Eline van Gorp, second-year student of Medicine, has been assigned a new tutor. Her usual tutor is an infectious disease specialist; she’s too busy working in the lab to lead any online tutorial sessions at the moment. Tutorials are going very well, says Van Gorp. “We have someone leading the session, someone taking notes – it’s business as usual, really.” Lectures are also going well. “We have recordings of lectures that were given last year.” The only things she’s worried about are practical assignments and exams. “Everything is still unclear. Will our practical exams be postponed? If so, our next year will be more difficult. Will we even be able to progress to the next year of the programme? Obviously, none of us wants to fall behind in their studies.”
Two weeks ago, she temporarily moved back in with her parents in Helmond. “All my housemates had already left. I was a little lonely. My dad picked me up. It’s also better not to be in Maastricht to avoid the temptation of meeting up with people.”
Van Gorp has a side job at the weekly market in Maastricht, but she hasn’t had to come into work for a few weeks now. “I wasn’t expecting that. Fortunately, I can pick up extra shifts at the nursing home in Helmond where I also work. I work as a hostess there: I provide food and drinks, chat with people, play bingo with the residents. Today, I’ll find out whether I’ll also be assigned care duties, which would mean helping people get out of bed and taking care of them.”
She also signed up to help out at her local Municipal Health Service (GGD), for example. Isn’t she worried about working with people who may be carrying a dangerous virus? “No, I actually think it will be a very valuable experience. I don’t think there will be any problems as long as I’m careful and take precautions.”
She has plenty of time to volunteer, as her social life is currently “very quiet”. Van Gorp is a member of student association Circumflex. Student life has been totally disrupted by the corona crisis. “Our building is closed and all parties have been cancelled.” She and her friends at Circumflex try to meet up for drinks on Skype on Wednesday evenings, “but we don’t do that as much now”.