Quarantine. Every student has experienced it at some point in this godawful year of 2020. Being trapped in your own home, with nothing but your laptop and your thoughts to keep you company is something many of us are acquainted with.

But when we finally emerged from our houses on the first day of the new school term like anxious hermits out of seclusion, blinking in the bright autumn sun, many of us were faced with new restrictions put in place in order to keep us sanitised, away from each other and ultimately coronavirus-free. Our school (Woodford County High), offers hand sanitiser stations in every classroom which dispense gel smelling vaguely of malt vinegar, keeps us in socially distanced 'bubbles' in order to minimise contact with the younger years, and instruct us to wear masks in the corridors as we meander from classroom to classroom.

How have these new regulations impacted students, one might find themselves asking? Being a student myself, I for one found the new rules of sanitising after ever lesson and keeping masks on the majority of the time tiresome, but necessary. However, my opinion is not representative of the entire student body, so I decided to interview some of my fellow Year 12s to ask how they were getting along.

How do you feel about the new restrictions at school?

Luckshika: I think the school’s doing really well.

Dhanisha: The new restrictions have become the norm. While they were unusual at first, I have come to accept them.

Nidhi: I think our school has done the best they possibly can with them.

Do you feel they have impacted your learning at all?

L: I don’t think it’s impacted my learning.

D: I don’t feel like they have impacted my learning. Only small aspects like not being able to carry out practicals in science subjects, and not being able to freely go to the library.

N: They haven’t stopped me from learning when at school specifically.

Do you feel safe at school?

L: I feel safe.

D: Yes, I feel safe.

N: I feel safe at school, but not around people at school, if that makes sense. Restrictions are all fine but they’re entirely dependent on student behaviour.

Our new lives as students during a worldwide pandemic are unusual. Days filled with slight anxiety that you might bring the virus home to your family, time spent rubbing gel on hands and putting masks on and off are now part of the norm at every high school across the U.K, but everyone is doing the best that they can, considering the circumstances. Let’s all just pray that things get better soon, so we can all get back to weekends out, hanging with friends and socialising with others as soon as possible.