Quarantine blog (6): Handyman

12 May 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. Biology student Steven Huls turns out to quite the handyman.

I think I have always been a creative craftsman. There is always a little side project I am working on. For one year, I have soaked and pealed off specialty beer labels in order to remodel a coffee table that I got for free, with the help of wallpaper paste and clear cote. Last year, when I couldn’t stand the leaking shower cap anymore and replaced it myself, I was crowned a ‘Polish plasterer’ by a flatmate. And at the moment, there are basil plants growing under a Knex green house on my window sill.

‘The DYI fire can’t be contained anymore’

Now, because of Covid-19 and the advise of my haematologist – I have had leukemia in the past – I moved back to my mother. The less social contact, the better. So I don’t walk to Jumbo every day anymore. I also don’t eat together with friends and flatmates. And the ’vrijmibo’ is now taking place via Skype. My mother is practically the only one that I see at the moment. This lack of social interaction (or control?) is making my inner handyman restless. The DYI fire can’t be contained anymore.

And as if Silicon Valley could smell it, the YouTube algorithm is playing into my do-it-yourself-drive. One do-it-yourself-channel after another is popping up in my recommendations. Escape is impossible. Ever since I have seen a video about all the things one can do with LED-lights, my mind has been occupied entirely by the thought of updating my toy greenhouse.

The fact that I don’t have a clue about soldering and electrical engineering doesn’t get in the way: a soldering iron has been ordered and is lying next to my writing desk since a few days. I can fix a frame from an old bed frame and then, hopefully, the only thing left to do is installing the lamps. Shouldn’t be too difficult, right? Another video about connecting LED-lights in circuit and my basil plants won’t know what hit them, yippie-yeahyeah-yippieyippie-yeah!

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