Covid-19 is spreading and we see everyday news about Covid-19. What we can do is to help to #flattenthecurve by #stayingathome and #socialdistancing. Therefore, we asked some of our members how they experience the crisis, how they have been affected and what their country is doing against Covid-19. To share also some positive points, our members will give recommendations on what we can do while staying most of the day at home.

Today we speak with Ilay Ozsan who reports from Turkey and how she experiences the Corona crisis as a medical student.

SCC: How are you and where you are staying right now?

Ilay: I live in Ankara. Just like everyone else, I also feel worried about the coronavirus pandemic because it is something that we have never faced before. We do not know much about the virus, and it is spreading all around the world at a horrific rate. I am making an effort to stay calm and trying to control the viral propagation by taking simple precautions and educating friends and acquaintances.

How is Turkey reacting to the Corona crisis?

The schools are closed in Turkey and many of the hospitals have been designated as pandemic centers. These hospitals test as many suspected cases as possible. Media campaigns, including television and social media, are encouraging people to stay at home and maintain social distancing. They are also encouraging everybody to work from home if they can. People older than 65 years old are not allowed to go out, and people with symptoms are self-isolating for at least two weeks. Some banks and shopping malls are closed. Concerts, meetings, gatherings, and social activities have been canceled.

Now we would like to get to know more about your personal situation: How are you affected by the Corona crisis?

I am a fifth-year medical student at Ankara University. The university is closed and my classes have been suspended, which may delay my graduation. On a more personal level, I am worried for my family and friends who may be affected.

How do you experience the Corona crisis as a medical student?

The university hospital is being used to test potential coronavirus cases. The ones who test positive are also treated here. All the doctors at the university, including my professors, are tirelessly to treat patients. I appreciate and admire their resilience, courage and hard work. The medical staff here is on the front-lines, at great personal risk, and is helping in this area regardless of their specializations.

What is for you most important concerning the Corona crisis?

I think this pandemic will make us realize how important it is to have pandemic response plans in place so that societies are better equipped to deal with similar situations in the future. I also hope that in the future we will be more cautious of the factors that led to this pandemic spreading so quickly.

What would you recommend our readers to do right now? How should we act now?

We should take the necessary measures and not panic. Specifically, we should keep our hands and environment sanitized as much as possible and we shouldn’t go out, if possible. If we do have to go out, we have to avoid close contact with people. Social distancing is the key to breaking the chain of transmission. Also, everyone needs to realize that this pandemic is a global crisis and all countries need to support each other to control it as soon as possible in order not to suffer from its negative physical, mental, social and financial impacts in the long term.

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