Despite largely appreciating the first lockdown – now a surreal and distant memory – I wasn’t too sad to see the back of it and like everyone, managed to enjoy some relative freedoms for a few months. The timing of this dip in cases was perfect and for a short while, I was able to forget the bleak reality that the world finds itself in. As travel restrictions eased off and I gathered my bucket and spade to head to the seaside for a much-deserved holiday, I naively thought that I’d left the hardest part of COVID-19 behind. But lo and behold it was yet to come! Back now in the UK full time, I am to face the coming winter months confined with my family in SW London. After years spent galivanting around Spanish lands and yonder it would have taken some adjustment to move back in with my parents at the best of times but as they say, desperate times call for desperate measures!
In spite of the never-ending, grey blanket of clouds and hellish shortage of daylight hours, I intend to tackle the coming weeks with the same positivity as before by channelling absolutely all my energy into my urban design masters. I am personally embracing this lockdown and the chance to devote myself to my studies with few distractions. I am lucky enough to have not only a comfortable place to get my head down but also the right frame of mind to make the most out of this opportunity. It only takes a quick phone call with my younger brother to be reminded that I am in a minority of students happy to be studying from the confines of their bedroom. He and his peers understandably feel immense frustration as they are faced with another year deprived of face-to-face tuition and almost more importantly, the university experience.
Lockdown number two is certain to be totally different from the first-time round for everyone and undoubtedly an even greater mental challenge as frustrations and stresses grow. At this rate, the winter will be tough but at least the recent election of Joe Biden into the White House has given a faint glimmer of hope for what is to come. Thank you so much America for the first good news in what has been a truly extraordinary year.