I took a couple of days leave this week, I had my birthday and it was still the Easter break in North Somerset, though others were going back to school and university. Going back meant turning the computer back on for those in higher education!
The 12th April saw the easing of lockdown restrictions and the news and social media was full of people taking full advantage of the easing. Even with infection rates down, vaccinations, there is still a risk of covid. It would appear that the easing of restrictions will result in an increase in infections, but the government still see this as manageable and will not put increased pressure on the NHS. My personal view is to remain cautious and not go crazy…
Of course higher education was not initially in the reopening plans, so for most students that means more Zoom classes and little or no live in-person interactions. This, as reported in The Observer is having an impact on their mental health and wellbeing.
The government is putting the mental health and wellbeing of young people at risk by refusing to set a date when students can return to university campuses, university vice-chancellors and students have warned. Universities still haven’t been told when the government will allow them to resume face-to-face teaching for about 1 million students who have been forced to learn remotely during lockdown.
On Tuesday the UK government announced that English universities will resume (physical) in-person teaching no earlier than 17 May. Of course by then most teaching will be virtually finished for most students anyhow. So they can return, but return for what?
My top tweet this week was this one.
I only met Prince Philip once, when he and the Queen visited Gloucestershire College, where they had a lunch with staff, which was served and prepared by the students. I was invited to the lunch as I had won a national award. pic.twitter.com/4VpflIK7ZI
— James Clay (@jamesclay) April 9, 2021