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Wearing a face mask while training for a half marathon

Wearing a face mask while training for a half marathon


Archief Jasmina Peneva

Jasmina Peneva, a research master’s student of Cognitive Neuroscience, travelled back to her home country of Bulgaria last Sunday. She’s not staying with her parents, but in a family friend’s flat. “As the Netherlands is a ‘red zone’, I had to be quarantined for two weeks. My parents need to leave the house for work, so I couldn’t stay with them.”

She’s still paying rent in Maastricht. “I love my room. I don’t want to lose it. My landlord reduced my rent by fifty euros for two months. It’s not much, but I appreciate the gesture.”

For now, she’s preoccupied with her studies. “I have an exam this Friday. It will be posted online and then we’ll have twelve hours to take the exam and send in our answers. They’re giving us so much time to accommodate students who went home to Canada, for example.” This doesn’t seem very fraud-proof, though. Won’t students have plenty of time to discuss the questions with each other? “I guess, but we’ve been explicitly instructed to take the exam ourselves. There are 24 of us, I don’t think we will be discussing the questions with anyone; we don’t want our answers to resemble anyone else’s. It would be quite obvious if we cheated.”

In the evenings, Peneva likes to watch Bulgarian television. “I love hearing my own language and Bulgarian humour.” She also spends a lot of time cleaning. “I’ve never lived in such a clean place before”, she laughs.

She wants to pick up running again when her quarantine is over. Peneva is training for a half-marathon in October. “I can’t wait to start again. This is my fourth week of being at home; I self-quarantined back in Maastricht.” Training might be tough. “In Bulgaria the government recommends people to wear a face mask when they go outside. It’s not ideal, but it beats staying at home.”

What are these corona-days like for students? How does it affect their studies and other parts of their life? Observant speaks to one of them every day to give an idea about the virus' impact.


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