How Expats are Coping With COVID-19
Roman Mykyta, 24, USA
Roman is a choreographic art student at the National Pedagogical University of Drahomanova and is into his second year of living in Kyiv. The current situation has meant that Roman and other students must now take all their classes online. Choreography does not seem like an ideal subject to be taught or studied online, yet, Roman says it isn’t holding him or his classmates back. “It’s impressive how innovative we all have been while we continue our studies and maintain our physical training.” Roman spends his time at home and is using his free time to stay connected with friends and family overseas. He is staying positive and says, “what’s amazing about quarantine is that it’s an experience we are all sharing, no matter how far away we are”.
Lyall, 36, Australia
Lyall has been living in Kyiv for nearly a year and a half and is currently looking for work in sales and customer success. He is feeling positive at the moment, knowing that his friends and family are safe, although he can’t ignore one big concern: the economy. “My real concern is that the economic impact will make it extremely difficult to get a decent job, while many others may potentially lose their jobs. Anyway, let’s hope it’s over soon.” Lyall says the changes to his daily routine haven’t been too difficult but says to “check again [with him] in a few weeks”.
Malanka Nazarowicz, 25, Canada
Malanka, a teacher who has lived in Kyiv for two years, is adjusting to her new norm. Her daily routine is made up of scheduled lessons and regular breaks for fresh air. Malanka shares how she is staying positive throughout the uncertainty: “I stay away from watching the updates about the virus, and I keep in touch with family and friends back home. I dance around to music, cook, and go outside daily”. Under the current situation, Malanka has no plans of trying to return to Canada, unless her work gets cut off. Until then, she has the support of her family and has no significant worries.
Turgut Unal, 25, Turkey
Turgut, an account manager who has lived in Kyiv for more than seven years, is surprised at his productivity while working from home. He sees the lighter side of things: “I never imagined I’d be discussing serious matters with my clients wearing nothing but boxer briefs, and yet here we are” — and I’m sure many of us can relate. Although Turgut does not fear the virus itself, he fears the damage that the media is having on society. His main goal during this time is to maintain his self-improvement: “I’m simply striving to conquer myself, I guess”.
Anastasia Imaah, 23, Nigeria
Anastasia is into her fifth year of living in Kyiv and her last year of university studies. Like everyone, she is working and studying from home and finds herself with much more free time than usual. Fortunately, she is in the company of her sister, with whom she spends this free time watching television shows, indulging in yummy foods, and chatting with their friends online. Although content with her new routine, Anastasia misses many things about normal life like the freedom to roam around and run errands. “Now, trips have to be planned, and if we forget something, it has to wait until the next trip to the store.” As this new reality sets in, we are all starting to miss things we once enjoyed freely, even the mundane stuff — as Anastasia adds, “Oh and I miss nice bread”.