The pandemic as seen by the future generation

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Lockdown has had a profound effect on so many of us. While it’s easy for us as adults to understand the impact this has had on our lives, it’s really important to remember what this is doing to the future generations.  

This has been an event without precedence; previously comparable pandemics happened in times when there wasn’t as much travel and global interaction. As against those times, communication today is so instant and global and completely unfiltered. To get a different perspective, I’m sharing the view of the last two years from my 12-year-old son, who has gone through nearly half of his last year of middle-school in lockdown, and his entire middle-school experience has been cast in the shadow of the pandemic. 

“When the pandemic started, I was sort of scared, because it was spreading fast and killing people all around the globe. Then when it got to New Zealand it threatened to spread like wildfire until we went into lockdown and then got rid of it so then we went back to school. Covid continued trying to come back and spread more, but we fended it off. Everything seemed to be going well, and life had really introduced a problem and we all had to get used to wearing masks to help protect us. It wasn’t really that restricted when were weren’t in lockdown, but then these lockdowns kept popping up and they would muck everything up, annoying everyone and stressing everyone out.  

“The news would make me worry that unemployment would be a huge issue, because companies would shut down due to bankruptcy and leave people jobless and sometimes even homeless because they couldn’t pay their rent. It seemed like people were running out of money and the Government would go broke from spending so much keeping the country alive and running.  

“Then, in July-August this year in Auckland, we had the longest lockdown and the worst. It lasted until December. For me, online learning was challenging because our teacher would give us even more homework, and the lesson was mainly spent listening to them talk for 45 mins to 1 hour. They would say that we couldn’t do the work during the meeting, we had to do it during our own time. We also missed out on going to our school camp, which was a real disappointment. In some ways I felt like we had more work to do than normal. 

“Eventually, when lockdown was finally over, I was ecstatic, and got to go back to school for two weeks. School was different – we were restricted as to where we could go, and we didn’t move classes anymore. We did our work with iPads and masks on. We had two weeks of assessments rather than exams. Once we changed to the ‘traffic light system’, we were able to do some special end-of-year events: we went to Long Bay for a picnic, then got to see a movie as a class, and finally went to Jump, a trampoline park, for fun. The last day of school was so much fun, it was really great. I was even able to celebrate the end of middle-school with my friends; being able to have a special gathering with them on the first day of the holidays.  

“Overall, while it’s made life strange, the pandemic has really changed my mindset for the better, reminding me how precious life and freedom are, and to make the most of what we have.” 

At this stage we don’t really know what 2022 will bring. Will it bring stability and more ‘normality’? We have been told there will be no more lockdowns – are we sure, can we be confident that this is the case? Will we be able to move freely around our own country? So many questions. So many prayers are needed to help get us through this next phase. We are praying for a more settled 2022. 

 

2 Corinthians 3:17; “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 

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Helen Luxford

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