The inhabitants of Bagijnhof 5 have been self-isolating since the last week of March. Read the beginning of their story here.

A couple of weeks ago, our house was sharing its first moments in quarantine. It has been one month already since we started our lock down. We sometimes feel like we are in one of these reality tv shows. We yell, we laugh, we cry, we are 24/7 together. However, since we have more time to reflect about the current situation, we also realize that our house is, in a way, a microcosm.

First, we have the bio students, who are level-headed and recurrently inform us about the current situation. We have weekly house meetings. They often last for two hours, end up in theatrical arguments, but at least, we are developing new argumentation skills!

We also have the artsy. We have the ballet dancer, really talented, who takes online classes and also plays the cello every day, keeping a (very, very) tight schedule. We have the painter, who, honestly, could be compared to Picasso. She started painting our walls to keep track of our life here. We also have the clumsy music addict, who sometimes annoys people by listening to Mr. Brightside too much (but it could be worst right?).

We have also some athletes. We have our dear house elder who wakes up at dawn to go surfing. We have the temporarily retired football player who fell in love with DJ-ing and gardening, making of our backyard the new Coachella. We have some dancers too, who miss Elliott parties quite a lot and try to find alternatives to enhance their skills. Some are gifted, others a bit less…

We have the future bakery owners too. Their main hobby at the moment is to make sure the whole house gain weight before the summer. They made miscellaneous garlic bread (our new addiction), a special dish for Pesach, Slovakian sweets, pancakes from all sorts, and let’s not forget, half-baked pumpkin bread. We have also decided to maintain the house dinners, which have consisted so far in home-made mojitos and an impromptu wine & cheese night to celebrate Easter (join the club if you also have an addiction to brie!)

Last but not least, we have the activity managers. They watch movies every night, ranging from horror movies to top-rated movies like 1917. They organize board games nights with the whole house, asking who wants to play Monopoly, Spicy Uno, Cards Against Humanity or the Voting Game. Our beloved expert in chess is part of this group. We also had a video game night. Some were more talented than others in Call of Duty (who shot herself?).

Obviously, all of this cannot replace seeing you guys – our friends, our teachers, our families, our partners. We are homesick. We truly miss the UCR spirit. We wonder for how long we will have to bump into someone’s room and interrupt a Zoom class. We miss being happy-go-lucky. We hate not knowing what is going to happen in the coming months. We want answers.

However, we decided to accept this new temporary normalcy. We are grateful to have the chance to be in this together. We are all writing history in one way or another.

The pandemic is far from being over, but it will be so one day. We will overcome this crisis together and come out of it more close-knit. We are looking forward to our long-awaited reunion (maybe in B5?), and for the UCR community to be back.

Take care and stay safe!

One response to “Living in B5, or 13 different ways to react to the pandemic

  1. Dear B5, what a wonderful little insight into a whole array of survival tactics, just in one student house! I recognise much the same survival strategies in my own family. One of our family members will bake the most delicious cakes and prepare dangerously addictive pancakes for lunch on a daily basis (I’ve gained two kilos). Another one is reaching new heights on the piano. A third member has taken on my passion for old photographic techniques: we make cyanotypes together, honouring the great Anna Atkins — the first person (not just ‘woman’, but person) to ever publish an illustrated book. And then there are the occasional weekend days of communal binge-watching (Fargo, Better call Saul). To get away from crisis management and all the normal admin trouble (which hurts a lot more when you have to do it at home alone, where you cannot share your pain) I spend many evening hours playing guitar. I have composed a ‘Corona blues’ that I may publish as a diary entry shortly, if I can make a decent recording of it, that is.

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