By Betty Booth-Walters

Lockdown started nearly a year ago, who knew we would still be in it today?

Betty Booth-Walters

As a nine-year-old school girl I was over the moon when I first heard the news that my younger brother and I would be staying off school. In fact, we were so happy we did a little victory dance! Little did I know that we would be staying off school for six months. I hardly knew what ‘isolation’ and ‘pandemic’ even meant, to me they were like words from Horrible Histories. But, as the weeks rolled on those happy feelings about staying off school had melted down to form a longing to go back.   

There were some very happy times that I don’t think we would have had if it was not for lockdown. Like when we went out onto the streets clapping for the NHS, all coming together as a community to thank those who were doing their bit for us. We discovered new walks, dressed up for the 75th VE day and made friends with our neighbours. 

However, one of the more unhappy times that stands out to me and will probably last me the rest of my life, was during a small party for a friend in our support bubble who was turning 81. I felt unusually gloomy for such a happy place and I went in a quiet room and cried. My mum and my auntie Sarah came in and these are the words I used to explain my feelings.

“They just keep on talking about it in school and it’s not helping!” By ‘it’ I meant Covid. And that was the only time I felt really affected by
Covid. I was sick of hearing about it, all this change in school, washing of hands every 30 minutes, staying a metre apart and not holding hands with friends. I don’t blame Icklesham Primary at all because this was a very good decision, for no one in school has had Covid. However, all this was getting to me and I missed the whole social aspect of school!   

I think that adults worry more about Covid than us nine year olds, perhaps because it is the only thing they talk about now. Nine year old Iyla Barclay agrees with me as she says, “I don’t feel worried about the actual virus, just about giving it to someone else.” 

Although we must remember that lockdown affects everyone differently, like a friend of mine, Charlie, who says, “I feel it’s hard that you can’t see friends and family. I’m an only child and it’s hard because I don’t have anyone to play with.” 

Lockdown has also made some people think about what they can do to help, being resourceful like Christie Andrews-Clifford who says, “In January I came up with the idea of offering a steps-sweeping service to my neighbours with complimentary chocolates, and they could pay me whatever they liked for the job. It felt really great to do these things.”

So please, during Lockdown let’s remember everyone who has had a worse time than us: let’s remember Charlie who is an only child and might be feeling lonely, Iyla who has two siblings and might be finding it hard to cope, and let’s remember Christie who has been helpful. 

Like the quote I found by Christy Evans, “Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them, but you know they’re always there.” 

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