“My family is very worried about me”


Samuele Livraghi, a first-year student enrolled in the Maastricht Science Programme, is from Lombardy in northern Italy. Although no one in his family has yet been infected with the coronavirus, the situation back home is “quite stressful. New cases are diagnosed every day.” Health care in Italy is very good, says Livraghi. “And it’s free for everyone. There are a lot of people in intensive care units – especially older people, but some young people too.” His father, a surgeon, is working every day. “And it’s still relatively quiet in his hospital. Many surgeries have to be postponed. Operating rooms are being set up as intensive care rooms.”

The rest of his family is at home, in self-quarantine. “We have a large garden, fortunately, so they can go out to get some fresh air every now and then. My mother is very worried about me; we call every day. She wonders how good Dutch health care is and whether the government is taking proper measures. She couldn’t believe that the Netherlands waited so long to take action. My siblings are all safely home.”

He’s not really worried about his studies. “The university is handling the situation well.” Most of his lectures and tutorials are taking place online. He has an open-book exam yesterday afternoon. “When I was at university in Milan, I went on exchange to Norway. Open-book exams were more common there. I was a little nervous, but it went okay. It was better than beinig in a class with stressed out people”

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.

“My family is very worried about me”