Learning to appreciate: the reflections of Chidinma during 'Life in Lockdown'

It’s crazy that a year or even 6 months ago, people would have laughed at the idea of a pandemic taking over the world. This virus outbreak is said to be ‘the biggest global crisis since WWII or the Financial Crisis of 2008’. Many teenagers and young adults have found this scenario overwhelming – they haven’t experienced a problem as great as this and many of us are understandably anxious. What strikes me most, though, is how we have been robbed of our normal ways of life – simple things like leaving the house for work and school or meeting up with your friends have come to an abrupt halt. I have become somewhat reluctant to put on the news in fear of the worst. Day by day, the death toll around the world increases; roughly 65,000 people worldwide have sadly lost their lives and in the words of the British Prime Minister ‘many more will lose loved ones before their time’.

My mother is a midwife. She like many other ‘key workers’ (employees who provide vital service, especially in the police, health, or education sectors) are going to work and risking their own lives as well as their families’. It is scary knowing that many health workers across the world have died; it gives you feeling the that someone close to you will be next. I am so proud to have an NHS full of amazing staff; from doctors to nurses and midwives to porters, they are doing such a tremendous job and I don’t think rounds of applause is enough appreciation for the work they do. In this period of Lent, it is important for me to maintain my relationship with God. What has kept me going is knowing that God answers prayers and will never leave my side, even at a time like this. I have prioritised praying day and night for our world, political leaders, health workers, citizens and the most vulnerable.

For the first time since the post-war era, GCSE and A level exams have been cancelled. This came as a shock to many; I have friends that have been affected by this. However, I am hopeful that they will come out of this with the grades and university places they have worked so hard for. For me, school closing is not ideal – my year 12 mocks are scheduled for next month and there is so much uncertainty as to how and when these will take place. Children across the world have tuned into ‘remote schooling’ for the past two weeks – this is essentially school from home. I struggled to work at home during the first week and I’ve realised that it’s much easier to study at school. Thankfully, this week I managed to get into a pattern (although the workload feels heavier ☹).

I strongly believe that this whole situation calls for us to reflect, on our lives, our achievements and short comings, our successes and failures and so much more. It has been interesting to see the outpour of kindness and compassion shown by people, but you wonder why it took a deadly virus for people to be humane and caring. I hope that this experience, although unforeseen, helps us to understand what people who’ve lived through similar adversities like wars have been through. I hope we learn to be thankful for what we have in our lives and see that we are blessed, rather than being ungrateful. I have learnt not to take simple liberties for granted as they can be taken from you so quickly. I also appreciate people in my life a lot more. I hope we all learn to be better human beings – the world has been in quite a bad place over the past few years and if this virus teaches us anything, I hope it teaches us to BE KIND!

Whether you are overwhelmed or doing just about fine, the Coronavirus outbreak will go down as one of the most momentous things to happen in modern times, but we hope that it clears sooner rather than later.

Chidinma, an aspiring medic

Chelmsford County High School for Girls

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