During this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, as a teenager, I will never forget living in such uncertainty. With uncertainty comes fear, and that is the state that most of us are living in right now. Fear that you are going to get it or that a loved one will. I have always thought of the government and state officials as people who know the answers to everything, but as COVID-19 gets ever more scary, I came to realize that nobody knows the answers.
With this social distancing and staying at home to help flatten the curve, I have gotten a lot closer to my family. I’m not going to lie, it has been really nice getting to slow down and enjoy life more, but we all still worry. Before COVID-19, I worried a lot about my dad getting lung cancer from smoking and my mom having a stroke or something, and now with this virus I worry even more for their health. But I have been able to ease my mind by going on walks, playing with my dog, watching a new show, and cooking something new, all with the help of my family.
My grandma and grandpa on my dad’s side of the family are taking this pandemic very seriously, only leaving the house to get groceries, a necessity. However, my grandma and grandpa on my mom’s side of the family didn’t take it very seriously until only recently. A month ago they went to Verizon to get new phones when they already had working phones! They would also come over and visit with my family for no reason, just to talk. Thankfully, just this past week, they are not taking it very lightly anymore. They are only leaving for necessities now and when they do they wear masks, which is a big step forward from just a month ago.
Now that my grandparents are staying home, we connect through FaceTime. It can be pretty challenging at times because they don’t really know how to use technology, but it’s really nice seeing their faces. I also have been staying in touch with my friends. We Zoom frequently and just recently social distanced outside one of my friend’s house. We sat on lawn chairs in a circle, 6 feet apart, and talked. It was really nice being able to see their faces.
Lately, although I have my friends and family to support me and make me laugh through all of this, it has been hard to find a “why” through all of this. While I’ll admit, I haven’t suffered as much as others, it’s difficult to stay positive, especially with all this extra time. Nevertheless, it has been really nice to spend more time with my family and not be so stressed all the time. It’s just hard to imagine when this is going to end.
This pandemic has made life feel scary and created so many uncertainties, but the one thing you cannot take away from a person is the way they choose to respond to a situation. A lot of people have chosen to appreciate others and wear masks in public so they don’t catch anything and the people around them don’t catch anything. It’s the love we have for one another that brings us all together. Love can defeat any darkness.
Share your own story here. Sharing stories is a powerful way to connect with other people. Be part of the Teen Health & Wellness Personal Story Project—like Charlotte did above—and share your story about successfully dealing with or overcoming a challenge.