Luxembourg, Echternach / Hungary, Budapest: Sofia, 31, mother

My name is Sofia, I’m 31 and originally I am from Hungary. We moved to Luxembourg more than 5 years ago with my husband. I am currently unemployed, was looking actively for a job before COVID-19, but now there are many unemployed here in Luxembourg (as everywhere else sadly) so I decided to leave it for now and focus on some other things.
When COVID-19 hit we had a lot of changes as my 2,5-year-old child was suddenly at home with us, which was not really the

case before. In this aspect, it was lucky that I didn’t have to work since it’s a job in itself to entertain a kid all day and to explain that the father is there but cannot play. For him, it was easy to change as he won the commuting time to work. As for the weekends, the only thing that changed was that we couldn’t meet with friends.

We live in the countryside so we could at least enjoy our garden when the weather allowed, which luckily was really nice almost all the time. We could talk with our neighbours and since we keep contact with our families in Hungary via skype, the lockdown didn’t affect that. Though usually, we go home during May, which we had to cancel this year, but it was for the sake of our grandparents who are old and vulnerable. Also as of today, we still don’t know when we can go home and our child starts to ask about it also, which is really painful for us as we also want to see our families.

Before Corona, I started an online yoga course and an 8-week long exercise program (also online), and I am a part of a coaching club for mothers for almost two years now, which is also online. I didn’t have to give up anything. The only thing that had issues was making my driving licence. I had an appointment for the theoretical exam, but that was cancelled of course. Although now I managed to go and pass and started my driving lessons, with the again increasing numbers I have no idea what will happen.

Compared to my home country, Luxembourg did a really good job in keeping the people alert and informed. All data was clearly and transparently communicated and I personally think that the restrictions were in line with the severeness of the situation. I personally learned a lot about my family and myself during the lockdown. It was a good opportunity to practice flexibility and patience. My husband was really helpful and our child was also quite quick to adapt to the new situation.

I really hope that people will keep some of their newly found habits, like planning the weekly menu, not buying everything that they desire, buying local products as it was available throughout the lockdown. Environmental issues are really important for me, so I was happy that more people paid attention to food waste and such. Also with the „working from home“ environment, maybe companies will notice that it works, which can reduce the traffic a lot and that’s also really good for nature.

All in all, for me it was not a bad experience, but I really hope that now as the numbers are growing again, they won’t go back to the total lockdown. Time will give us the answer.