Looking forward to September

Without a doubt, it has been a tough year and I commend everyone’s hard work despite the less than perfect situation. As this academic year comes to an end, we are all looking forward to September, when we will all be united on campus once again.

We asked some of our friends from around the world to share with us what they are looking forward to in September.

The UK

Eben: Feeling part of a proper class community again

Ukraine

Nastya: Just simply returning to a sense of normality 

Nigeria 

Saratu: No longer having many time differences amongst all my friends; it’s been too much of a strain on my mental maths! 

China 

Anna: Not having to heavily rely on technology and my bad WiFi at home! Also getting to see people in person again

Hong Kong 

Tom: Being set free from quarantine so I can be my social self again

Malaysia 

Hazel: Returning to a normal and more fulfilling school timetable and routine

I’m sure these thoughts and feelings resonate with us all, helping us remember that in a way we are still connected despite being physically apart. This time away from Concord has also clearly created an opportunity to reflect upon things we appreciate, but may’ve previously taken for granted. I think this will make the return back extra special. We look forward to seeing you all on a buzzing campus once again!

Holly, Winona and Rose – 6.1

A day in my life during lockdown

Created by Cindy – 6.1

OOPS: Fitness session during lockdown

2020… 

If I were to rate my experience with the current global pandemic, I think I would give it a solid ten (on a scale of 100, that is).

Because of the rapid spread of COVID-19, gyms worldwide have been closed. Outdoor activities have been strongly discouraged and limited, too, in a bid to decrease the rate of infection by the novel coronavirus. Now, you may be asking yourself questions like, “How am I going to maintain my fitness without a good workout?” or “Am I going to be able to keep in good shape?”

Well, for starters, we can forget about trying to get some fresh air outside of our homes. It’s simply out of our reach for now for many people. However, not only are there still things that can be done to keep fit during this lockdown period, but also some that can help increase fitness even after lockdown! Let me introduce you to O.O.P.S.

OOPS?

Since most of us are stuck at home, I devised a plan to help myself keep fit, and I would like to share it. Personally, I have found that OOPS is especially convenient for people like me who lack fitness equipment at home. Let’s get started and learn more!

O — ONE STONE, TWO BIRDS

Rather than staying in bed all day, why not help with housework every 2 to 3 days? Many studies have concluded that roughly 400 to 500 calories are burnt from cleaning, mopping and wiping an average-sized apartment. This number of calories is equal to what is burnt while completing a five kilometer run!

This is really like using one stone to kill two birds: with a bit of physical labour, your home is once again immaculate, and you would also have gotten some great exercise in. On top of that, perhaps it may be mummy or daddy who usually does all the housework, so why not take this chance to help them out and relieve some of their burden?

O — ONE VIDEO A DAY, IT’S ALL IT TAKES

Are you feeling lost as to where to start or what workouts to include in your routine? Well, there are countless videos on YouTube that can help: for me, they have almost become a holy grail of some sort.

These videos are done by fitness professionals who recommend effective and quick workouts that can easily be added to your daily routine. The videos vary in duration, but most of them are no more than fifteen minutes long; rest assured that this addition to your life will not be overly time consuming.

So, if you are struggling to find ways to keep fit because of the lockdown, you could go and hit the play button on a quick home workout video. Come on, what are you waiting for?

P — PUT THAT FRIED CHICKEN DOWN!

An extremely important part of fitness is having a proper diet. On YouTube, there are many before-and-after body transformation videos from ‘workout junkies’, who we often want to emulate because they are seemingly healthy despite their unbalanced diets. Unfortunately, this is not an effective way to maintain health.

No matter what you may be trying to achieve, whether it is reaching a certain level of body fat percentage or just trying to stay fit in general, effective dieting makes up 70% of the process.

Lockdown is a good time for us to stay at home and review our current diets. Is your calorie intake appropriate with regards to your output? Have you been consuming too much junk food? Eating food is the only way your body gets fuel for metabolism every day. Hence, substances you put in your mouth will ultimately have a significant impact on your body.

