Anđelka Roksandić, Belgrad

The season called corona

It is May, the lindens are blooming, but we are still living with information about coronavirus. Before the state of emergency was introduced many people might have thought: „The corona won’t come to Serbia.“ However, unfortunately, the virus knows no borders and it arrived just when the nice weather had started and when I started thinking about new shoes and purse. And they are quite necessary for me (and is there a woman that doesn’t feel the same?!). However, working from home has changed habits, as well as needs.

And the emotions that began to overwhelm me are impossible to describe and measure. Has anyone ever measured the amount of emotions at any point?

While the state of emergency was the only topic of conversation, I wondered what a quarantine stay would look like (believe me, that’s how women usually feel while on maternity leave; the truth is that the reason for staying at home in these circumstances makes our mood completely different). The first thing that occurred to me was Star Wars, a favourite childhood series, when we imagined living on another planet or even a spaceship only with people we like. Very similar to the current situation, it could be said, but in a slightly changed form – we are fighting against some invisible force that ranks us all equally, regardless of gender, nation, religion, part of the world we live in.

The state of emergency, unknown to me until then, was introduced in mid-March. After a fortnight, I went shopping for the first time. Children will finally be able to eat (a whole) orange. Everything is saved and calculated so that the number of fruits can be divided by the number of days and members of the household and everyone gets necessary vitamins. Well, I am not really good at math, but I guess I’ll manage, hopefully.

Time aftger shopping is spent in the kitchen and then, in the afternoon, since I don’t have working hours (fortunately or unfortunately), I start working untill the wee hours of the night. And when will I read all these books I planned, when will I pursue a hobby?! I forgot what boredom was. Well, I don’t know what to do first. I have more duties than in regular circumstances.

When I get to the phone, I talk to my friend to cool down my head a bit. She is also working from home, with a two-year child by her side. The husband is at work. When I ask her how she is coping, she replies with a smile: „She is helping me. She has switched off my computer twice today.“ Well, so what am I complaining about, then? My children don’t switch off my computer. They just keep asking me to play a cartoon or explain homework that they don’t understand.

The almost two-month-long state of emergency was lifted two days ago, so it seems that we are a little more relaxed. However, just a little. Precautions are still recommended – wearing masks and gloves, avoiding hugs and shaking hands, as well as keeping the distance (possibly only physical). Those who can, continue to work from home. Parents with small children, don’t despair! There are still some advantages you do your job without seeing your boss on a daily basis. Can it be any better?

My only concern are my shoes and a purse. In fact, when I think about it a little more closer, I won’t even need the shoes soon because summer is already here. I am off to find those sandals I got at last year’s September sale that haven’t seen the Sun yet, to take for a little walk… around the house.

Anđelka Roksandić, Belgrad

Godišnje doba zvano korona

Mesec je maj, lipe cvetaju, a mi još uvek živimo sa informacijama o koronavirusu. Pre nego što je uvedeno vanredno stanje možda su mnogi mislili: „Ma neće korona u Srbiju.“ Ali, nažalost, virus ne poznaje granice, i stigao je taman kada je počelo lepo vreme i kada sam počela da razmišljam o novim cipelama i tašni. A bili su mi prekopotrebni (a kojoj ženi nisu?!). Ali, rad (k)od kuće promenio je navike, pa i potrebe.

A emocije koje su počele da me obuzimaju teško da se mogu opisati i izmeriti. Da li je iko ikada izmerio količinu emocija u nekom momentu?

Dok se još samo pričalo o uvođenju vanrednog stanja, zamišljala sam kako će izgledati boravak u karantinu (verujte, tako se, uglavnom, osećaju žene na porodiljskom odsustvu; istina, razlog ostanka kod kuće, u ovdašnjim okolnostima, čini nas vlasnicima drugačijeg raspoloženja). Prvo čega sam se setila bili su Ratovi zvezda, omiljeni serijal iz detinjstva, kada smo zamišljali da živimo na nekoj drugoj planeti, ili čak u svemirskom brodu, samo sa ljudima koji se nama sviđaju. Veoma slično sadašnjoj situaciji, moglo bi se reći, ali u malo izmenjenom obliku – borimo se protiv neke nevidljive sile koja nas sve jednako rangira, bez obzira na pol, naciju, veru, deo sveta u kom živimo.

Vanredno stanje, meni dotad strano, uvedeno je polovinom marta. Posle 15 dana prvi put izlazim iz kuće u kupovinu. Deca će konačno moći da pojedu po (celu) pomorandžu. Štedi se, kalkuliše da se broj voćki podeli sa brojem dana i ukućana da bi svi dobili neophodne vitamine. Uh, matematika mi baš i ne ide, ali naučiću je valjda.

Vreme posle kupovine provodim u kuhinji, a potom, u popodnevnim satima, pošto nemam radno vreme (na sreću ili nažalost), započinjem rad do sitnih noćnih sati. A kada ću pročitati sve one knjige koje sam planirala, kada ću se baviti hobijem?! Šta je dosada? Pa ja ne znam šta ću pre. Imam posla više nego u redovnim okolnostima.

Kad stignem do telefona, razgovaram sa drugaricom da malo ohladim glavu. I ona radi od kuće, sa dvogodišnjim detetom. Suprug je na poslu. Na moje pitanje kako uspeva, sa osmehom kaže: „Pomaže mi. Danas mi je dva puta isključila kompjuter.“ Uh, pa šta se ja onda žalim – meni ne isključuju kompjuter, samo traže da pustim crtani film ili da objasnim neki nejasan domaći zadatak.

Bezmalo dvomesečno vanredno stanje ukinuto je pre dva dana, pa se čini da smo malo opušteniji. Ali malkice. Mere predostrožnosti i dalje se preporučuju – nošenje maske i rukavica, izbegavanje zagrljaja i rukovanja, kao i držanje distance (potrudite se da bude samo fizička). Ko god može, i dalje će raditi (k)od kuće. Roditelji sa malom decom, ne očajavajte, ima to svojih prednosti – obavljaš posao a ne moraš da viđaš šefa svaki dan. Pa kud ćeš bolje.

Brinu me jedino cipele i tašna. U stvari, kad malo bolje razmislim, cipele mi uskoro neće ni trebati, stiže leto. Odoh da nađem one sandale sa prošlogodišnje septembarske rasprodaje koje još nisu videle sunca, da ih malo prošetam… po kući.

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