By Keziah Cracknell
As the number of cases in the UK and across the world increases, COVID-19 continues to shut down different aspects of our daily lives. With the most important members of our society, Nurses, Doctors, supermarket staffers, delivery drivers, and others, under increasing workloads, the rest of us are isolated and unsure what to do within the confines of our homes.
With celebrities posting videos to their thousands of followers and streaming services and broadcasters changing their policies, it seems like there’s no shortage of things to watch and do, but staying indoors all day takes its toll on all of us eventually, and as more and more restrictions are placed on us for protection every day, what are we supposed to do?
With everyone giving tips on how to lockdown efficiently, the greatest concern of mine as a university student is the mental wellbeing of people.
With many people trying their best to live their lives through a screen, our interactions with actual people are at a minimum, and human beings are social creatures. We crave interaction.
Yesterday was my first experience of online church, where everyone was encouraged to join in a group video call. It shows how much people still crave interaction as people stayed online to chat long after ‘Church’ had finished. This just showed me the need that everyone has, the longing to be each other’s company.
Many university students are trying to get home as soon as possible with fears that the restrictions put in place will stop them first.
Many international students are stuck in Huddersfield, even though they have booked flights home, as more and more flights are cancelled each day in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.
Even though I can’t help people get home, I thought it would be good to give a few tips as a student on what to do while you’re in isolation and away from home at university:
- Have a structure to your day, plan ahead like you would any other day and make sure to set yourself tasks and goals.
- Stay on top of your university assignments and work.
- Work if you have a job that you can do from home! It may take some time to adjust, but you’ll be grateful to have that structure to make sure you’re not lazing in bed all day!
- Go outside, obviously, keep in mind social distancing and always follow the advice given by the NHS. Your garden would be ideal if you have one, fresh air stops cabin fever.
- Call someone. Maybe someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, friends and family are also looking to socialise, and they will appreciate you checking in on them.
- Have fun socialising in different ways. Sounds vague, but only because this will be different for everyone. Maybe it’s watching a film, working out, or playing some board games – but just try and use this time to grow closer to others who are maybe under the same roof as you, such as roommates or your family. There are tons of different things you can do as a group, even when separated from each other!
It is easy to act complacent in this time of isolation, I am including myself in that. But, imagine what we could achieve for ourselves, for those closest to us, a greater friendship is all anyone needs to get through. We could just watch Netflix on repeat (which is understandable!) or we could use some of that time to grow closer to each other, and show this virus who’s boss.
I don’t want isolation to rule our lives, but for us to rule isolation. Cheesy I know, but as J.R.R. Tolkien said: “We could do so much more with the time that is given to us”.