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“Let’s Not Screw This Up”

Student

During the month of April 2020, when we were newly introduced to the lockdown, I remember sitting on my couch reading a tweet that said, “First time in History we can save the human race by laying in front of the T.V. and doing nothing. Let’s not screw this up.”

Initially I laughed, and continued on with my day thinking all this would end in a matter of weeks. However, time piled up, and the next thing I know it’s June and I’m virtually graduating from high school on a platform called Zoom.

From my perspective, though it seemed every day lasted a lifetime, chaos brewed beyond my windows. As I was completing the “10 min summer ab challenge” by Chloe Ting, hundreds of people were dying. The virus began spreading faster than wildfire, and no one had the ability to put it out. The blazing Australian wildfires or the impeachment became ‘things of the past’ within a matter of weeks.

The instant the severity of the situation hit me was when I went to Costco a few weeks into the lockdown and there was nothing left. No toilet paper, no paper towels, no canned food, the aisles were stripped; it was as if the apocalypse had come. I recall sitting at home watching the news, and every day numbers were rising, to the extent that it became incomprehensible.

It’s been over a year now since we went into lockdown. Snapchat memories which flood my camera roll remind me of when I thought this would merely be a two week thing, an extended spring break. Last year, I remember people crying out and wishing 2020 would be over, 2021 couldn’t come soon enough; Ellie Christensen even wrote a song about it.

The question “when will the pandemic be over?” began to grate on me, because there is no ‘back to normal’ or distinct end in our future. Vaccinations were the first step, but there is more that needs to be done. There’s been a revelation going around, that a pandemic occurs every 100 years. It will be interesting to see if that trend holds true.

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