Zeynep Ergun, Calgary AB

COVID Across Canada: Short Takes

November 17, 2020

Keep It Simple


Friends: Zeynep Ergun (pictured on the left) and Seran Celik, an alumna of the project, who helped Zeynep tell us about her life, and what she did during the pandemic, and future expectations.


I am a stay-at-home mom with my kids in grade 3 and kindergarten. I stay busy raising my kids and doing housework. When the COVID spread in Calgary, we panicked. We didn’t stock up on food or toilet paper, and we were worried about getting infected by the virus. It was so scary.

On March 16, schools shut down, and my kids started online classes. I was worried that they would get behind with their education and social needs. At that time, I was busier than usual, trying to keep them occupied. Our free time became daily activities of crafts, reading, book study, and playing, but unfortunately, they got bored, and most of the time, they were interested in spending time in front of the screen.


“During this time, I learned how I could live life with basic, simple, and minimal needs.”


I wasn’t bored staying at home because I don’t have regular daily activities other than shopping. I was interested in sewing, so I learned from YouTube. I had fun sewing lovely bags, but I missed getting together with my best friend. Thankfully, we can see our family and friends with smartphones, which helps us emotionally, but it is still complicated psychologically.

My husband was working as a taxi driver. He was an essential worker, but it wasn’t busy after a while, so he was laid off. Now we all stay home together. Our daily life routine has changed. We have fun together, we are not bored, and we all agree to stay home to be safe.

When I had time, I asked myself: what is important to me?  I will share my answers here. Staying at home together without health risk is valuable. The most important thing to have is mental health. And, if I have one extra small bag of flour, then I have enough food. During this time, I learned how to live life with basic, simple, and minimal needs.  At the beginning of COVID, this was my short- term goal, but now it has become my long-term goal, and my long- term goal got an extension.


Zeynep Ergun was born in Izmir, Turkey. She studied accounting at Dokuz Eylul University in Turkey and moved to Canada in 2009. She took a few English classes at the CCIS in Calgary. She has two kids, 6 and 9 years old. She plans to continue school when her son starts grade one.


Art by Emily Honderich


We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.