WICK (2nd year)
"I think having a pet during lockdown would help many people’s mental health. Having someone to take care of and that allows you not to being alone in your room with your thoughts and the negative energy coming from the outside is vitally important right now. Last week I asked my mum to bring the dog over my apartment to spend time with him. I didn’t feel necessarily lonely – I’m lucky I have amazing friends and roommates. But I can’t sit in my room alone for two days or I will go crazy. I need to focus on something and go somewhere, and having my dog by my side made everything easier. In the morning when I wake up, he comes near my bed and waits for me to take him out. This helps you to structure your day. Waking up with someone that unconditionally loves you, really allows you to start the day differently. The moment you wake up you are instantly happy. Having a dog really gives you a purpose to go out during the day, even if it is just for a couple of hours. One day I went to the city center to walk him and several strangers came up to me for a chat. I’m Dutch and this has never happened to me before. I think during these times people are feeling lonely and they started appreciating more things they took for granted during normal times: the importance of physical touch and having someone they can talk to anytime they need. During lockdown, we can barely touch any people, so if you can touch another living being it really makes a difference for people. If anything, dogs really help you make new friends. You have that thing in films where a man and a woman go to the park with the dogs and they fell in love. I’m sure that if everyone had a dog and they went to a park, not only it would be helpful for our own physical and mental health, but we wouldn’t need Tinder anymore."