"The notion that the length of this pandemic is completely unknown is frightening"

The coronavirus crisis robbed Sussex student Jenny Bathurst of the chance to sit A levels.

By Phil Hewitt
Saturday, 12th September 2020, 10:12 am
Jenny Bathurst
Jenny Bathurst

But she ended up with three As and is now going to study journalism at the University of Brighton (Eastbourne campus). We have asked Jenny to share her thoughts on the difficult times we are living through... Here is her latest contribution.

When aimlessly scrolling on Facebook earlier this week I came across a post that simultaneously made me laugh, but also feel a bit stupid. It has been said countless times that this year has been ‘uncertain’, ‘bizarre’ and ‘unprecedented’, and of course this has been a reality for everybody. But somehow it took only until reading this comical observation on social media that I realised there is every certainty that this pandemic will not be just confined to 2020 as everybody seems to be suggesting, but 2021 also. I understand that this isn’t the most motivational or optimistic premise for an article, but when imagining past Jenny in March feeling so sure that by September life would have returned to normal, I have to laugh at my naivety. Despite the wearing of face masks in public areas and of course the continuation of social distancing, the pace of things appears to be cautiously quickening, and yet we still are hearing alarming figures and new measures continuing to be implemented. Perhaps it is simply the way in which I have adapted to these times, but where before I felt fear and uncertainty, I now almost accept this pandemic as a part of society.

I have always taken exceptional care with hygiene and cleanliness before the coronavirus began to take its toll and I have maintained this even more meticulously in this period+, so when I say that I accept the pandemic I certainly am not implying that I no longer take precautions. I am enough aware of the dangers of Covid-19 to know that I would hate to inflict it on myself or anybody I know. But the normality of the situation is undoubtedly growing on me as I’m sure it is for many, despite the absurdity of these past few months from an outsider’s perspective. As horrific as it is to arrive home with a cocktail of sanitisers coating your hands after a shopping trip, it is again the acceptance that these are the procedures that need to be taken to keep everyone safe so naturally I am happy to concur.

The possibility of this pandemic progressing into 2021 is of course an eventuality that will need to be considered, unless the virus has an impressive knowledge of timescale and decides to finally leave us alone come New Year’s Day. It is easy to jump to blame the government and various officials when things become difficult or ambiguous, but they have as much experience of a global virus as the next person. I have been in the pipeline of a few, what I would argue, poor decisions surrounding the education sector, however it is easy to judge these from a standpoint of somebody not in a position of power who must consider the thoughts and achievements of every young person in England. The notion that the length of this pandemic is completely unknown to any of us is a frightening concept, especially as a nearly nineteen-year-old drawing closer to the beginning of my career. Nobody enjoys uncertainty. And so the famous saying is adopted again: ‘we are all in the same boat’.