COVID-19 presents a unique challenge to our country and one that we are rising to. But for young people there is a lot of unanswered questions. How are we meant to feel during this? Is it to feel sad and upset? How can I play my part as a responsible young person throughout this pandemic?
What a year 2020 has been already – things have dramatically changed in the last month. People’s reality and livelihoods have been turned upside down; emergency powers have been introduced for police; and many young people, like myself, are left worrying about what this means for our futures.
I have been struggling to answer young people’s questions of late. The truth is that we, collectively, do not know what the future holds. I’m used to helping out my young constituents where I can, but when it comes to the pandemic, I’m unable to find a solution to their current worries.
Young people all across Scotland (not just in my constituency) have plenty of questions about what COVID-19 means for them and their futures. That could include uncertainty about their exam results, or apprenticeships, part time jobs, or their daily lives. We still have a long way to go in the fight against the virus, and, as we have been informed: “It will only get worse, before it gets easier!”
Many of you will be bored of your own company by now, I certainly am… But let’s embrace the task at hand: we must do what we can to reduce the spread of the virus. We all have a part to play in this – young people included. We must ask ourselves “What can we do to help our communities?”. Without putting yourself and others at risk, do what you can for your community during lockdown. I recommend checking out national and local community action groups in Scotland. In my local constituency of Cowdenbeath, we have “BERT” and “Lochgelly Beat Corona Group”. On a national level, the “Scotland Cares” movement is doing an excellent job – and you can get involved! Young Scot have produced some awesome resources to help us understand the Coronavirus outbreak, too.
This is a global effort, and we, as Scotland’s young people, need to act as role models and rise to the challenge. You can also play your part in having your voice heard by responding to our survey titled Lockdown Lowdown. In partnership with Young Scot and YouthLink Scotland, we’re gathering your thoughts and concerns over COVID-19 so we can present these to decision-makers, too ensure your needs are heard and listened to during and after this pandemic. We want to ensure your concerns are addressed so please take the time to respond, and send this link on to your peers.
I promise you this – things will be okay. I know it may not look like it just now, but they will get better. However, we all must heed to government advice to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.
Please do not go and meet friends, family or unnecessarily travel to places. Please play your part by not spreading the ‘invisible’ virus. Together, we can and we will get through this on the other side, stronger than before.
Additional resource in light of schools reopening: Back To School After Lockdown – Tips From An NHS Psychologist. This article contains tips and advice for parents on preparing in advance for school reopening, managing worry and anxiety, and links to further important resources.
If any young person has any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me via email at Bailey-Lee.Robb.MSYP@sypmail.org.uk or through Twitter at @BaileyLeeMSYP.