Lockdown characters

Body: 

Susanna Potestio is from an Italian-Australian family, and moved to the United States at the age of 16. Now she is doing the Master's Sustainable Development at Utrecht University. She is one of the finalists for the Campus Columnist contest 2021. In her nominated column, she describes the different ways people cope with the lockdown.

Lockdown has been announced a couple of weeks ago in the Netherlands and I am mesmerized by the differences in how my flatmates are coping with the new unforeseen circumstances. Daniel is a 10/10 hypochondriac. Since the pandemic started, hand sanitizer has become his best friend. He compulsively cleans everything he buys, and he never fails from reminding us of the amount of germs present on our phone screens.

Sophie has taken up 100 new different hobbies and activities. She says we should all devote this precious time to our personal growth and to discovering new talents and interests. She started baking bread, brownies, cakes, and pain au chocolat, but hasn’t gained one kilo thanks to the HIIT trainings she’s following on Youtube.  On top of that, she suddenly uncovered her creative spree and is painting pictures of questionable aesthetics that she’s hanging up all around the house. On the other hand, Noah has become a Netflix binge watcher and the only times I’ve seen him leaving the couch were to grab Chocomel from the fridge or to open the door to the Thuisbezorgd driver.

Andrea seems to have all her shit together, and I think we are all secretly a bit jealous of her. She wakes up every morning at 7.30 am, and starts her day with a walk outside to energize herself and order her morning cappuccino at her favorite café. She is on top of all her deadlines and classes, is always optimistic and at the end of the day you will find her relaxing, drinking her sleepy-time infusion and preparing for an early night.

And then there is me. For a natural extrovert that thrives in highly social environments and dreads time spent alone, I found out that the only way to keep sane in these times is to video-call 24/7. I have become creative: online aperitivos, online feminist circles, online dj sets, online yoga, online origami workshops. Pretty much all the events I thought I would need to miss out on have been moved online and I am joining them from the comfort of the couch.

At the end of the day, I’m being taught something by the current lockdown (funny, I didn’t even know this word existed before the pandemic started). I’m coming to realize how different human beings are and how we all cope with the unexpected in different ways. We are flexible creatures, capable to adapt to anything that comes up our alley. Amidst the chaos, this thought gives me hope that whatever is next, we will be able to face it, in our own quirky and unique little ways.

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