My Experience Living Through Covid-19 in the USA and the UK

We are coming up onto a year of this pandemic and I am realizing that I have spent eight months living in lockdown. Here is what I have learned living through Covid-19 in both the UK and the USA.

 

England and the United States have responded to the pandemic very differently. The United States didn’t seem to care too much and while the UK was certainly concerned the government left us all feeling lost and confused by the constantly changing restrictions.  

 

In March the Covid-19 cases were getting very high in the UK and Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the country into a very strict lockdown. We were allowed outside once a day and we could only go to the grocery store. I lived like that from March to May. In June I decided to go back home to my Mom’s house in America for the summer. After my two week quarantine I quickly realized that the US was not taking the pandemic quite as seriously as the UK. I started working at a restaurant in Florida in June and we weren’t even required to wear masks until mid-July! 

Being in America felt like a little break from the pandemic which, selfishly, was very relieving. 

 

In October I flew back to England because my University was going back to in person classes. Literally two weeks after my quarantine the UK went back into lockdown, again. This lockdown wasn’t as bad as the first one because most restaurants and cafes were doing take away and I lived with my close friends. Though I appreciated that the UK was taking the pandemic seriously I found the advice from the Government very confusing. We were bouncing back and forth from tiers and the restrictions within each tier was confusing. For example, we could only sit inside an establishment with a group smaller than six, then we could only order alcohol if we ordered ‘a substantial meal,’ and then eventually the Government scrapped indoor seating completely. Primary schools were open, but not universities- even though we are still paying the same tuition for Zoom classes. 

 

I went back to the US for Christmas and then flew back to England mid-January. The day I arrived PM Johnson announced the third lockdown. I wasn’t even in the country for more than five hours and yet I found myself back in lockdown. Clearly I have terrible luck. England plans to start easing restrictions on April 12, and let me tell you I can’t wait to get back to normal. 

 

Every plan I tried to make this past year has gone out of the window, which (as a virgo) is very hard for me. The pandemic has taught me to be okay with plans changing. I have also become a much better cook and happier spending time alone, something I really struggled with last March.  The frustration of losing a year of my life has eased and been replaced with gratitude that none of my close friends and family have been hospitalized from Covid-19, but needless to say I am super excited to finally meet my friends at literally any establishment this summer.