COVID-19 Diary: Should I Stay or Should I Go?


Should I Stay Or Should I Go?


20th March 2020:


Empathy! Solidarity! Togetherness!

We are shouting from our balconies in between the intervals of clapping. Buzzwords of the brink. But do we really care beyond the growing walls of our personal void? Have you got the energy to give a shit about everyone else – in a practical and meaningful way? Most of us are too busy constructing our individual coping routines.


8AM: Wake up, thanks to my alarm in the adjacent room. I’m trying to break up with my phone at this time. It’s sort of working, when I don’t get up in the night to listen to a podcast.

8:15AM: New yoga routine. Just fifteen minutes a day but it seems to set up the morning well.

8:30AM Shower. Breakfast. Radio.


I was on a train from Hamburg to Zurich when I had to make a quick decision on whether to abort mission and head back to Amsterdam or not. In 10 minutes I would be in Hannover where I could change onto a train to my current city of abode. A few years ago I immigrated from New Zealand to the Netherlands, where I met my now-boyfriend (a Colombian Swede) who has since moved to Switzerland. When I left Hamburg at 8:30am, I had word from the boyfriend that he had been sent home from the office as a colleague was possibly a positive case. Fuck. This is the closest we have come. Should I stay (on the train Zurich-bound) or should I go (back to Amsterdam, in case a lockdown occurs)? I stayed.

Now I wake each day in a city I do not though. Although that doesn’t matter. We could be anywhere.


‘It is only irritating to think one would like to be somewhere else.
Here we are now.’

– John Cage


It’s Day Three in Zurich. The day rolls on in an oscillation between knowing exactly what I am going to do, and not being sure due to an overabundance of options. In a moment, everything can be possible and everything can matter – and in the next, nothing matters at all.


I’m bored

I’m the chairman of the bored
I’m a lengthy monologue
I’m livin’ like a dog

– I’m Bored, Iggy Pop (1979)