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06/08/2020 The Communication Science magazine

A Break From the Daily Life 

In this interview, two twenty-somethings talk about how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted them and led to an unexpected break from their daily lives.


The corona crisis. For some a living hell, while others seem to thrive from this situation. How do our peers experience this pandemic? How do extroverts survive? And, is it true that introverts are having the time of their lives? Medium Magazine dives into the matter by asking two twenty-somethings about their experiences, from a proper distance, of course.

Freek – @vlaarflip
According to Quest.nl, I am for 70% an extrovert, and I agree. I thrive on social interaction and people in general just give me energy. I, however, enjoy closing myself off from the outside world and being alone too.
Since the corona breakout in the Netherlands, I am trying to keep as informed as possible. But as far away from all of the misery that is caused by it all. I do this to protect myself from too many negative emotions. When I come across a video of grandparents crying because they can’t see their children, it breaks my heart. I want to do my bit for society, but I don’t have to be confronted with everything that’s going on every day. 

For me, there is also an upside, all of the restrictions imposed by the government make my chaotic life quite simple: I’m either working or at home. Because I deliver groceries for Picnic, I’ve been working practically every day since the start of the pandemic. I am lucky to still be able to go outside and be in contact with people. It almost feels as if I were taking an involuntary break from life, which apparently I could really use. 

It almost feels as if I were taking an involuntary break from life, which apparently I could really use. 

Nowadays, I usually wake up around 12 and get ready for work, where I’ll be from 2 p.m. until approximately 10 p.m. Then, I’ll start working for my own company, Vlaarflip, around midnight, which I usually do until about 5 a.m. Then, I go to sleep.

The biggest part of my social life revolved and still revolves around work. I still see my colleagues every day, but I do miss the legendary Friday night borrels and the nights out in the city. Before, I met with different people every week for my projects with other creative minds. This made me travel with public transport a lot and I got to meet and interact with lots of people this way.

I do, of course, agree with the rules of the intelligent lockdown. In fact, I believe the government could probably be a bit more strict. We shouldn’t be stubborn at times like these. Then again, I have little to no knowledge about what is actually going on with the world, so I also believe I can’t really have an opinion on this matter. I would be disappointed for a second if the government decides to continue the lockdown past June 1, but you’ve got to accept it and move on. 

 

Denise
I consider myself mostly an introvert. I can go days without seeing anyone, but I do like hugs very much and you kind of need people for that. I am most content when I’m reading a book or singing alone in a forest, very much like a Disney princess.

I like my freedom, the ability to go anywhere I want to go. Even though I am more of a homebody, I do like going to the supermarket, shopping and visiting a friend. It kind of feels like I’m trapped inside. I’m happy to stay indoors for the good of the many, but that doesn’t mean I am not struggling with this feeling.

Personally, I do like the eerie sort of quietness to the world that came with this crisis. Most times, I’m swept up in the usual hustle of the world, but now, everything is quieter. It would almost be peaceful if we weren’t facing a pandemic.

Before the crisis, I didn’t think much about whether people in my life were at risk or not. Now, I see danger at every corner and it’s terrifying. My grandmothers and grandfather are all over 70 and fall into the high-risk population. Some of my friends and family members are key workers and come into contact with patients every day. It’s terrifying to think of what could happen to them and how powerless I am if they do catch the virus.

Before the crisis, I didn’t think much about whether people in my life were at risk or not.

My social life has somewhat changed, but for the better. I see my friends a lot less, but I talk to them more. We try to do things together like writing songs, discussing our quarantine obsessions, we even have Cosplay Night where we sit in front of our laptops in full cosplay gear. I try to follow the rules as much as I can. And I hope others are following the rules as well, because it’s not some harmless flu virus, it’s not just the sniffles, we are in a pandemic right now and we should be acting like it.

If the intelligent lockdown continues over the summer, it would mean graduating online and spending my birthday in quarantine. If it happens, it happens. But that is all trivial compared to slowing down the spread of this virus. If a longer intelligent lockdown means that my loved ones will not get sick, then I’ll stay inside for a few weeks longer. It’s a small price to pay for the health of so many others.

 

Cover: Jade van Laar

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