I want to share with you the story of COVID-19’s influence on people who are living alone. I live in Podgorica – Montenegro, my name is Zoran and I have already entered the seventh decade of my life. I am a heart patient with asthma. When the weather changes, the inhaler is my best friend, but that’s only it and I am living a good life for now.

To be honest, I didn’t consider COVID-19 a serious threat at first. I believed that televisions transmitted fake information and I didn’t give much importance to their news. I live in a populated area and while talking to the neighbors I realized that they didn’t believe much either and they were all easygoing about it. However, as time passed by, the situation changed. Relatives who in the beginning were constantly calling reduced the number of calls as if the coronavirus were portable by the phone. I didn’t blame them much. Fear was still not present.

As a retired man, I have been working in the garden daily and finishing my regular duties around the house. When you are working, you can hardly think of anything, but the night brings all, it reaches us. As my relatives called and visited less, I became more worried. Neighbors who would stop for a chat would now just walk by my house without turning their heads, just waving for greeting. A car would barely pass on the street and a person even less often. I‘ve started to watch TV just to hear another voice in the room. Listening to the news, I became paranoid about what would happen to humanity if the coronavirus defeated us. Odd thoughts occupied my old mind, so much that I had a choking attack in the middle of the night and ended up in the hospital. Relatives of course came to take me home and help with the paperwork, but they acted like I was contagious, covered from head to toe -I failed to get a decent conversation from them. No hug at all.

I wondered how it came that I had no one to talk to on some of the most regular topics? That I have no one to show how the flowers from the garden were growing? Not able to see someone’s smile when I say hello? They are all hidden behind colorful masks, pairing them with T-shirts to be spotted, with little eyes peeking out. They barely say hello and shaking hands is out of the question.

From a loner who loved being around people, I began to avoid them, disappointed at how little as a community we pay attention to those whom the pandemic did not bring coronavirus but it brought loneliness.

Today I am already used to this kind of life and hope that everything will soon be back to normal so that I can embrace the people I love and miss.