Many people have asked me over the last few weeks, how do you feel about what is going on?
As a senior in high school, I am trying to navigate the journey of choosing a college, getting scholarships, and planning for the future. These things are now more difficult to do, but I find that everybody is pulling together to come up with solutions for every obstacle that gets thrown at them. I realize that even these things, as huge as they are to me, are small compared to what is happening throughout the world.
It’s interesting that only a month ago my thoughts were on what am I going to wear to prom and my summer plans. Now I am thinking “What does tomorrow bring?” “What can I do to make it better?” “How can I succeed through this challenging situation?”
I have chosen to spend my time when I am not doing online classes thinking proactively. I am cutting and sewing surgical masks for health care professionals and first responders that need them. I have cut out material for over 180 masks, helped sew over 40 nose plates on the masks, and have completed over 30 masks so far in the past week. In our neighborhood, there are many people working together on this project and the group (Harvest Mask Makers) has given out over 1,000 completed masks so far to surrounding hospitals, police departments, and fire stations. The request for more masks keep coming in.
I’d like to challenge others to think of what they can do while they are on lock-down. Write a letter to a senior citizen home, to someone in the military, doctors, nurses, or to our first responders. Do drive by birthday honks to kids in their neighborhood, sew some face masks, drop off water and supplies to people who can’t get out. The ideas are limitless. I know that we will come out stronger and perhaps a bit more appreciative of things we took for granted before.
Let’s make a difference while staying safe!
Argyle High School
There have been so many times that I’ve sat in a dull classroom wishing for it to be summer, to have a miraculous snow day in Texas, or to be sick. But, here I am praying my high school reopens in two weeks. Even when we knew of the possibility that our spring break could be lengthened because of COVID-19, my classmates and I joked about it and wished it would happen. I take it all back. I think we all do.
Despite my desire to go back to school, I can’t even imagine sitting at a table with multiple other kids’ germs on it. It seems almost outrageous at this point. I frequently wash my hands, check the news too much, and abide by the social distancing standards. Adults tell me that my National Honor Society induction is canceled and my summer job might be too. I’m beginning to see my future crumble and I feel like I’m powerless to change it. My parents tell me everything is fine but then they whisper the news headlines to each other. How am I supposed to feel fine when the world is panicking?
I try to keep in touch with my friends through text, but a lot of our conversation is related to the Coronavirus. We turn to each other in confidence and rant about our frustrations and stress. We talk about what’s been canceled: school, prom, dates, vacations, and even church. We struggle to watch our fragile romantic relationships deteriorate with the uncertainty and lack of social interactions. Most importantly, when we get bored out of our minds or need a break from our families, we confide in each other. Two weeks ago, I never would have guessed that I would be upset about canceling school.
I now spend every waking hour with my family, so even the best of relationships can get tense. When the emotional temperature starts to rise, I take a walk around my neighborhood. It’s relaxing and peaceful to spend time outdoors. I have never wanted a driver’s license so much; the idea of just driving away, even if only for half an hour, sounds glorious. My parents made a list of chores we will get done during this “gift of time” and it keeps my siblings and I busy for a few hours each day. When we finish these chores, we watch retro episodes of Boy Meets World. I think we all just need a lighthearted distraction from our Coronavirus concerns.
I’m trying to make the most of my time, even during this bizarre situation. I’m deep cleaning my house, studying for the ACT exam, reading classic literature, and listening to new music. I’m taking this one day at a time, because the news is changing that quickly too. I am hopeful that when I reflect on this chapter of my history, I won’t be embarrassed by how I responded to this crisis. I want to be able to say that I was optimistic in the face of a worldwide pandemic, helped flatten the curve, and made the most of my time while confined to my home.
Flower Mound High School