Use this time to spread joy

Hanna Rybarczyk's desk

My name is Hanna Rybarczyk and I am a 17 years old and a student at The British School of Warsaw, Poland. I am very passionate about topics like Human Rights and Climate Change. I have been involved in environmental as well as equality clubs and I have been doing Model United Nations for 4 years now. My passion is science. I am striving to become a doctor or go to scientific research in the future. During this pandemic I have been in my home country. In Poland so far there have been more than 18.000 confirmed cases of COVID-19

Due to the recent events with COVID-19 most countries went into lockdown. Some more serious than others but still affecting many lives around the world. Schools have been closed and most people have been forced to stay in their homes.

This whole situation is very hard on everyone but what’s amazing about it is seeing how people are coming together to support one another through these tough times. I can see people celebrating the police and the doctors and nurses all around the world whose work is exceptional.


I have even noticed small, kind actions that people take a part in. For example in my small hometown, in Poland, people are helping others by buying groceries for the elderly so that they don’t have to risk getting infected. 

The Polish government has also taken many actions and created restrictions to prevent further spread of the virus. Poland, like many other countries, is currently going through social distancing. When social distancing began people under the age of 18 were not allowed to go outside without a chaperone.

This rule had been created to make sure that teenagers don’t meet up in big groups. Now this rule has eased a bit and teenagers over 13 years of age are allowed to go out on their own. This rule has changed as the number of people getting infected with COVID-19 has decreased and they wanted to make sure that the mental health of teenagers won’t be corrupted by social distancing.

Polish government has also dedicated a specific time from 10am to 12pm for people over 60 years of age, to have a priority in getting groceries and going into the stores as they are the ones that have the highest risk of getting infected. They also limited the amount of people that can be in a store at a time. Masks also have to be worn, at all times, when walking outside to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Human interaction

Most people respect the rules which forces them to limit the physical interactions with others. They have been supporting each other by creating challenges online to pass time and try something new during quarantine. Those challenges can be anything from exercises to baking to rap battles, to even trying to break random records.

That is a way for people to stay in touch with others who are going through the same situation. As humans we need to be around people because that is our nature. This situation made me realize how important human contact is on a daily basis and these challenges help make this more bearable since they create a sense of community. 

Studying with television

Another problem that COVID-19 has caused is closure of schools which has left many students worried about their future. The polish television has dedicated a program specifically for lectures on different subjects provided to kids of any age, from youngest classes to the ones taking their exams.

I think this is a great way to help ease the transition to online school and to give support to all students around the country. Many teachers have also been doing a great job of trying to help the students adjust and still be able to continue their learning.

This is very important to me, as a student, since the coronavirus did bring a lot of stress and uncertainty about my future. It makes me very happy to see people joining together to overcome the challenges which are brought by coronavirus and how most of them use this time to spread joy. 

Hanna Rybarczyk