The coronavirus pandemic is the closest factor to a worldwide occasion since World Struggle II. Final yr, the Register Star reached out to 19 Rockford-area natives from everywhere in the world to see how COVID was affecting them. Over the following few weeks, we’ll replace a number of of their tales, seeing how the coronavirus has modified their lives and residing habits.
Kelly Nesbitt Kristensen, a 1996 Guilford Excessive Faculty graduate, taught English and German at Belvidere and Belvidere North excessive faculties for 13 years earlier than shifting to Viborg, Denmark in 2016 to show these topics. Now, she’s again in class learning advertising whereas additionally writing a weblog – mynewdanishlife.com – and sustaining a YouTube channel referred to as My New Danish Life — youtube.com/mynewdanishlife.
Beforehand from Kelly:Postcards home: ‘Quarantine actually eliminates free time
Q: Has the coronavirus affected you personally or professionally?
I have never had corona, nor has anybody I do know. I really feel fairly fortunate to reside in a small city in Denmark. Individuals the place I reside are superb about following the ideas by the federal government, so we’ve not actually had many circumstances in our total commune (county).
The way in which that corona has impacted my life must be the “homeschool” points. I’m a school pupil, and I’ve needed to do over three months of homeschool and on-line studying which was a little bit of a problem. It wasn’t horrible, however I did not like how disconnected we had been from the others at school and from the academics. I additionally needed to do my oral exams through Zoom, which was an attention-grabbing expertise.
My two youngsters had two bouts with homeschool. The primary was from March 2020 to April 2020 and the second was from January 2021 to February 2021. We had been fortunate that each of our youngsters had been within the age group that was allowed to return to high school, kindergarten via fourth grade, in any other case, it could have been a difficult state of affairs. I even have my weblog the place I write for lots of native points of interest in Denmark. That has taken a little bit of successful, however fortunately not as unhealthy because it may have. Issues are closed once more on account of a second lockdown, however we’re hopeful that they are going to open again up this summer season.
Q: Has something in your life gotten again to regular or is there a brand new regular?
I might say that issues are considerably the identical, when others are very totally different. We do not exit to shops or into larger cities except it’s completely obligatory. We spend extra time in pure areas and preserve a distance from different individuals. My boys have remained social with the opposite youngsters as college, however my husband and I do not see others socially. We solely spend time with members of the family each few months.
It has been considerably of a lonely time, however we hope to do our half in controlling the unfold of corona. I’m not considering getting sick, so we preserve our distance. Denmark has additionally had a 5-10 individuals assembly restrict with larger shops closed since Christmas to assist with the unfold.
Q: What have you ever discovered about your self over the previous yr?
I’m not positive what I’ve discovered about myself. I considerably really feel that I’m residing in survival mode, and I have never given my mind the time to suppose that it’s OK to chill out. Although we’ve been house rather more, we’ve been very busy. If I had been to pinpoint one factor, I might say that I’m not as disciplined in relation to residing a wholesome life-style. Too many muffins and cuddles with my youngsters on the sofa this previous yr. I’m beginning to miss the fitness center, which I have never been to since earlier than corona got here.
Q: What have you ever discovered about your neighbors or neighborhood over the previous yr?
I’ve discovered that residing in one of many extra conventional components of Denmark is definitely a fantastic factor throughout a pandemic. Individuals right here belief the federal government’s opinions of what must be achieved, and this chance to comply with the principles has led to our space being one of many lowest for corona circumstances in the entire nation.
It additionally reveals that maybe socializing is not the largest exercise on this space both. Danes wish to preserve to themselves, so this appeared to offer them extra of an excuse to be introverted. We needed to cancel just about each gathering in our city and on our avenue for the previous yr, so it feels bizarre to reside in a spot the place you have not seen your neighbors in such a very long time.
Q: What was essentially the most troublesome a part of the pandemic?
For me, the worst half is the cabin fever. I see photos and listen to tales of individuals again within the U.S. who appear to be going about their lives as regular. They only should put on masks. Issues aren’t like that right here. Many locations have been closed for months, and the one sort of meals you may get is takeout.
I actually miss consuming in a restaurant and going to a farmers market. I really feel that I’ve solely been in nature or our house for the previous six months, and I might actually like to expertise one thing “regular.”
Q: What do you suppose is “subsequent” for you in a post-COVID world?
Since we’re nonetheless in a lockdown interval in Denmark, it is vitally laborious to say when issues will begin opening up once more. It has been fairly humorous to see all the individuals with lengthy and shaggy hair for the reason that hair salons have been closed for 3 months.
I might like to go to a restaurant once more and even to a museum. I’m additionally beginning to understand that with the kind of work that I do, I can simply do it from house and be rather more productive. I’m hoping that many corporations are beginning to see the advantages of getting individuals work remotely.
Since there isn’t any regular in relation to how issues will work out in the course of the corona instances, it is vitally laborious to say what the long run will carry. Everybody in Denmark ought to have entry to the vaccine by the start of the autumn, so it’d simply be a matter of time to see what results this has given to our lives.
I’ve to say that I fairly just like the hand sanitizer in all public areas and sporting a masks. I would preserve that up sooner or later. That is the primary yr that each one the individuals in my home have been wholesome throughout all the winter season, and I’ve a sense that our new life-style modifications have been the reason for that.
Alex Gary is a contract correspondent