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OL On The Streets: Viral Reporting

Paul Jacquemard - Photograferosqledaren@ths.kth.se

Viveka Brockman - Authorviveka.brockman@osqledaren.se

KTH is closed to all students for an uncertain period of time. The existence of the Corona Virus COVID 19 has certainly not slipped anybody's mind. OL was lucky enough to get the chance to talk to some students the last day before the official KTH Campus shutdown. We asked them what they were still doing on campus during such a time of paranoia, what they were up to, and what they were planning to do in the case of a campus shutdown.

Vijay Sai

“I’m not so afraid of the virus because I take my safety measures. And also it’s sunny today!”

He’s happy to be sitting outside near KTH entré with his friend.

“I avoid… well I shouldn’t say I avoid public transportation, since I commute to campus… but I avoid touching the railings and when I go back to my lab, we tend to wash our hands pretty perfectly. Also I maintain a constant influx of water and I have my mask which I carry.”

He proudly unzips his backpack and shows me his facemask. Since he’s working on his thesis, he’s hoping to make his time in quarantine productive, but notes that:

“Since I cannot meet people, it becomes so depressing and boring.”

To combat the boredom, he plans to still hang out with friends, but limit the number in accordance with his safety measures. During times of social isolation, it is highly likely that some students might decide to launch Netflix. OL decided to see how students interpret a new term about this phenomenon. When asked to define Netflix Shame, he suggests several answers:

“Too much of Netflix, or getting bored of Netflix, or getting addicted.”

There’s no right or wrong answer here, but it seems like a personally attacking question. Finally, life in quarantine can be tough, so I asked if an infinite supply of something would help:

“One specific thing: I can survive on fruits. I don’t need any other food. I would go for green apples, I love green apples. Totally addicted to it!”



Maithreyi Suresh Iyer

She also takes some safety measures: won’t meet too many of her friends, keep hands clean, and will ride her bike instead of taking public transport.

“I heard that one supermarket was doing this really cool thing where they let the elderly in only for an hour, where they can stock up. I came across it on the internet and thought it was really cool. Look out for people, if you have too much of something, share! Don’t buy all the toilet paper!” are some of her pro tips!

When asked what her infinite item of choice would be, she first attempts to evade the question:

“You can’t say: I just need rice, because you need something else. You need to be careful about nutrition also. I think lagom is the way to go, hysteria isn’t going to help anybody.”

But when strongly encouraged, she goes for:

“I think women always go for chocolate. Chocolate really helps.”

Lastly, she tries to define the term:

“I think Netflix shame is this vortex that you go into.”

She describes the feeling: “I feel so bad about Netflix-ing, but I have nothing else to do! When you say shame, the only thing that comes to my mind is Game of Thrones going: Shame!”



Guo-Jhen and Edward Liu

Do you think KTH has been taking the proper measures to address the pandemic?

“No! They’re too slow. Look at the United States, look at other governments. I mean, you can’t be too cautious.”

They’re both waiting for more information, hoping that they won’t have to come back to campus. Working from home won’t be too different for them, but they’re happy about prospects of not having to commute.

If you can’t leave home, what is an essential item to have an infinite supply of?

“I do have my preferences for food… I would say beef. I want steak.”

Would you go for the same? I ask his friend.

“Pizza, frozen pizza!”

Imagine for a second, infinite frozen pizza! His friend’s comeback argues strongly for his own suggestion:

“It’s protein, okay?”

Trying to define Netflix Shame:

“I do feel the difference in quality on Netflix and traditional platforms. The pace of the episodes is quite slow. There are some shows that were good and then Netflix bought it. I can feel the quality and spirit changes. It’s more of a discussion of the financial system. After netflix takes over, it’s more about consumption and entertainment. It’s shame on them!”



Hannah and Emmy

The girls are on campus because they had a lecture, remember the good old times?

Their families are sick and they aren’t too thrilled about being home alone in their single apartments. To combat the loneliness, they’re hanging out in the sunlit Borggården, having a fika. In her defence, she says:

“My brother has Corona, so i really can’t go home!”

Agreeing that KTH acted a bit too late, they think it’s important to address the issue university wide. They worry about labs (chemists, you know), but also about what CSN will do for students.

“It’s really hard to get the credits now. If we don’t have CSN this year, maybe we will have to get a job next year!”

Even students are being hit financially by the pandemic, but they hope that CSN will change something to help students out. Even if school closes, they think students should be given some financial support.

They both admit that during these times, Netflix is definitely on the agenda:

“You’re ashamed because you’ve watched very very bad things on Netflix… or maybe Netflix shame is if you don’t have Netflix.”

Her friend says:

“maybe it’s when you watch too much Netflix, I can relate to that. Especially now when you don’t have anywhere to go to study.”

Their essential items for surviving quarantine catch me by surprise:

“You know what i’m going to say, right?”

“Yeah, Billy’s Pizza!”

“No, tobacco! You know, snus. If i don’t get that, I will be pretty… upset.”

Her friend comes up with what might be a more rational answer: she would be satisfied with lots of cans of beans. She goes on to tell the horror story of her brother who was infected and had to spend a whole day locked in his apartment without toilet paper. Such an intimidating prospect convinces her snus enthusiastic friend to change her mind: she’d give up the infinite snus for infinite bathroom security. Wouldn’t you, too?

For more information about the term “Netflix Shame,” check out our article with this title in the English section!


Publicerad: 2020-04-27

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Ansvarig utgivare: Simon Sundin
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