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Covid days for a student ambassador

By: Georgia Doyle-Lay

They say we can beat this pandemic together, but how can we when we are all isolated from one another? Luckily enough for me, I live in the same house as my 15 year old sister who also happens to be my best friend.

Most of my day is spent ‘people watching’ while perched at my desk gazing out the window, listening to my sisters running commentary on the neighbours’ activities.

I now know the bus driver likes to listen to Take That as he plays it very loudly while waiting for his passengers. I don’t believe the lady down the road has worn actual ‘day’ clothes for 6 weeks – that dressing gown needs a good wash!

On occasions, I open my window a little wider to listen in on my neighbours’ heated discussions, usually about the corona crisis (I can’t decide whose side I’m on). I’d previously never noticed what unusual hours the man who lives opposite keeps; he either works night shifts or is breaking lockdown rules…and where in all this drama is Greta Thunberg now?

On a more serious note, I spend most of my time studying, as these are the final weeks of my Honours Degree in Applied Sport and Health Science. Although, studying at Truro College, my degree is actually run by the University of Plymouth. Converting to learning purely online is challenging; however, my lecturers have been supportive and accessible, giving me reassurance and guidance. This pandemic has not altered my determination to work towards the next stage of my education which is to study for a Masters Degree in Psychology from September 2020.

Initially, isolating from friends and family made me worry about things that are out of my control. Now, I’ve learned to focus on the things I can control, such as supporting my close friend who has been studying alongside me all year and also works for the NHS. Her father, who works on the London Underground, has been extremely unwell and was diagnosed with Covid-19. This worrying time has been heart-breaking to witness. Thankfully, from the wonderful care he received through the NHS, he eventually returned home and continues to recover.

I also work part-time as a cover supervisor at Richard Lander School, and since the coronavirus outbreak, I have been supporting reception and providing study materials for students working from home. The production line of protective visors that our DT department has been making for local NHS workers has been inspirational and quite moving. None more so than helping to write thank you messages on the visors to remind key workers of what an amazing job they are doing.

It is difficult to establish a daily routine in lockdown life, especially when there’s only so much to do and so many hours to fill. Exercise has been a priority as it is something we love and is good for our mental wellbeing, especially during isolation (oh, and for our parents sanity too). My sister and I have adopted a regimented routine of waking up at 7:30 every morning (unless we snooze the alarm- which happens often!) to exercise and maintain our fitness and strength in hope that the athletics season will be revived after lockdown. We can only hope.

Improvisation and imagination has been key; the garden has become our weight room, and the village football field has become our running track, although this got off to a shaky start when a small round man mowing the grass shouted at us to ‘go home’, threatening to call the police! I enlightened him to the fact that we were allowed to use open green space close to our home to exercise, and then I proceeded to ask him if his work was essential.

We have also continued to ‘twin’ with our workout clothes as we usually would when training. Some elderly neighbours think we are insane but enjoy stopping to chat where possible – obviously keeping 2 metres apart! #socialdistancing

After all that, by 8pm the whole family are gathered on the sofas to watch the next installment of whatever Netflix box set we are into.

Then, sleep, snooze and repeat!

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