Andreja Brulc's Blog

Day 1 [16 March 2020]: COVID-19 Lockdown: First Day of No School/Happy Doodling/My nephew [an extract from the diary]

Posted in Covid-19/Lockdown Diary, Sketchbook by andrejabrulc on 16/03/2020

A doodle is when you’re making something intuitively and you’re not quite sure what it’s going to be, but you feel good about what it is you’re doing. – Jon Burgerman, The Art of Doodling

It is the first day of the lockdown. My 14-year-old nephew Luka said that he would never ever have expected his school to be totally closed due to something like ‘a’ virus — of course, he honestly added, and I do not blame him, that he often wished the school to have been shut for other (fun) reasons! I reminded him of our time during 10 days of the war for independence in June 1991, when our lives came to a total standstill, and, in particular, how badly university students, including myself, were effected as the conflict happened in the middle of the examination period! The exams were all postponed — but I told him that in that period 7 students (official statistics, as one will never forget that!) at the University of Ljubljana committed suicide due to this enormous extra external pressure that was put upon us. I know, a very morbid discussion with a teenager, but the comparison was the closest to what I imagined he has been going through now in his immediate environment — he took this onboard very well indeed as the war is part of his national history.

Children at that age are emotionally vulnerable as they are trying to fit in with their mates as searching for their place in society, but they need to be gradually prepared for such life disruptions, of which we have no control of, as they are bound to happen now even more often! Such disruptions can happen overnight as Brits have experienced with Brexit, as they can turn one’s life upside down. So adults ought to prepare kids now more how to learn to cope with stress, as they are bound to be more exposed to the news because of social media, then our generation ever was when we were growing up! One needs to remember that panic is stress and that stress leads to lowering one’s immune system, and, therefore, a bigger risk to fall prey to our common enemy: COVID-19!

At least we both agreed, even if not ideal, that now his friends can communicate via social media for free (not in our time) — and parents should NOT stop them from doing so, given the current situation as these are exceptional times! And that they can carry on with their school work conducted via long-distance learning, the practice of which is an experiment for many European countries and only the time will tell whether it works or not for that age group.

And — he departed as a happy boy, with a bag of 80 colour markers for his doodling plus fineliners, which arrived with my other art material from London last week JUST ON TIME! Who knows — in my case — when and how I will be able to return! The markers were going to be a present for his Confirmation at Easter, now cancelled, but I thought why not gift him prematurely as so much time now to keep his passion growing! He told me that he kept thinking about the markers ever since they arrived last Thursday! So, this made me very happy, too!

The time of social distancing may well prove to be the best time to think about one’s personal growth — the luxury most of us, adults, can not afford in our normal hectic lives — as one can concentrate on improving one’s existing skills or learn something new while keeping oneself occupied at home!

Happy doodling time for him! He has been doodling for a few years now, creating all sorts of weird robotic and fantastic characters – he loves the fantasy world of Hobbits and Harry Potter as well as science fiction world of Avengers to name a few. This time he has been following Instagram tutorials on how to use colour by markers. But it may now be sometime before he can get a Sketchbook delivered.

[PS: He received the Sketchbook a few days later – and has since sent me some examples of his doodling.]

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