I am a university student living in Manikganj, Bangladesh. As a response to coronavirus, the Bangladesh government has shutdown my university. Events I was looking forward to having also been canceled, including music festivals, debate competitions, and sporting events. I take classes online on voice chat platforms with my teachers and peers. Teachers have been assigning more homework online due to the limitations of not having a physical classroom in place of proper lessons.
Tonmoy, my friend living in Manikganj, Bangladesh, spends his days indoors “watching unhealthy amounts of YouTube.” Courtesy of Tonmoy.
My Mosque has also closed in-person services and moved to online streaming. Every Friday morning, our family casts the YouTube stream onto our TV. It’s been a strange feeling to worship at home, but I’ve been trying prayer to keep my spirits up.
I spend most of my days at home completing Studies, watching YouTube, and sleeping. My life has always been driven by habit, and without the rhythm of school and Mosque to bring me out of the house, I often feel lethargic or restless. Thankfully, our district hasn’t had enough cases to warrant total closure or self-quarantine, so I try to head outside a few times a week to play basketball or buy a drink. I’ve begun to pick up some old hobbies, such as coding and writing, to break up my gray, monotonous existence.
When I do head outside, the effect of the virus is immediately felt even in this small district. All of the shops and restaurants are eerily quiet. People stare and try to pass you quickly if you don’t wear a mask. The subway and buses are empty even during rush hour. Combined with the upcoming elections, the atmosphere of the nation is so heavy, I feel I will suffocate.
I have faith that coronavirus will come to pass, as all epidemics do. I’m proud of my nation for being so active in trying to contain and cure the virus. I’ve also started to adjust well to my life at home. But I won’t lie and pretend that life is easier being at home all of the time. I would much rather be going to school, enjoying my last year of high school, and creating wonderful memories than being holed up in my room watching unhealthy amounts of YouTube.