Anushka Asthana talks to children across the country about what life has been like under lockdown. Eight-year-old Aryan (pictured) remembers starting to feel worried about the virus when he learned it was spreading to other countries. School was full of rumours, he tells Anushka, that Covid made you sick and gave you warts. Whenever you went to the toilet, you would hear Happy Birthday being sung at the sinks. Aryan is at home again, which means “loads of sheets of papers to print off” for home schooling, and he says he can’t wait to see his friends again. For 14-year old Becca in Glasgow, the first wave led to her mum being laid off from her job. It meant things were “a little bit harder but we found a way”. She says that if her Mum found it tough looking after her and her three brothers, she didn’t show it. Rory, 18, has just completed his first term at Durham University. He got Covid while he was there and said the experience was very isolating. He says he found returning to Northern Ireland a huge relief. He worries the pandemic has had a big impact on the mental health of people his age.
Anushka also talks to Dr Polly Waite, a clinical psychologist, who discusses the Co-Space study, which has followed 12,000 families during the pandemic to look at how they are coping and what parents can do to help support their children’s mental health.
Do read Guardian reporter Amelia Hill’s ongoing series on the impact of Covid on young people here.
Our thanks to all the brilliant children and young people who spoke to us for this episode – Aryan, Becca, Rory, Joseph, Micaela, Isabelle, Tallula, Cecile, Sanjana and Matilda.
Special thanks to their families and St Kentigern’s Primary School in Fallowfield.
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