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Students and their approach to the Covid-19 Pandemic

The first cases of COVID-19 were reported in Wuhan City, China in December 2019, the virus has spread around the globe at an alarming rate. By 30 January 2020 WHO declared the outbreak as a Public Health Emergency and issued temporary recommendations, by 11 March 2020, they declared COVID-19 as a worldwide pandemic.

Students and their approach to the Covid-19 Pandemic

Photo Credit: Pexels Polina Tankilevitch

Latest figures show there have been 66,7 million infections, 42,9 million recoveries and 1.53 million deaths globally. The US and the UK have accounted for 14.7 million and 1.7 million infections.

The global effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on students
How do students in the UK and the US feel about COVID-19?
Should students get tested and how?

The global effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on students

Once COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, countries reacted by implementing nationwide lockdowns. Lockdowns ranged from soft precautionary measures to hard lockdowns which severely limited the movement of people in some countries.

Students have faced significant challenges since the novel coronavirus pandemic spread across the world. Schools and universities have had to adjust and adapt to offer a range of options from remote learning to a combination of online and face-to-face schooling options according to lockdown restrictions.

The guidelines are regularly reviewed to support students and teachers during these challenging times. While some learning institutions have managed to return to normal, many countries around the world are facing their second wave and are having to revert to remote learning options.

How do students in the UK and the US feel about COVID-19?

The early predictions were that COVID-19 would severely affect the number of international student enrolments at universities across the UK. However, it would seem that that is not the case and institutions have seen a 9% increase in enrolments for the coming academic year.

The number of international student enrolments in the US has steadily declined since 2015 due to factors such as increased political tensions between the US and China, they predict that the apparent "botched response" of the government to the COVID-19 crisis is going to further impact this decline.

For local students, the disruption to their learning and having to adapt to new teaching methods has ultimately affected their learning experience.

Should students get tested and how?

Testing and tracing have proven to be the most effective weapon against the spread of this disease.

COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Continuous cough
  • Fever
  • Loss of smell or taste

If students have any of the above or other related symptoms, they must self isolate and get tested.

There are two types of tests available, one is a viral test which tests you for a current infection and an antibody test which tests to see if you have already had the virus.

In the UK, there are various ways in which you can get tested. You can call 119 or go online and then go to one of the drive or walk-through testing centres. You can also order a home testing kit if it is within 4 days of the onset of symptoms.

In the US, you can visit a state or local health department website for information on your nearest testing station. There are home testing kits available, ensure that you only use FDA approved kits or contact your local physician.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the educational environment across the globe. Students have had to adapt and adjust to new teaching modalities and constantly changing regulations. They have had to deal with unprecedented emotional and academic stresses which have had a huge impact on their studies this year, and yet we are seeing resilience and adaptability in this younger generation which is not only admirable but very encouraging.


- COVID-19 Testing Overview
- Coronavirus: How to get a Covid test
- Why international students are choosing the UK - despite coronavirus
- How are international students coping with the Covid-19 pandemic?

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