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Articles > Coronavirus December, 02, 2020

The year the Earth stood still: What Covid taught me…

Sophie Francis
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It’s been a strange year, 2020. It’s the year that the Earth stood still. Covid has completely changed this year and some of the effects will be lasting. The world has changed a lot, and it’s been a year where I’ve learnt a lot too…

People can be stupid

The first thing I learnt is that some people are incredibly stupid. I wasn’t completely unaware of that fact. My dad often said that most people are of below-average intelligence. It was only this year that I realised how right he was.

As lockdown began and the safety measures followed each other like a very real game of dominoes nudged by our government, it became so very clear. A few weeks before this when I was still at University, I’d already seen that stupidity in action. Toilet roll and pasta were the first to fall victim to the ‘panic buying’.

We did not have food storage as some said. I decided that there was a different problem. The reality was we had common sense storage. You can’t say you have food storage when you can see that someone has purchased fifteen packages of chocolate biscuits as if they were preparing for the apocalypse. It wasn’t just the panic. It was the blatant disregard for the rules placed there for our safety. When the basic freedoms that we took for granted are taken away, even for our safety, we can be so stubborn. It may have been a minority, but it was enough to infuriate me.

The kindness of others

The next thing I learnt is that people could be so caring. I’ve heard of course of people doing random acts of kindness. This, however, was not random. Sir Captain Thomas Moore had raised £32 million for the NHS. He did, in less than a year, more for the NHS then Hunt or Hancock did in their entire tenure as health secretary. He was knighted for his troubles and while I have never been a fan of titles to say he deserved his, would be the understatement of the century.

We are strong! Creative! Brave!

I’ve learnt that we’re strong. Of course, there are those out there that struggled. There are many out there that died. But strength is not measured by how much we struggle or feel weak. It’s measured by how we try and deal with that. To help society even when we need it ourselves. To be human even when it’s easier to be. That’s what being strong is about.

I’ve learnt that people can be creative. Several times during lockdown parodies of songs made me laugh. I’ve appreciated video chat and the ways people tried to gain some sense of normality by using it. ‘ While I knew that there were creative people out there, I never knew how many. Neither did I know how well time and boredom on your side brought it out.

I’ve learnt that people are brave. While many stayed at home others out to work. They put their lives in danger to keep our nation running. I’ve never been prouder of my parents: a nurse and GP. It was not just NHS either. There were food delivers, bin collectors, shop staff, teachers etc. the unsung heroes who deserve a mention too.

We are lucky in some ways…

I’ve learnt to appreciate technology. When we couldn’t see people in person, we used video chat. We worked out ways around the self-isolating hours caused by COVID by using technology. In March, on my birthday, schools shut their doors indefinably. Children switched to online learning. But not every child had access. That six-month gap will forever impact their education The already massive attainment gap between children from high socioeconomic status backgrounds and their counterparts only widened. Thanks to technology we fulfilled our human need to socialise. Some people were not so lucky. More than once I have wondered what would happen if coronavirus had happened in 1950.

But I think the most important thing I have learnt is…

…that we can be so close to each other even when we feel so far away. Well, that and that the 3 kg of pasta and the 10 kg of rice in my room were both more valuable than gold dust. And to think I used the later as a doorstop


What have you learnt this year? Be sure to leave a comment below! 

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Hobbies, COVID-19 Pastimes, Dungeons and Dragons

 

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