Months of morningless days, panic buys and uncertainty; the grip of lockdown was firm and suffocating, but somehow many of us feel an eerie nostalgia for the recent past. It could be the abnormality of returning to ‘business as usual’ or the social awkwardness that comes after months of being cooped up in tightly packed bedrooms. But it seems there was something strangely beautiful in all the struggle: solidarity.

 

Remember Boris’ monthly press meetings that left everyone in a dizzying state of confusion (and the endless memes that followed)? 

They certainly didn’t help understand government plans, often leaving people feeling more unsure than before, but mocking Johnson’s ambiguity was a cathartic lockdown highlight. 

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

 

Remember the ‘Clap for Our Carers’? 

Every Thursday at 8 pm we’d ween ourselves off the couch, gathering our armour (pans and spatulas, or maybe just hands) to display a symbol of appreciation for the NHS and essential workers. It was an event that brought us warm smiles and feelings of togetherness in times of isolation and unpredictability - even seeing the faces of our neighbours for a matter of seconds left us feeling a little less alone.

 

Remember the international unity and mutual aid services? 

When we tapped into social media, the messages of support and openness were countless - people we had never spoken to offered us comradeship during some of the hardest hours. Upon going on daily walks, mutual aid posters were seen plastered on every lamppost, offering time and services that would’ve been inaccessible to those most in need. It all reminded us that in the face of struggle and plight, we will always have each other; perhaps continuing aid into 2022 would be just as helpful. 

 

Lockdown was an arduous battle mentally, emotionally and physically - not only did it intensify wealth gaps but also lead to a severe decline in global mental wellbeing. However, despite the plight, our local communities proved that aid, solidarity, support and humour can get us through the darkest days. So, considering the unity, maybe it’s not so weird that we miss some parts of quarantine.

 

All that we need is each other, and perhaps that is the one thing we should remember for future crises, be it ecological or human. 

Yasmen Shaker, Esher Sixth Form College