Here are more reflections on the experience of the pandemic shared by our students as part of the global student project “A Day In My Life Living Under Covid – 19”. We hope you and your students enjoy reading them.
A Day in my Life: Ivy, 15, Xavier Catholic College, Australia
I live in a coastal town called Byron Bay which is in Australia and although there have been a small number of cases where I live overall there have been thousands of cases in Australia and multiple people have died. I had to be in lockdown for eight weeks and I had to do online school, which meant I could relax more than I could if I was still going to school.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected my daily routine because I couldn’t go out and I couldn’t go to school. I spent most of my time inside doing school, watching movies, reading and hanging out with my family. The only time I went outside was when I went to exercise or go to the shops. At first it felt weird not being able to go out and hang with your friends or go to school and it was hard when I first started online school but after awhile I got the hang of it. It feels good to be back at school and to see all my friends and to see my teachers.
Some of the challenges, or desolations, that I had from this situation was that I didn’t get to see my friends or go to school. My time was spent at home with my family and I think we annoyed each other a lot. I did struggle a bit with my school work because I wasn’t face to face with my teacher and I like learning in a classroom with other kids and with the teacher standing in front of me, but I got the hang of online school by the end of my time in isolation. Some of the consolations that I had in isolation were I got to hang with my new puppy, I got to hang out with my family more, I got to do my school work the way I liked to, I got to hang out in pajamas all day.
My concerns and hopes are that the world finds a vaccine soon so life can get back to normal, one of my concerns is that this will go on for a long time and we won’t find a cure soon.
A Day in my Life: Lara, 15, Xavier Catholic College, Australia
Throughout these tough times, life at home and at school have changed dramatically. News Platforms are clogged with information regarding the pandemic and not much else is talked about in our daily lives. I live in a coastal town located around 20 minutes from the beautiful Byron Bay. It is reasonably small so not many people have contracted the virus. Although my town is quite sheltered from this pandemic, many neighbouring towns and more populated places in Australia such as Sydney are being hit with this pandemic quite harshly.
My school, social and family life has changed drastically over the past few months from social distancing to online schooling! Schools in Australia never officially shutdown but the NSW premier advised students to stay home from school and only children who had parents as essential workers were allowed to go to school. From week nine term one, most students were not at my highschool and we were working from home, doing zoom calls instead of raising our hands and breaking for lunch in our own houses. Lots of small businesses shut down and workers in jobs such as airlines and hotels had to be let go. Going out to the shops for a browse in a clothing store was unheard of and social distancing ruled over many supermarkets across the country.
When online school was in practice from around week nine term 1 until around week 5 term 2, I found myself adapting and improving skills such as self motivation, determination and self discipline. Learning online has been great for me as I have been efficient and completed all of my tasks with ease. It also is great because my school has cancelled all formal assessments and exams for 7-10 which takes off a lot of the pressure. Unfortunately, for many of the seniors, this change has impacted how the HSC is going to work for them and it is causing some stress through the year.
Many things have become more meaningful to me throughout this pandemic such as beautiful days, time with my family and the relationships with teachers, co-workers and friends. I am back at school now with all years back at the same time. It is great to see my friends and teachers as we all help each other through this pandemic. Restrictions regarding social distancing and retail services have loosened, but as a community, we are ready if anything does happen in the near future. In conclusion, I hope that this time is resolved and we can go back out into the beautiful way it was before!
A Day in my Life: Emma, 15, Xavier Catholic College, Australia
Although we have just returned to school, the past 8 weeks have been spent at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Today, there are currently 102 deaths, 7,100 confirmed cases and 6,500 recovered cases throughout all of Australia compared to 350000 total deaths worldwide. When we first had to start online schooling things were hectic, the shops started running out of fresh produce, flour, and specifically toilet paper.
Not being able to go to school meant that I could no longer see my friends, we were not allowed to go to public places in large groups, I couldn’t have my 16th birthday party and perhaps one of the biggest impacts that the pandemic had on me was that my school trip to France and Italy was cancelled. This had a great impact on me as I had been looking forward it for almost a year but a week or two before we were meant to leave, the Covid-19 outbreak in Venice happened and all our plans had to be cancelled.
A way I kept busy during self-isolation was by continuing with hobbies such as painting, watching movies, baking, spending more time with my pets and working on goals that had been put off because of my busy schedule. Spending more time to myself meant that I could understand myself more, find new ways to stay occupied, find out what keeps me motivated, and learn better/focus more so that I can improve my grades and work ethic for the next few years of school and eventually uni.
Although things are going to change as the world heals from the pandemic and hopefully be ready for the next, I feel as though we have all learnt a very valuable lesson in regards to taking nothing for granted because it can be taken away from us so quickly, and we don’t even realise how good freedom and being able to go places is until we were forced to stay inside and fear for our health and the health of others. I think we have all learnt the lesson of appreciating what we have, those around us and simply being alive and healthy.
A Day in my Life: Clancy, Xavier Catholic College, Australia
The COVID-19 infectious disease has had a global impact on the world. Particularly in Australia, COVID hasn’t hit that hard, however it has changed our lifestyle and our daily routine. At first, people were advised to stay home, but then it started to get more and more serious as the days went by. I was aware of this virus through the media, and the talk that went around the town. It wasn’t a big deal when my family and I went to Hawaii for a wedding, although we didn’t have a clue on how bad it was going to get. My sister and I even had to get tested for COVID, as we showed the symptoms after going overseas.
After we went overseas, the infectious disease became much worse. No one started showing up to school, parents were losing their jobs which provided money for their families, people over the age of 60 were very highly advised to stay home all day every day. My grandparents live only 20 minutes away from us, however we couldn’t see them for about 7 weeks, which was a desolation for the whole family. Many people struggled financially and were striving to keep their head above water, money wise.
