Pálinka, Potatoes, & Unsolicited Friendships: Quarantine Stories of YOUth


Prime minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for COVID-19 less than three weeks after declaring that he had courageously shaken hands with infected patients. President Donald Trump and founding father of the term ’Chinese virus’ sends out a tweet deeming a lockdown unnecessary as the US sits at number one on the list of countries with the most confirmed COVID-19 cases. The number of reported cases is growing at an alarming rate all across the globe (to esteemed members of Flat Earth Society, we apologize for the choice of words).

Even if one had managed to steer clear of negative headlines flooding feeds and screens at in the past, there sure is little way of escaping the gloomy nature of media today. And while it is crucial to treat the issue with gravitas, not overlooking the bright side of everyday life also helps refresh overworked and alarmed mindsets.

The aforementioned is the reason why I sat down with a group of individuals currently fighting the stale struggle of social seclusion. The request was simple; for them to share an amusing experience or anecdote influenced by the safety measures taken into action for preventing the further spread of COVID-19. The following is what they had to share.

Ever since this crazy situation started, my 80-year-old grandfather has been constantly raving about wanting to go out and meet up with some of his old friends. Mind you, they haven’t even talked in the past four years or so. I guess he thinks there is a whole life ahead of him and he wants to be with people. (laughs)” – Bronț Zsanett, 18

My mom was supposed to see the doctor about three weeks ago. That didn’t happen, because the doctor called her up (personally!) and told her not to bother. Turns out, he had been to Italy, and he had to go into quarantine. According to my mom, he told her all of this sounding unbothered, amused even. After that, he went on to talk for a whole hour with her. He must have been in the mood for talking because of the isolation and because my mom never met the doctor before that. Well, at least the foundation of their friendship is built now. ” – Kabai Krisztina, 20

I had to self-isolate one week before everyone else, because I got in contact with someone during an immunology laboratory. My boyfriend and I worked really close during that practical session so we decided to self-isolate together, at his parents’ house. At first, I was agitated because I didn’t know what to expect. It’s going really great now. Although, I didn’t eat anything familiar for a while. (laughs) He is British Filipino, so there are quite a few cultural differences – yesterday his parents made mashed potatoes for the first time in their life because I told them that in Romania, we really love potatoes. Plus, we have Disney+ in the UK. Things could be worse, I guess. (laughs)”Ciuta Isabella, 20

Since we are stuck at home, my friends and I are playing a game in a Facebook group to help pass the time. There are tasks for each day, and you have to complete them and show video proof that you did. You get one point for each completed task, and whoever collects the most points before the quarantine ends, wins something. There are tasks such as do 30 push-ups, dress up and eat your Sunday dinner in fancy clothes, and so on. It keeps us distracted.”Forika Dóra, 19

After our university announced the suspension of its face-to-face courses, I got on a train home, a little bit worried about traveling. So, I went prepared. I wore a facemask, put on gloves, and had disinfectant on me. Turns out, it was not the best decision in some aspects. The people in the train station stared at me like I was Queen Elizabeth. Seeing as I already had gloves on, I thought I might as well wave to them as if I was the majesty herself! As soon as I got home, mom practically commanded me to go take a shower and wash my hair. After that, she sat me down, gave me two shots of pálinka and told me to drink up because it would help fight a possible infection…”Makai Mercedes, 19

Written by: Nagy Béla-Zsolt