Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic began, life has changed a lot for the majority of people on this planet. Many have lost their jobs, many are forced to work even more, and many more wonder when life will return to normal. Whether or not life will end up truly being “normal” after all this is a question no one can really answer. Although many say that there will be “new normals" to replace the old traditions of shaking hands or hugs. Families, friends, loved ones, and all sorts of people have been separated by something that’s so small we can’t see it with our own eyes and so simple that it can’t even really be considered alive. My own life has changed a large variety of ways that I never thought would happen.
For one, I’m stuck at home the whole day with my family. I no longer wake up at 6 am to get ready to go to school, or schedule plans with my friends to go places on the weekends. During the week I sit at my desk most of the day doing my schoolwork, and on the weekends I try to distract myself with video games or something productive. Being stuck with my family all the time has been different, but the occasional arguments here and there are still mostly the same. My parents both work from home now, and my older sister works on her own schoolwork upstairs while watching the new puppy. One thing that helps is that I have my own workplace at my desk in my room downstairs, which makes it fairly easy to avoid my family when I do not want to be bothered. The new puppy has also been a great distraction, as well as a lot of work, for the whole family; most of my arguments with my sister are about who has to take the puppy outside next.
Another thing is that school has changed more than ever in so many different ways. School starts much later at 10 am rather than at 7:55 am, which is nice because I finally get to sleep in more than I normally do. Classes are now split into A days and B days, with half the classes on each day, and each class is an hour long instead of 45 minutes. Classes also end at 3 pm on A days and 2 pm on B days, when school originally ended at 2:30 pm. One would think that the workload is a lot lighter than it was before, and in some ways and for some classes it is, but a lot of the time it feels like we’re given more work. The work we are given now tends to take longer than it would than if we were in school, and pacing out assignments has been difficult not only for students but for teachers as well. While it may be less a lot of the time it still feels like more, as both the students and teachers are getting used to these new changes. But, slowly and surely I am getting used to online schooling, I have my papers organized in my desk, I try to keep my work area clean, and I try my best to get my schoolwork done on time so I’m not overwhelmed later on.
Additionally, I haven’t seen any of my friends since before spring break, which was the third week of March for my school. So it’s been a while, over a month, since I’ve seen any of them in person. While it sucks that I can’t see my friends, I know that it’s for good reason that I can’t see them, I know it’s important for everyone to social distance whenever possible, and that it’ll be better for everyone if people don’t go out and see their friends. On the bright side I can still call, text, or video call just about all my friends, so I talk to my friends quite a lot, which really helps. I also know that eventually, I’ll be able to see them again and that this is not forever.
Lastly, to help out my community and everyone else I do my part by staying safe, staying at home, and social distancing whenever possible to avoid getting infected myself or to prevent others from getting infected. If the world is to get through this as fast as possible and avoid as many deaths and as many hospitalizations as possible, it’s going to take a lot of cooperation on everyone’s part. People with essential jobs, like doctors, nurses, grocery store workers, and more, are out there risking their lives to keep people safe, fed, and keep this country running. It is our duty as people to help them out as much as possible. We can do that by social distancing, washing our hands, cleaning surfaces regularly, wearing a face mask when you leave the house, covering your cough, and of course, staying at home whenever possible, to avoid infecting others or getting infected yourself. My family has also been buying food from local businesses and restaurants, while also being very careful about receiving the food and items in a safe way, to help keep them afloat during these troubling times.
However, despite all of these changes, there is hope. Hope that if we follow these safety guidelines, that if we’re careful, that if we help each other in times of need, and support the people doing their best to keep this country afloat, this will all be over soon. The faster this situation is fixed, the faster life can return to normal, even if there are a few changes in how things will be done. Everyone wants their normal lives back, to be able to freely see their friends, to get their jobs back, to be able to relax without worrying about a novel virus that we don’t know a ton about, and that will happen eventually and in due time. My own life and everyone else’s lives are always changing in some way, and with this going on life is changing faster than ever, but I know that accepting this change will be necessary to get past it.
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 Kira did above—and share your story about successfully dealing with or overcoming a challenge.