‘Miss Rona’ what are you doing to us?

Miss Rona

A subject of which we all are tired of hearing, a subject which is influencing our lives for more than a year now, Corona. Well Miss Rona is here and won’t go away any time soon. I haven’t written articles for a longtime, but I have a need to inform people what is going on here and how it has been affecting our lives in Macedonia. In both positive and negative ways.

“A month or two? Oh boy how foolish we were.”

Let me take you back to 2020 when Miss Rona started to surge in Europe and I strongly had the feeling that Macedonians panicked, massively. Numbers started to go up and more and more people took precautions. While many of the Dutch here, as down to earth as we are, were joking about the panicky behaviour of Macedonians. We all know (around the entire world) how people started to hoard in supermarkets. Making sure basic things as yeast, pasta and toiletpaper were sold out in no time. Alcohol to disinfect and masks were no where to be found at the start of the pandemic.

My only worry was at that time to have formula for my son. It was very weird to see people act in a certain way, a selfish way. There was a short period that we felt on our own, if you want to get something you get ityourself no matter how. Well thank god that passed fast, the lockdowns came in Macedonia. People started to understand the seriousness of the pandemic and we all stuck to the measurements. Reassuring ourselves that it would take… a month or two? Oh boy how foolish we were.

Some positive notes from Miss Rona

The lockdowns did something no one has ever experienced in our lifetime, it became very quiet. Not hearing a sound in a city like Skopje is strange, almost scary, but it was peaceful at the same time. In that time my husband and I lost our jobs, since we worked at the same company. And although it sounds like a terrible thing, for us it was a relief and abreakthrough. During this period of sitting inside we started realizing what we want to achieve in life. It made us a lot closer and realising how important family is.

You can say that our dear Miss Rona brought us more together than ever. As we are building up our own company, with our experiences combined we know we can make it. At the same time, we spend a lot more time with our son who is now 2 years old, and that is time that I cherish so much. So for us Miss Rona has more positive than negative sides. However, if we fast forward to the third wave of the pandemic, the horror stories are coming out.

The reality kicks in

Macedonia is not a rich country, we all know that state health care here is a joke. You have to know people or be lucky to find the right people. Private health care however is absolutely state of the art, but private is expensive. Hospitals are full at this point, and people are being sent home while they are sick. Some are lucky to get oxygen tanks with them so they have at least an opportunity to breathe. The state health care cannot handle the pandemic while the nurses and doctors are working their asses off. They are rolling with the gear that they have, which was not much to begin with. I can talk for hours of all the personal stories we have heard from friends and family, of people choking to death, people being denied care to survive.

It’s absolutely horrifying, scary and scandalous on another level. We see the lines in front of clinics and hospitals and you hear what is going on. Macedonians are not panicking at this point. Everyone we know around us takes precautions, is careful and is doing whatever they can to prevent a visit to the hospital. At this point we are struggling with what is happening now, and honestly I for one am too scared to hear the numbers and realise what this will mean for our future. Think about the main health care being delayed, all the diagnoses being missed, and something that is becoming more clear, psychological health. Psychological health is what a lot of people are struggling with, the loneliness, the isolation, the depression.

Take care of yourself and others

Miss Rona is real, I give it a name to make it a person for me, so I can blame someone. The problem is that it is not a person we can blame; it is the government; it is the corporations worldwide. I hope everyone will come out realising we need a change and big changes on every level of our society. But we need to start with ourselves and help each other. Be there for one another because we simply won’t make it on our own.

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