Quarantine blog (2): Houseparty

09 Apr 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. Nathalie Elenbaas, student Communication Sciences, walks across the yard and has virtual drinking nights with friends.

The entirety of the Netherlands has discovered hiking, apparently it’s the appropriate response to being asked to go outside as little as possible? But I do get it, especially when you live in a city and all you have is a small balcony. Now that I’m back home on the farm during this period, the concept of ’social distancing’ is easy for me. When I go for my daily walk around the yard – I too have found new appreciation for it – not a single person crosses my way.

Because of that, my life (like that of many people) is primarily taking place online. And while I tried to reduce my screen time before, there has been a massive peak from mid-March on. My entire social and professional life takes place on a screen right now. Together with friends, I exchange messages, so we can stay in touch. Houseparty, Zoom, and many other apps I haven’t used in years are being re-downloaded.

I don’t have to get dressed up for a virtual drinking night, because ’no-one’ sees me. So I’m sitting in my bed, in jogging pants and with a messy bun on my head on a Friday night. Equipped with white wine and a bag of chips, partaking in a drawing contest on Houseparty. After that, we are talking about our experiences, although not many interesting things have happened. This is actually quite relaxing, I think to myself, no hassle about what to wear or going to bed on time. Quarantine doesn’t seem half-bad sometimes.

But when I scroll through our shared friend chat on Instagram, I’m being snapped back to reality. Notifications about all the parties that have been cancelled and the usual corona-memes pass by. And the cherry on top: reports about the hacking practices of Houseparty. Perhaps, another party cancelled now.

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