I was lucky (I will leave it to my readers to decide if they agree with the word choice) to be in the Felix Office over looking Beit Quad at 7am on Thursday morning when the Beit fire alarm went off, driving students into the cold in their pajamas dressing gowns and masks. What could have been a great opportunity to moan about the situation and how sleepy you were with friends was turned into a strangely silent affair. Beit students stood spread out in the quad like mutually repellent magnets or the whole school morning exercise classes you sometimes see in Chinese schools.
I hope that they are alright.
This will be a year that many will dine out on in the future. They were the ones that really experienced the very worst of protracted lockdown, ensconsed for better or for worse, and strangely silent.
That is what concerns me the most. As I watched them gather in the quad, they did not complain or chat or congregate or do anything. They stood stoically, resigned and silent. I hope that they are building links. When I hear stories of gatherings in Hyde park, my heart soars. Bravo. I hope you all have some stories to tell when people ask you what it was like all those years in the future.
As London descends once more into a period of rule tightening, studies and articles, some published in these very pages, suggest that things are only going to get worse, however I call on first years and other students to restrain themselves and consider the health of the wider population. A very dear friend of mine refused all throughout the summer to come out despite appeals from all his friends. His reasoning was simple “If a single person were to be hurt as a result of my actions I could never forgive myself” he would repeat over and over. I think this is a valuable lesson for all of us. I have seen people close to me have their ideas of what the future was going to look like cruelly and suddenly torn away from them and it is not a fate I would wish upon my worst enemy. As paternalistic rules return and grow stricter, let us all show personal responsibility, the most powerful response to fussing.