There were a lot of ways to look at the pandemic. It was every introvert’s dream come true and every extrovert’s worst nightmare. Kids were out of school all day long, while parents and hard-working adults were losing their jobs (and their minds, too). Sports were cancelled, prom, too, not to mention school plays and even graduation. I was in my eighth grade year, graduating middle school-seems so small and mundane now, but it felt huge then.
First we were told to bring all our school supplies home during break, just in case. Then we were quarantined, then one week of distance learning, then two. Eventually there were cancelled plans and plane rides to France. Not to mention our final year together, gone. It felt like it was ripped away from us, like these experiences were now just gone. It felt like they had vanished in a blink of an eye.
At first no one was worried; in fact, we were making fun of it, calling it anything from boomer remover to WWIII – it was our only way of coping. We were coping with the idea that maybe our entire childhood and the people we love could be taken away from us in a way we couldn’t control. Taken away from us in a way that felt like five seconds fading away uncontrollably. Who knew what would happen? “Maybe we will be back to school and our regular lives next week.” or “What if this virus takes away our next two years?” or “What if this is how I die?” Every possible scenario was running through our minds, both good and bad. None of us knew what to expect.
At least we spent more time with our family. At least we learned from home. At least we had next season. At least now we have time to watch that one tv show. But it wasn’t enough. 2020 was supposed to be our year – how could it have gotten so bad so soon? And I was only affected by quarantine and social distancing, I can’t imagine what it was like for those who had the virus.
We were scared for our lives. Would my trip to the grocery store be the moment when I start the end of my life? We had no idea what was to come. With all the misinformation spread through news, what were we to believe? Would it be gone by April? June? August? We were lucky enough to survive. The death levels rose, and our global confidence sank. It felt like a scene out of a movie. It didn’t feel real.
Eventually reality set back in. A cure was found, ironically from a bat. Everything was back to normal, but still everything had changed. We as a planet were more conscious of our actions, and tried hard to not eat any more bats. At the end of the day, we cured ourselves. Not to be the devil’s advocate, but there was some good that came out of the virus. We grew stronger and steadier. And we did it together.