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Young people share their thoughts on how to stay safe during the pandemic

Lockdowns, Christmas and what to look forward to in 2021 - young people at one of Wiltshire's secondary schools have been sharing their thoughts on how to stay safe and looking after mental health during a pandemic.

Published 17 December 2020
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The sixth formers from John of Gaunt school spoke to Wiltshire Council to talk about their own experiences and to also share messages with other young people reminding everyone to stay safe during the pandemic.

In his video, Andrew said it was tough but people need to follow the measures: "I want to see my friends probably just as much as you do and I've struggled this year very much because I haven't been able to - but please just try alternatives like maybe do a massive video call, maybe organise an online movie that you can watch together or video games to play - just do please try to follow them - especially masking, even if it's just for going into the shop and then coming back out. Please follow them because they protect people like my gran for example, they probably protect people in your family, friends - we might not be the most affected group but it does add up and it's important that we follow them."

Alex added: "At first the pandemic seemed like the end of the world, I couldn't do my exams and I couldn't see anyone. As time progressed I began to understand the restrictions and I began to wear a mask out and about. I wear a mask to protect my friends and family, I think everyone should do this."

Liberty added her thoughts on how young people can stay sane during a difficult year:  "I would say to talk to the people around you because they are going through the same thing and it's not just us. People aren't here to judge and there is a vaccine coming soon. To end this thing we have to follow regulations and listen to people who know stuff which we don't know.

"For 2021 I'd like the virus to slow down and for you to understand what is actually going on and for there to be more information so we can finally get round to doing what we want to do."

The students also shared their thoughts on Christmas and 2021.

Jamie said: "I am looking forward to spending some quality time with my family. All we can do is mask up, distance ourselves and protect others, things will get better for this year and next year."

Andrew added: "My hopes for Christmas is to hopefully just have a nice Christmas, it might be different, it might be meaning having to go to online places to see certain things or it might be a bit more closed in but I'm just looking forward to at least seeing my immediate family and having that Christmas dinner.

Kate Blackburn, Director of Public Health for Wiltshire said: "Thank you to these young people for sharing their thoughts and offering some great advice. This year has been challenging for everyone and for young people it has presented its own challenges and disruptions, but I am pleased to see these students have some great ideas on how to stay safe. As we enjoy the Christmas break it is vitally important we continue to adhere to government guidance and regularly wash hands, maintain social distancing and wear a face covering where appropriate. We all need to play our part to keep each other as safe as possible."

Published 17 December 2020
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