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Casey's story

 

My name is Casey, I am 13 years old and my account of the lockdown has been very surreal.

There has been good times and there has been hard times. Mostly it made me realise how important my health and family is, and how important it is to follow the government guidelines so that we can live our lives again the way we are used to.

I started my day off with PE lesson each morning, than moved onto my usual time table for school, focusing on our core subjects, but also French, Latin and Philosophy. We even had class on the two bank holidays to ensure that we were going to be ready to sit our Common Entrance Exams in June. It was hard preparing for such an important exam without my teachers being with me. We sat our exams in a virtual exam room, with virtual invigilators, which was a first, not just for me but for my school and in the history of Common Entrance. Our virtual classroom even had a way to see if you had any other tabs open to prevent people from cheating. And then there was, of course my mum watching.

The class of 2020 was the first to have virtual lessons, to sit virtual exams, to do virtual exercises and I was the first to have virtual fencing lessons and high impact training via Zoom. Unfortunately fencing has not been allowed to resume yet, but I will keep working hard at home, hitting targets on the wall, and trying hard not to damage anything. I am currently the GB Under 14 number 1 Epee Fencer, and working hard to try and qualify for the Common Wealth Games next year. I am also the Welsh National Champion as well as the German National Champion. During lockdown I also did my first Half Marathon. I entered the Welsh Half Marathon and did it virtually in my garden after drawing some inspiration from Sir Tom Moore. I also took part in the weekly NHS clap. Members of British Fencing adapted the weekly clap and we created “Salute the NHS”. This was to great delight of everyone on my street as I was in full fencing kit, including my mask and epee proudly displaying my National Squad colours.

Everything we did had to take place indoors and my exercise was in my back garden as my mum was still undergoing chemotherapy. This classed her as extremely vulnerable, which meant we were self-isolating.

Once every two weeks someone from Hillingdon Council delivered a care package which included food and toiletries. In the beginning, online shopping was hard as it took a while to get added onto the governments vulnerable list and home delivery slots were hard to get.  I would like to say thank you to Hillingdon Council for making sure my mom and I were looked after during this very stressful pandemic and I would like to say thank you very much to the NHS for looking after everyone who needed your help. You have sacrificed being with your own family to make sure our families were going to be ok.

Submitted by Casey's mum, Christelle - 2020

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