Editor's column

Pushing past the lockdown blues

Usually I write my editorial in the Media Office, looking out over the Square while I wonder how I’ve managed to leave it to the last minute yet again. The deadline rush hasn’t changed, but the setting has. I’m sitting at home, surrounded by stacks of books (you can probably guess who my module focuses on by the main story’s headline). 

I’ve always preferred summer in Norwich. The barbecues by the lake, the snakebites in the Square… suddenly all that concrete doesn’t seem so drab anymore. 

But this year we only had a glimpse of what we’re missing. Most students have gone home, and all teaching has been moved online.

It would have to be a strange time for words such as Zoom and Houseparty to be firmly embedded in our everyday vocabulary. And yet, it doesn’t feel strange in such a bad way anymore. 

Sure, I miss uni. I miss my friends, I miss the Media Office, and most of all I miss Norwich. But suddenly I’m having weekly group chats with friends I wouldn’t usually chat to so regularly, as well as all these virtual pub sessions. 

But I’m still irritated by one question. Beyond the debate around the government’s response to the pandemic, and beyond the ludicrous 5G conspiracy theories, I’m wondering how much can people take? The days blend together even though each hour seems an age. We must stay at home and follow the government’s advice. This is arguably the largest event in our lifetimes so far. But will students’ patience run out? We are paying for continued Zoom classes and hopefully a full education, but we’re missing out on the rest of university life. Will there be a tipping point I wonder?

Who knows? At the moment you’re sitting on your laptop reading my editorial. But don’t worry, although we’re not in print we’ve just published our latest issue online! From news to music to travel and sport, this issue is another cracking read. 

So sit back, relax, enjoy the sunshine and have a read of this edition, it’s a fantastic one.

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About Author

Chris Matthews

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May 2022
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The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

If you would like to get in touch, email the Editor on L.Hargreaves@uea.ac.uk. Follow us at @ConcreteUEA.