The first step towards fitness is consuming an appropriate amount of different nutrients and not an excessive quantity of a particular one. Therefore, foods that are greasy, or in general, lack a balance of macronutrients — carbohydrates, proteins and fats — should be avoided at all costs. Another way of saying this is, “Put that fried chicken down!”

S — STAY HOME, STAY SAFE

With the outbreak of the coronavirus, it is vital that we stay at home to reduce the risk of contracting the virus. This should be of utmost importance right now as we face the current pandemic head-on. Remember to follow your local lockdown or quarantine policies: stay home, stay safe.

Moving towards improved fitness and better health is difficult, but taking action step-by-step can make things much easier. It is most important that we stay focused and stick to our exercise routines and diets in order to make progress. Over the past few weeks, I myself have tried out the OOPS technique. Needless to say, it has been quite enjoyable and effective as I tried new ways of getting back into shape.

Anson – 6.1

COVID-19 in Shropshire: A student perspective

Our names are Rose, Holly, and Cindy and we are currently in 6.1 at Concord College as ‘Day Students’ living very near the school in Shropshire. We are going to be writing a few blogs about the realities of the coronavirus here in the UK, as we feel it differs greatly from media portrayals. We seek to reassure overseas parents and students that are starting/returning to college in September.

 

Rose:  It is understandable that the UK having the highest death rate in Europe is making overseas families anxious and everyone is entitled to their own viewpoint, but I would like to put these figures that the media constantly flashes into context. The majority of deaths occurring in the UK occur either in care homes or in hospitals. Care homes are a hub of elderly and therefore vulnerable people, whilst in the hospital patients tend to be also elderly or have a pre-existing health condition such as asthma, making them vulnerable to the virus. Studies show teenagers are not vulnerable to the virus, as the deaths for people aged 15-44 has not increased.

Of course, the virus should still be a cause for concern for teenagers and that’s why myself and everyone I know in the UK are continuing to socially distance, whereby we stay at least 2 metres away from people outside our own household.

Another significant point to highlight is that here in Shropshire, the death rate is below the average of other counties. We are in the countryside, sparsely populated with plenty of open space, making interaction with others infrequent. Therefore, the virus here is not the mad, wipe-out wave that the media portrays, but rather a gentle tide that just needs to be watched.

 

Holly: With the government’s position changing weekly and the decreasing number of deaths, it is important that we continue to implement the government’s set rules into our day-to-day lives.

Across the country, supermarkets and pharmacies remained open during the nation-wide lockdown. Shopping for essential goods was and is to be kept to a minimum. Non-essential shops will be starting to open up again on 15th June (provided they meet the government’s standards) after being closed since the 23rd March.

We are now allowed to meet up with up to five other people in the outdoors but must remain 2m apart to limit the potential spread of COVID-19. This is a drastic change when compared to the previous rule of not being allowed to meet with any more than two people outside of those in your household.

Aside from essential workers (for example NHS staff), employers are looking at how to safely bring employees back into the workplace. Some employers even thinking of implementing shifts to minimise contact between employees and thus any further spread of the virus.

 

Cindy: Whilst COVID-19 has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and created worldwide panic, as a Concord student, my life has been relatively different – much quieter and peaceful.

The world outside Concord has also changed drastically, as customers in essential shops such as supermarkets, must keep a 2-meter distance from each other; people are also frequently utilising face masks. Only one member of a family/household is allowed to be in the store at a time to avoid crowding but to ensure accessibility. Customers were advised to only touch items they intend to purchase and adopt cashless payments whenever they can to avoid any unnecessary contact. There are multiple cleaning stations, hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes installed in front of the stores for the use of every customer that is queueing to make their purchases. Currently, people are no longer panic-buying, as we once again are seeing fully stocked shelves. For those who do not want to make the trip to the supermarket, contactless home delivery options have become very popular, as whatever you need is brought to you right at your front door. Everything is being processed in a very orderly manner.

One thing I have really enjoyed during the lockdown is walking my dog every day, as I can appreciate the peace and quietness in nature. On the other hand, I have also been keeping myself very productive as I have been having online lessons daily. I am able to FaceTime my friends all over the world to catch up with them. Quarantine life is not too stressful here in the UK, though I do wish life could get back to normal in the near future.