Christina, a student from Sweden, explains how her life has changed during the pandemic. For a person outgoing as her, it was very difficult to cope with the restrictions and not being able to enjoy her favourite activities. Before the pandemic hit, she was travelling to Australia, New Zealand and Singapore as an international student. All of a sudden, travelling was banned and she had to move back to Sweden.
She points out how challenging it was to complete her last two courses digitally, as she was not able to be part of the academic environment and university lectures took place online. Christina and her friends created their own reality or as she calls it, their own ‘’bubble’’. Being alone with her flatmates, taking long walks or engaging into deep conversations, made her feel less lonely. However, she was still afraid to catch Covid-19 and was extremely careful during her first days in Stockholm. Unfortunately though, she was infected following a dinner with some of her closest friends. Sadly, she experienced Covid-19 with heavy symptoms for more than two weeks, a fact that altered her general viewpoint on life and health in general.
What remained within her during this experience was the feeling of uncertainty about the future. As if she suddenly felt that she can’t plan her life ahead or dream. More to that, the virus affects her life even now, since she got asthma and her health became more fragile. In an effort to change and feel better, she managed to find alternative ways of exercise with the goal to boost her energy levels, strengthen her body and feel herself again.
What were the lessons Christina learned during the pandemic? First, she learned how to prioritize her time and to whom to dedicate her energy. Moreover, she acknowledged the importance of a rather small circle, like her closest friends and family.
She supports that the pandemic has taught people to be more conscious in their decision-making, as she feels as well wiser after this experience.
What Christina wants to point out though is that, despite her negative experience, she still somehow considers herself lucky compared to other people. Nonetheless, she had a home and a job to return to, while other people didn’t. What really scares her is the societal consequences of the pandemic in the end. But what we all need to do after all, is to remain optimistic!
What is the project Together Apart about?
Together apart. Mobility in times of COVID-19’ is a collection of testimonies about how people experienced the COVID-19 pandemic and especially how it affected their ability to move freely. It is a project developed jointly by the European Parliament’s ‘My House of European History’ online platform and the House of European History.
Fifteen people from Italy, Romania and Sweden, with various occupations (artists, teachers, students, parents, seniors, doctors and supermarket workers), at different stages of their lives, share how the lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions changed their daily lives following the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020.
Are you curious to learn more? Watch Christina’s full story in the interview she gave for ‘Together apart’ in June 2021. You can pick the subtitles of the language of your preference.
In addition, you can find and watch all the stories of the participants in all 24 EU languages on the ‘My House of European History’ platform.
Curious to participate in an exciting project and spread to the world a message or a lesson that the pandemic has taught you? Do not hesitate to share your story with us at the My House of European History!
© Images provided by the interviewee to ‘My House of European History’ – 2022
Written by Ioanna Mavridou
Ioanna holds a Bachelor’s degree in Translation from the Ionian University in Corfu and has also studied her Master’s in Communication at Gothenburg University in Sweden. A digital communications enthusiast, she has completed a professional Social Media & Digital Marketing certification. She speaks Greek, English, Swedish, German and Russian. She is a Communications Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament.