dances, you name it. We also cooked A LOT of food together from different cuisines. The weather in Rotterdam is (most of the time) pretty amazing, so we “tan” from our balconies or bike around Kralingse Plas. In the evening, we usually watch movies together, and if you need some recommendations, definitely check our watchables. My sleeping schedule is also a little bit skewed, but the good thing was that I can call my friends from different time zones more easily. Overall, while it might kind of suck to stay at home for a prolonged period, I think attitude is definitely key in helping me get through quarantine.
As I sit here trying to brainstorm what exactly I’ve done in the past couple of months, I find myself staring at a clean blank document. Surely, a better suited question would’ve been how I’ve been coping through the wrath of the most hectic block. Upon hearing the news of uni closing, I immediately sought after the quickest way back home, completely overlooking the fact that I had been in the midst of moving apartments. Now to my luck, they had decided just then to close all airports back home in hopes of keeping corona at bay; and so that left me utterly stuck :). Eventually took all my frustration out on long walks, perfecting my curry recipes (Monica is still yet to judge), and cozying up my new place. Long story short, I was able to make it back home mid April and officially had to quarantine at a hotel. Luckily, I had been in the same plane as my best friend, hence we ended up being able to quarantine together. Those two weeks were spent reading (finally having enough spare time!!) playing cluedo, card games, and setting up escape rooms. Also, I definitely recommend trying out some online escape rooms with friends!! Fast Forward to these past few weeks, it seems like all I’ve really been doing is keep up with all the assignments thrown at us and try to fix my terrible sleeping schedule. However, I have also started to finally attempt to learn dutch (special thanks to duolingo) and plan on finally using my new filter and eyepiece set I was gifted for my telescope. What also has certainly helped deal with these mentally straining times has definitely been writing; with the world in shambles at the moment sometimes the best remedy really is just grabbing a pencil and writing it out. On another note, I finally get to turn 18 in a few weeks but I must say it’s definitely a lot less thrilling having to spend it like this, but here’s to a more eventful summer!!
Life was so busy before I was suddenly uprooted from my comfortably settled life in Rotterdam. In less than a week, the recommendation of the university changed from “We will not shake hands anymore” to “We are closing down”. In a mere few hours I made the quickest flight booking ever and went back to my parents in Abu Dhabi.
Now all the chaos is behind me and my days have merged into a continuum. Just like Laura, I am averse to doing nothing. After taking advantage of the situation initially to sleep and read more, it became quite evident that I was exploiting it to foster laziness. Thus I made the executive decision to stop being a sloth and entered a competition. Swinging between two extremes, I stayed up many nights to work for Students Against Corona and devised some measures to address the economic impacts of the crisis. Crisis mitigation for an unusual and colossal problem such as this requires a lot of creativity and I think students, with their fresh outlook and innovative ideas can contribute a lot through platforms such as EUvsVirus Hackathon and Students Against Corona Awards. Not only does it keep you busy in these times, you are also contributing in a meaningful manner. Besides this, I made quite some personal development plans: learn Dutch, pick up the guitar again and do as much exercise as I could without leaving the house. So far, I’ve been consistent with all of them, that is, consistent in not doing them. I just made the slight overlook of how occupied block 5 would keep me. Now it’s less about surviving quarantine and more about surviving the death trap that is block 5 (and 4). I really wish I was playing around with my guitar rather than my R code. Can’t wait to try Lala’s amazing cooking :) I’m sure the curry Gods approve of it.
Pro tip: Stop checking coronavirus case count and death toll everyday or you won’t be sane anymore.
This block has been quite busy. I am mostly studying these days.