Powering through the pandemic

pandemic

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Rebecca Bugeja, a 3rd-year medical student currently enrolled in the University of Malta. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Life changed with the spread of the coronavirus in the world. Universities closed, shops closed, people are staying indoors and people working from home. Not many people talk about what they are actually feeling these days, however. Even though I am blessed that I live in a country where relatively lax legal notices, I still miss the life I had before. I feel lonely between the same 4 walls of my house because I crave the social engagements I had only a few weeks ago. Highlights of my day have become seemingly petty things such as having a spontaneous chat with a friend. I am anxious about how life changed so quickly and how I will adapt to it. I get bored scrolling through the same 3 social media feeds and refreshing a pitiful amount of times just to feed on some new content.

If you have a bad case of the travel bug and well, you are living through this pandemic, you can still keep yourself motivated through this travel-less time. This pandemic brought a huge trend of throwback photos on social media as more and more people are reminiscing the time when airports were still in use. Here, I urge you to bring out your old photos to have a select few pictures to post over the next few weeks. This will keep you motivated to keep track of time (if you plan to post these on set days of the week) and will create a sense of nostalgia, lessening the sadness that you might have. Another thing you can do is to plan tentative trips. All it takes is a good online map, a few websites recommending attractions in your country/place of interest and some time.

Since social distancing is encouraged and going outside is basically frowned upon nowadays, it makes you long for friends and social events that you once had. Thankfully, we live in a time where we have social media and video calling apps. I suggest that you plan a slot in your day to phone a friend and catch up with them. To avoid getting these catch-up dates being monotone, you should plan a video call date with a difference. What I mean is that you can plan to do activities in real-time together, from your own separate houses. Things that come to mind are cooking, watching a film or just having a drinking game.

As medical students stuck at home, we are not running around the wards for the time being. This means that we are not getting our daily dose of exercise like we used to. However, it is extremely hard to stick to an exercise regimen as these tend to get old quite quickly. Luckily, there are multiple ways to change up your fitness regimen. An example is to follow along with a choreography video. If you have a bit more energy and like a challenge, you can do a Zumba video at home. Other options include martial arts and circuit training.

About the author

Rebecca Bugeja is a 3rd-year medical student currently enrolled in the University of Malta. She is the current national exchanges officer for MMSA-Malta. She has always been passionate about learning from different cultures around the world. She always had an interest in motivating the people around her and cheering them up, in the process.

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