“Pretty much all of my friends have left Maastricht”, says Hayden Bunn, a second-year student of the European Law School programme. He also considered going back to the United States, but ultimately decided to stay. “At first, it was unclear how long the university would be closed. I thought it’d be a waste of money to fly home for only two or three weeks. I’d also have to go into quarantine once I arrived in the US. And I didn’t want to put my family at risk, either.”
Bunn has more contact with his family than he usually does. “We talk for about an hour a day now. They’re worried, but they know I’m probably better off here than in the US. The Netherlands is ahead of the US on the coronavirus timeline. Here, it will probably be over sooner.”
Bunn is a student member of the Faculty Council. They will hold their first online meeting this afternoon. “We’ll probably receive an update from the dean, but there are no other special items on the agenda.” It seems that for some things, it’s business as usual.
Bunn hasn’t felt really lonely yet, he says. “I’ve been very busy studying. I have a take-home exam next week. It’s weird to think that two weeks ago, I thought I’d be taking an exam at the MECC instead. I’m not too worried about the outcome, but it’s still a little stressful because it’s different.”
When he’s not studying, Bunn reads books, watches Netflix or goes for short walks. “I like the Fort area. It’s quiet there. It’s a good place to think and come to terms with the way everything has changed over the past week. It has a meditative effect on me.” He also calls his friends often. “I’ve spend more time on the phone than I used to. I prefer having a real conversation to exchanging messages on WhatsApp.”