Written by Gauri Kashyap
LLM Intellectual Property Law
Like many other students from Bournemouth University, I chose to stay in the UK and not return home to India for the duration of the pandemic. It was a difficult decision that had to be made for the safety of my family and I. Many of us who chose to stay back have, in past few weeks, often felt lonely and isolated. We’ve second guessed our choices and have felt forced to live with the decisions we’ve made. I have found that it is easier to overcome this sense of helplessness with the help of family and friends.
The past few weeks have been isolating and lonely, for sure. But the surprising outcome of this has been the human connections made from this distance. After months (and years, in some cases), I got the opportunity to talk to old friends from school. Large group video calls took me straight back to my school days – it was the same banter, fights and laughs – something I thought I would have to wait for a reunion to relive. I got the chance to video call my cousin after months, and saw his newly sprouted moustache which entertained me to no end. Group video calls with family is the closest thing I can have right now to sitting in a room with all of them, and truly, it has not been too bad!
It is strange that it took me a global pandemic to pick up the phone and call those I love. Perhaps we are beginning to see that in the chaos of daily life, we forget the things that really matter. That while external things help us live, human connections are what keeps us alive.
Even in my student accommodation, support systems like ResLifeBU have made WhatsApp groups for those who stayed back. And while we don’t meet in the interest of safety, there is great comfort in knowing that there are people like you in a similar situations, and that all of us are coping together.
The future is uncertain at best. But maybe this is the time we take to slow down; reach out to the people we care for and feel a sense of community, albeit it be from afar. Here’s too wishing you all safety and a sense of togetherness in these troubled times.