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London under Lockdown

Published on 24th April 2020

MARCH 2020

It's a strange time to be anywhere right now. Here in London, the COVID-19 outbreak has forced the city into lockdown—everything is closed, the streets are empty. With the exception of a daily walk for exercise or to the grocery store, I'm stuck inside my student accommodation.

During the coronavirus outbreak, I'll be sharing some thoughts on how I'm (trying) to stay sane. It's the perfect time to practice my entertainment writing—I've already binged my way through Elite. Next up: Ozark.

I'm also getting back into reading. On the TBR pile:

I'll also share some personal essays about living through these strange times—mostly so I can look back on and remember my very unexpected year abroad in London.

APRIL 2020

We're into the second month of lockdown in London. The end of April also marks the end of the second term of my master's degree. Two-thirds of my program completed; the final third is completely up-in-the-air.

It's crazy how quickly we can adjust to a completely different life. Going out to the pub after class feels like a lifetime ago. I had piled on the plans for April: I looked at my calendar and thought, "Is it possible to have so much fun in one month?" I had my parents coming for a visit for the first two weeks; then a whirlwind birthday weekend planned for a friend; another friend visiting from the Netherlands; two of my best friends from Canada visiting; and then, to cap it all off, a quick getaway to Barcelona—my first time in Spain. All cancelled.

I've been thinking a lot about collective grief. We're all mourning the exact same thing: a loss of routine, the cancellation of major events, the lack of human connection. But we all had different lives to begin with, right? And, everyone copes in their own way.

When I heard the news last week that there had been a mass shooting in Nova Scotia, I felt sick. I never expected to see Nova Scotia make headlines for a shooting—let alone during a global pandemic. Anyone who has lived in Nova Scotia understands how devastating a mass tragedy like this is for that tiny, tight-knit province.

Sometimes the news feels like too much to bear. And I'm supposed to be a journalist. I spend hours on Twitter, because that's where journalists live. But I'm not sure if I can handle it anymore. Maintaining motivation and a sense of purpose during this time is difficult. It's hard to picture what life will look like in a few weeks, months, years. But, all we can do is deal with each day as it comes—and stop scrolling Twitter (!!).