Bosnia and Hercegovina, Banja Luka: Nevena Zelenika, 18, activist and student

1. What has changed for you in the last weeks?
In my opinion, COVID-19 expanded very quickly and apparently unexpectedly. The „cutting down“ of all the obligations that a high school student can have had drastic consequences for me. My workshops, photoshoots, project work, school classes, trainings stagnated, I lost eye-to-eye contact with people who assisted and will assist my personal development in every aspect, seeing with a society that is my immense support in every

segment of life. This all had a negative effect on my psychophysical state. The only thing I could turn to was writing and proofreading books and articles. My family is in constant fear of contagion, of losing financial ground at their feet due to the global economic deficit, which directly affects every individual.

2. How did the virus affect your surroundings/your family?
At first, the virus was a major respite from everyday obligations, which later turned into curiosity, and the media expansion of the virus information aroused great panic and rebellion against all precautions and self-isolation issued by the competent institutions. Many started the „valiant“ fight against the virus by organizing rallies in private residences (socializing, „assassination“ for precautionary measures, …).I find that my nation is much more undisciplined and thinks that it is being questioned, and by that act endangers the elderly, persons with, earlier, impaired immunity and chronic patients. This is their call to override the decisions of those in charge and create the anarchy we need the least now.

3. What did you need to give up, what do you miss?
already answered

4. Do you think your government is doing a good prevention against covid-19?
Absolutely! curfew is organized, movement bans are allowed at times when it is possible to receive and transmit the virus. Schools, kindergartens, all private shops closed. Various organizations have delayed the implementation of projects, actions … for the sole purpose of preventing viruses. I respect their recommendation and ban, and at no point did I question the effectiveness of their prevention measures.

5. What views/knowledge did you gain during the virus era?
I laugh every time someone wonders when to stop washing their hands and worrying about themselves. I think I took care of myself in my third year, I don’t even think about it. Given that my parents grew up in wartime, I did not believe that they experienced war like this until this virus happened. Borders, establishments are closed, people buy bags of flour, litres and litres of oil, pasta, toilet paper and all the products that serve a primitive form of living – survival, and I’m sad to see these things. I realized how much the war affected my people and my fellow citizens who survived or grew up during the war and I am glad to be a part of this strong, rebellious, unwavering but still cultured and educated society with a sense of when to end this mentality.

6. What do you think is going to happen after the quarantine, what is going to be different as before?
The world is sure to be a nicer place, I guarantee it. People will miss their loved ones, friends, daily responsibilities, work, school …They will appreciate their life and their health and thank God, those in charge or their immune systems for being where they are. I would not predict in the long run, but I think the first month after the global quarantine, Earth will be much happier. We will charge the batteries, be motivated and recover anything that has been damaged by this virus.

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