Category Archives: Coronavirus crisis

Lockdown loneliness is here to stay

Now was supposed to be the era of the “new normal”: a brave new world that had learnt the lessons of a horrifying pandemic, that was epitomised by the death of the city, remote working and a new-found love affair with the “great outdoors”. And yet, I fear, we are entering a completely different chapter in our sociological […]

Another cancelled Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day. The one day in the year dedicated to thanking the millions of women who have dedicated their bodies, hearts and souls to raising a new generation. It’s a bloody, smelly and often thankless task, which is (of course) intensely emotionally fulfilling, but frankly knackering. A ritual show of appreciation on one day a […]

Back to school: The urgent need for ‘normal’

As England’s children troop back to school after an enforced two-month absence, there is intense speculation about the likely impact on the Covid infection rate. The major questions that should be preoccupying schools, colleges and universities are swept aside by a focus on infection control strategies and logistics – lateral flow testing, mask wearing, and […]

Letters on Liberty: Growing up in lockdown

In a contribution to the Academy of Ideas’ Letters on Liberty series, I argue that although the costs of lockdowns are tremendous, especially for young people, we should be wary of narratives that frame young people as especially vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic. This framing robs young people both of agency and of […]

Book launch: The Corona Generation

Watch Emma and I launch our book The Corona Generation: Coming of age in a crisis, in conversation with Ella Whelan, on YouTube here.

Lockdowns don’t protect the elderly

While Covid-19 has been scything through Western society, in the past year an altogether different – and possibly more insidious – threat has been brewing: the prospect of a conflict between the young and elderly. As soon as the pandemic struck, commentators seized upon fears that the heartless young would shrug off the pandemic as […]

Will our children ever trust us again?

In any other year, the next few months would be some of the most formative of Emma’s life. New classes, newer friends; at the very least, her second term in Sixth Form held the promise of A-Level mock exams. But with the Christmas holiday over and schools shut until at least mid-February, Emma — like […]

Covid-19 and ‘stolen futures’

In early October, 19-year-old Finn Kitson was found dead at his halls of residence at the University of Manchester. When a local radio news source tweeted that the student’s death was not Covid-related, his grieving father hit back. ‘This is untrue’, tweeted Michael Kitson, an academic at the University of Cambridge: ‘If you lock down […]

We have failed the Class of 2020

Let’s hear it for the ‘Class of 2020’. These are the young people who came into the year facing significant educational milestones – GCSE or A-level exams or their national equivalents, graduation from high school or University – only to find these rites of passage smashed by Covid-19 and lockdown. As other students have struggled […]

Covid-19 and the ‘generational housing divide’

In a comment to The Guardian, I said: ‘The divide is actually one of class and ethnicity, not one of generation. We need to question government policies that have shut down public spaces for young people during lockdown and pushed them back into their homes during lockdown when evidence doesn’t show the necessity of that.’ ‘Covid-19 exposes […]