By Oba, 18, Hertfordshire, UK
I remember getting a text from a friend at the start of February about a suspected case of Coronavirus at her university. I remember laughing it off as if it was nothing more than a problem, far removed from my day to day life, friends or family. Fast forward 4 months to the end of May. After nearly 10 weeks in ‘lockdown’ my outlook on the virus and its impact on my life as well as wider society has significantly changed.
Much of the time i’ve spent in lockdown has been somewhat of a blur. The first few days were nothing more than surreal. After leaving school abruptly and being separated from my friends I struggled to stay focused and motivated. My days started late and ended even later. 3am bedtimes and 1pm wake ups became the norm. Thankfully, after this initial period of free fall I feel like i’m in more control and have managed to develop a routine of sorts. I have spent my days reading, running, baking and learning Norwegian. A strange combination yes but one that has helped me fill the void the lockdown has created.
Although individual countries have managed to effectively halt the spread of the virus, one my biggest takeaways of this crisis has been the apparent failure of the global community to work together in order to tackle the issues COVID has created. I hope that in finding effective treatments, vaccines and bringing about a ‘new normal’ unilateral action will be replaced by international cooperation.
I think the coronavirus crisis has had and will have a significant impact on Generation Z. From an educational standpoint I think the impact of the crisis has been profound. Whether it be students coming to the end of secondary school (like me) or those right in the middle of their education, everyone has lost out in one way or another. Though they have been effective, to a certain extent, online lessons whether it be on Zoom or Microsoft Teams, cannot be seen as substitute for face to face tuition; we need to get back into our classrooms. I do think however, that this crisis will undoubtedly have an impact on the way students are taught in schools and I expect to see online learning form a more and more integral part of education in the years to come.
Mental wellbeing is another issue of great importance to me and my peers in this generation and I think this crisis has had both a positive and negative impact on the issue. Social distancing and quarantining have left many, myself included, feeling far more isolated and vulnerable than usual. The crisis has however shone an important light on the issue. The importance of reaching out to friends and family and asking things as simple as ‘how are you’ has never been more clear.