Yaël De Neve, 25, lives in Evergem, Belgium, where she works as an ethics teacher and a counselor at a special education middle and high school.
Since in-person classes have been cancelled due to the lockdown, continuing this work has been difficult, as many of her students lack the support and materials they would need to do their work at home. In spite of this, De Neve has sent each of her students specialized work based on what she believes they can handle.
In addition to shutting down schools until at least May 3, the Belgian government has a number of other regulations in place, including restricting non-essential travel. According to De Neve, more restrictions will likely be put into place soon.
She said the lockdown has been difficult on everyone.
“We were lining up outside of the supermarket,” said De Neve, “and we just hear these grandmas talking about, you know, it’s been worse than World War II.”
During World War II, Belgium, as well as many other European countries, had to take many precautions to keep their citizens safe, including implementing restrictions and having people wait in lines for rations.
“What they mean, I guess,” said De Neve, “having to wait outside and stuff, it must feel more like back then. I’m not really sure what the comparison would look like otherwise.”