INTERVIEW / COPING TOGETHER



Things are changing very fast for us and the world. We are a safety app, but what is safety today? It sure isn’t what it was yesterday. Our compasses are outdated, and a learning from this pandemic is that nothing is certain and there are no rules.

Another learning is our pace. We have been in such a hurry. A rush to win over time. Everything had to be now, immediate and quick. We haven’t taken a pause to breathe in such a long time. Images are changing within seconds. Videos are uploading. We consume and we move at a very fast pace. The earth and even our minds are always far behind.

Now is the time to breathe and find a new way of living.

When in quarantine take the time to reflect, feel comfortable with yourself. As in every crisis there are opportunities, take the time to explore the possibilities of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) from Harvard, MIT, Microsoft and other top universities and institutions. Skype with friends and family. Learn a new language or visit one of the many museums with virtual tours. Start a blog or read someone elses. Now is the time to breath and find a new way of living.


This is a time for self reflection and staying humble and supportive of life, society and the people who are risking and losing their lives around us. From our separate quarantine in Sweden and Spain we reflect on our different situations and share our best advise on how to cope with isolation. Elin, you are in Spain, a country badly hit by Corona, how is your situation? We have been under strict lockdown for three weeks now. We were renting a house when Corona came and decided to stay put. Government has now extended the shutdown until April 26, but we expect it to be prolonged. Southern Spain is not as badly affected as Madrid or Barcelona. We are only leaving the house once a week for grocery shopping. You are only allowed one in the car and only to shop essentials. Safety measures like gloves and distance are strictly enforced and you hardly see any cars on the roads. Drones are used to control that people don’t break curfews. Stelios, what’s going on in Sweden?

Sweden has taken a different stance on this. The international community has been critical since most countries are taking stronger precautions. Personally I’m not sure about what to do. I’ve always believed that knowledge is power so I try to educate myself through different objective sources. Both national and international. Stockholm I feel hasn’t changed like you describe Elin. People go on with their business and you see a lot of posts on social media with people enjoying themselves out in cafes and restaurants. I also see a lot of elderly people out on the streets. How are you coping with the situation Elin?

I am fine but saddened by the whole situation of people dying and healthcare workers risking their lives. I am also worried about the economy at large and what the quarantine does to many. We can not predict the final outcome and the most successful strategies, but I would like to urge everyone to not be selfish - don’t put pressure on the hospitals, respect the curfews and be considerate that this affects everyone very differently and some very hard. In quarantine personally, I find it extremely important to keep routines, to structure my day: wake up in time, do my working hours, exercise, enjoy cosy meals and understand that this too will pass. Stelios, how are you? My conclusion is that staying home is the best thing for everyone. I never minded being isolated and alone so I have no trouble doing that. My days are not really structured since they never have been, but I try not to read and talk about Covid-19 too much. What worries me is what it does to people negatively. Many are hostile and almost aggressive. Those I distance myself from. Others, like myself, try to find something positive about this. As a spiritual person I find that the time I now get with myself is fortunate. This kind of loss is very different than we have ever experienced. For the first time we are losing something together and we should see that as a small comfort. We are not alone. There are so many things to do. Something amazing is to reach out to people you never would have otherwise. I’ve messaged with people I don’t know who are ill and they’ve appreciated it immensely, because as I said. No one wants to feel alone. RECOMMENDED SERIES Elin Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, 2020

Unorthodox, 2020

The Road to Calvary, 2017 Stelios Gray Gardens, 1975

Gone with the Wind, 1939 2001 a Space Odyssey, 1968

How to Survive a Plague, 2012 #stayhome #staysafe #staykind #covid19 #pandemic #gayzestories #quarantine /ELIN WIBELL AND STELIOS VASILANTONAKIS, CO-FOUNDERS

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