Coronavirus did not interest me much at first, because like almost everyone else I also thought it was just another flu. I thought it was far from us and that it would never get here. “China is a long way from here”, I used to tell myself. However, as the virus spread from country to country, I began to feel anxious, although I still expected to hear from the news that everything was over and that all of us would be safe. Once I realized that it was a matter of time before it got to Europe, I got properly scared. And now it’s here. I listen to all the recommendations by our experts, I always have my hand sanitizer with me, I disinfect everything in my apartment regularly, especially before preparing food. I cover my face with a scarf while I’m in the bus and we have protective masks and gloves
at work. When I saw other people buying food supplies in the store, I did the same. I still feel a bit dazed by everything that’s going on, but I know my fear is real. I no longer walk around Zagreb as I used to, I follow news and magazines on internet, and I talk to my parents and siblings a lot. I’m afraid of them getting infected. I wish I could be with them right now, and hug them tightly, but the most important thing is that they stay at home, safe and healthy. I hope they find a cure soon so that we can go back to our normal daily lives.

I was startled from sleep and I jumped from my bed because the whole apartment was shaking. At first I thought I was having a nightmare, but as I shook off sleep, I realized it was real. I was alone in the apartment when the earthquake hit. I got so scared when I realized what it was. I waited for it to be over and then I grabbed my jacket and ran from the apartment. I raced down the stairs and out of the building. Outside on the street I spotted my neighbours, who all looked as scared and confused as I was. I called my mother and as we talked and she comforted me, I kept wondering whether there would be more earthquakes and whether I was safe here on the street where it was freezing cold… this and other thoughts kept racing through my head. I couldn’t believe the timing – first coronavirus and then the earthquake. I kept my distance from the other neighbours, although I wanted a hug from someone more than anything. I would have preferred being with a family member and it helped me a lot when my sister made a video call after everything calmed down and were could go back inside. She told me to pack some clothes, documents, bottle of water and toiletries and put the bag near the door in case there was another earthquake. She also called me once an hour throughout the day, which helped ease my fears. I even managed to fall asleep in the evening. The whole experience was frightening, but I am now better prepared in case of another earthquake. And I just want everything to be normal again.