Easing lockdown and thinking about recovery

Coronavirus has meant that we have all had to make changes to our lives very quickly. Children and their families have had differing experiences of the coronavirus lockdown. As lockdown eases, there is time to think about what has changed – both now and looking to the future. Our journalists are Members of Children’s Parliament (MCPs), aged between 8 and 14 years old. In this journal, our MCPs use pseudonyms.


How has life changed for you in lockdown?

Our journalists have been reflecting on some of the changes they have experienced over the past 3 months.  Learning at home has been a major change, and for some children this has been a struggle. Children are spending considerably more time with their parents, carers and siblings and for the most part this has been a good thing and families feel closer. As time passes children miss their friends, and the prospect of easing the lockdown is keenly anticipated. Journalists are also intensely aware that life after lockdown will be different.

Well it’s really hard to think about what’s good about this. It’s really hard to get motivated to start the day never mind the homework. And I won’t be able to do the last months in P7 which might be the most important part in primary school. The only good thing is that I can see family now which is good.

Bruno the hamster, age 12

It’s been more stressful during lockdown. Before lockdown started, it was not as stressful but still quite stressful because me and my sister are nearly the same and so we fight a lot. You have to do all this school work and it’s a bit stressful because during school you can get some time away from each other which calms me down. We go outside more often during school too. Before lockdown I liked scooting, running and walking. I’ve not been scooting once or walking because I barely go outside. Where I live the garden isn’t attached to our house, we have to go a public place to use the garden.

I’ve had much more worries during lockdown – I worried about the person that had cancer in my family and I’m worried about gran or losing my cat. But I’ve also been feeling happy. During my lockdown my dad taught me how to play the ukulele.

When I’m learning at home I know my parents are trying their hardest but I do struggle a lot. I’m pretty nervous about going back to school even though I do all my work. I’m nervous that I might not know enough and be lagging behind even more. At the end of Primary 4 I learned I had dyslexia and I’ve been struggling from P1 – P3 and half of P4 with reading. But I’ve been catching up. I want another year in P6 just to make sure I’m ready to go into P7 and then high school.

Catnip, age 10

What’s really changed is that I’m not out so often, I think this is a bad thing, I’m not out as much as I want to be. I just preferred everything before the lockdown. The toughest thing has been the not too easy school work and losing contact with friends.

Creative Songstress, age 14

The sun has come out finally. Now, after all this time, I can go out to my friends to talk to him in person, not on the phone or PlayStation. I’ve been feeling in a better mood, because I can go outside now and see people I haven’t been able to see in ages. I can’t think of any bad things right now.

Zoomer, age 10

There has been a lot more school work and I have been struggling with it more than I do at school. It’s been really sunny and I have been having fun in the garden. I can’t go to my sports classes, my show was cancelled as well. It makes me feel upset, because I like getting out and about to all my activities and seeing my friends who don’t go to my school. There are some people who went to my primary school and are at my dancing, so I can’t see them. I get to stay in bed later though and get long lies, which is fun. I get longer conversations with my sisters than I do when I see them because when we get talking we can’t stop!

B. Baggins, age 12

I get to have WhatsApp and get to talk to my friends. I didn’t have it before. We talk and

sometimes play games on it. My birthday was good too! It was kind of different because my friends weren’t there but it was still really good. I got lots of presents and I had two cakes! They had Harry Potter sugar figures and trick candles. I got a letter from Hogwarts! It has the actual letter, the school list, the tickets to platform 9¾ and a bookmark. I’ve been thinking about writing a story about how the Harry Potter characters would live in lockdown! The not-so-good things are that I still miss my friends and school. I miss when we come in in the morning and when we do our check in – the hi, hug, high five. I miss gym because I like doing all the exercises and the partner-work. We were doing Scottish country dancing but lockdown stopped that. We were also meant to do Bikeability but we can’t do that now because of lockdown. I also miss lunchtime at school because that’s when me and my friends talk about everything! We do weird food combination challenges where you put weird foods together. One of the best ones I had was party-rings and yoghurt!

