How has the pandemic changed me?

 NOTE: this is based on personal experience only and in no way seeks to presume that this was a common experience, nor diminish the (likely worse) experiences of many others. Neither I, nor any of my loved ones has been put into hospital or died due to the virus, so I write from the perspective of someone impacted most intensely by the lockdowns imposed by in response to … Continue reading How has the pandemic changed me?

The Value of Touch: Handholding, Hugging and Humans

Of all the bizarre things that have come out of the pandemic, including wearing masks and shortages of toilet paper, not being allowed to hug your loved ones is arguably the strangest, yet to me, it’s the one I’ve questioned least. Isn’t it weird? We had to and must continue to protect those most at risk, but when you really think about the fact that hugging, kissing, hand holding, all classic examples of showing affection, became illegal and we hardly questioned it, it’s crazy! Continue reading The Value of Touch: Handholding, Hugging and Humans

F*ck, I’m Lonely: Reflections on the Ongoing Pandemic

To set the scene for you, Boris has just made his latest announcement that the proposed June 21st end date to the pandemic will be postponed for a further four weeks. And I’m crying my eyes out while the BBQ party next door start to play ‘Pump it Up’ by Endor (not the kind of movie setting I was hoping for). Continue reading F*ck, I’m Lonely: Reflections on the Ongoing Pandemic

The AstraZeneca Vaccine vs The Pill: The Ongoing Neglect of Women’s Reproductive Health

As the Covid-19 vaccine rollout takes place nationwide, concerns have been raised about possible side effects, particularly in the case of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. According to Pharmaceutical Technology, twenty million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine had been administered by 12th April 2021. Seventy-nine blood clot cases were reported by the end of March, and of those cases, nineteen people died. The Gov.uk website tells us that the risk of blood clotting after a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in people over fifty or with underlying medical issues is ‘extremely rare’: approximately 1 in every 100, 000 doses. The same is said for those in the 40 – 49 age bracket. For those between the ages of 18 – 39, this risk is doubled to 1 in every 50, 000 doses, which has led to under forties in the UK being offered an alternative vaccine to mitigate this risk. The European Medicines Agency subsequently investigated the risk of blood clotting and determined that AstraZeneca is ‘safe and effective’. Naturally, in a period of great upheaval, people will experience worries about the various emerging vaccines, but the minute risk of blood clotting, is no reason not to get vaccinated. Having a vaccination is an important and overwhelmingly beneficial act, and will help to protect yourself and others, despite the scaremongering regarding AstraZeneca from anti-vax groups. Continue reading The AstraZeneca Vaccine vs The Pill: The Ongoing Neglect of Women’s Reproductive Health

Mourning Together, For All

The grief felt after the news of a celebrities’ death can often be akin to that felt towards a relative or friend. Although we do not know the celebrity and have generally never had a personal interaction with them, shared a meaningful conversation or experienced life alongside them, news of their death can leave us feeling bereaved and grief-stricken. After the recent passing of actress, Helen McCrory, I felt a sadness comparable to losing someone close to me. I knew Helen McCrory primarily from her role in Peaky Blinders, yet this did not lessen the loss I felt and her husband, Damien Lewis’, tribute to her in The Times brought me to tears. Continue reading Mourning Together, For All

Coping with Lockdown Libido Loss

It has been a year of actively avoiding physical touch. When we walk through the supermarket we duck and dodge the elderly ladies with inexplicable death wishes, we cringingly recoil from welcoming hugs offered by old (and apparently stupid) friends, and, like Lady Macbeth, we relentlessly scrub at the library desk before we sit down to prevent touching others by proxy. So, it only makes sense that touching sexual partners has somewhat lost its appeal. Continue reading Coping with Lockdown Libido Loss

Curtain Call in COVID-19

The last time I saw live theatre was back in late 2019, when I was sat watching Paul O’Grady in drag performing in the pantomime version of Goldilocks. Despite my preconceptions of watching a pantomime as an adult, it was surprisingly rude and worthy of genuine laughs out loud. I left the theatre entertained and desperate to tell any unlucky acquaintance about the past two hours of sex and bum jokes I had just witnessed. Over a year later, it looks like theatres will finally be able to reopen to half capacity on 17 May 2021, and full capacity on that fated day in June 2021. But with the cinema industry hit hard enough to bankrupt Cineworld, things don’t bode well for the theatre industry. Continue reading Curtain Call in COVID-19

Interview: Art Society Discusses Lockdown Life Drawing

It’s an overwhelming understatement to say that it’s been a difficult year, for very obvious reasons. Everything, in our personal, professional, and literally physical existences, has become increasingly strained and under pressure. Approaching the year anniversary of our first lockdown, this pressure is building more than ever. This also means that it’s been almost a year since societies have been able to run any regular events. In-person events are crucial to the running of many societies and with guidelines changing all the time and the country moving in and out of lockdowns and tiers, the impact has been far felt. However, COVID-19 has had a particularly dramatic impact on the art community in Exeter, with restrictions preventing perhaps the most personal of in-person events, the life drawing class. Continue reading Interview: Art Society Discusses Lockdown Life Drawing