Fulbrighters Share Their Quarantine Coping Strategies

Right now, our world is different. So this month, Fulbridge is doing something different. Instead of our usual monthly Q&A Spotlight, we asked Fulbrighters one question: “How are you finding ways to cope with quarantine and COVID-19 stress?” Here are their answers.

“I’ve stayed in constant contact with my Fulbright hosts! As a Spring 2020 grantee, our trip was cut short. But, that doesn’t mean that we had to stop collaborating. Our team at National Chengchi University is still actively collecting data on video games and virtual reality perceptions, and we’re still keeping our class going via live-streaming from my home here in Lubbock, TX.”

Nicholas Bowman (Lubbock, TX), 2019-2020 Fulbright Scholar to Taiwan, National Chengchi University (Taipei)

“I’d say that being able to work remotely and having a family to spend time with helped a lot. In addition, I could convert my commute time in time for other activities, like playing guitar (technique exercises, after so many years!) or fixing things in the house. I’d say that my kids are having a harder time, because they need social activities, they need a space to play with their friends. We are trying hard to invent fun activities every day, but substituting for their friends is hard.”

Matteo Bachetti (Cagliari, Italy), 2018-2019 Visiting Fulbright Scholar, California Institute of Technology

“I’ve been reading ancient comedy (Aristophanes’ plays, to begin) because everyone needs a laugh in these weird times!”

Chloe Wheeler (Long Beach, CA), 2019-2020 ETA to Spain

“I make handcrafts, such as a bookmark [made] from wax paper and dried leaves and flowers.”

Irma Zavitri, 2019-2020 Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (teaching Bahasa Indonesia), University of Colorado Boulder

“I have been helping out students in China by teaching courses online, and bringing my other teacher friends who have been impacted from school closures on board, sort of creating a virtual school-at-the-ready for these kids in China! When I’m not working remotely, which is now 24/7 since my regular job as a counselor is now remote and I am also running this virtual school, I am trying to pick back up old hobbies, such as finishing writing that book that’s been sitting on my laptop ever since I’ve finished my master’s degree.”

Phillip Wenturine (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam), 2016-2017 ETA to Portugal

“I’m running 3-5km per day, 4-7 days a week. Have done that for [over] 1 month. It feels just great!”

Hoang Luong (Brisbane, Australia), 2004-2005 Fulbright Vietnamese Student Program alum, Williams College

“Writing, writing, writing. That’s how I cope with the PhD and work and ‘Rona collaterals these days… I have to make time for personal relief at this point.”

Khadija Ouajjani (Wichita, Kansas), 2016-2018 Fulbright Foreign Student from Morocco, Wichita State University

“There are a lot of really active mutual aid networks here in New York, so I’ve been helping RUSA LGBT [a US-based network for Russian-speaking LGBT individuals] consolidate and translate information on housing, health insurance, and fundraising here into Russian. Everything has been shifted online – so I’m still keeping a normal schedule with work and school. Besides that, going to as many parks as possible in Brooklyn and Queens!”

Alex Resnick (New York, NY), 2018-2019 ETA to Moldova

“My family has cooked for COVID high-risk members in our community, and delivered Easter meals and home-cooked meals once a week. I think focusing on taking care of others helps.”

Patrice Moulton, 2017-2018 Fulbright Specialist, Nepal

“A few favorite coping strategies have been evening walks and bike rides with my husband when the weather has been nice. Getting out of the house and moving a bit each day has helped us not feel so cooped up and stir crazy. Before the weather turned more consistently sunny, we set up our tent in the living room as a cozy space for hanging out, reading books, having a morning cup of coffee. It changed up the scenery without much effort. Finally, we have used this time to set up a little garden space in our yard. We had some scrap wood to build planter boxes and planted some veggies to enjoy this summer. Watching the progress of the seedlings each day is a good reminder that life goes on, even with all the craziness and uncertainty around us.”

Kata Krueger (Seattle, WA), 2016-2017 ETA to Indonesia

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