Coronavirus

In January 2020, in Wuhan, China, a new virus COVID 19, was identified that quickly spread first to South East Asia and then to other parts of the world including Europe and the UK. In March the World Health Organisation declared it a pandemic.

The virus attacks the respiratory system and can be fatal in a small percentage of those affected especially among elderly with an underlying health condition. There is as yet no vaccine that can neutralise the virus. It is typically spread by droplets from the breath of an infected person and also by touching surfaces that may have been infected. The symptoms include shortage of breath, a persistent dry cough, a fever, and loss of taste/ smell.

In the meantime countries have responded to the virus in a variety of ways. Most by imposing a lockdown on activity that causes people to be close together at work, play, school etc. People are asked to respect 'social distancing' namely keeping a gap of one to two metres from other people, not shaking hands and wash their hands regularly with soap and water.

Deaths in the UK in hospitals and care homes were 44,000 as at July 1, 2020. Primary schools began re-opening on a limited scale on June 1. It is the government's intention that all schools should reopen in September. There are no plans to reopen universities.

In the UK the lockdown is being gradually lifted. Shops, restaurants, cafes, cinemas and theme parks are already or about to be reopened with restrictions on access.

How has it felt like returning to school and with classes arranged differently from what you are used to? How useful did you find the teaching you got on line when you were at home?