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.

In the UK schools were locked down for the summer term but reopened in September. A second 28 day lockdown was imposed on November 5, 2020 but schools remain open.

Deaths in the UK in hospitals and care homes exceeded 100,000 in January 2021, the highest figure in Europe. In the same week the US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer in association with the German firm Bayer announced that a vaccine tested on over 40,000 people had shown a 90% success in combating the virus.

How has it felt living at a time of pandemic? And how has it felt being back at school wearing a mask in communal areas and with classes arranged differently from what you are used to? If you can remember how useful did you find the teaching you got on line when you were at home?