Radica Dragisic, a pensioner, and her husband spend the cold months in Nis, and warm ones in her family home in a village in the Balkan Mountains. The introduction of the state of emergency in Serbia mid-March started badly for her. March 13, she got the symptoms that are most often related to the coronavirus, and those are high temperature and dry cough. The Emergency Room didn’t respond to her calls. In the end, when she did get to see a doctor, she was only examined by a stethoscope and she was told that it was just seasonal flu. After eleven days of lying down in a condition that could be described as unconsciousness, the temperature and cough began to subside, and she slowly began to recover. She hasn’t been tested for Kovid-19 and despite her symptoms she will never know whether she was infected with this virus or not.
Throughout her illness, she and her husband strictly followed the recommendations of isolation. They didn’t leave their apartment. Food and other necessities were brought to their door by her children. After recovering, she and her husband went to their village house. The advantage of it over the apartment is great. The village has a large yard so she could get out of the house. Also, working in the garden made her forget about Kovid-19 and time passed quickly. In the village, everyone is disciplined and respects the recommendations. She believes that authorities should have considered more options when it comes to people over 65. They should have given anyone who owns a house or cottage in the country a chance to spend time there to help their families in the city by leaving them space, to be out in the fresh air and to strengthen their immunity. What was difficult for her was that she couldn’t see her grandchildren in person, only over the Internet.
Regardless the fact that she believes that various prohibitions were not quite necessary, Radica thinks that it is good to work on raising awareness about personal hygiene, about the attitude towards nature, and about mutual communication in critical times. It is necessary to develop empathy and care among people both for themselves and for others.
The first thing she will do once the state of emergency was lifted, is to go to the lake after 6pm to watch the sunset. She also hopes that her grandchildren will be able to spend their summer holidays with her in the countryside.
Radica Dragisic is one of the participants in the Wesley Channell’s photo exhibition Portraits of Serbia: Hope for the Future. You can read her story at the following link http://portraitsofserbia.rs/en/stories/radica-2/
Following the declaration of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, the state of emergency was introduced in Serbia on March 15, 2020. Shops and pharmacies are just one of the few industries that have been open during the state of emergency, and many citizens have faced various bans, including the curfew in the evenings as well as on weekends, while those over 65 had to stay in their homes almost all the time. The state of emergency was lifted after 53 days, and the citizens of Serbia are slowly beginning to return to their normal lives.