The Special issue
Surely the most pressing issue now present in the everyday lives of billions of young people around the world is related to the Covid 19 pandemic. The sudden halt to life as we knew it at the beginning of 2020 with the advent of a new ‘coronavirus’ has already dramatically altered the terrain of political, economic and social life. Indeed, at one point early on in the evolution of the pandemic, nine in ten people across the world we’re living in countries with border closures and reduced travel restrictions because of the pandemic and one in two people of the global population were living under lockdown. Borders were shut, flights were cancelled, educational institutions were closed and many countries around the world went into lockdown. Places of public gathering and closed environments were considered ‘infection hotspots’ so theatres, cinemas, hotels, restaurants and bars and other similar venues were left empty as if they were already part of history. Within this, millions of young people experienced sudden and significant changes to their social vista and personal lives. For example, on one hand, they were singled out for having ‘irresponsible’ attitudes towards the virus, yet were clearly the group least at risk. Despite this, the subsequent lockdowns and restrictions on their movements and relationships meant that millions lost valuable time in education and were foisted further into their own subjective digital bubbles as means of escape.