The Pandemic & Me

Reflecting on the pandemic and what it has taught us…

The past two years have been a rollercoaster of emotions and events, forcing us to adapt at every turn. Our lives were turned upside-down, almost overnight, and we’ve faced tough and scary restrictions to do our part to help stop the spread. We’ve watched the high street close down and the streets go eerily quiet. We’ve learned and worked from home, trying to juggle our fears and worries about the virus with workloads, homework and exams. We’ve stayed indoors, washed our hands and wore our masks whenever we ventured outside.

Now, with the lifting of many restrictions across the UK, we’re facing a whole new world for although the messaging is ‘back to normality’, our lives can never truly be the same again. We’ve changed too much. The past two years has tested us in a way that most of us would never have thought possible. The pandemic has beaten us down, lifted us up, helped us focus on what matters and caused fears for our loved ones and those of us who are vulnerable. For those who are clinically vulnerable, the removal of restrictions and masks mean the pandemic is far from over for them. We’re all coming out the other side of this with different emotions, different takes, and different hopes and dreams for the future.

Our HS community share what they have learned from the pandemic, as well as what they’re looking forward to as life slowly crawls into a new normal.

Louise talks about an issue that affected most of us during the pandemic – being separated from loved ones. Some of us sadly lost relatives during this time and were unable to say farewell or attend their funeral. Grief, especially during covid, has touched us all. For help with coping with grief, click here. As grateful as were for Zoom calls and FaceTime, it just wasn’t the same as holding a loved one tight in a hug. It’s helped us realise just how important family and friends truly are.

Louise goes on to talk about her baby, a little girl born during a global pandemic. It’s amazing to think that this little one has never yet known a world without masks but even this obstruction has not affected her joy and love for her mother. There are no barriers to love.

The pandemic gave roots to kindness. We saw people fetching groceries for elderly neighbours, people standing on doorsteps and clapping for our amazing NHS every week and watched our brave healthcare and essential workers go above and beyond to help the most vulnerable in our communities. Life slowed down, giving many of us more family time. We enjoyed our prescribed daily walks, did online quizzes, watched movies together, read books, baked billions of banana loaves and picked up new hobbies. We lived.

Of course, for people like Alana, lockdown living was not so different from what they were used to. For those of us who are chronically ill, housebound or have poor mobility, staying home was nothing new. This gave others a very clear insight and a newly found respect for the most vulnerable members of our society. And with this came compassion and empathy, as well as an understanding of how isolating ill-health can be. This is something none of us should ever forget.

This was the overriding ‘lesson’ for most of us – a strong recognition of what truly matters in life. When the people and things you love most in this world are taken from you, it very quickly sharpens your view of life. Everything else pales into significance. It gives you perspective, helping you to realise that there are many things in this world that you cannot control and there’s little point in losing sleep over them. It’s realising that the only thing that matters is the people that make your little world brighter – and that’s one thing, at least, we can thank the pandemic for.


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