Coronavirus Narrative: Living through history

in Opinion by
(Graphic/Joanne Haner)

Honestly, it feels like we are in a movie right now. Supermarkets are sparse, events have been cancelled and schools are closed; half the world halted. I can’t even understand how fast and how much it has spread within the last few months. It’s become a pandemic, starting from China and ending up in pretty much every single continent (except Antarctica…or it could just be a matter of time). 

The main and most obvious reason as to why this disease is so frustrating, is because of how deadly it is. I’ve seen videos of people suffering from corona, and to be honest, it seems like no other. Even with the best of facilities, I’ve seen the patients in these videos literally struggle with every breath as if they are only seconds away from dying; it freaks me out. That’s only the tip of the iceberg too, I heard the effects of corona are amplified for people who have pre-existing medical ailments. For someone with a father who has Diabetes, this raises even more anxiety and fright in me, as we have to stay twice as alert as the regular family. If any of my family members get it, essentially, my dad gets it, and due to his conditions there is a strong possibility that the consequences for him could be dire. Just over two weeks ago, my older brother’s university in Washington D.C. closed, so he had to fly to Florida and live with us since it was his only option. Usually when he comes back to visit, we all greet him with open arms at the airport to welcome him home, however, times are different now. This time, my dad went to pick him up by himself. In addition to wearing gloves and two masks to prevent possible infection, he also tried to maintain a six foot distance between them. When he came home, I could only wave to my brother rather than give him the usual hug after not being able to see him for so long, even though we were in the same house. My parents then decided to quarantine him for fourteen days in his room, just in case he had contracted Corona in D.C. due to it being a hotspot for the disease during that time. The day he came home was the only time I got to see him for two weeks; I knew he was in the house, I just couldn’t get to greet him properly. Everyday we would leave his food, water and washed clothes right outside his door for him to eventually open it and slip it inside his room when he needed to; it was like he was some kind of human experiment or illegal animal we had to hide. Eventually, the two week quarantine period passed for him, and I was finally able to hug him like usual, but just the idea of that happening is still hard for me to grasp. 

From that episode, I knew that my parents were not exactly keen on going outside for a long time, which brings me to my next point; the social aspect regarding the Coronavirus is concerning. Most families, like us, in the area have put themself under strict quarantine, meaning they stay in their homes and only leave when absolutely necessary (like to get food and other basic needs); and even then they still take precautions such as wearing gloves and masks to prevent possible contamination. Again, this is only when absolutely necessary, and in a time like this, going to visit your closest friends isn’t absolutely necessary. I haven’t seen some of my closest friends in three weeks, and I can’t help but think about how I am going to miss them even more after this self-quarantine period continues to extend. In addition, Covid has also entirely eaten out our Spring break. We have all been working too hard, taking honors classes and AP’s throughout the whole quarter, just for us to be rewarded with this: not really the Corona any of us was expecting. Countless 2 a.m. nights and waves of anxiety caused by testing and school in general, all gone down the drain. I’ve been told a multitude of times that this is supposed to be the best time of my life and my last taste of freedom before life really begins after I graduate. However, that time is quickly running out, and is now expedited due to this pandemic. As for the high school seniors, I couldn’t even begin to comprehend how they must be feeling. They have now lost their rites of passage and the events that would solidify the fact that they are coming of age, such as prom, final sports seasons, etc.. Some of them have even lost their graduation, a commemoration of all their hard work throughout their high school career, and a final farewell to their peers whom they may possibly never see again. It’s sad. They say that you only live once in a lifetime, but with these special moments taken away from the seniors, it will seem as if they never even got to live that one time. 

Corona is just tearing everyone apart, affecting our lives mentally, with its social aspect, and physically, with sickness. I’ve already had dreams of seeing my friends and loved ones again, but the fact that that moment is in a very distant and cloudy future, is daunting. Man has always found a way around everything, and I know they will find some way around this too, but the question is, “when?” I guess we just have to be patient for now, and just watch as the worst unfolds.

Joseph Richards is 17 years old, and this is his first time being part of the journalism team. Born in Jamaica, Joseph lived most of his life there (13 years) until he moved to Parkland, Florida in 2016, where he would then start attending American Heritage. Joseph plays soccer competitively both for a club (Miramar United) as well as for the school varsity team. As far as his hobbies go, Joseph enjoys playing video games, writing in his journal and watching YouTube.

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