A reporter's take on life as a young adult during a global pandemic

I’ve missed out on what should have been my last teenage years and this is what my life as a young adult during a global pandemic has been like.
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Today will mark one year since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that everyone across the UK was to stay at home for the first time as the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the nation.

It has been an extraordinary 12 months that have changed our lives in terms of health, financial well-being and simple social contact with family and friends.

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Last March, I remember receiving an email stating that our office would be closing and to take everything home as we wouldn’t be returning for a while; this is when things became very real to me.

Star reporter Kian Rains.Star reporter Kian Rains.
Star reporter Kian Rains.

I think at first I’d underestimated how severe the virus was; the eye-opener was seeing the devastating impacts on those in the country and right across the world.

My circumstances were not as difficult as others, but likewise, I have endured a fair share of my own struggles and being shut away indoors can have an abundance of impacts on our health, both mentally and physically.

The pandemic could not have come at a more inconvenient time for me as I was in the middle of studying for my NCTJ journalism qualification.

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With colleges and educational centres closed, the exams were either cancelled or moved online.

Shoppers wear face masks in the city centre of Sheffield  (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)Shoppers wear face masks in the city centre of Sheffield  (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Shoppers wear face masks in the city centre of Sheffield (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

The coronavirus pandemic has also brought rapid change to the UK’s jobs market; Unemployment rates have surged along with a rise in job uncertainty, and many more people are seeking support from unemployment benefits.

One of the defining elements of the Government’s response to the spread of Covid-19 was the launch of emergency income support schemes to protect jobs.

With job losses coming thick and fast, it soon became an increasingly worrying period, but I am thankful for the furlough scheme and how it supported me.

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At this moment in time, I took on the challenge of transforming my garage into a home gym after gyms were forced to close.

Garage before the transformation.Garage before the transformation.
Garage before the transformation.

As a 19-year-old, I’d never really done much DIY work apart from maybe the odd job of putting shelves up or decorating around the house.

It took long hours and a bit of graft, but the end result was definitely worth it, and thankfully it distracted me from everything going on.

For young people, this pandemic has taken away our freedom - it sort of feels like I’ve missed out on my last teenage years.

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This year has been about adapting to new ways of life, and the hardest part for me has been the separation from loved ones, friends and family.

Living in a world with Covid has become the new normal, but hopefully, after a very difficult period, we can all start to return to some form of normality whether that be alongside some of the measures we still have in place now or without – there’s a light at the end of the tunnel now and we just have to hold on until it is safe to do all of the things we enjoy doing.