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Letter from Lockdown

Congratulations to Y7 student Oliver Malone whose "Letter from Lockdown" has been published in "Radio 4s book of Covid Chronicles", a copy of which will also be archived in the British Museum. 

The full letter can be read below:

Experience of Oliver Malone (age 11) from Kent, in his own words:

"The day Corona Virus lockdown started was a very strange day. At school, the teachers tried to tell us that we may not be coming back to primary school, as we were in Year 6. Also, I had just been given the responsibility of being head boy, and it felt very strange that I may not be able to come back and fulfil those responsibilities. 

At the end of the day, when we'd finished all our work and packed our bags, some people took pens out and offered for their friends and classmates to sign their shirts, which every Year 6 child does when they leave school. But my teacher said we weren't allowed to do this, which was sad. She said she didn't want to cause anxiety for anyone who was sad to say goodbye, and there was a chance we might come back to school anyway. 

When I came home everything felt different. There seemed to be an air of nervousness hanging around us. I wasn't sure where we'd able to go, who we'd be able to see - could we even leave the house? I went to bed that night with all these questions buzzing around my head. 

I woke up on my first day of lockdown feeling positive. My mum left for work and me and my sister got busy doing Joe Wicks PE. Then after half an hour of PE we did an hour of reading. We got on with our school work - our teachers had set maths, English and topic work. After we'd completed our work we went for a short walk with our Dad (who was working from home) and then Mum arrived home with some surprising news. She had been told not to go back to work, and that's when I realised how extreme the situation was. 

I have found it really difficult only being able to go outside for one hour a day for exercise. We used to enjoy long bike rides, visiting the beach, the park and National Trust properties. I sometimes feel claustrophobic - my mum says I have cabin fever! I have really missed being at school. At school we always have lots of different projects happening, and there's always something different to work on. I also miss my friends, mucking about on the playground and school dinners. I miss the babble and noise of the lunch hall. 

Lockdown feels like it's been going on forever. Yesterday the Prime Minister announced we can exercise outdoors more, and we can travel a short distance to exercise. This information bought some joy to me, as it gave me hope that one day we will get 'back to normal'.  

We are experiencing what is was like in other times of distress - such as the war and other pandemics. I hope this will have a positive effect on us all and we will be able to appreciate our freedoms more in future."