COVID-19: Soldier Uses War Zone Experience in Afghanistan to Get Through Lockdown

A Scottish soldier has told BBC how he has drawn from his experience of being in war zones in Afghanistan to get through the coronavirus lockdown.

Corporal Alan Fergusson said it was not alien for him to live in a small space without being allowed to leave and said he was used to being in “unpleasant situations”.

The 38-year-old from 2 SCOTS said people should not be scared of coronavirus but instead respect it.

He said: “You can’t live in fear. In this lockdown people need to take every day as it comes and realise there is an end point.

“This lockdown will not last forever so people need to pick something they plan to do at the end and focus on that to get them through.
“I’m focusing on our next deployment to Afghanistan in October as mine.

“You also have to focus on the little victories you have each day and find a hobby you like doing until the lockdown is lifted.

“I had a terrifying job in Afghanistan and how I made it through each day was thinking each night when I was in bed that nobody had died or been hurt so it had been a good day. I took it one day at a time.”

When Corporal Fergusson is in a war zone such as Afghanistan he only has a house with a small garden to live in for two months with all the other soldiers.

He said: “The lockdown is comparable to operations when we’re in Afghanistan because there are 40 soldiers in a little compound 100m sq and we can’t leave or we will be shot.

“Being in lockdown therefore is not alien to the guys who have been on operations and in Iraq the platoon houses are even smaller.

“So being in a small space is not alien to us.

“In this lockdown it is hard to see an end point because of the fog of covid but it is there and it will end.”

Corporal Fergusson, who has been a Royal Army Medical Corp combat medical technician attached to the Second Battalion Royal regiment of Scotland for 10 years, lives in Glencorse Army Barracks in Penicuik in Midlothian.

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