Quarantine blog (1): Baby

31 Mar 2020

Staying in, online lectures, social distancing. How do students deal with it? In this relay blog, Vox writers who study at Radboud write about their life in times of corona. Rein Wieringa, Political Sciences student, can enjoy himself with 'droppings and wallpaper'.

So you have all the time in the world, but you are still scrolling past quarantine memes and videos with toilet rolls. More time mostly means more time to avoid responsibilities: a thesis, an essay, and an exam. I haven’t planned anything for tomorrow, I will start then.

While I am wasting my time on the internet, I often see people who manage to make beautiful things with very little resources, like a drummer with a Spongebob drumset, a photographer with a toy camera and this guy, with only one string on his guitar. They probably could have made something even more beautiful if they had better material, but at least they are creatively occupied.

They remind me of a poem that I had to read in mrs. Van den Berg’s Dutch class in high school. The poem ‘In de beperking‘ (‘In the restriction’) is about a baby that wants to draw, but has nothing but ‘droppings and wallpaper’ in its crib. The writer decides that the baby, in spite of its limited freedom of movement, is more of an artist than the bird that whistles its song outside.

Now, we are all restricted. This results in a stream of new ideas: a quarantine sitcom, a series of propaganda posters about corona and of course the memes, even about Nijmegen. There is a lot of music as well: balcony concerts here and abroad, and Saint-Saëns on cello and toilet roll.

It’s easy to miss the mark as well. The second time an quarantined orchestra edits Ode An Die Freude together is less fun than the first time, and the idea some American artists had, singing Imagine together, should have stayed just that: an idea. And I will leave rapper Ali B’s try to become relevant again alone for now.

And restricted students? Members of Carolus Magnus rename their ‘lustrum radio’ station ‘quarantine radio’, Ovum Novum goes shopping for the elderly and bored students on Facebook piece together a student dictionary. So now I finally know what a Kroegspoiler (‘bar spoiler’) is.

Because of social distancing, we are all babies without crayons. If I believe the internet, though, I do not have to be bored: I can enjoy myself with droppings and wallpaper.

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