Generation Z and the Pandemic of Covid: “I am 100 Times More Political”


Not only has the virus affected the everyday lives of young people, but also their hopes and aspirations for the future.

Amelia Hill by

Two months ago, a group of young people from around the UK were asked by the Guardian about their encounters with the coronavirus pandemic and their thoughts about how their lives were affected. These young people are reflecting on an outstanding year here and expressing their hopes and concerns for the future.

23 Dylan Kawende,
Dylan Kawende is from northwest London, the son of a care assistant and a Congolese-Rwandan refugee, and is studying at St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge.
Despite all the limitations,”I just finished my first semester at Cambridge and really enjoyed it, despite all the limitations,”I just finished my first semester at Cambridge and really enjoyed it.

I was especially fascinated by constitutional law because it is so important to what we are going through right now in this country.

For starters, I noticed that the usage of the Covid powers by the government was not properly regulated. They didn’t have the authority to order people to stay home in March, and that’s only one example of how they manipulated the law to mishandle the pandemic.

The state has exploited its position and its repressive powers, which have never been meant to allow it to behave as it has.

With this administration, I have realized that this is a pattern: they suspended Parliament over Brexit for five weeks in August. That was illegal as well.

David Levene’s photo
A lot of injustices and disparities were also revealed by Covid, from the way the NHS is managed to economic injustices.

It made me want to stand up for those victimized by the government and their regular lack of knowledge of the intricacies of the people most affected by health crises.

The pandemic has made me much more conscious of how much the basic human rights of people can be eroded if we are not warning.

It took me a law degree to understand that when it told people to stay home in March, the government behaved unlawfully, and that lack of understanding is worrying: if the government feels it can order us to do whatever it wants because we are not aware of our rights, that’s a dangerous road.

Artwork: Dylan Kawende Dylan Kawende
Covid has implicitly and specifically politicized youth.

We were less distracted because we all had to stay home.

I’m sure that’s why so many have heard the Black Lives Matter post. It’s a positive thing.

For both of us, it’s a chance to study and understand the state of the planet.

I have a big family and we generally all get together in one household over Christmas.

But this year, I don’t mind the change because my first priority now is to have long, introspective talks with my family about how they feel about the situation we are all in. We just thought all of us were doing well, but that’s not an assumption I’d like to make.

For me, the vaccine is a source of hope and optimism, but it is troubling how many conspiracy theories swirl around it.

It speaks to the mistrust of the government by individuals and the dissemination of misinformation on social media, he said.

The implications of that are dire: if enough people mistrust the government and do not pay attention to what it has to say, it affects society as a whole, in situations where it legitimately says so.

“Covid has created more areas where this paranoia can thrive.”
Christopher Thomond’s photo
In Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, Aadam Patel lives with his parents, Musa and Zubeda, and his brother and two sisters.
In November, I managed to get a proper graduate-level position at a multinational law firm.

I can think of myself as lucky: a lot of my friends who graduated have not been so lucky.

For them to spend all those years learning and then keep receiving rejections is very devastating.

For my younger brother and sister, I also feel very bad because they are stuck studying at home. The government is not doing almost anything to shield them from the harm this does: they lack all the opportunities that make you a well-rounded adult, not just the very important social experiences, but even the ones that make you employable: it’s the small jobs I had at 17 that make you a good adult.


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