Submitted by Fatimah from the Hinsdale Central High School in Illinois.
I still can’t believe we all left school on March 13 not knowing what the rest of the school year would be like. Little did we know…
Ever since quarantine started, I have been struggling with being away from my friends and family for so long. Instead of giving in to the negative vibe that was in the air, I decided to use this time to its full advantage. I used it as a time to catch up on any work I had been behind on. I also was able to indulge in several hobbies that I never used to have time for such as painting and cooking dinner. My family and I made it a point to get out every day whether we just went to get some fresh air or went on a run. I tried baking a cake for my sister’s birthday, I perfected my iced coffee recipe since I couldn’t go to Dunkin’ every day, and I had movie nights with my sister. Every day, I was sure to be productive and I treated myself to something exciting - it was the only thing keeping me going through quarantine.
Eventually, I grew bored of going on family walks every day, learning new recipes, and binging Netflix. I realized how much I missed going to school every day, seeing my friends, and just sharing a laugh with all the people I love. FaceTime just wasn’t the same. I needed real human interaction.
My mom often has CNN playing on our TV so we are always updated on the situation. It’s all the media is talking about. Seeing the number of cases and deaths rising by the day has me really thinking about the severity of COVID- 19. One headline that caught me by surprise was “Social distancing may continue until 2022.” I was not ready for that. I didn’t know when this would be over but I certainly didn’t think it would last more than the end of the school year. I started thinking about my summer plans and the start of sophomore year. The reality of it all hit me. I did some research and found that vaccine development can take up to 15 years. Never did I consider that this virus would be present for most of my high school years. It got me thinking about the seniors who have spent the last 12 years looking forward to their big graduation day just for it to be canceled by an uncontrollable monster.
While reflecting on how COVID-19 has affected me and ruined all my plans, I started to think about the people who had tougher struggles. My mom told me about all the kids who relied on their schools for food. She explained how many people were being laid off and had no source of income during these rough and unpredictable times. It troubled me to think about how I was complaining about meaningless things like not being able to leave the house. Then, I realized, this pandemic has been hard on all of us. Just because some people’s problems are more severe, it doesn’t mean others are invalid. Everyone is being affected in a different way. That is the very reason we have to proceed with caution. We really have to follow what our health officials are telling us so we can prevent this from getting any worse. It takes a team effort.
This virus has taught me so many lessons. For one, the importance of people working together. The only way we know how to fight this disease is by staying home and social distancing and that only works when everyone does their part. Second, technology can never replace humans. No matter how many times I FaceTime my friends, I still feel like I haven’t seen them in ages. And lastly, you have no idea what the future holds so cherish every moment. It is so important to tell the people in your life that you love them. I don’t think any of us could have predicted all this even a few months back!
I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy! Stay home :)