Jenny Bathurst - "We walked valiantly through a global pandemic and yet..."

Sussex student Jenny Bathurst chronicled Covid week by week. Now she returns to share thoughts, fears and hopes.

Jenny Bathurst
Jenny Bathurst

Jenny is studying journalism at the University of Brighton.

"Just five minutes ago I was sitting scrunched on the floor shoving a thin white stick up my nose, before combining the contents with a liquid (which, let’s be honest, we have no idea what it contains) and pouring it in a white plastic rectangle. This is now a dry and repetitive ritual to us in 2022, but three years ago anyone reading the above sentence would have raised their eyebrows and thought they had clicked on the wrong website.

"The truth is, although you probably didn’t choose to read this article to hear about a young woman’s sniffles, my boyfriend and I have been feeling rather unwell the past few days, and between us have got through four Covid tests so far, convinced that it’s the only answer to our troubles.

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    "It’s quite funny when you get a short illness isn’t it. Well, not funny ‘ha ha’ but funny bizarre. Rather than just waiting it out and coping with the symptoms whilst they remain, we continuously speculate what it could be and where it came from.

    "‘Was that chicken definitely properly cooked the other night?’ ‘It was nearly burnt so it wasn’t that.’ ‘Okay - well it must be a stomach bug because what else could it be?’ ‘But if it’s a stomach bug then why don’t our families have it?’

    "And so it goes until one of you says the dreaded words - ‘What if it’s Covid…?’ and suddenly you’re digging out old boxes and trying to remember what liquid goes in which tube and whether this particular box requires you to physically assault your throat as well as your nostrils. You start to convince yourself you’ve got it: ‘Oh gosh, we’ll have to cancel our plans for Saturday. I’ll text (insert person’s name here you got vaguely close to in the past few days) and let her know.’

    "And then, nine times out of ten, there’s only one line staring up at you and you’re back to square one. There seems to be two things British people don’t cope well with: short term bugs and colds, and extreme heat. We walked valiantly through a global pandemic and reached the other side, yet the July sun is enough to confine us to the shade whilst ordering as many fans online as we can. But if these are the main factors we have to complain about as a country - I think we must be doing pretty well."