Kids on Covid-19: It’s like living through the ‘most boring apocalypse movie ever’

Library of Trinity project collected observations of youngsters on their lives in pandemic

Life during the Covid-19 pandemic has been like “the world’s most boring apocalypse movie ever”, according to a one child’s account of their experience.

Another child said they would "never say I am bored again. I was only truly bored when Coronavirus said 'hi'".

The accounts are part of an online exhibition from the Library of Trinity College Dublin of children’s drawings, poems, diaries and stories about life during lockdown.

Through the ‘Living in Lockdown’ project the library wanted to capture “a snapshot of peoples’ lived experience, so that the voices of private individuals would form part of the future historical record of the Covid-19 pandemic”.


"Out of the hundreds of submissions some of the most moving and entertaining were those submitted by school children, working with the Trinity Access Programme, " it said.

One of the children said what they had come to realise was that going to a Penney’s store every week “is NON-ESSENTIAL. (I know, I know I was a bit surprised myself)”.

While another said “we prefer the world we have found in this horrible lockdown than the one we have created without thinking about what we were doing”.

Most of the work was submitted last summer, when it appeared restrictions were coming to an end. Prominent issues in the children’s contributions were the closure of schools, the absence of family members and the inability to play with friends.


“Things haven’t been great and everything was sad and dreadful since [we] had to stay home from school....Sometimes I feel like that there was no escape from this. I also never seen my friends and it was a bit lonely sometimes,” one of the children wrote.

Another said the worst thing was that “we could not hug our mum or kiss her as she works as a frontliner in a ... hospital ... [and] the house it was like a prison cell”.

An 11-year-old said they were “very sad and confused” and they thought pandemics “only happened in movies”.

“The most saddest part was not being able to see my Dad and my grandparents for 3 months,” they said.

A separate account recalls how a child calls their grandmother every day.

“I also get worried in case my Mam, brothers or any one in in my family gets the virus but espec my brother ... because he has more of a chance of dieing because he has diabetes,” they added.

‘Desperate to see people’

A child wrote how “loneliness” was a big impact of restrictions. “I always thought of myself as a loner. I’m shy and avoid talking to new people. But I need a social life!! ... At this point I’m desperate to see people,” they said.

Dr Jane Maxwell, who led the research, said it is "notoriously difficult to ensure that children's own voices are preserved through time in the historical record".

"It can be expected that these children's records will continue to add vigour and colour to future research focusing on the experience of the pandemic in Ireland, " she said.

The exhibition can be viewed at

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times