Luna Loveart, age 10

It has changed because I can’t see my family as much and we’ve been going on more walks than usual. I think that everybody has been a lot more kind to each other because of quarantine. I think it’s because everybody is worried and they might not want to make other people worry, so they are kind instead. My auntie has been coming down to our house a lot and baking us cakes, which was really kind.

Another thing that has changed is that you have to wait in queues to get in to shops. When me, my mum and brother were waiting, we got bored. It used to be that everybody was going to buy lots of stuff to get ready for quarantine but we just went to do our usual shop every week. I was told to not touch anything and stay beside my mum and brother while social distancing. It makes me feel nervous in case I do touch anything.

Ringtone, age 10

It doesn’t feel like anything has changed. We’ve been in lockdown for so long now so it just feels like normal life. One good thing is that we can now see friends for a picnic but we still have to stay 2m apart.

Beluga8, age 8

Well I’ve had days when I’m really missing school and not being able to get out with my family and friends. But what’s changed for me the most is my routine. Normally I would get up in the morning and go to school or decide where I’m gonna go on a day out. Every year I go on holiday to Haven but this year is gonna be so different. I really wish that there is some way to cure this virus and just be happy again. But we still make the most of our day no matter what’s happening in the world.

Techboy 20, age 13

Life has changed just because I’m not going to school now or getting out so much. I’ve missed skateboarding and seeing my friends. There’s been nothing good really.

Skateboard Skater, age 13

I haven’t seen people in a long time and when we do bump into people it’s hard to chat because you have to social distance and shout to each other. I’ve spent lots of time with my mum and my elderly uncle who lives with me and he’s really funny. And we made a cardboard box house in the garden!

CoolKitty, age 8

Usually I don’t really go out, I stay in, living-wise it’s different but the same. Interaction is way different now we are in phase 1 and we can meet households as long as we keep a distance, it’s a lot different. Before you could go out, hug a friend. Now you don’t want to be in a crowded spot with other people. It’s like a ghost town when I go out, I maybe see one or two people, but we are in a small place, they are maybe going for a walk or shopping, you don’t see people hanging around.

A bad thing is that if you do the simplest thing people are like “you can‘t do that, we are in lockdown”. For example, if you are shopping and you stop for a chat with someone you know, people are judging you. Recently we invited one family (when we were allowed) to the garden and our neighbours posted on social media complaining and saying we were not following rules when we were. We were annoyed, we knew we weren’t in the wrong, but annoyed that someone else had the confidence to post something about that, but not to actually come to say anything to our faces.

Ultra Bee, age 13

We’ve started phase one of lifting lockdown so we can now go out and see our friends as long as we maintain social distancing. I’d quite like to see our friends, they’re like cousins, who are a bit further away. It’s been good to go into the garden because now the sun’s out and it’s been heating up we can properly go out and enjoy the sun. I think it was last week I made a rhubarb and strawberry crumble completely by myself. We have a wee patch of rhubarb in the garden. I’ve planted some loganberries, tayberries and brambles but they probably won’t be ready too soon. I’ve also go some carrots, cauliflower and chili peppers on the go, and some peas in the garden. There’s nothing not good just now that I can think of. I skinned my finger doing monkey bars on a tree branch, because it’s really rough bark, so there was skin hanging off my hand. That’s about it.

Mr. Cheese, age 11

Looking ahead, do you think the experience of coronavirus and the lockdown will change your life or the lives of other children?

Our journalists share a number of worries about life as we come out of lockdown – from ‘catching up’ with learning, to how going to school will be organised and anxiety about keeping people safe and ensuring they follow rules around hygiene and social distancing. Journalists also recognise that relationships will have changed and friendships will need to be re-established.

Yes I do. Education is one of the key factors of your childhood. It is going to be really hard for children to get back to work after pretty much being off for three months. Home-working is alright but you can never learn more than you know without a teacher there to help you. Yes safety is important but we will never live a risk free life and that’s why it’s so important to get kids back to school as soon as possible.

