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Coronavirus: turning an outer negative into an inner positive

2nd April 2020

As it appears we are now at the apex of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK, it’s a good time to reflect on how quickly every citizen’s life in this country has changed. One day you’re getting up at 7am with one eye open, stuffing your burnt piece of toast in your mouth, with a badly made cup of tea and then running for the bus. The next day, your school’s shut, you get an extra 2 hours of sleep and everyone’s lesson is taught from the comfort of your bedroom. Still though, the virus is very serious and shouldn’t be taken light-heartedly; it is a deadly and has the possibility to kill anyone and that’s why it is so important to stay home during these trying times.

Although obviously I am not in the position to preach, I would just like to share a couple of personal thoughts on how this is the perfect time in everyone’s lives to turn a negative in to a positive. For me, there are two perspectives to look at. One is to view this time as an extended school-holiday where you can sit around watching zombie pandemic movies or to see this as an opportunity that is unprecedented, like none other, to expand your academic capabilities or to learn a new skill. Personally, I have a few goals: to learn how to code (python); to read 60 books this year (7 down 53 to go); and to meditate and workout every day. To some this may sound daunting (and for me it definitely is), but I over aim so I can achieve as close to these goals as possible. But more sensibly, I highly recommend you make one goal unique to you.

One of my goals is meditation as I find practising it is very grounding. It keeps me aware of the beautiful existentialism of life that this crisis has brought. I’m part of the generation which has unlimited information coming through to them at every minute of the day. For me, being able to shut off physically as well as mentally is very impactful and a great use of my time.

It’s given me time to ponder how everything in the system that is built by our leaders can be put on hold at the snap of someone’s fingers. It’s also highlighted to me that the human race is one and how we must all unite to stop this deadly infection through the lockdown. I believe we will all realize the value of being united through this mess and it will lead to greater United Kingdom than we were before. Forget the political and racial differences, we all have a key part to play and now we are playing it more than ever. I believe we have quickly learnt the value of this, and I have faith in not only me but the rest of us sticking together in the future –  whether it be in everyday life or in a time of great need like this.

Please stay at home. Believe me, I’m not happy that I’m forced to stay home. For one, I’m missing my favourite jerk chicken restaurant. But the virus is deadly and if it infected the most powerful person in Britain (arguably), the Prime Minister, then it is able to infect anyone. My name is Ben Arkus and thank you for reading my piece!

By Ben Arkus, student


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