Faculty Lecturer in Public Relations, Dr. Nicolette Papastefanou, has been physically distancing since 1976…

Have you found teaching classes online more or less challenging?

Dr. Nicolette Papastefanou: More convenient! But also sad in one case. I had the capstone course this term and most of the class is graduating now. It felt strange to push that “end meeting for all” button knowing this was their last class.

As a result of COVID-19, we have added “physical distancing” to our lexicon…any tips or tricks?

Dr. Nicolette Papastefanou: This was my life before COVID-19! I have been physically distancing since 1976!

Have you developed any habits that you will continue once life gets back to normal?

Dr. Nicolette Papastefanou: Walking on the treadmill during my least productive time.



How do you stay focused while working and teaching from home?

Dr. Nicolette Papastefanou: I worked from home in the past, and voluntarily self-isolated for almost six months when I was writing my PhD. I’m good at compartmentalising tasks, so when I’m working on something, I ignore everything else. I also know when I’m productive, so I do the difficult stuff in the morning (highly productive time) and easier stuff in the afternoon like emails (my least productive time).

Do you have any tips for SCS students on how to stay social while physical distancing?

Dr. Nicolette Papastefanou: I think there is too much emphasis on having to stay social, which has created a “restlessness” you can literally feel. You can see this manifest in all the new joggers in the area and the oddly full parking lot at the Maxi (which was always quiet).  What it means to stay social differs for each person. For example, we are suddenly on Zoom all the time, but it’s exhausting. I am talking more to people than I did in real life, possibly because everyone is trying to stay social. I’m quite happy to just sit and not be social for a while. I’m at my best that way. I still talk to my family but have moved away from this drive to be social for the sake thereof. I was never actually social, so difficult to give advice on this.



Once the local travel restrictions have been lifted, where do you want to go?  Why?

Dr. Nicolette Papastefanou: Anywhere! Ok, probably to South Africa to see the family, maybe via the UK to see some friends. The one thing I have found harder to deal with is not having anywhere to go, being “stuck” in one place. I usually travel every three months or so, so this has been the hardest part for me. I was meant to be flying out home today actually for Greek Easter (which is on Sunday 19 April). I’ve made this trip every year since we’ve been here and have never missed a Greek Easter. This has definitely been the worst part for me. I am always planning my next trip.