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My Bipolar Pandemic: How The Frantic Energy of Lockdown Led to Diagnosis

On International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2020, I stood on a mountain looking down across a snowy world. The day was crisp and bright and beautiful, and around us I could hear men call their female friends and family to congratulate them on the holiday. I think of that as the last normal day.

Four days later, I was in class when a student asked about a recent news post and I checked my email. Presumed positive COVID-19 cases. The first in the country. All universities to be closed for three weeks.

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Disabled Students Thrived During Lockdown Online Learning, but Fear They Will Suffer Again Now.

For years, disabled students campaigned to have their accessibility needs properly met. However, universities had always told students that adjustments necessary for their studies were unreasonable or impossible.

For example, when acting as the Disabled Students’ Officer at the University of Cambridge, I was repeatedly told that it was unfeasible to record all lectures and upload them online for disabled students to access. Campaigns across the UK have faced similar obstacles in campaigning for accessibility for their disabled students.

This all changed when the first lockdown began.

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“Freedom Day” is Anything But for the Disabled and Vulnerable

So, it’s now “Freedom Day”. After watching people attack disability activists for supporting the delay this last month, here it is. I watched last week’s Downing Street briefing from behind my fingers. The Prime Minister stood there ignoring all of the figures. Chris Witty and Patrick Valance flanking him, giving his b*llocks an air of respectability. Both of them appearing to be trying their very hardest not to outright say “I don’t agree with this decision.”