Saturday, April 13Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Lockdown Letters: Sara Hussain

Dear Lockdown,

I’m sorry to have to say this but, I hate you. Actually, no, I hate COVID-19. But I severely dislike you. I recognise you as one of the most necessary evils I have ever come across.

Being forced to return to London three months earlier than planned was gutting. Taking that step to move to America was both exciting and terrifying, but I thought I had finally gotten to grips with the place. In that last week of March, I felt as if I was teetering on a balance beam, caught between staying in California, at the mercy of the unpredictable virus and US government’s emergency decisions, and flying back to London, resigning to the fact that my adventure was well and truly over. Those endless hours of anxiously pacing up and down my dorm room on the phone to my parents, checking flights at 3am because sleep wouldn’t come, and constantly refreshing the government pages to check for any updates, will not be forgotten.

As I wasn’t registered on the KCL semester system for the year and I was unable to continue my US courses, I was now completely and utterly without purpose. And this was bad. I’m not good at self-discipline, in fact I am exceptionally bad at it, but I’ve always been driven by the thought that I should be doing something, making use of my time in one way or another.

And I tried, I really did try, for the first few months. I sat down and researched for my impending dissertation, I baked and updated my Instagram business, making spreadsheets, developing a website, taking a digital marketing course, I tutored cousins over Zoom, wrote articles and took endless walks around my area, each time taking a different turn to break the monotony, please God, break the monotony. 

But with each day, my motivation and vigour chipped away, piece by piece, until I became this state of numbness. I feel as though as I’m stuck in some kind of stupor, caught between sleepless nights and sleepy days, lacking motivation to do anything, constantly searching for something to do, but unable to concentrate for longer than a sluggish ten minutes. My brain feels like mush and all its connections are gradually becoming disengaged. My brain and I are vacant. 

You’ve reminded me that social interactions, fresh air and the unexpected are what I live for. 

Please Lockdown, leave me alone. I need my normal life back.

Goodbye and good riddance,


BA English, Kings College London.