My experience of lockdown

The recent pandemic (Covid-19) has impacted education systems in universities around the world. The impact has been dramatic for institutions, academics, and students looking for workable short term solutions for online teaching and learning. The unique challenge facing higher education encouraged DEN to look for opportunities to stay in contact with students using online facilities.  Through the academic initiative, we invited students to meet and organise feasible and appropriate projects at this time. Using Inside Westminster we have agreed that students will write an article and or provide a 5 minutes video of their reflection and experience of Covid-19.  We have encouraged students from all over the world to express their stories and share them with each other, hoping that this would provide a channel not only to learn but also to engage with each other. Hence, the following articles in this section are students’ reflections/experiences of Covid-19

Everyone’s lockdown has been different, but this is my version.

Rekindling old flames

Admittedly I have not exercised a lot or eaten the healthiest, but I have enjoyed many hobbies during these past four months. Dusting off my art supplies, I decided to pick up a paintbrush after four years. Whether the birds are chirping or the wind is howling outside, I draw and paint away for hours on end. Boardgame night has also made a return to my household in lockdown. While I have not won a game of Monopoly or Scrabble, a screen-free night is a therapeutic break.

Let’s get Quizzical

Like many in lockdown, my friends and I hopped on the quiz bandwagon and have been creating our rounds. From general knowledge to a (very revealing) sex round, we get away from the outside world. Yet the pandemic will always creep into the conversation; our phones and television screens constantly buzz with more updates on the outside world. It has impacted us all in one way or another and snaked its way into our lives. With every quiz, though, we check-in and ask how each other and their families are doing.

Knowledge is Power

Once my first year at Westminster finished, I immediately scanned the reading lists for next year and ordered as many books as I could find. As I write, there is a pile of books on the fireplace waiting to be read. Varying from civil rights to middle eastern politics, all are intriguing. Reading the history of the US civil rights movements has been very revealing, in that only a mere snapshot of the campaign was presented in my history lessons. Lockdown has been a time of opening my mind and widening my knowledge. Not only is reading giving me a head start for next year but making me better equipped to tackle any challenge in life.

The Future

How can we ever go back to normal?

The outside world now feels alien to me. Coronavirus has created an undeniable fear in people’s minds for months if not years. It will be ingrained in our descendants’ history books as pre- and post-pandemic. As a shielding person, I feel hand sanitiser may become a necessity rather than a choice for when I can go outside again. Even then, I will have to wear masks and gloves to protect me. It will be scary to be back at work or travelling into university when I have spent countless days inside playing with my cat or bingeing tv shows, but I know it will be good for me. There is a glimmering ray of light, however. People not only understand the vitality of a public health service like the NHS, but the importance of a support system around them. We must not let the fear take hold of our lives but instead, venture outside when safe to do so and confront this different world together.

By: Sophie Mac Donald, 1st Year History and Politics student

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