Together but not too close

| Lisa Waldera

Lisa Waldera (24) is a master’s student Communication Studies from Bremen, Germany. For three years now, she’s been living on campus. Next to her study, she regularly visits the cinema and enjoys concerts of all music genres. Every other week she writes about her life at the University of Twente.

COVID-19. Nothing keeps the people as busy as the virus at the moment. Countries on Lockdown. Empty streets. Country leaders giving speeches with millions of viewers. Closed universities. Toilet paper, Baby Food and Hand soap became the most valuable goods at every grocery store. More and more people begin to understand that this crisis cannot be solved within a few weeks. The reality is that everyone has to make their contribution.

A few days earlier, I was shocked to read that the university actually wanted to follow through with the open days. A 6000 people event with international visitors. Publicity is important. But having all attendees taking something else home than their flyers and goody bags? Fortunately, the campus stayed empty in the end.

Turns out it will stay empty for the next three weeks. While I am walking over the Campus, it seems most students decided to pay a surprise visit to their parents. The remaining students try to kill time with useful activities. With rising temperatures, I notice more runners and students cleaning their balconies. Otherwise, it is suspiciously quiet and peaceful around the student houses at the UT. An early summer vacation feeling.

A great contrast to the shocking news images. People in suits. Long lines in front grocery stores. People emptying out shelves. It almost seems as if we unlearned to take a step back for others. Everyone is responsible now. Also the healthy and young people whose life might not be threatened. I see a lot of people talking about flattening the curve to avoid the collapse of the healthcare system. And I agree that it should be the highest priority indeed. I believe that this virus is helping us to put things into perspective again. We have to work together instead of everyone for themselves. Just not too close together. While waiting for new developments and interventions, I will use the time to work on my thesis. Without any distractions.