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How Covid-19 has changed our lives- A letter from UK

Dear World,

Covid-19 has changed the situation for everyone across the globe. Taking a closer look at the UK, we see that life changed overnight. The prime minister, Boris Johnson, announced the “lockdown” whilst evading the need to use those words. And, we assume it was to avoid spreading panic as, regardless of one’s political views, we all can agree that being calm is important in such times, especially with what was going to come.

First, fake news started spreading, and people started to buy essentials excessively and emptying the shelves, as well as were greatly criticizing the UK government for not acting properly. Then, I heard rumours about full lockdown to be initiated. At that point, I didn’t know how I felt about it.

Soon, I got a notice from my office which informed me to work from home afterwards. That is when it all started for me. Initially it was just the struggle of working from home, it was a bother. I moved from using three screens to working on a small laptop on my bed. My back would hurt extremely, and my neck would get strained. However, what had the biggest impact on me was the drastic change in my routine, in how I lived my life. It had the biggest toll on my mental health.

Before the lockdown, I lived with my mother, I had my full-time job, gym to work out in and a social life. This meant that I had my own life and my own space to exist. However, in my current COVID lifestyle, I feel like my space and freedom has been taken away from me, as my personal life completely overlaps with my work. My mother would frequently interrupt my work, and even gives me house-chores during my lunch hour!

In the first week or two, I realised that it was a matter of boundaries and independence. Slowly after, I noticed the pandemic’s effects on my mental health. I started worrying about my country as I know we don’t have enough medical resources for the doctors to work with, and if Covid-19 spreads, it would be a massacre. Sadly, I could do nothing, and fell into self-neglect, which is a slippery slope. Being cut off from the outside world gave me the space to dwell in my own sea of thoughts. Previously, I used to stay busy as a tool to keep me away from any unwanted feelings. It helped me maintain my composure, helped to stay afloat.

One night, even though I was feeling very defeated, I decided  that I will not let COVID-19 win before even reaching me. Human nature is very resistant to change, we fought this new lifestyle enforced on us by the current circumstances. Instead we should try to take control.

I understood that I needed to create a new routine which would fit the latest circumstances. I don’t choose what happens to me, but I could choose how to respond to what happens to me. Thus, I segmented my day into smaller sections, which, ironically, took me back to my schooldays with a schedule.

I also realised the importance of human communication, so I started talking to more people than before. It is still sometimes difficult to find motivation to do anything, including following my timetable, but having it gives me timely checkpoints to refer to.

I miss life being normal, I’d like to believe that I’d do great things when this is over, but I might just go on a dinner with my friends.

Lastly, I would like to ask you all to look out for yourself, and to take care of everyone around you. No matter how much your life changes during this quarantine, please do not give up.  

Regards,

Souad Leith

You. Yes, you.
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