Bruno the Hamster, age 12

Well, kids will want to get out more but I don’t think anything else will change. I won’t be worried about going out again. But school will be different, we will be going back just part of the week or maybe one week not going. Learning will be a struggle and how will they work the buses? If we go into S3 part-time how will that affect learning? Though if we’re back at least teachers will explain things. This year coming up is so important.

Skateboard Skater, age 13

Maybe children won’t take so much for granted – like school. They won’t complain so much about school because they’ll remember how much they missed it. Maybe children and adults will do more things like washing their hands at school – and stuff like that.

Luna Loveart, age 10

I think things will change because people will be more cautious of spreading germs so we might not do some of the things that we used to do.

Beluga8, age 8

I think this is something that will be taught in history classes in years to come, I think it will affect younger kids. Because it’s such a big pandemic and its affected so many lives. A friend had a baby, if we are in lockdown for even longer than we are they might have no memories of anything other than lockdown. It might affect future jobs if you weren’t able to do your proper exam. For college students and high school students it might affect what they want to do, because they haven’t been able to complete their exams in the same way other students will have done. I don’t think it will affect me as I am in a year group which won’t be affected so much. I think it has affected my education, it’s hard to get help, and although I know my teachers are trying their best my friends and I have all agreed that it’s been hard. When we go back to school there is going to be a lot of looking back over what we have done first, to make sure that is all correct before we move forward.

Ultra Bee, age 13

We’re not really getting a proper education. It’s not how it used to be at school. We’re doing Google Meets a few times a week which is good. We had one today but I’ve already forgotten how to do things a wee while later. A lot of other children have been forgetting how to do things. We have a whole maths group and some of the children are getting mixed up there. It might take quite a big while for children to get it back on track when we go back. I think by then a lot of children will have forgotten how to do things. I think there are some things I find easier at home with things I already know and mum is always helping me with work. But, with learning new strategies and ways of learning, it’s harder because there’s not a teacher there to help me. My teacher seems to be doing things that we were already doing when lockdown started but, honestly, I was really struggling with before lockdown so I’m still struggling with that.

When we went back to school I was going into P7 and it was supposed to be P6 and P7s together, but now I think they’re going to have to be separate. I was happy to be in a class with the P6s. That’s where my friends are as I don’t have as many friends in my class. Some children will be in one day and others in another day.

I think we might not be able to go to the shops as much as we normally would. Or we might not be able to go to cinemas, sports games or concerts as much anymore. We were also planning to go on holiday this year, but I don’t think anyone in Scotland will be able to go away on holidays. Maybe in a few years we might drive to France or somewhere. Maybe people will be able to go abroad again in 2021.

Mr. Cheese, age 11

I think that when everyone comes back friendships will change, or the way they think. Since we’ve been apart so long people have grown apart. Now that this is here people will still be cautious or worried. They might pay more attention to hygiene. Also people might be just too worried and focus on them being okay, so doing less, maybe too worried to do things.

Creative Songstress, age 14

For some people, it will change their life. For us it’s kind of stayed normal except we’ve not being going out as much or going to school. I think in the next few months the Government is going to keep it limited to what you do, but you will be able to do a bit more. You’ll be able to go to shops more, going on more than one walk a day and be able to talk to family members whilst social distancing. I listen to a little bit of the news on the radio. Today I found a little bit of news quite easy to understand but it’s not often easy.

It’ll be better because you’re not stuck in the house all day and not constantly bored and sitting or doing something in your house. Because it does get quite boring. I’d say once every three days, I feel bored. I play this game called Fortnite and they update it every three days. Until they do that, I get bored.

Ringtone, age 10

This lockdown will be forever remembered, for all the lives taken by this virus or the lives taken by the ones we look to protect us. It’s been a hard year so far and it’s gonna affect a lot of families. This experience will have been hard for those with big families to feed and bills to pay without having a job. Some people were getting money from the government, most weren’t. After this lockdown it’s gonna take time for families to get back together and sort stuff out!

Techboy 20, age 13

I think life will be different because there’s this new virus which is related which is really bad for children. So that will change children’s lives because they need to be very careful. I don’t know if there’s medicine but if there’s a jag you will need to get it. I’m more worried about other people’s lives than my life. Sometimes mum stops eating so I’ll say ‘I’m not eating until you’re eating!’ I do it when she might not eat or stop eating because she’s maybe stressed. I think she might be worried about her mum.

