Before the coronavirus outbreak, I was studying in Denmark and had no plans to come back to Russia until Easter holiday. The pandemic made me change my mind. I do not tend to generalize, but in this column, taking the pandemic as a background, I will try to find how the Russians’ mentality differs from the Europeans’ set of mind of.
From Aarhus, Denmark, I saw from a distance as a foreigner living abroad how the infections and deaths from COVID-19 rapidly accumulated in the Netherlands. When I returned home and was in the middle of it, the numbers stopped for me.
My dad first voiced that he thought I should come home to Canada from my study abroad in Denmark in the first week of March. It was before the novel coronavirus had caused most European governments to sound their alarms and before any major lockdowns outside of Italy had ensued. Initially, I had dismissed the idea. Denmark had experienced merely a few cases, and I naively thought the spread was containable. It seemed unnecessary to upend the life I had just established in Aarhus, Denmark, where I was supposed to stay until June. But meanwhile, the virus was quietly spreading to all corners of the globe. Two weeks later, cases were surging worldwide. Europe had become an epicentre of the outbreak. The United States wouldn’t be far behind.
During these times when COVID-19 has spread across the world, people’s lives are being affected by the measures taken to control the spread of the virus and prevent more deaths. I am making the best out of the current situation staying at my dorm and keeping myself active by biking in the hills, cooking tasty dishes and hanging out with my roommates. I try to do the best I can to continue my exchange-program here in Denmark through online means. This lockdown-situation disturbs the daily activities of most people and is causing great uncertainty for many. Staff working and students studying at schools and universities are facing challenges because people are not able to meet physically.