Young people have been severely affected by the Government’s decision to enter a nationwide state of lockdown. Many young people have not attended school since the 20th of March, and are struggling with home learning. I decided to ask some teenagers how they are coping with the lockdown.

Suraj, 15,  has found it “struggling to resist the temptation to go outside and enjoy the sunshine”.  However, he has followed the government’s advice and stayed at home. As a year 11, he has been set “large amounts of schoolwork” to determine his GCSE grade by his school. These are assessment tasks. He has also been spending time on his “ Playstation', socialising with my friends and family, watching Netflix shows such as Prison Break and helping around the house.” He thinks he has “kept [himself] occupied” during this pandemic. 

He also recommends reading. Whilst he  is ”not a fan of reading fiction”, he recommends reading The Economist, as he believes “it gives insightful news into various different global topics including different country's handlings of the coronavirus pandemic”. His advice to teenagers in lockdown is to “Try to stay inside your house as much as possible to help stop the spread of coronavirus.” Suraj recommends attempting to “learn a new skill”. He remarked, “It is always a great thing to do and now is a perfect opportunity to do so! For instance, I have improved  my gardening skills and I am currently in the process of learning how to trade [shares].” Suraj uses an online tool called Plus 500. He joked “I have probably pulled out almost a thousand weeds since the beginning of the quarantine! “


Suraj believes that home learning is “not really ideal”. He misses “the face to face interactions” he has with his teachers. He also finds it hard with “not being able to socialise with friends in person.” He dislikes online learning, as he believes “too much time staring at screens is very bad for you “. He would like to improve home learning. He recommends “ setting more group projects which don't involve spending much time staring at screens [so] we can socialise with our friends whilst working”.  He also enjoys “online quizzes”, as he finds them “fun”!

Suraj is happy with the government’s response to the pandemic. He believes that “ the government has got large amounts of unfair criticism.” He thinks the “the government has handled the pandemic relatively well as they have found a good social and economic balance.”

He thinks schools should stay closed for children of non-key workers. He believes that opening schools would “drastically increase the spread of the virus”.  Suraj does not have any scientific experience. He believes that students who have had their public exams cancelled “shouldn’t have to go back to school”. He thinks “their year groups should be slowly integrated back into school” once the number of cases has substantially decreased.

Suraj supposes “some children are affected more than others as children” as those who prefer spending outdoors may struggle with the isolation lockdown brings. He recommends exercising at home. He has resorted to “doing core and weight exercises along with running in my garden and using my cycling machine.”

David, 17, is an A-Level student studying maths, further maths, economics and history. He recommends people who are bored to “read a book”, such as “A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin.” David describes the novel as being about “a fictional medieval kingdom beset by palace intrigue and warfare”.

He has been spending time “playing video games” and “doing exams”. He has been enjoying Dark Souls 3, an RPG.  He has also tried his luck in the kitchen! He made “quesadillas” for his family, describing the result as “like a taco but cheesy and not crispy” and a “learning experience”.

David finds the lockdown measures to be “boring”. He believes the “NHS needs more PPE”, and is disappointed with the government’s “slow but decent” response to the pandemic. He believes that schools should reopen until “scientists say it is safe”, but “it is premature at this time as we are still only just past the peak [of the virus]”. He believes that for many people education has been harmed, “but not substantially”. He advises people his age “to make sure you still talk to people and go outside on walks”. “I have been walking with my dog and using my rowing machine”.

The government’s lockdown measures have saved countless lives. Lockdown measures have changed the United Kingdom in a substantial way. Many children have been deeply affected. The cancellation of GCSEs and A-Levels have caused anger amongst many young people, who are not happy with the grades that they got in their mock exams in January.  As we pass the peak, many young people still face uncertainty about when their lives will return to normal.