Country or City?
Country Life During the Covid-19 Pandemic – By Sarah
Even though I live on a beef farm, in the Laois countryside, I have access to considerably good broadband. The most obvious advantage of this, is that I’ve managed to stay in close contact (digitally) with my friends since school was closed last Thursday, because of Covid-19. I’m also able to stay in contact with my teachers, and have been receiving homework daily. While it’s some consolation, what I find most difficult these days, is differentiating each day from the next. As the weather gets nicer and the days longer, this forced break from school seems disconcertingly like a week during the summer holidays. Unfortunately, that means that I’ve really struggled to stay concentrated on my school work, as it’s so easy to go online, or read, or do work outside. I’ve tried to maintain my school schedule at home, albeit starting my work about an hour later, but usually end up taking ridiculously long breaks.
I guess I took for granted being able to play hockey 4 times a week, now that I’m stuck at home. I’ve tried a few times to go out to the nearest fields with a tennis ball, dog and hockey stick, but my canine companion got quickly discouraged when he got dangerously close to the receiving end of a hit of my stick. In that sense I think that I’m lucky; I have the freedom to just go into a field and wander around for hours, if I so please.
In terms of apocalypse preparedness, I’d say living in the countryside could give you no greater advantage. There’s chickens, pigs, even cattle if we were that desperate for food. Conversely, we have to make a conscious decision to go anywhere, and it’s a considerable distance to any large shops. While my mum tries to limit going shopping to every three days, it seems that not everyone shares the same views, as I still see a lot of cars on the roads.
Despite all of these things, I’ve never been bored, not once. Living on a farm means that there is literally always something to be done. Whether it’s planting vegetables in the garden, or cleaning out the chicken coop. Saying “I’m bored” is something I just wouldn’t do, because I’d probably end up with some undesirable job. I’ve filled my spare time with taking apart Lego, and trying to put it back together again, and a lot of tidying. I think I’ve been doing all the tasks that I wanted to do while I was in school, but never had the time to.
I’m not that scared of getting the virus, because I haven’t come in contact with anyone outside my family in over a week. What does worry me though, is the not knowing how long I’ll be out of school. I’m really relieved that I’m in Transition Year, as if I were supposed to be doing a State Exam I know I would be way more stressed, having to depend on my own study skills to learn.
If I had to choose between living in the countryside or the city during these trying times, I would definitely choose the countryside, because being isolated from the general public isn’t that different to how I’d usually spend my summer holidays. With the exception of having to complete school work, of course.
City Life During the Covid-19 Pandemic – By Joan
Although it’s always been extremely likely that our generation would experience a pandemic, it never occurred to me that it would happen so soon. Living in the city means being within a very short distance to town whether you take the bus, drive, cycle or walk. There’s usually a lot to do, such as go shopping, eat out, go to the swimming pool or go to the park. But now that we’re quarantined and advised to limit social interactions and trips outside the home are meant to be kept to a minimum, living in the city has lost its appeal.
Life in the country never appealed to me before. It seemed so boring with limited activity, but now that I’m hardly allowed to leave my house, I wouldn’t mind living out there. All I can really do is watch television, text my friends, talk to my family and do the assigned schoolwork. In the country, there are far less people and there are fewer risks of contracting the virus. Recently in the city, the buses have had no passengers, the streets have been bare and independent shops have closed temporarily.
Living in the city has always been easier for several reasons. For example, if you forgot to buy bread during your weekly shop, you could easily go back to get some whereas country people couldn’t do that because of the longer journey. People are have begun limiting their trips to the shops in fear of contracting the virus so now, we’re all in the same boat.
A lot of us are at the age where we can get a part time job. Living in town was always easier when looking for a job because there are more options and they’re not too far away. A lot of teens, and some adults, can’t work now because their place of work has closed.
I used to complain about the noise outside, especially when the weather was good. It was one the downsides of living in the city. Now, parents aren’t letting their children outside, regardless of how sunny or warm it is. The silence both near my home and in the city centre is strange and foreign and slightly unsettling.
Now that I’m stuck inside, I think that I took going to town or the supermarket for granted. I often called the city boring because of my familiarity with it. My screen time’s gone up and I’m on my second novel and it’s only the first week. What else can I do?