The COVID-19 outbreak has forced people worldwide to adjust to a life of social distancing and distance learning. As we settle in to this “new normal,” Theogony offers a glimpse into the lives of Kei, 15, who lives in Tokyo, Japan; Benoit, 12, who lives in London Colney, UK; Jose, 15, who lives in Antigua, Guatemala; Avizheh, 13 who lives in Lahore, Pakistan and Hannah who lives in Karachi, Pakistan.
How has the COVID-19 crisis affected you?
Kei: I was supposed to stay in Australia to learn English for a few weeks, but it was canceled.
Benoit: I miss my friends but I can call them on WhatsApp. I do not know when I will see my family in France or my cousin in another part of England but we have done video chats.
Have you had any changes to your life because of the COVID-19 outbreak? What are they?
Avizheh: Yes, but aside from not going outside and not meeting my grandparents and cousins, I do not let the virus impact my life in any way. If the virus affects how I live, then I will realize how it is never going to be the same. I keep positive and try to be as normal as possible.
Kei: Yes, I have. Actually, my weight has increased by three kilograms because I do nothing at home (I was recommended to stay at my home). So I go cycling for one and half hour around my home everyday now.
Jose: Yes, I have not been able to go out with my friends and I am getting used to wearing a mask when I go outside.
Hannah: I am extremely grateful to not suffer drastic measures during such trying times. However, restrictions on my liberties has made life quite dull. I miss the small things, like meeting with my friends, playing sports, and going swimming whenever I want.
Was your school cancelled? If so, what do you do during the day?
Hannah: School resumed as usual through online classes. We have quizzes, assessments, and even exams through Zoom and Google forms. However, as the school year comes to an end, I am finding more time to do the things that I enjoy. I have started making more art, reading more books, attempting new recipes, and continuing my German courses. I also remember to call my friends every single day so that we stay in touch. I am also considering starting an online magazine which converts precautions and information into local languages, just so I can observe my duties during this time by preventing the viral spread of misinformation.
Kei: Yes, it was. My school has been closed since March first, and at first, it was supposed to open on April seventh. However, the number of infected people of Coronavirus increased suddenly in Japan, so Prime Minister Abe issued an emergency declaration. In response to the order, closure of the schools was extended until May tenth. During this “vacation,” I spend time as follows: I wake up at 10 a.m. and I eat rice and miso soup for breakfast. In the morning, I spend a lazy time. At 1 p.m., I have lunch. In the afternoon, I study for a few hours. After it is finished, I usually play PC games, sometimes watch movies with Amazon Prime TV. Dinner time is about 8 p.m. After dinner, I spend time with my family. And I go to bed at 12 a.m.
Benoit: Yes, school was closed 2 weeks ago. Children of key workers can still attend if needed. I do the work set for me on my iPad according to my normal timetable. It is less interesting than having a teacher but I still feel that I am learning and teachers can comment on your work. My family and I follow Joe Wicks live PE session on You Tube each morning at 9 a.m. UK time. When I have finished my work I can go out for my daily exercise. It is Easter holidays now for two weeks so I am trying new things like coding, new ukulele tunes and other activities online.
Jose: It has been canceled, but we have classes online. I also play video games and watch Netflix.
Avizheh: My school was cancelled and nowadays I do online school from 9:30 to 12:50. I have four classes everyday and I love seeing my friends and teachers during them. The rest of the day I complete assignments and watch TV.
Any additional comments?
Benoit: We are having to change our lifestyle a bit. I think I am doing more exercise! It’s been two and a half weeks since lockdown and I am getting bored of the same scenery. At school we move around a lot. It might be hard to get back into a normal routine if this goes on for a long time.
Jose: I hope everyone and their families are doing well. Cheers from Guatemala!
Responses have been edited for length/clarity.