Daniela Medina, 23

Daniela Medina, 23, is currently in medical school at Universidad Del Rosario. But she’s stuck, since this was the semester she was supposed to be in clinical practice, working with patients, and that has been cancelled due to the novel coronavirus.

“Eventually these practices have to be replaced at some point,” she said. “So, the duration of my major will most likely be extended.”

Medina, who lives in Bogotá, Colombia, said she had a lot of anxiety in the days before the virus overtook her country, but it has been worse than she feared.

“I didn’t understand the magnitude of the consequences it could bring,” she said.

COVID-19 has deeply affected Colombia’s economy. Medina said there are many people who live paycheck to paycheck, including her family.

“I’m afraid of not knowing how long we are going to be like this, without making any money,” she said. “But I’m grateful we are OK.”

Colombia only allows one person per family to leave their home for essential activities like buying groceries, walking dogs and emergencies. Masks are also mandatory on public transportation.

Medina says they are about to end the national quarantine and the government is planning to slowly reopen the country by May. She said school and universities would continue their online classes, people older than 60 required to stay at home and limiting groups to 50 people.

Being in quarantine has been frustrating for Medina, even though she calls herself a “homebody.”

“It’s not the same to stay at home out of obligation,” she said.

Regardless, it has helped her appreciate and value her family, her home and enjoy time with her dogs.

“To think of [quarantine] as the only way I can contribute and take care of myself, my family and my community,” Medina said. “It changes my perspective.”

Edda León is a born and raised Venezuelan writer. She believes journalists are the gatekeepers of democracy and information is the most powerful tool you can give to people.