I’m a feminist and advocate for human rights. I am Romanian, and I have been living and working in Amsterdam at a women’s fund for the last 3 years, although I have been based in Brussels since the Coronavirus pandemic started. At the initiative of friends, I was invited to take part in a Covid-19 journaling exercise. Instead of writing, I decided to draw. I would like to share these drawings in the hope of sending some comfort and a bit of humour amid the harsh reality around us, as I myself find comfort in arts and drawing.
These are my and my colleagues’ office plants in Amsterdam. We like to take good care of our plants, with my colleague being an expert in orchids and very thoughtful in general with our leafy friends. Naturally after our office closed we worried how all these plants would be watered. Eventually a solution was found but the whole scene made me imagine what would these plants think when all of the sudden they had to survive with no water, days in a row.
I made two masks from former pyjama pants since it was the most decent cotton I could find to ‘sacrifice’ from my closet. Even with the new masks which you can now buy, I still prefer these because they have cute little drawings on them. I’m sure many people have repurposed and reused items during these times.
During Easter in Romania priests were allowed exception to travel freely and share sacramental wine despite the official state of emergency. Sometimes they were assisted and helped by the police or local authorities. One news source in particular reported a priest using a horse-driven carriage. In my head, the contrast between a horse driven carriage, the modern town architecture and police escort was pretty funny.
In Brussels at 8 pm, people lean out of their windows and clap in support for the medical staff making extraordinary efforts during these times. After several rounds of applause, I started recognizing some of the neighbours in the building, but also across the street, who I didn’t know at all before. One day, upon the recommendation of a friend, I watched Hitchcock’s movie Rear Window in which one guy is more or less spying on his neighbours from his window only to discover one day that something was wrong. The day after, at 8 pm, I adopted a more suspicious stance.
My aunt’s dog was very requested by neighbours, friends and even passers-by, since one of the accepted reasons you could go out for a walk during the state of emergency was to walk your dog.
In Brussels there are many friteries (chip shops) which, when open, are often the place pigeons like to hang out. I think it was tough for the pigeons too to have them closed 🙂
Since the Coronavirus pandemic started, I’ve never had so many discussions about movies, what to watch, what not to watch, series, episodes, plots, characters. A friend told me jokingly: ask me about anything on Netflix and I can tell you if it’s bad or good. Same goes for online board games, which I was really happy to discover. We’ve moved online, and moving online is no longer seen as a huge health problem, but rather a solution.
There is an extra burden put on women during the Coronavirus pandemic, as often they are the main caretakers. With kindergardens and schools closed, along with lunch options, women were all of the sudden expected to take care of their kids, do homework, feed the whole family, and probably do other extra domestic chores, while still keeping their jobs that moved online.
Feminist and advocate for human rights. I am Romanian, and I have been living and working in Amsterdam at a women’s fund for the last 3 years, although I have been based in Brussels since the Coronavirus pandemic started.