Lockdown’s ‘no flights home’ adds extra uncertainty for Kenyan student in Leicester

By Tasleen Abdi 

The uncertainty of having ‘no flights home’ has added an extra layer of stress for a Kenyan student struggling with Covid restrictions in Leicester.

Second year Business Management student Elena Kyalo, 22, was already worried about living and studying at De Montfort University before the national lockdown rules were imposed. 

But her anxiety shot through the roof as Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared the devastating national lockdown details on November 1, to last until at least December 2. 

The Prime Minister stated: “Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residence will not be allowed – including holidays in the UK and abroad. This includes staying in a second home.” 

Elena said: “My mental health is deteriorating. Not being able to socialise with your fellow classmates whilst being stuck trying to get an education through a gadget is horrible, but the thought of lacking the opportunity to go back home to Kenya is unbelievable. 

“Studying in a foreign country, where everything is new to you, is scary enough, but having your freedom of movement restricted is terrifying.” 

Amongst the strict rules already imposed on University accommodations as to minimize the spread of Covid 19,

For herself, she fears this new restriction may do more harm than good, in addition to the strict rules already imposed at university accommodation.

“There is no certainty that this lockdown will be guaranteed to end on December 2nd,” added Elena. 

“This level of unsureness provides a gap that the second lockdown may be extended to a further date, which already adds to the bulk of pressure that’s already there.” 

Elena questioned whether protecting the mental health of students is being prioritised as a public health issue? She wondered whether restrictions place an even worse impact on an individual, and asked what can the government do to ensure that the limitations imposed create a reduced negative impact on students? 

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