Being Away from Friends during Lockdown

Keneilwe's friends are more of a support system than her family. Staying safe is important, but parting with her friends for lockdown was emotional.
Keneilwe Leshilo had an emotional parting with her friends, knowing that they wouldn’t see each other for a long time. They know they need to be safe and practice distancing, but they miss each other and stay in touch on social media. She’s a private person who often holds in her feelings – but with her friends, she’s open and considers them to be more of a support system than her family.


Feeling sad, stressed or angry while coping with COVID-19 is normal. It’s not only the fear and anxiety about the coronavirus disease that’s challenging, but also being away from schools, friends and relatives. But guess what? You are not alone.

Remember, if you feel unsafe, upset, or worried about yourself or a friend, speak to someone you trust – this could be a parent, teacher, close friend, older sibling, or call a child helpline. If it’s difficult to talk about, try writing your experiences down and giving it to someone you trust to read or by sending/ posting/ dropping it anonymously somewhere a responsible/ trusted adult can see.

Many young people are feeling the strain on their mental health during these challenging times, especially being away from friends. Join youth from all over the world by sharing and interacting with stories, artwork, feelings and opinions about your personal experiences here: UNICEF: Voices Of Youth