An 18-year-old aspiring doctor who created an anonymous letter website for people to submit their experiences of the pandemic said she hopes it will combat loneliness and isolation during the health crisis.
Daisy Davidson, from Shrewsbury in Shropshire, created “Letters to the World” to help people connect online during the first lockdown in April.
She has now had more than 55 letters submitted, with an influx being sent in after a link was shared by campaigner and medic Dr Phil Hammond on Twitter.
As the UK now enters its third lockdown, her website has continued to record the anonymous experiences of people from around the world, as well as provide links to mental health support.
She told the PA news agency: “I wanted to do something because I had all this free time. The only way you could really contact people is through the internet and I wanted to make it accessible for all ages, which is why I made it simple to use.”
“In a time where you can’t speak to people face to face, writing it all out is very therapeutic,” she said.
“I struggled through all the lockdowns, it can be quite lonely and you don’t have your usual routine.”
She had been due to take exams last summer, but when they were suddenly cancelled she used her time to create letters2theworld.com. The website was designed to be easy to use and translated into 13 languages.
She said she hopes it gives NHS staff and keyworkers a space to share their difficult experiences on the frontlines of the pandemic.
Of all the letters submitted, she said the one that was most memorable for her was written by an intensive care doctor.
She said: “When he went into medical school he didn’t expect it to turn out like this, and as someone who is hoping to go study medicine next year, it’s a career where you always know there is the unexpected but I don’t think anyone thought the pandemic would be so long and extreme.”
The experiences of the last year have not put her off studying medicine, however.
“It’s made me want to study medicine even more seeing all the incredible work everyone has done,” she said.
“I want to be able to go out and help people. It’s a job were you get to step right in and help so many people.”