North Macedonia – April 2 2020

'I see the positive in everything'

A woman from North Macedonia talks about life under quarantine

"I am a 20-year-old law student from Skopje, North Macedonia. I also work in a bank. I live with my older brother who is 24 and has a light mental developmental disorder. As of last week, we are both in home self-isolation because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"My brother fully understands the gravity of the situation and, like me, tries to enjoy being at home. He especially likes it when we cook and watch movies together. Often we watch cooking videos, workout videos, and play board games and cards, like Ludo and others, which make us feel like children again. He is happy that we finally have time for each other. Last year, I had two jobs and studied. I spent so much time focusing on my obligations that there were times when we would not see each other for days. He was lonely and depressed.

"We don't know how long this situation will last. The situation affects my personal plans for the coming months. Again, I am the type of person that sees the positive in everything. I think that we all need to take out the best from this situation and learn from it – and for me that is that nothing is more important than yourself and your loved ones, their health and yours. Only if we are healthy can we gain and achieve everything we want later on in life."

Marija Cvetanovska has received support from the family strengthening programme of SOS Children’s Villages Macedonia since 2018, and she also participates in their employability programme.