Catnip, age 10

Yes I think it will change kids and that they will start washing their hands more at school instead of just doing their business and then going back to class. I think it will definitely take weeks for things to get ‘back to normal’. It’s hard for young children to do social distancing though. I’m lucky I’m not in P7 right now! I’d have to look after the little ones and remind them to not go near each other. I feel bad for the kids who are missing their transition time as well. It must be really hard to school leavers who are trying to do something else after, and in their prelims it might not have been so good, and they might be worried and it’s quite unfair about what might happen next for them. I missed my first sports day as well, I was really looking forward to it!

B. Baggins, age 12

I think it will be different because a lot of people haven’t seen anybody at all in the last few weeks, so they might be catching up with people which should be good. But some people might not have anyone to catch up with. I’m looking forward to seeing my friends, but even seeing your friends might be a bit weird after not seeing them for all this time. Usually we’d be inviting all our cousins around, but now we can’t really do that right now.

We’re obviously still doing schoolwork at home, but we’ll probably go back to school after the summer. I think one change will be that everybody will be at different levels, because some people will be able to do their work and others won’t.

Everybody will try to get a lot more exercise and go outside more, because they’ve been doing that a lot more in lockdown. And I think everybody will be trying to keep a bit more hygienic, washing our hands a bit more to keep safe and healthy.

Zoomer, age 10

As we come out of lockdown, would you like your community to be different?

Our journalists have seen kindness expressed during the lockdown, and want people to remember those kind acts and maintain positive behaviours. Schools are an important part of the community and kindness needs to be experienced there too. Children are keen to see people maintain the rules around hygiene and social distancing that keep people safe. Journalists also report that the environment has benefited from less litter, perhaps this could be sustained.

I hope that schools look into making sure kids are safe at school. Not just being super hygienic but making sure they’re okay in the community around them and so on.

Bruno the Hamster, age 12

After quarantine, everybody should keep on being kind. People have been a lot kinder during quarantine and I want it to stay like this. If you’ve got anyone who’s classed as vulnerable, maybe you could go and help them with their shopping or pop round to say hello while social distancing or write them a letter or talk to them over the phone. For children, you could try playing with them while social distancing, like catch games where you don’t need to be right next to each other and at risk.

Ringtone, age 10

Things will be pretty much the same, but not back to total normal.

Skateboard Skater, age 13

In our village they’re talking about building a small cinema. Which would be a good thing for everyone to work on together.

Mr. Cheese, age 11

I want there to be less rubbish on the streets. People should put things in the bin, so my community is cleaner and nicer to be in.

Beluga8, age 8

I think we should be more aware, like every 5th day when you go outside, or after break or lunch or before you eat, you should wash your hands. It should be a rule. Teachers should confiscate your food until you’ve washed your hands. I don’t know, maybe that would be a bit mean though!

Catnip, age 10

When we go back I think lots of people are still going to be really cautious. I hope people will be more open, I want to be able to go back and do all the things I did before. I think it will bring some families closer, to make the most of time we will have together because we will appreciate not having seen each other. We will treasure the fact of being so far away from each other, we should be more aware. We can make the most of time when we have it together.

Ultra Bee, age 13

I would like people to remember how much kinder they were and try to keep that up, like letting older people go in front of them, being a little bit more polite. It’s all the little things that people can do but don’t often do. It would just make it a little bit nicer for everyone. I would also like people to appreciate the NHS more. I don’t think that a lot of other people realise that you have to pay for the NHS and medicine and things for that in other countries. We get our medicine and prescriptions for free.

Luna Loveart, age 10

I think we should all be a bit more safe at school, by washing our hands and things like that. I’d want to keep spending more time with family. We’ve been going outside together a lot more together. That’s something I’d like to stay the same. I think I’ve been using screens a lot less. I’d like to try to keep using them less because I’ve realised that the times I’ve not been using them are a bit more fun than sitting in my room playing games.

