COVID-19 diaries with Rachel Ogunleye: Third Year Dental Studies in Lock Down

Let's hear from another dental student in my COVID-19 diaries, here is Rachel Ogunleye...

Rachel, a third year dental student at Peninsula

I'm Rachel, a third year dental student at Peninsula Dental School. The global outbreak of COVID-19 has undoubtedly had a monumental effect on my life. 

As I started hearing about Coronavirus more often and the ever-increasing death toll all over social media and the news; I realised the magnitude of the impact that COVID-19 was about to have upon my life. The event that alerted my attention to the seriousness of COVID-19 was when all university activities were suspended from 18th March onwards! My 21st birthday - what a way to celebrate! I was revelling in the love from all the birthday messages, but also fearful of how many more monumental changes were to come. 

On the same day, I was told that my part time roles as a supervisor in the Student Union retail shop and a Residence Life Hall Volunteer were to be temporarily suspended as a result of COVID-19. IT just seemed as if the cancellations/changes would be endless. By the evening of my 21st birthday, I begun to hear the stampede of students and their suitcases heading home from outside my bedroom window. I soon got the hint and started making my own way home to London! Coming home so early in the academic year felt surreal. Having to be home with my family 24/7 and not being able to see my friends or attend social events has been so difficult on my mental health. 

The UK was put into lock down on the 23rd March, only 5 days after my 21st birthday, for which I had planned a trip to Malta - cancelled upon the news of the Coronavirus outbreak in multiple countries within Europe. I was devastated at the time. However, I now stay positive by trying to make the most out of such unusual circumstances. 

Peninsula has begun scheduling enquiry-based learning sessions via Zoom and it's honestly so lovely to see my peers and lecturers are in good health and doing well. Albeit I'm still rather worried about any potential long-term negative impact the suspension of clinical activities will have on my progress within dentistry. However, I'm trying my best to mitigate the negative effects by staying on top of revision, engaging with university online and making the most out of all the learning resources and workshops delivered by other dentists on Instagram. My trip to Mexico for my dental elective this June has also been postponed til next year, but I guess that leaves very little excuse for my Spanish not to be at a are more advanced level by June 2021!

I've also endeavoured to stay positive by starting a range of DIY projects around the house, including stripping wallpaper and repainting my room. However, the project I'm most excited about is my supervised research project which will be looking at using lactate as a prognostic factor for clinical outcomes of COVID-19. Not only is research within dentistry something I;m very intrigued by, but it's also an inspiring opportunity to get involved in a project that could potentially have a direct effect on my life and the lives of those around me!

I'm a firm believer that we shouldn't have a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-control. Ultimately I feel it is better to concentrate my energy and thoughts on all the beautiful things that have arisen as a consequence of this worldwide lock down. I look forward to being able to link arms with my family and friends again - whilst reflecting on this period of time and being astounded by the amount of growth and progress we have all made as a nation.

Do you want to write a COVID-19 diary? Please get in touch! Whether you're a dental student, foundation dentist, dental core trainee, associate, dental nurse, therapist I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

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