However, in saying all this, there have been some consolations that came from this whole situation. Although i was learning from home and wasn’t able to see my friends at school, I managed to get a lot of work done, and I actually learned a lot more than I would in school. I love to be organised and I love routine, so I didn’t struggle that badly with getting things done. On the other hand, my brother was a lost cause with the whole ‘learning from home’ thing. However, a blessing was that I got to spend some time with him helping with his school work, which initially benefited him and me as I was able to spend some quality time with him, time that would be available if I was learning at school.
Despite all the desolations that this infectious disease has created, COVID-19 has made me feel grateful for the country I live in as many countries are battling badly with this whole situation. Some things that our world has learned is to stay clean, safe, healthy and to spend quality time with the people you love.
A Day in my Life: Tilly, 15, Xavier Catholic College, Australia
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted my life in both negative and positive ways. I live in a small rural town fifteen minutes from the Australian East Coast, and feel very lucky to live where I do as the numbers of cases have been very minimal compared to other countries who have been impacted from the coronavirus enormously more.
When the first cases were broadcasted around the world, I never expected it to get to the horrifying level it has and impact so many countries and lives. At the beginning my day to day life changed very minimally, the school was almost no different except for the separated tables, and at soccer training instead of handshakes we tapped toes as a way of greeting. Gradually more rules came into practice and there were less and less things we could do to fill our time. Overtime fewer students came to school and the buses began to empty, eventually, our school closed and it was now up to us to school ourselves online. Online schooling at first was exciting as it was a change and a new challenge, but it quickly became tedious and I found myself very unmotivated. I am very lucky to live close to the beach and was able to take my dog for walks and swims before or after online school. I long for the laws to reduce and sporting games to be allowed back, as that is definitely what I have missed the most.
Although my daily life changed in negative ways there are definitely some positives to take from this whole experience. My family and I played more board games in the space of 8 weeks then we have in over 2 years, and we started two jigsaw puzzles one of which we’ve finished and the other is still laying on the table with half the pieces connected. Another good thing that has come out of this global crisis is the way it has positively impacted on the world’sworlds climate change and pollution problems. The usual smog-filled skies of places like China and India have cleared and adults and children who have lived there all their lives can finally see blue skies.
The world has definitely been taken back by the impacts of this disease and almost everyone around the world has realised something new to be grateful for and realised how their once serious issues are not as serious as what the world has gone through and is continuing to go through throughout this pandemic. I think and am definitely hoping that the future for the world will be positive and people will try to keep things like the new blue sky and having fish in the Venice canals, to make the world we share a better and healthier place for everyone. There is no doubt that this pandemic is still very real and very dangerous, but I’m hoping that with the help from everyone worldwide we can work together to lower the death rates and bring this horrible pandemic to a stop.
A Day in my Life: Bianca, 15, Xavier Catholic College, Australia
Throughout the last few months, our world has completely changed in an extremely new way to everyone. I live in a coastal town, which hasn’t significantly been impacted since the break out of the pandemic. Luckily, our area hasn’t had a considerable amount of cases so I base my knowledge and the experience covid brings based on what I have heard or seen in the media. I know so many are not as safe as I am therefore I am very fortunate I am so protected and secure.
My life hasn’t been substantially affected, not much has really changed apart from not being able to attend school. Yes we all stayed home, but our restrictions thankfully allowed us to go out to exercise which I did a lot (of course keeping my distance from everyone else). It all happened quite quick, all of the sudden it was all everyone was talking about and then the next thing you knew, we weren’t going to school for a long time. After 8 weeks of the unknown, we returned back to school and finally had some normality in our lives.
The virus has been an experience full of ups and downs. Some desolations have been involving not being able to see my friends and extended family. I also have a lot of family in England and Italy which has caused stress both for myself and my family. Italy in the beginning was known for a lot of cases which caused fear for us in Australia, especially because our family over there is elderly therefore making them more susceptible to the virus. Although, there were also many consolations which included being able to focus on rehabilitation exercises for my knee (which I recently had reconstructed after doing my ACL). I also much preferred online school because I could finish the work around lunchtime and had the rest of the day to spend time with my family, which I wouldn’t have had before. I feel deeply grateful that myself and the people around me haven’t been too badly impacted.
I am concerned about the elderly and all those who are more prone to the virus. I think our society has become much more grateful for what and who we have around us as a result of this global crisis. I hope all those who have been disadvantaged are receiving the adequate help, I hope all those who have lost a loved one are receiving the desired support and I now believe everyone globally can come together and positively change our world.
A Day in my Life: Sophie, 15, Xavier Catholic College, Australia
Australia has been through many devastating events over the past six months which have changed many lives. From bushfires to floods, droughts and now to a worldwide pandemic I don’t know what’s left to endure. Over the past four months many Australians’ lives have been turned upside down, jobs have been lost, places have been shut down and forced many to stay indoors. Though this devastating period Australia has been rather lucky and have so far flattened the curve and contained the virus.
This week students around Australia have returned to face to face learning at school after eight weeks of online learning, it has been a very different experience however I along with many others have rather enjoyed it. In the last week we have hit a total death toll of 103 deaths in Australia which compared to other countries around the world is very lucky. Restrictions in NSW have been lifted and pubs, restaurants and other businesses have reopened which has been a closer step back to normality.
Australia has been rather smart with the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic however it is not over yet. This has been a once in a lifetime experience and even though this has caused many dreadful things it has been a nice time to reflect and spend time with my family.