Wednesday, May 22Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Lockdown Letters: Katie McCooey-Hall

Dear Lockdown,

Hello! How are you in these unusual times? I’m good, I even managed to get out of bed and put on ‘actual’ clothes today. What have you been up to? I prepared myself for long days inside with a checklist of things to complete before the quarantine ended. Learn French, read multiple books, catch up on uni work, rearrange my room, clear out my wardrobe, do a daily work out… the list goes on. 

I must admit, none of those have been completed. Well, I did a little bit of French and I can tell you that I currently go to university in Plymouth, but that would be a lie, as my home has recently been converted into my university, and my bed is now my lecture theatre. 

There is another new language that I am excelling in though, the language of quarantine. ‘Stay safe’ translates to goodbye and ‘I’m doing okay’ really means I miss my friends who are now miles away and I want to hug my family but a wave through the window is more preferable than a hospital visit. 

I’m sure we still have a lot of time to get things done though, I have moved on to training my left hand to write- riveting stuff. 

However, even though there has been a lot of pressure to use this time to be productive, I have found myself sitting in bed, watching Netflix, and snacking throughout the majority of the past few months, and that’s okay. 

This is a time of ambiguity for everyone, there is so much happening in the world even though everything is so quiet. It is as if the world has stopped turning. As my psychology teacher would say (very often)- ‘time is a human construct’, and if that was not obvious before, it is now. The concept of time has become a concoction of cornflour and water. It goes so slowly, but the second we leave it alone, it slips through our fingers so fast it is hard to keep track of. 

What day of the week it is? I honestly have no idea; it is now irrelevant. But one thing that is important at the moment, unlike the days of the week, is our mental health. As much as it is currently a struggle to disconnect from the current events, it is necessary. Allow yourself space and time to breathe and relax while this period of unknown continues. 

Go outside, get some fresh air, and listen to the sounds of nature- find beauty in the little things we would usually take for granted. But also listen to what you need, if that is a day in bed with a bowl of ice cream, just do it. Give yourself the love you deserve, we need it now more than ever.

Stay safe and hopefully we will be able to be together again soon.

All my love,


First year BA (Hons) English at University of Plymouth