Image Credit: John Lewis Partnership
In recent months, it sometimes feels like my brain is entirely swamped by the coronavirus pandemic.
If it isn’t reducing my humanities contact hours even more than I ever thought possible, or cutting down the time I can spend in the pub, it’s forever lurking during my part time job in a supermarket. For six months, I, alongside many other students in the retail industry, became a ‘key worker’ overnight, entirely by accident.
A job that I originally applied for to get some extra cash during sixth form suddenly became one of the few reasons we could go out on the roads. All of a sudden I, beside a team of sixth form leavers and uni students, became a new workforce, working long and unsociable hours to ensure people could get their food deliveries and buy their toilet roll.
As lockdown eased, more and more students returned to their customer facing jobs in hospitality and retail sectors and are still working through the ever changing, ever more confusing government restrictions.
Students were essential in supporting the country throughout the pandemic, and were drawn upon to revive the economy with lucrative eating out deals. We should all be proud of the role we have played, during some of the most uncomfortable and surreal moments of our lives- and we should not feel blamed by those in control now that cases are rising.
The system is against us. The testing algorithm is severely flawed for students, and the track and trace system fails to recognise what life is like outside of a computer system. The rules of when to isolate, and when to get tested, are ridiculously confusing and sometimes pose more questions than they answer. In student households, where there are typically more people living together with their own multiple friendship groups, there is no doubt that this rigid and limited amount of testing is biased against students, and can be blamed for many of the increasing cases.
So when you hear rhetoric that students are spreading the virus and don’t care about their grans, I’d urge you to remember the important role we were forced to play, whether we wanted to or not, and to stay as safe as possible even when government regulations are not in your favour. If someone in your house is isolating, antibac wipes should become your best friend!
As you can see, there’s little else going on in my mind right now other than coronavirus. Luckily for us, the rest of the Nouse team have reminded me that there’s still a world around us, with plenty of things to have an opinion on - which is why Comment is the best place to be. Whether it be the dangers for LGBTQ+ people in Egypt, growing homophobia on TikTik, or the important social symbolism within the Shrek trilogy (read it before you judge), there will always be an opinion and the Comment team will always want to hear it and what you have to say.
With more and more online things this term and more Replay crashes, the chances are you will have a bit more time to try new things. Why not make writing for Nouse one of those things? I know that I for one am grateful for a team with so many innovative and amusing ideas up their sleeve, in a time where those things can feel few and far between