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Jake’s Story

I have been in a struggle to get through this pandemic. I haven’t had many options in terms of what I can do to pass the time or what I am planning on doing in the future. This whole situation has my family and I scared to our stomachs in the hopes that all of us, including elderly family members, survive this terrible turn of events. We all thought that 2020 was going to be our year. We wanted to start new, clear our heads, and put all of our negativity behind us. We can’t even go and see some of the people we love now. We first thought that this would blow over, just like every other disease that has come up in the last ten to twenty years. So yes, we are all frightened and only want the best for every human being on this planet. Trust the sixteen-year-old on this one, we’ll get through it. The world always has.

I think most of us can agree that the strain of coronavirus that is going around has had a huge influence on our lives. That all of us have to stay home and live it out, either by ourselves or with loved ones and family members. This virus has made my life more difficult than most adults I know could comprehend. I play baseball, and now I won’t have a baseball season for my sophomore year of high school. I can’t have springtime bonfires with my friends while listening to country music. I can’t even go and see some of my most admired family members because I’m afraid I’ll get them sick. Instead I’m stuck at home with my annoying stepsiblings, who complain and bother my parents so much they are slowly going insane. This virus has brought out the worst of us in my family. Hopefully for others, it can bring out the best in theirs.

Staying in touch is what most of us still want to have. I stay in contact with most of my family via text, FaceTime, and even just regular calls on the phone. Staying in contact with friends is another story. The only way all of us can do something together as a collective group is to play video games. Some people say video games are bad for you, but they aren’t bad for you as long as it’s a healthy amount. We talk through our headphones and play as cowboys in a Wild West–style game. We go and pretend to be soldiers in Call of Duty, as well as fight infectious zombies. No matter your situation, you can find some sort of way to communicate with your friends and family.

There’s not much support that I can give as a sixteen-year-old. Granted, I can drive and volunteer some places, but my parents don’t want the risk of me getting sick. So for all the people who blame young people like me for not doing anything to help, leave us alone. It’s not the fact that we don’t want to help. It’s the obvious truth that we want to help, but cannot get the resources or the support we need to make a difference. In a time like this, I would go and volunteer at a food shelter or even a clinic. But my parents want to keep me safe, and I respect that; all of you should, parents and children alike.

My life had taken a turn upside down for a while. With minor depression and constant worry about what is going to happen next. It didn’t help one bit when the leaders of the world weren’t sharing their research with other organizations. Now that they are doing that, we can stop this pandemic sooner. I just want to pray for all of my fellow humans out there. Even if you aren’t religious—and trust me, I’m not very religious. But in this time of crisis, pray for the ones you love. Pray for the first responders and the military who are on the front lines of this global catastrophe. Pray for the little boy who may not eat tomorrow. Pray for somebody’s grandparent who was just hospitalized due to the virus. Most of all, pray for yourself. Never lose hope, because one day, when you have survived all this, you will be glad that you did what you did. You’ll be happy that you survived. And out of the despair, comes relief and gratitude.


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 Jake did above—and share your story about successfully dealing with or overcoming a challenge.