Teenage Focus by Gregory Sidaway - What a time we're living in.

A few months ago, no one thought a virus tracked down to a small food market in Wuhan would result in our world descending into complete shutdown by the Spring.  I’m writing this on Day Five of our new social distancing regime.  The only time I’ve left the house has been to sit out and enjoy the sun in our back garden.  It’s tough, it’s really tough – but I know we’ll prevail.  For my generation, we definitely haven’t experienced anything like this before.  Even in wartime, schools remained open.  My year has become the first in our education’s history to miss our GCSE’s.  We’ve heard about the rapid spread of Covid-19 for weeks now, but the enormity of the situation only struck me when we found out about the exam cancellation on Wednesday 18th March.  Thoughts were rushing through my head:  Yes!  We don’t have to do them! ….. Really?  I spent months revising for nothing? …. No.  How are they going to determine our grades now?  I could barely sleep.

Everything’s settled down now, of course, and we’re all getting on with our lives under these new rules.  I don’t think I’ve ever been more grateful for the existence of Social Media.

Thanks to our tech, most families and friends can communicate all the time, lightening the burden of having to stay isolated.  The weather’s brilliant as well – typical, but at least something’s positive.

For the more mature readers, I wish you all good luck in this process. It will be difficult – but I know we can do it.  If you haven’t already, I strongly urge you to self-isolate.  This doesn’t have to be because you think you have it – merely to decrease the risk of you getting it.  We are up against an invisible foe but that doesn’t mean we all have to develop cabin fever for twelve weeks.  It sounds simple but I’d really recommend just spending some time out in your back garden.  It blows the cobwebs out and improves any feelings of loneliness.  I would also recommend using more technology to communicate to members of your family.  Just a text or occasional video call can make the world of difference for everyone.

For the younger readers, stay inside.  You’re not invincible just because you’re under sixty.  Do the same and communicate with friends and family using technology.  As of the 24th March, government restrictions still allow people to have one exercise a day outside – although you must be alone or accompanied only by your close family.  Make the most of this.  Develop a new skill, find a new interest … because frankly, you’re going to be very bored if you don’t.

In the coming months, the next articles of Teenage Focus will be dedicated to this situation and how much progress we are making.  Hopefully, they will report positive changes and results.  Time will only tell.  For now, I thank everyone out there for following government rules and making the most out of this difficult situation.  We’re a funny little island, Britain, but I have hope that we will get through this crisis.

For any further information, please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19

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