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WILL GARDNER, 20, London at Menace reflecting isolation


F WORD: How have you been dealing with the whole isolation thing? WILL GARDNER: As best as I can! The situation is difficult for everyone, particularly those who live in households where they feel marginalised. I’ve been trying to make the best out of the situation, however; keeping myself occupied and productive.

F WORD: What have you been doing to occupy your time and mind? WILL GARDNER: I have been catching up on reading and music practice and composition. I have also found more time to work on my novel which has been hitherto neglected. I would, none the less, be lying if I said I had been achieving all I wanted to. I’ve spent most of my time in bed.

F WORD: How are you feeling about the COVID-19 pandemic? WILL GARDNER: Despite being initially sceptical, I see potential through the horrific loss of life to lead what I have termed a ‘post-virus consensus’, which will hopefully roll back much of the economic deregulation enacted in the late 70s and 80s by Thatcher and Reagan.

F WORD: What are your thoughts on how our government and the world is dealing with it? WILL GARDNER: I think that the UK government response, whilst far from perfect, seeks to mitigate to worst effects of it with the least amount of disruption caused to the general public and the economy (of course, how little said disruption is necessary is under much debate). We have some of the least authoritarian measures of any country in Europe besides Sweden. Whilst I understand the need for draconian laws and subsequent enforcement, I think the fewer civil liberties removed the better.

F WORD: What would be your perfect soundtrack for this time? WILL GARDNER: ‘Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima’ by Krzysztof Penderecki for its brutal and visceral sonic expression of mass death, as in Toru Takemitsu’s ‘Requiem for Strings’. I have personally been listening to Alexander Scriabin’s oeuvre which I find fitting.

F WORD: Can you suggest a movie, series or book you are into right now? WILL GARDNER: Given all the free time, I would highly recommend reading ‘The Heart is a Lonely Hunter’ by Carson McCullers, which tells the story of four lonely people confessing their depression to a deaf-mute in the Deep South in America, and I think would alleviate some pain for everyone in isolation at the moment - it will show the reader that loneliness is not a post-virus condition, but instead a fundamental component of the human condition.

F WORD: A hopeful statement to encourage others: WILL GARDNER: ‘You have a power over your mind - not outside events. Realise this, and you will find strength’ - Marcus Aurelius.

F WORD: Favourite f-word: WILL GARDNER: In this current time, probably 'Familialism' which is defined as an ideology that puts priority to family.


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