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MARIE HILGERS, 18, London at Premier

reflecting isolation


F WORD: How have you been dealing with the whole isolation thing? MARIE HILGERS: Thinking positively in such a strange situation has really helped me; although I find it hard to be apart from my friends. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to spend time with my family though. I am really enjoying cooking dinner together and playing board games with my siblings (even though we are all VERY competitive)!

F WORD: What have you been doing to occupy your time and mind? MARIE HILGERS: I have been keeping myself busy with my personal art projects, talking to old friends on the phone, designing new clothes out of my old ones, having family ‘game nights’, going on long countryside walks with my dog and getting creative with some at-home workouts. Tiny lambs have also been born just opposite our house and they are adorable!!

F WORD: How are you feeling about the COVID-19 pandemic? MARIE HILGERS: I’m finding the pandemic surreal and a little scary; the constant notifications and news started to overwhelm me last week so I have limited my news consumption to take my mind off it. My A level exams also got cancelled which is CRAZY!! I was completely prepared to lock myself in a library and study during the Easter holidays. I am thankful that the pressure has at least been taken off although a lot remains unclear! It is a difficult situation for every single person; I think we should try and be supportive of each other as much as possible; small, random acts of kindness (from a distance of course) are so important right now.

F WORD: What are your thoughts on how our government and the world is dealing with it? MARIE HILGERS: I do think that the government is trying its best to protect us. However, in my opinion, testing in larger numbers should have been done earlier and I believe that the UK should have put the lockdown in place at an earlier stage. The idea of ‘herd immunity’ also really bothered me. But this is such an unfamiliar situation and it is hard to know the exact, right steps to beat this pandemic. Right now, the government’s advice to stay at home is incredibly important; by doing this, we can protect the elderly and vulnerable who are most at risk from the disease. WE CAN DO THIS! Last but not least, a HUGE thank you to all the NHS workers, delivery drivers, supermarket workers, teachers, pharmacists and all of the other incredible people who are risking their own health to help us!

F WORD: What would be your perfect soundtrack for this time? MARIE HILGERS: 'Come Fly Away' J-vibe Remix by Maverick Sabre (I pretend I’m on a beach in Australia every single time I listen to this song).

F WORD: Can you suggest a movie/series/or book we should check out during isolation? MARIE HILGERS: 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' by Khaled Hosseini is a really moving story about a young girl in Afghanistan. 1000% recommend!

F WORD: A hopeful statement to encourage others: MARIE HILGERS: Our world has changed dramatically through COVID-19 and it probably won’t be the same for a while. Whilst this is a frightening situation, it’s important to still see the positive side of it! Seeing people helping each other in small and big ways (such as the thousands of volunteers for the NHS that came together in no time) is amazing. In these uncertain times, we must look out for each other. Again, even the smallest acts of kindness can have a huge impact; you can send motivational texts to your friends, maybe donate a care package to the NHS workers or cook a meal for your elderly neighbour. Every little count. Witnessing how the world unites in this pandemic gives hope that we will get through this together and come out stronger and better at the other end!

F WORD: Favourite f-word (word beginning with the letter F – it can be any). MARIE HILGERS: Fast and Furious. (I know: that’s 3 words).


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