Zoomer, age 10

I don’t think much will change. I like that people have kept things cleaner, looking after the environment, so maybe it will be cleaner and not so dirty.

Creative Songstress, age 14

I would just like the community to take it easy. Just because the restrictions are being eased it doesn’t mean you can go out to all places and then leave your junk behind you. This virus is still out there and still killing. Take it easy and still try and stay home as much as possible, because we don’t want to go back to stage one so please stay safe.

Techboy 20, age 13

Yes, I would like it to change the community to make sure there is social distancing because if we are standing right next to each other we could be passing germs to one another. Maybe we need to do that even do that for the next year or so. So we know we are not passing germs on to anyone.

B. Baggins, age 12

As we come out of lockdown, would you like Scotlandto be different?

Our journalists imagine a Scotland where people are treated fairly and with respect, where we are better at looking after our environment. Journalists hope that people might maintain some of the healthier habits they have acquired during lockdown. They also write that people continue to worry about Coronavirus and this will affect the quality of their lives as we emerge from lockdown.

I want adults to understand that they could be a bit more supportive. They should talk to children a bit more and ask them how they are doing. If a child isn’t doing well just ask them how they’re not doing well and try to help to make them feel better. I’d want everyone to be healthier, keeping good hygiene and make sure everyone knows how to stay safe.

Zoomer, age 10

People won’t travel so much but the main difference will probably be that people will be less active, maybe hiding in their house because they worry. And probably less visitors to Scotland because they are worried about the virus.

Creative Songstress, age 14

I would like Scotland to be different and for people to be a lot kinder. And for people to get out more instead of staying in the house all day. As lockdown ends, I think they children shouldn’t go right back to playing with their friends. They should give it a couple of weeks to give it time to settle a bit.

Ringtone, age 10

I think probably people all over the world are using screens a lot more. After, I think that should definitely change, so we’re not wasting time. But maybe in other schools children should be given technology. Our school is quite lucky to have tablets. A lot of children at home don’t have a tablet and have to go through a lot of hassle to see people or to do homework, like getting on to a parent’s phone. Here children get them from P6 up to S6 and it makes things easier for families.

Mr. Cheese, age 11

The only thing that needs to be different that’s not only for Scotland but for the whole world is the way police handle things. This week a man under the name of George Floyd was sadly killed by a police officer, this has become a war between the police and the community, this needs to stop, we already have deaths happening and now this!

Techboy 20, age 13

Well our popularity might go down, like people might not visit Scotland. Our population might have gone down because of the virus.

Skateboard Skater, age 13

I think everyone should have a house. Rents should be lower so people can afford it and homeless people have somewhere to live too. I want to cut down on plastic pollution. And I really want Scotland to be its own country.

Beluga8, age 8

To be honest I’m more worried about Scotland completely changing rather than what I would like to change. The economy’s close to a depression. That’s insane. But I suppose this has shown us how easy it is to take care of the environment more. Maybe not driving cars when you can walk.

Bruno the Hamster, age 12

I don’t want it to be too different because there are lots of things I like to do. Every place is different in its own way and it is special to me.

CoolKitty, age 8

Lots of people took lockdown really seriously, but others less so. I’ve seen people drop off shopping for people who need it, maybe lockdown is a bit of an excuse to do something nice for someone, instead of not, maybe people could keep doing that because they can, not because they have to.

Ultra Bee, age 13

I would like Scotland to change by limiting the amount of people that are in a shop at once. Because, if we are all crammed into one space and people are coughing and sneezing I don’t want to breathe it in. If they don’t know they are carrying the virus it can travel through the air and I can breathe it in. Keep prices of food and petrol down low, to make it easier for people. People should be out walking and cycling more. Less air pollution would be great. I think people should stop smoking as well because it’s disgusting and they could get the virus more.

B. Baggins, age 12

I’d like everyone be more aware and pick a better Prime Minister because the one we have now has been doing not too much!

Catnip, age 10

It’s been a tough few months. So, who is your lockdown hero?

