“I was in Amsterdam studying abroad when we first heard about coronavirus. My mum, who also has lupus, took it really seriously and kept on asking me to fly home before it was too late. On March 7th 2020, I flew back to Heathrow for a weekend at home, not realising that would be my last week as an international student.

When the lockdown started, it was just me, my sister and my mum. We had to shield as my mum and I were both clinically extremely vulnerable. Lockdown was tough at times, not being able to see friends or go for walks made all the days merge into one and I lost a sense of structure to my life.

Unfortunately, my mum died on the 18th May from her ongoing struggles with her health complications, and since then, life has become extremely quiet. The pandemic has taken so many loved ones away and I fit into that unlucky category.

Living with lupus has meant I’ve still had to shield during the pandemic but this time, without my mum. I moved back to uni for my final year and really struggled with coping without my pandemic partner, but with the vaccines up and running, there’s now hope and I can finally see the end to this horrible tunnel.”