Although we are all in some sort of quarantine right now, some are more restricted than others. Anja Navadvorskaya, a student taking a BSc in Intercultural Market Communication (IMK), was sent into precautionary home quarantine on the evening of March 10, as another student who attended the same lecture as she did had been diagnosed with coronavirus.
“To be honest, I’m pretty calm about the situation for the time being,” says Anja Navadvorskaya from her apartment in Ørestad a week into her quarantine, which ends on March 25.
“Somehow, it’s easier to be in quarantine knowing that everyone else is also in the same boat. It’s easier to deal with, as I know I’m not missing out on anything,” she says.
At first, Anja Navadvorskaya was overwhelmed by the email she received from CBS stating that she had to stay at home for a two-week quarantine.
“It was surreal, and when the Prime Minister closed down Denmark on the evening of March 11, reality kicked in. I had so many questions. What was I allowed to do? It felt like I wasn’t allowed to breath the same air as other people,” she says and continues:
“I think the situation is frightening, and you don’t dare relax too much. It feels as if no one really understands what’s happening, and no one knows what will happen in the future. And the combination of that and people having time at home to think about it, has resulted in a huge mess of opinions on the internet and in the media.”
Before and after the government shut down the country, Anja Navadvorskaya called the corona hotline established by the authorities to ask about what was expected of her.
“They told me that I wasn’t allowed to be in physical contact with anyone, but that I could go shopping. However, I made the decision to only go shopping if there were not many people around and I kept a good distance. I’ve been to REMA 1000 once right before closing time,” she says and continues:
“But the messages have been conflicting, and I think it’s about responsibility. A responsibility that even the professionals are too scared to take. Everything is new right now, and it’s hard to give the right advice and explains the jumble of different information online.”
Anja Navadvorskaya spent the first couple of days of her quarantine on calling friends, fellow students in quarantine and family to discuss the situation, and as soon as some of the panic had gone, she decided to make her quarantine as pleasant as possible.
“I have actually enjoyed having a little time off to myself. I have cleaned the apartment and read a lot. I had some chapters and articles that I hadn’t had the time to read before, so now I’ve done that. I’m totally up to date with my homework, too. Next week, however, is going to be weird, as I’ll soon run out of stuff to do in my apartment,” she says.
Organizing a productive day
On the bright side, Anja Navadvorskaya was sent into quarantine one day before the Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen, ordered all universities to shut down. This means she is not missing out on any classes, as they are now online.
She explains that she and her classmates have received some online material and watched some online lectures with their teacher talking over some PowerPoint slides.
“It works, but it’s not optimal. It’s hard because we can’t interact with the teacher as much as we could on campus, and we can’t get immediate feedback either. But I really appreciate their efforts, and I don’t know what alternatives there are,” she says.
Another teacher has asked them to prepare an assignment in study groups, and so far, that seems to be working. But it has become evident how much meeting in real life and not virtually really means.
“I still miss the team spirit you get from meeting up, and some of the motivation is kind of missing. Usually, I would text my friends and plan to meet in the Metro, and people expect you to show up for lectures or group work. Now, I have to make sure my day is productive myself,” she says.