Ever since the coronavirus outbreak began in China, Yixuan has been following the news on the virus’s spread and consequences in her home country. “I learned a lot about the situation from Chinese media,” she tells us. So when she read that people had been infected with the coronavirus in Europe, as well, she panicked. “From that point onwards I began to prepare for a possible spread of the virus here. I bought face masks, hand sanitiser and gloves.”

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Her Dutch friends, and even her boyfriend, felt she was overreacting, says Yixuan, who is doing a Bachelor’s degree in Management of International Social Challenges (MISOC). “I felt unheard and misunderstood. Also, I’m worried about their health, so I’m trying to translate Chinese news stories and articles for them, to get them to understand how serious the situation is.”

Stringent measures

Yixuan shares a house with her boyfriend and two flatmates. In order to make sure that the virus does not enter the house, they have implemented stringent measures: they wear face masks, wash their hands very often, use hand sanitiser and do not allow visitors to enter the house (which is why EM shot the video from the backyard – ed.). Nor do the flatmates get together in the same room. “When we need to discuss things, we do so through video calls,” she says. “We also have special arrangements regarding the use of the kitchen and bathroom. Our flatmates use the shower in the morning and we use it in the evening, because we have read that the virus can survive in water drops for about eight hours.”

Watch how this student house is coping during the outbreak

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