Bianca, 25, Italian, currently in Cambridge (UK) – Live: From The Pandemic

How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect you the most?

I have a small business so from a practical point of view it means that we don’t have as much work right now, so we’re spending a lot more time at home, and facing a lot of uncertainty. The governmental help does make a difference, especially in covering our staff’s wages, but what really scares us is whether things will go back to normal. From a personal point of view it’s much more complex, a part of me appreciates slowing down and reconnecting with people, but I am on an emotional rollercoaster. Having struggled with depression and anxiety my whole life this situation has definitely affected the balance I had found. I am often extremely anxious, about the future but also about little things that shouldn’t affect me this much. The first week I spent at home I really struggled to be productive or positive, I spent most of my days watching Netflix alone while my partner worked, despite having things to do and a garden that allows me to spend time outdoors. It definitely reminded me of some of my hardest times from a mental health point of view, which was really scary. I’m trying to feel better now, spending more time in the garden, less time on social media, more time doing things that I love and relax me, like colouring and planning camping trips for the future. This allows me to be more positive and actually see and appreciate what I have, and to spend less time stuck in my thoughts. Overall how I feel changes constantly, which is quite exhausting. I’m trying to take a week at a time, which isn’t very easy for a planner like me, but it seems to be working.

What is your wish for the future? 

I hope that everything that is happening is allowing all fo us to reflect on what world we have created and what really matters. Having the whole world being forced to slow down can be an opportunity to make big changes once it’s time to get back to “normal”. I think this situation is allowing us to see the world in a more unified way, and I’m hoping that it’s teaching us to be less selfish, to think about the consequences of our actions (for example, if we hoard on food we create food shortages) and to learn that resources aren’t infinite.
The two things that I really wish would happen are:
– Finally starting to seriously act and change the way we live to reduce Climate Change, which would have much more long term consequences;
– That we will move away from the consumption of cheap products that are made under unfair and unethical working conditions, in favour of ethically made and durable alternatives.

What would you like to be doing right now?  

I’d like to be travelling in our van with my partner and our amazing dog Ettore!

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