• Interview with Ruby Lea

Life in Isolation

My name is Ruby Lea and I am 16 years old. I live on the south coast of NSW Australia.

Tell us about your experience of the COVID-19 crisis.

My experience of the COVID-19 crisis has been life changing, both in positive and negative ways. COVID-19 has been given many names amongst my generation such as; the Corona virus (referring to the beer), rona, and Cora, and just Covid.

Memes have been made. Many, many memes have been made. It has been given its own slang and yeah, although this has made life on the inside of a house for 2 months more interesting, the mockery does get boring once you're sick of your phone.

We haven’t been able to leave our homes except for necessities, which haven’t been my job to go and retrieve anyway. School is now done at home using online platforms - basically all the good things about school (in my personal opinion) have been taken away via this new education system.

Covid has made life scary in the most minuscule and worldwide, apocalyptic ways. The simple everyday things like getting up for school in the morning, having time to get to the bus stop, moving from class to class - it’s not there. The everyday things everyone USED to say they wish weren’t the way they were.

My generation - although we may be considered to be ‘addicted to our phones’ and technologies in general - I know are particularly struggling with the no human contact thing. I have a lot of friends who, through this epidemic, I have watched retreat further and further into themselves into states of depression and cycles of hopeless behaviours. I have friends who don’t like the homes they have to go home to every afternoon for a couple hours before bed, let alone all day - everyday for weeks, months etc.

Statistics of the number of people dying are just news now. The same as the weather being reported. This whole craziness has become our normal. Those numbers represent real people who have lost real lives but it’s hard to think about that when you aren’t seeing the bodies lined up I guess. Australia has had it good it’s been said. Yeah I guess we have but I mean I personally never knew I’d get used to the term ‘the curve’ meaning more than just like the side of a circle or something.

To me, the corona virus hasn’t effected anyone in my family or any of my friends families so my personal experience of this epidemic would be of WAY less stress than that of someone who does have a family member with it and fearing the survival of that person.

My isolation has been a day in, day out of doing the same things over and over again. Productivity was at a high but has now reached a rather low point as well as my energy levels and motivation levels. At the beginning of all this I believe the world saw this as a opportunity to set themselves straight and that is what we saw all over our social media - from workout lessons to getting your mental side straight. A chance to get to all those things you ‘never have time for’.

The world itself we have had the privilege of seeing regrow itself. The world is flourishing as we stay inside and don’t infect with all that we do. Mother Nature has really taken this opportunity into her own hands so to speak. It’s beautiful. Things like the update of Italy’s river systems in the news are what have given me hope and the thought of still being able to explore it all one day.

We all know we won’t be trapped inside forever but man are we ready to get out.

What is something that has given you hope for our future during this crisis?

The future of our world and the regrowth we have seen through our LEAVING IT ALONE.

This virus has also given us a lost respect for the older generations and this new found respect and honour has given me hope for the future that this will continue.

What is the most optimistic future you can imagine for our society when this is over?

The most optimistic future I can imagine involves the world coming back together healthier and stronger than ever.

I pray that all of society WORLDWIDE will start to appreciate each country's special traits and attempt preserve them harder than ever before so they are able to be enjoyed by millions in the future.

I hope the future holds an even further reverse in our pollution of the world.

I hope this virus inspires us of what is possible.

I hope once this is over, that every hug will mean more and every word said face to face will be taken nowhere near as lightly as it was.

I hope the human to human connection that has been lost over the years is regained.

I hope we talk to our grandparents and really drill into them about asking of their lives because the outcome could’ve been so different - I hope I personally never ever take that for granted, the fact that my family made it through.

I hope the future is brighter and dreams for a better world are bigger than ever.

I hope that we can pass on what we’ve learnt throughout this experience to the next generation and remind them to never ever take for granted the little things, the important people and the world they are privileged to live in and take care of.

I hope the future eventually ends in a united world.

That would be good :)

What part/s of "normal" life do you NOT want to go back to?

I’m honestly just so ready to embrace all parts of normal life again the good and the bad (as cringy as that may sound).

How has COVID-19 shifted your perspective, values and/or beliefs?

COVID-19 has shifted my personal views on what really is important in life. I believe this experience has taught me that people and OUR WORLD are what are most important in life. We have to enjoy them to the best of our abilities.

This whole experience has also taught me that although social media has been great for connecting with people through this tough time, there is so much more to life than what’s on our Instagram feed.

I took myself off social media (apart from talking to people) for this time and didn’t post anything as to really find myself and it’s worked wonders. I don’t think I’ll ever go back.

What have you learned about yourself and other people through this crisis?

That from what I have seen of my generations reactions and actions... we aren’t as untouchable or strong as we think we are. I believe we all need to string tighter to each other and hold onto all the good things in every person and attempt to impart those qualities into our own personalities. We have learnt that social media is not anyone’s real life more so now than ever and shouldn’t be what controls anything... at all.

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