7 April 2020 | Category: Master's Student, Student life

How the virus outbreak affected Anis

By Ester

I grew up on the Catalan Pyrenees, where my heart belongs. I...

How the virus outbreak affected me

I am Anis Purwaningsih, student of the master programme on Environmental Sciences at Wageningen University and Research. I come from Indonesia; a country located in the tropical area. For me, having the experience to study aboard in a four-season country is a dream come true.

What I expected

Besides getting insight into my study programme, I expected to see how the four seasons change directly, meeting new people and have an international network, as well as study about different cultures. Well, absolutely after I came to the Netherland, I can see how the season change and have an exciting and dynamic campus-life for about 6 months.

However, it seems that not all my dream is pleasant. In the beginning of this year (2020), Novel Coronavirus pandemic makes my expectations about studying aboard need to be adjusted. In this beginning of April, I saw the spring comes after winter and enjoying the process of changing. I walked on a garden near the Forum building and captured a nice picture of blooming flower. After I reached the Forum building, I saw the empty bicycle racks that used to be full in the days before Covid19 pandemic began. What a beautiful yet tragic view in my campus.

The fact is, physical distancing in this pandemic time is an order from the Netherland’s government, even you will get sort amount of fine if you break the rules. Thus, all kind of physical activities in WUR is limited. The campus then announced that since the beginning of 5th period of this academic years, all l the learning activities will be done online, and only certain activities are allowed after getting a permit from campus. Lectures and meetings are provided using several platforms such as Bongo, Skype, Zoom etc.

For me, learning activities such as tutorials, simulations, practical, examinations and discussions are much more effective in a direct way. Physical meeting makes me more engaged with the learning process.

Meeting friends is also one of the stress-relieving when I found difficulties in my learning. 

In this stage, I even miss a little thing on campus, like a view of the line when students were warming up their lunch in university. Now, I am living in Wageningen by myself in an IDEALIS’ student housing. Living far from family with this condition, sometimes makes me feel down. Although I feel that it is quite upsetting for me, facing and adapting with this reality is the best option for me. 

Wageningen situation

In Wageningen, the number of coronavirus cases is quite low compared to other locations in the Netherlands. However, considering the news from media, Coronavirus seems to still increase in number of cases all over the world. The fast spread is undeniable for every location.

As well as in my home country, in Indonesia, the number of cases increase uncontrollably.

Indonesian’s government is implying several measures like closing schools, work from home rules, limiting gathering activities, and others. But still, reality happens in other countries (in the US, China, Italy, Germany, Spain etc.) triggers my anxiety to think about what if the virus comes to me, and how my family and friends in Indonesia are.

Chasing the positive side

I realize that dominated by negative feelings will worsen the situation. Therefore, I am trying hard to see the condition positively, to struggle in this hardship. Here in Wageningen, I see that societal awareness about the corona is considerably high. People are obeying the rules to keep the distance away for 1.5 meters from other people. I saw in the open market Wageningen, they made a line and kept the distance away when they do grocery.

Several shops also concern in helping the spread of Coronavirus reduced. They count the number of people inside their building and clean trolleys/shopping baskets with disinfectant. People are supporting each other in their different styles.

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Coping with the physical distancing

In this physical distancing, internet and social media help keep me updated with the latest news and fulfil my needs as homo sapiens. Limited physical interaction makes me much better in communication via WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and other social media. I see the trend in social media, how people are encouraging each other during this time.

They spread the good news, support others, share their inspiring story, and make several fun challenges in Instagram to kill time during self-isolation. However, sometimes it also becomes ‘toxic’ when bad news comes, like the high number of death due to corona pandemic.


Following the advice

During this corona pandemic, I am trying to cope with the online academic matters while trying to deal with anxieties about Coronavirus. I believe other people have the same or maybe worse condition than mine. At least We are not alone, and I try to tell you if you have the same feeling, then we are in the same boat.

Coping with this situation is hard, but a supportive environment will help us to deal with it.

Thus, what we can do are listen to what the government’s said, protect others by protecting yourself and support friend to cope with this reality and many other positive measures.

Once we can go through this pandemic, I believe in a certain way that we will live more deliberately and appreciate more in others and our life in the future.  May our earth heal quickly.

By Ester

I grew up on the Catalan Pyrenees, where my heart belongs. I am currently enrolled on the MSc Food Technology program at Wageningen.
I could describe myself as a sunrise person underneath the restless and ever moving mind. I love running in the mountains, surrounded by nature and its beauty. I am passionate about learning, cooking, traveling and collecting plants to make handmade jewelry.

I live everyday as a new exploring adventure, step by step.

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