Josue, 27, Cuban, currently in Havana (Cuba) – Live: From The Pandemic

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

Economically, I work with tourist: if people don’t travel, I don’t have a job. Also, in Cuba we have a economic situation very complex because of the U.S.A embargo, that make a big impact right now: it’s more hard to buy some food and products of first necessity. Because the economy of Cuba depends on tourism, I think we are going to have very difficult times in Cuba once again.

What is your wish for the future? 

I wish that people could start to understand that money is not the most important thing in life. At the end we all are the same, we are humans.

What would you like to be doing right now?  

I would like to work right now, i love my job and also I need the money to provide my family. Also, I would like to be doing some street photographs.

If you would like to share with us, please submit your story here.

Anna, 25, Italian, currently in Huelva (Spain) – Live: From The Pandemic

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

I’ve found out about the pandemic a few months ago, like everyone else, and saw it spreading through Italy without being able to go there and somehow help my family. Spain lived a similar situation a couple of weeks after, so my boyfriend and I had to quickly figure out how to work from home and how to organise ourselves in this situation, and in this case our family helped us from the distance assuring that they didn’t need us and that it was safer for them if we stayed in Spain. Living abroad for years gets you used to videocalls and distance, so I’d say that Covid-19 affected me the most at the moment I had to stick to the decision of staying far from my loved ones in order to protect them, focusing on how lucky I am with the lifestyle I can afford living here and hoping for the best for them.

What is your wish for the future? 

My biggest wish for the future at this point is that people and governments that had lost their moral and human principles will be able to go back and stick to them, considering the importance of research and public health care and remembering that despite all our differences we all belong to the same planet and we all deserve the right to live safely in it. Both from a humanitarian and an ecological point of view. This pandemic probably brought up a very idealistic or too romantic perspective, but if we don’t change our minds now, then when?

What would you like to be doing right now?  

Probably hugging my sister and my grandmothers, eating at the same table once again and simply enjoying each other’s company

If you would like to share with us, please submit your story here.

Thamjeed, 22, Indian, currently in Kerala (India) – Live: From The Pandemic

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

To be truthful, it was awful once these news were coming out. Mostly it was because I was on the last year of my college and we have only 2 months to spend and share all our happiness (creating memory though). First I wasn’t worried much as the news said it was being spread in other countries. I didn’t really know what it was really. But slowly it had entered India and the state where I am living, Kerala. Then it all had become a severe problem for me and the whole country. Its almost 18 days of quarentine at the moment. First it just began saying it was curfew for just one day, on 22nd March. But it had extended. Things became tragic when this whole lockdown thing became more strict. Everyone were worried about their own life and their close family. At that moment everyone thought there will be shortage of food supply and this could kill more. But our governement (rather than saying Indian governement I like to say it’s Kerala government) stood like a father to their people. They were very influential to every person living in Kerala . Every day (starting from lockdown) they had been solving every problem one by one. Nobody could question them because there isn’t any silly decision they took. Everything is perfect. Shortage of food has been cleared. Everyone were provided with free food. Health department (of Kerala) are doing their best. New doctors were appointed. And from reports we can clearly see the recovered rate is very high. Now talking about me, I am just a student and I didn’t had any job before. So it was really weird for me because I were really busy with college and suddenly there comes end to everything. I didn’t have anything to do. So I had myself made a schedule. To get fit and explore my surroundings. That’s when I remembered about that camera I had. So I had decided to take pictures of birds. Totally it isn’t easy at all. We need to really be quiet and maybe we won’t be able to get any nice picture. So my camera had become a very good friend. Then comes my training. I am footballer. I just play football in my college and in my locality and I love football. So the evenings became my training period. It is very nice but it’s just that there is only me and my football. And in night I just do the workout. At the moment everyone is having a peaceful life. It’s the time to find the real you. I know everyone are facing many problems. At least try to find happiness in what you do. To be precise I am really unhappy inside (last year of college) but still try to find happiness in everything I am doing now. Only by staying self quarentined we could end this disaster. At the moment there isn’t any vaccine. So it’s better to stay at home and be safe.
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What is your wish for the future? 

To have a peaceful life. Covid-19 has showed that nothing is permanent in this world. Just by a small virus (the one human can’t see with naked eyes) everything got upside down. The only thing that will remain of you will all those happy moments that you give to others. Even when you are dead you will be happily living in their heart. Helping mentality of each person has been seen and by doing this you will be always remembered. Conquer others with love and patience, not with money and weapons.

What would you like to be doing right now?  

I really want to help others in whichever way possible.

If you would like to share with us, please submit your story here.

Abby, 25, British, currently in Cambridge (UK) – Live: From The Pandemic

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

Due to being in the third trimester of my pregnancy and single I’ve had to leave my home and isolate at my mum’s house. Being pregnant has automatically placed me in the high-risk group and my living conditions were not suitable. So now this means I am staying in my 7-year-old sister’s box room whilst mentally preparing myself to give birth in June. Leaving my home means I don’t get to see any of my close friends and any family outside of the house. I currently live with my mum, stepfather and 3 young sisters. I get upset knowing that if there are no changes by the time she’s born then none of my extended family or close friends will get to meet my daughter. I’ve had to cancel my maternity shoot, bump painting and other little memory makers I had planned for my final trimester. Although they seem small and insignificant to others they really meant a lot to me. Due to the pandemic, my hospital has become more restricted and I have to attend all ultrasound scans, midwife and other pregnancy-related appointments alone. Luckily one birthing partner is still permitted and they can stay two hours after the birth. I’ll be staying in after my birth and submitted onto a ward, but this means I won’t be allowed any visitors which fills me with slight anxiety. Although I have moments where I am overwhelmed with anxiety I find my motherly instinct outweighs it all and I find strength for my unborn daughter.

What is your wish for the future? 

I wish for a sense of normality.

What would you like to be doing right now?  

I would be sat around my friends and getting everyone to feel my unborn daughter moving around in my bump.

If you would like to share with us, please submit your story here.

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!

If you would like to share with us, please submit your story here.

Matea, 34, Croatian, currently in Opatija (Croatia) – Live: From The Pandemic

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

The pandemic has got me questioning if I’m gonna close my family business that has been running for 20 years now. We had war here in my country and it was never this hard… My country (Croatia) is devastated, the only income that we have is from tourism, we don’t have any industry, what we earn in summer we have for the whole year.

What is your wish for the future? 

I wish that my one year old baby girl will have a safe future.

What would you like to be doing right now?  

I would like to buy a ticket for my whole family and get out of this country, I want something safer for my family.

If you would like to share with us, please submit your story here.