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  • Writer's pictureBehind the Mask

Priorities — Germany

When the coronavirus started to spread in Germany and schools started to close all around, my family and I were still skiing during our holidays in March, in Switzerland, far away from all of it. But the day we drove back to Hamburg, my little sister and I dreaded to go back to school again so soon: the news arrived that our school would be closed for the foreseeable future. We also had to stay in quarantine for two weeks. It was kind of surreal because even a few days earlier, we would have never imagined that the virus would spread so much in Germany.

I tried to keep a routine during the time and got up early and worked on things for school during the weekdays. After two weeks, I started to go jogging with a friend of mine every other day and I’m kind of proud to say that we kept with it until we were able to go to school again in June. But until then it was a really stressful time for me, because I was chief editor of my school’s yearbook and many people on my team didn’t find the motivation to do anything for it after school had stopped. Luckily not everyone felt like that and in a team of three we did most of the work and were even able to publish it in time for graduation. It was one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done, but in the end it payed off.

However, I still had more time for myself. Before Corona, school was really tough with long days and coming back home late, and I never had time to really relax. So, I read a lot and often baked cakes (most times different types of cheesecakes). I also started doing yoga, which helped me cope with all the stress of doing the yearbook almost alone.

When school started again in June, I started to play field hockey and went to flute lessons again. We had 5 weeks of school left before summer holidays started and my grade (11th) was the only one that had to write exams. I was also able to meet in small groups again and I often met with my friend group at the beach. During the time apart I even got closer to all of them, because we often FaceTimed, and I really started to appreciate them.

Now that almost everything is normal again here in Germany (and especially in Hamburg), I look back to that time and realize that what impacted it most, wasn’t really the virus (even though it still was relevant for me), but rather getting my whole life together and appreciating everything important in my life.

— Merle Hoefer, 17

Hamburg, Germany


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