Life in Lockdown – “We should applaud ourselves for adapting"

Sussex Student Jenny Bathurst is hoping to study journalism at the University of Brighton (Eastbourne campus).

Jenny Bathurst
Jenny Bathurst

The coronavirus crisis has robbed her of the chance to sit A levels. We have asked Jenny to share her thoughts on the difficult times we are living through... Here is her latest contribution.

"Cancelled, rescheduled, postponed, moved: these are the words that have been flooding my inbox and Instagram feed for the past six weeks as pre-planned events and trips away have slowly been filtering out of my calendar. Beginning in mid-2019 I had been desperately planning and organising trips and days out to make my summer before university the most enjoyable yet, however, as most of us have experienced recently, it seems that will no longer be the case. Festivals, holidays, and this week in particular two trips to the theatre, have been called off due to the coronavirus outbreak and I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t bitterly disappointed. I would consider myself a natural organiser and to know that I had so much to do with so much to prepare was exciting for me, yet with this let down, I feel I must keep a poker face, be glad even. This pandemic is the most life changing global event for the majority of our lives, and its devastating effects on families and individuals around the world has been heart-breaking to witness. I would certainly consider myself as somebody who has ‘had it easy’, where neither my family members or myself have been directly affected by Covid-19, and as a student who had been ready to sit A Level exams I have not been required to work from home.

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"So what right do I have to be upset about an evening at the theatre being cancelled when individuals around the globe are losing loved ones every day? It feels unempathetic, ungrateful, perhaps naïve, to believe that my disappointments are significant in light of the current situation. I am certainly grateful that measures are being put in place to ensure my and others’ safety, however I feel that if I make my sadness clear I will be regarded as unappreciative and self-absorbed, as if future events should be the very bottom of my priorities right now.

"But surely at this time, and every other time, our feelings are subjective. In many third world countries around the globe viruses and fatal illnesses are tragically commonplace, yet we still, and rightly so, allow ourselves to grieve when a personal trial occurs. It seems there is not one person who has not been affected in one way or another by this pandemic, and the prospect of change such as this for many is terrifying. A factor like being quarantined in your home for weeks on end may be bliss for some but fearful for others and it is vital that we are respected no matter how challenging we are finding this period. If anything, we should applaud ourselves for the various ways we have managed to adapt and continue despite our lives turning upside down – we are allowed to feel disappointed and we are allowed to feel confused. Everybody will have their stumbling blocks, but the entitlement to be respected for it too."

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