Perhaps the term ‘hero’ is overused. But at Children’s Parliament we like to acknowledge those adults who day-in day-out do their best for children. We asked our Journalists who their lockdown heroes are, and for the most part it is the adults who love and care for them every day. Our journalists also recognise the important work of those people doing jobs that keep everyone fed, warm, safe, healthy and informed.

I think I have a few – my mum, dad and auntie who is a keyworker in a supermarket like my dad. Every time she comes home she goes up stairs and washes her hands and gives herself a shower. She doesn’t go to see my granny until after she’s had a shower and washed her hands. They are heroes because granny is very old and she was born during or after world war two so if granny gets coronavirus there’s a chance she might not survive.

Catnip, age 10

I would say my mum and my brother because they’re keeping me safe and generally being a lot kinder to me. They were already kind to me but they’re all being even more kind. I think we’re all doing much better as a family generally. I’d also say everybody who’s still working and keeping Scotland running. If none of them were working, there wouldn’t be any water, any food or any electricity.

Ringtone, age 10

My mum, she’s been doing everything, helping me with school work and everything. I’ve stuck with the rules, she’s helped me do that.

Skateboard Skater, age 13

Probably Nicola Sturgeon. She’s been trying her best to make sure the virus isn’t spreading in Scotland. I think things have been lifted a bit too early down in England, but I think she’s doing a really good job of keeping us safe from the virus. I’m agreeing with all the rules she’s lifting, and she’s not rushing things too much. I’ve been watching on the telly and my mum has also been telling us about it and I’ve heard her talking to other people about it.

Mr. Cheese, age 11

My dad – he’s done a lot, he’s done shopping for people, just because he could. My step-mum’s friend found a baby bird on the ground and my dad took it to the vet and made sure it was ok. He’s done a lot to help everyone, whether it’s in our house or people around us, he’s helped them a lot.

Ultra Bee, age 13

My lockdown hero is my mum. She has made sure we are all fine, always checking if I am okay, keeping us clean and not in contact with the virus. She always keeps up to date, she knows what’s going on so she can help protect me and my brother and sister from it. I’d also say Nicola Sturgeon, she’s done pretty well on this. She’s doing what she’s supposed to do. She puts out rules to help us be safe and does it slowly. She makes everyone feel it’ll be okay which is nice.

Creative Songstress, age 14

My mummy because she’s helped me stay calmed down in lockdown and learn how to be healthy, like washing my hands properly. I just think it’s nice to be with her.

Beluga8, age 8

Since the start of lockdown my gran is the one who has been supportive. She has been non-stop buying us garden things to keep us entertained. She has kept me and my nephew occupied during this lockdown and is continuing till this day, and I thank her for this.

Techboy 20, age 13

My lockdown hero has been my dad. He goes and gets all the food so my mum my brother and me don’t have to be at risk. He makes sure we’re never bored. He got us a pool, he took us to the beach and he got us water balloons which was really fun and great because of the hot weather. I love him so much. He’s the best.

Luna Loveart, age 10

My mum has been helping me and my wee sister and is always here to help us when we need help. She’s always there to help us within seconds and has always got something funny to say. She’ll just cheer you up when you’re feeling sad. If you’re in a bad mood she’ll be there to talk to you and cheer you up.

Zoomer, age 10

Mama because she cares for me every day and she plays very patiently with me and she is the one that goes out every week for the shopping for us because she’s the only one who can do it. She makes sure we’re alright and I think that’s very kind and special and that’s why she’s my hero.

CoolKitty, age 8

The person who has done a lot for me during lockdown is (carer named) because she makes sure that I am happy and that I have everything I need and makes me laugh a lot mainly because she puts tiny Tim videos on. A person from social work arranged a disco through Zoom, it was a great thing to do, really good fun and I saw some friends at it.

B. Baggins, age 12

I think the people that are working in the background deserve an applause. The NHS, the people researching this virus, the police and everyone doing they’re bit to get rid of this virus.

Bruno the Hamster, age 12

Do you have something you would like our journalists to consider? Or any feedback for the children? Get in touch info@childrensparliament.org.uk with the subject line The Corona Times Journal.

Corona Times Journal: Edition 4

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