Tanja Nikolic: Video conference call over coffee with friends

Nearly a month had passed since the state of emergency caused by the corona virus in Serbia was introduced. This decision affected the working day of the teachers and education staff, including Tanja Nikolic, an English teacher. For her, TV classes are very helpful, but it is still essential to get in touch with all her students. Even though it was chaotic in the beginning, over time teachers managed to organize themselves, and now it’s different. The students proved themselves to be responsible. Despite the fact that this kind of work requires a lot of time and all-day communication, the result of online interaction with students turned out to be effective.

Tanja takes the experts’ appeals very seriously. She goes out only to buy essentials and to visit seniors who are prevented from leaving their apartments or homes. Some people she knows are very scared, while others ignore the recommendations and it takes a lot of patience to explain to them why it’s important to stay home. She communicates with many friends from other countries. Solidarity is very important to her.

Together with five other colleagues, each evening at 8.30, she has a Viber video conference call over coffee. They exchange information and talk about things that cheer them up.

What she finds hard is the number of deaths. Since she is involved in politics, she is in contact with her colleagues from many cities in Serbia. It is not easy to hear about young people who haven’t been able to cope with the virus, the lack of masks and disinfectants in pharmacies, and the like. She admits that she can’t understand the contradictory information given by the country’s leaders that go from advice to go shopping to Milan through to messages that we are approaching Italian scenario. She believes it is very important that citizens have the right information and good explanations without threats and pressure.

Tanja believes that the world will not be the same after this crisis ends, and she sincerely hopes that people will learn to be better towards nature, and towards each other. She is eagerly awaiting the end of the crisis when she will gather all her friends and celebrate her birthday that took place during the state of emergency, and on that occasion, they will celebrate life.

As part of Wesley Channell’s photo exhibition Portraits of Serbia: Hope for the Future, Tanja Nikolic told us her views on Serbia. You can read her story at http://portraitsofserbia.rs/en/stories/tanja-4/

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