April 20, 2020

I never expected my last year of high school to be changed in the last three months of school.

That's all we had left. Three months of high school that would have contained our graduation, prom, senior trip. Our last hurrahs to the school some of us have been attending since 7th grade. It's surreal to me that everything can be changed in a single day. I was naive in the fact to think that maybe we could come back to school after all of our teachers assigned us work for 2 weeks at home.

I miss my friends and teachers. I miss the humanity of school because, without that, a building is just a building with a name attached to it. I don't miss the building because it is a skeleton. I miss the people, the meat of the body. I don't know if I'll see my teachers for a while, the adults who have cultivated my future aside from my parents. They are the unspoken heroes that everyone hates because they assign work, but they love their jobs and their passion is unmatched. I'll be honest and say that I could never become a teacher but their tenacity is something I admire. I miss my friends, even though I don't speak to them as often as we isolate ourselves in our houses. I miss their presence and being able to go out for lunch, even as I wear short-sleeved shirts in 40-degree weather. I miss their antics as we dine on the piano we should most definitely not be putting food on. I even miss the work and the ability to be in a physical classroom, learning. I miss going from a class where everyone wants to argue to a tranquil space called Calculus. I'm surprised as much as you are that someone could find math peaceful.

I miss the straightforwardness of life before, just like I think math can be with its equations. I would wake up and arrive at school 10 minutes before the bell and waltz through classes until the end of the day. This routine is what I have been doing for the past few years since I began 7th grade at Bogota High School. Each day has been pretty much the same and I like it that way. However, this pandemic is unprecedented. I don't think I realized its impact until it impacted me. Early March, we joked about this virus as we ate our food in school. Mid-March, we were at home with some of our parents battling the virus in the hospitals, whether donning gowns to protect or donning gowns to be in a bed. Patients are in the hands of my mom, a nurse who works as a float from the ICU to the ER or even rapid response. Now, we've hit the month mark in quarantine. We are nowhere near the end of this.

It frustrates me to watch the news and see people protesting. You can't protest against a virus. This is more than just staying at home and not being able to go to a salon or a restaurant. This is more than going to the beach and being with friends. The idiocy of people around the world at the moment as a pandemic wipes the entire globe is nearly unfathomable, but of course, how should I not expect some people to be idiots? Opening up beaches in a global epidemic makes the most sense because of course, it's about the people, right? The same people who will swear away vaccines are the same people who are protesting because their constitutional rights are being taken away.

The world is filling to the brim with insanity, from government officials down to the citizens. I know we will get out of this, but at what expense? 21% of closed cases are deaths at the moment, and there will be more to come.

I want to stay positive and I hope you do too. Education will never be the same again. I probably won't be able to step onto the campus of the school I've committed to until the spring semester which is so sad. I won't be able to have the 15 seconds of fame every senior has as they walk across the stage to shake the hand of administration they've never spoken to and receive their diploma, a paper that sums up four years of your life.

Life is short. I want to make the most of it and I guess some people don't understand the depth of the virus. Maybe they haven't been hit directly by it and I pray that they don't have to understand the pain and sorrow that comes along with it. I hope others realize the impact of this virus and how it is taking the world by storm in an unideal way. I pray for you and your families because we all need someone to pray for us.

Image: my friends and I from February 28, miss them a lot :(