Андрей, 38, IT-specialist
interviewed on 23 May 2020
At first, it was difficult: they closed the daycare center, the kid’s at home, my wife is working from home, I’m working from home. My daughter’s five, she’s used to spending her energy at the daycare. At home, she can’t, there’s not enough entertainment, we’re busy, we need to work, she’s crying every half an hour; by evening, you’re almost going mad. We lived this way for about a month; after that, it somehow settled, or we got used to it.
When you live for many years in one particular rhythm, and then it breaks, you need to find new things to lean on, you need to understand what you do in the mornings and what—in the evenings. It was unusual; it’s not a vacation when you take time off—no, you need to build up again all of your daily routine life.
Small things: you need to cook at home, it takes time; you need to be cleaning all the time—because there are three people at home; you need to do something for sport because you can’t gain so many kilos. All in all, a month isn’t that bad; we got into this rhythm and felt that we could live like this.
Of course, personal space disappeared completely. I compensated by saying in the evening: “That’s it. Bye! I’m going for a walk. I’ll be back in an hour or two”. You need to be alone, to change your surroundings, you always need some personal space and time. But you cannot go far in one hour, the paths for walks start repeating, so I started looking for new music and podcasts. The sameness at home demands variety somewhere else, some change in surroundings.
I always thought I was a very home-loving person who handled routine easily, but even I found my limits.
I thought that the quarantine would underline and enhance what already was before: good relationships can become better, bad ones—worse. In our family, I guess, they’re average: everything remained as it was.
When the lockdown ends, I want to keep our evening movie sessions, our morning walks, and bike rides. But there are more things that I want to change: I want to spend more quality time with my daughter; when the quarantine ends, it should be easier to fix, to go to a museum or somewhere else.