Puh, these past couple of weeks have been anything but normal for many people around the world. The COVID-19, Coronavirus pandemic, has caused a disruption in many people’s lives, with shut down schools and quarantines. Once I and my other three close friends realised the severity of the spread, we began to plan for how we were to deal with the new situation. The university shut down and all our lectures and classes were cancelled. Our initial idea was to stick together. Quarantine ourselves under the same roof and support each other throughout the hardships. Undertaking our online university here in England. Then one of us considered to fly back home to their family. This made the rest of us look up for flights back as well.
I was not easily convinced. In the past months, I had made England my home. I was not ready to leave the country ’just like that’. After some deliberating with both my friends and family, I decided to book a flight two days later. There was a risk that the airspace would get shut down, it was time to act fast. I arrived home and got settled into my new reality relatively fast. The big question was and still is, for how long this reality will remain?
The university was generous enough to let its campus residents, including myself, out of the campus accommodation rental agreement earlier than expected. About 80 percent of all campus’ staff and student residents have left the area completely. Returning back home as all local shops and venues have completely shut down. Before the shutdown of the university, we had already experienced several weeks of striking lecturers and teachers. This made us miss out on the majority of our second term (and parts of the first one as well). In some modules I haven’t had a lecture since the middle of February. We find ourselves in an extremely peculiar situation, where it’s difficult to determine how exactly this will affect our education, as for the moment we are on spring break. We still have deadlines though.
Getting used to online university
The university is determined to make sure we get our marks and can finish this year at university through the use of online learning. When the activity resumes in March, it will be through online learning. Lecturers and teachers continue to be available via email for guidance. Everything feels very strange. I was supposed to continue my life in England and be with my friends. Now everything changed and I find myself wondering when it will all get back to normal. However, it will never go completely back to what it was after such an overwhelming time like this.
We are currently living through a pandemic and thousands of people are dying on a daily basis from the Coronavirus. It is impossible to even imagine the reality care workers all around the globe experience in this very moment. So many people are loosing loved ones to this virus. Lonely elders that are deprived of human contact in their quarantine. Workers who have lost their job on the day and is trying to figure out how to make ends meet. Many people are suffering different hardships and for the first time in this millennium, all countries find themselves in the same situation.
An uncertain future
However, our courses will continue through online university, the tuition is still due. Many students will struggle as jobs disappear and the whole world economy is crippling under our feet. I must say that I am having a hard time focusing on writing essays when other things seem more important for now. I help my grandma with her grocery shopping and afterwards we wave to each other as she stands on her balcony and I stand on the street below. It gives me a reason to leave the quarantine for a bit and take a break from my assignments. We will get through this in one way or another, but until then, we must all realise what individual responsibility we can take in order to get the world back on its feet. Small acts of kindness to fellow citizens and loved ones will go a long way.
Feel free to contact me for more info about my story or share your own enthusiasm. Other questions or your own tips for a Fresher like me in the comments below