How does it feel when you live the experience of pandemics far from the majority of your beloved ones

Although I would really prefer to write this post about something else, it is hard not to mention how much is the current reality influenced by the recently declared pandemics. Although the situation in Turkey is relatively good – at the time when I am writing this post there are just 5 cases confirmed in the country – it is hard not to think about the situation in my own country, where I left nearly all of my beloved ones. As you probably know, Europe is quite severely impacted by the virus. The number of the people contaminated is growing with a tremendous speed and although me and Martyna do our best to stay reasonable, the anxiety about how our families are dealing with this crisis is now a part of our lives. But life continues, and so do our activities, even if being gradually restrained to minimise the risk of the virus being spread.

How have the ESC experience made us stronger to confront the current reality

Some months ago I was writing about how it was unusual for us to stop planning things in advance and get used to the local way of being in this regard. I have to say that now this sort of intercultural training that we have been getting over the past months seems priceless: as we got a bit used to planning things from day to day, we can be more resistent to the events being now cancelled with a very short notice or sharp changes in the ways of working. Still, I am doing my best to be prepared – as we might have to stop giving in-class courses for some time, I spend my evenings doing research on remote teaching technologies and reading articles (that by the way got viral among many of my friends somehow involved in educating) giving advice on how to effectively teach online.

How could we personally contribute to the principle of care

All of the Conversation Clubs we ran the past week were focusing on the subject of how can we protect ourselves and each other against the virus. During the English class on advanced and intermediate level, we were discussing different threats to the population and tried to get some distance towards the current situation. We also discussed the most popular methods of protecting ourselves against the virus and if they really work. The participants of our conversation clubs on the beginner level – both for English and French – were role-playing a visit at the doctor’s, practicing describing the syndromes of most common illnesses and the ways to stay safe in the coronavirus outbreak.

Finding the way through the crisis: some observations

Most of the individuals and organizations are now trying to find their ways of being reasonable, but not getting overwhelmed with panic. And all through that we can observe many acts of solidarity: societies can now get united to fight the common threat. Some minor differences of opinions suddenly stop being so important, we start to care about each other more as we realize we are all put at risk. We can all try to find ways to be more flexible and more understanding towards each other, as such situations teach us that we have been taking so many things for granted.

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