It is a week since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the UK’s coronavirus lockdown. London’s residents have responded in different ways. Some have turned to creativity, some have left altogether and others have raised concerns about safety. Journalism.London’s Uno Baker has been speaking to Londoners and family members in lockdown to see how they are coping with this pandemic.
When the World Health Organisation announced a coronavirus pandemic early last month, millions of lives in London changed forever.
Miryam Rafo, a student studying at London South Bank University told Journalism.london how it felt being away from her home in Sweden during this difficult time, “When the coronavirus happened and started to spread all over the world, I didn’t know what to do.”
Like Miryam, many students were living in London during their time at university. In order to get back to their home countries, they had to act fast,
“ I was so afraid that the borders would close, or of anything worse happening. I decided to go back to my family because I feel safer with them…but it was a really, really hard time for me.”
Miryam was part of a group of students who came together to produce a video each spreading the message of “One World One Nation” to bring people together.
Miryam said that this video made her feel “hopeful” and that “we were all in this together.”
Rule breakers cause annoyance for all Londoners
People of all professions across the capital have been affected. Students preparing for their GCSE’s and A-level exams now remain uncertain of when they may sit them. Woodbridge High School year 11 student Abbas Baker told Journalism.london, “I was annoyed because now it seemed like a waste of time.”
University students looking to graduate this year also must wait until the all clear is given that it is once again safe to go outside.
Some Londoners have described their frustration towards those who choose to treat this increasingly serious situation as a joke.
This mother of 2 who wished to remain anonymous said:
“It makes me very angry that some people don’t take this pandemic seriously. People are playing with other people’s lives, we spread it. We shouldn’t be taking any risks.”
University of East London civil engineering student Fatimah Baker explained the virus has made her feel, “Annoyed, frustrated, sad, angry and confused.”
Some people have chosen to have a positive outlook labeling this time period as ‘historic’. They have taken to social media to share ideas on how to keep themselves entertained, occupied and positive.
Mothers have turned to groups to share ideas on how to keep their children up to date with school work and arts and crafts.
Coronavirus creativity provides respite for families
According to the local newspaper Newbury Today “New Thatcham mother launches Facebook group following coronavirus lockdown.” She told the paper: “All the services that I knew were there to help me have now either been removed or replaced with a telephone service instead.” She then decided to take matters into her own hands, “I therefore wanted to create a Facebook group to bring all of us scared, anxious, frustrated and sometimes angry mums together so that we could share advice and support.”
As the government continues to urge the public to remain indoors, the severity of the situation must not be forgotten.
To ensure you are keeping yourself and your family safe, take all necessary measures. If you experience any symptoms you fear are similar to that of the virus visit: www.nhs.uk.
If you are experiencing high levels of anxiety during this time also visit: mentalhealth.org.uk