Young adults find careers, dreams, relationships on hold a year into COVID-19 pandemic

Manan Shah’s day starts when he logs on to his computer at 1 a.m., the glow of the screen illuminating his face as he takes online classes until the sun comes up. 

Shah lives in Surat, a city about 300 kilometres north of Mumbai, India. Doing class at home in another time zone while his family is asleep is not how he expected to spend the third year of the commerce degree he is completing through the University of British Columbia.

At this time last year, he was living in Vancouver. He was preparing for summer school and a co-op program to enter the workforce.

“Thanks to COVID, I had to fly back and all my plans miserably failed, basically,” he said.

“But that’s OK. [I] kind of learned a lot from the entire COVID period…. I do not regret any moment of it.”

Shah is one of several young adults who spoke to CBC News about spending their days doing online classes in the bedrooms of their childhood homes, missing parties, relationships and job opportunities.

This isn’t the first young generation to live through a prolonged crisis. The sacrifices of young people during the world wars being a particularly devastating example. 

And in this current crisis, older generations are at much greater risk for severe and possibly fatal COVID-19 complications…

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