Covid-19: A Youth Perspective
2020 will undoubtedly be remembered for years, decades and even centuries to come as the year the world stood still. We will look back at a time when families stayed behind closed doors in the midst of global self isolation; a time when schools turned their lights off to youth and students found themselves living through an era of history that will one day be taught to their grandchildren. Roads, streets, towns and cities lay eerily quiet as the public watched on through glass screens as the raging bustle of London thinned to just a trickle of voices every couple of hours.
This may all be true, but right now we still have the future to look forward to, when all of this boredom and pain will be reduced to a memory of a world before Covid-19. A future where many will look back at this time through the glasses of grief, but also as a period of reflection when we saw communities and countries unite just like the families in national self isolation. Yes we became separated by distance, and yet we grew closer in spirit. It was a time for parents to grow closer to their children through the precious gift of time; for building memories and relationships that would last lifetimes. It was a time when the clapping of hands echoed down roads and reverberated off of houses in support of our NHS workers in a gesture of collective support and mutual respect. Perhaps most importantly, it was a time when we all learned to put others before ourselves.
At 15 years old, the 20th of March 2020 was my last day in secondary education; almost 100 days early. The school doors were shut that night as I along with the rest of the nations year 11s and year 13s were left with our vital qualifications (GCSEs and A-levels) up in the air and yet despite an atmosphere of tension frustration and fear looming over many, it was ultimately a unanimously accepted decision that putting our health and the health of others first was the only choice that could have been made. On that day we trusted our government with the course of our lives because each one of us understood the importance of putting health first and the urgency that was needed to keep the country safe.
Now, weeks on and we have all begun asking ourselves, what legacy do we want to leave on this world? At the end of this pandemic we will all be held responsible by generations to come for what follows; for what we plant for them at this very moment, and for what we build for them that will long outlive us.
So what story do we want to tell them? In war it is said that the victors are the ones who write history, and in this brief moment in time of which the world has never seen before we will be the ones to come of this smarter, stronger and more resilient than ever before and so, it is now that we must begin to sow the seeds which will rebuild a country and a world that works for everyone, to make laws and change laws; to make a new start. The legacy of 2020 has already been written, but the future is out there for us to shape and it is our duty and should be our legacy to be the ones to make that change.