No Longer Sick of it
By Alex Speed
On March 23rd Prime Minister Boris Johnson sat down to address the nation. In his short speech, he squarely announced that we would all be subject to a national lockdown in an unprecedented effort to ‘flatten the curve’.
Following that announcement we found out that despite having to work or study from home (or not if on furlough), we could, in fact, make an effort to speak to friends and family more regularly, we could exercise more and we could learn how to improve our cooking, gardening and DIY skills. In this regard, April was a rather novel month but as per most things of novel quality, it was never to last. Whilst the truth may be that we missed our regular interactions with friends, neighbors and colleagues, what we really wanted was freedom and normality. We dreamt of days pre-Covid-19.
I apologize for having taken you on that seemingly needless trip down memory lane, but there is a reason. Seven months on, we are still enduring this pandemic and despite the fact that we can now eat and drink out again, and members of the public can return to work, there is still great level of uncertainty regarding the future. Way back in March, nobody could’ve predicted the level of social and economic damage that coronavirus would go on to inflict on us and as we approach the end of 2020, politicians and economists are still clueless as to what future state the Kingdom will be in. As things currently stand, counties are under constant review with the threat of a second lockdown always looming; we can go out to bars and restaurants, so long as the group size does not exceed six and everyone dons a face mask; outdoor sport is allowed as long as guidelines are followed; and Swansea University lecturing will be a mix of both face to face teaching and online sessions. The point is that whilst we are yet to achieve pre-Covid-19 normality, we are making a slow recovery and student life will become more and more recognizable.
The safety of students and staff is naturally a priority for Swansea, and we should rejoice in the fact that we will receive face to face teaching, as many universities have opted for practically 100% online tuition. Nights out? Wind Street bars and clubs have been completely overhauled so as to meet coronavirus safety standards and our Student Union has and will continue to make concerted efforts to ensure that students can enjoy their time in Swansea, just as they have done in years past whilst ensuring safety. Societies will continue to run, the libraries remain accessible, tuition will be seamless. Swansea will continue to be as vibrant and lively as ever before, and whilst we may have to wait a little while longer for our pre-coronavirus dream, we will certainly enjoy the rest of 2020. Coronavirus, for the time being, is here to stay but that’s okay for we have three months left to make new memories, try new things and meet new people. Just remember: Be safe, wash your hands and here’s to a great 2020/2021 Academic Year!!