Can COVID Cancel Christmas?
After a year of uncertainty, we were all hoping that by Christmas things would return a little more ‘normal’. However for students travelling back from their university towns, the festivities were put on pause as COVID created the nightmare before Christmas.
After the government announced the travel window for students to return home for Christmas, rapid testing was put into place at universities across the UK. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I was able to first-hand experience the new technology of LFD COVID-19 testing at my university. This process of testing would ensure the students at Bournemouth University a negative COVID result before going home at Christmas and risk spreading the virus across the UK.
Working from the 3 to 9 December, I was positioned within the role of a Processing Operative. Behind the infamous Perspex screen that we have all grown familiar with, it was my duty to take student’s completed swab tests and place them into a test tube filled with extraction solution. Placing droplets of a new solution, a mixture of both the extraction solution and the student’s swab, a timer was set for 30 minutes, which would be enough time for a result to develop and determine whether a test was positive or negative.
Dressed head-to-toe in PPE, this job and experience as a whole has benefitted me in many ways. I was able to develop new and existing skills and felt proud in helping to make the UK a safer place. With recent news of a vaccine, this rapid testing has only further pointed our community in a better direction and hopeful for a brighter future. Although there finally seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel to an unforgettable year, I still strongly encourage people and students to get tested where possible. As a student myself, I am grateful for the opportunity to have free testing and as a result, benefit to a somewhat ‘familiar’ Christmas at home with family and friends.