I’m hopeful that this COVID story has a happy ending
When I took the bus that Friday before Spring Break of 2020, I didn’t think it would be the last time that semester. Or, that it would be the last school bus trip for over a year. But that’s what happened.
I can’t recall the exact time COVID-19 officially hit Ohio. It just seemed as though one night we were partying up a storm, enjoying being wild and young. Then we were laying around in pajamas all day and watching Zoom meetings.
I went into self-isolation on March 12. That I do remember. About that time, lockdown went into effect, the campus was closed and classes went online.
When I turned on the news every night, it felt like the situation was getting worse, as if I were the protagonist in a horror story.
However, I still had to go to work, where new precautions were being put into place. It became a regular practice to sanitize everything and anything. I couldn’t help but feel both grateful and guilty on top of everything else. I saw so many of my friends, the people that I love, lose their jobs. They were stranded and didn’t know what to do. Meanwhile, I was still getting paid. When they would ask me casually how my workday was during out weekend Zoom calls, I didn’t like to talk about it. It made my employment come off as me being privileged.
Though it was nice to be safe at home during classes, after a while the mind goes crazy from staring at a computer screen. You start to think of all the little things that made pre-COVID life special--the moments of walking the halls and seeing someone you know, going to the movies with a buddy, having dinner at a fancy restaurant with a girl or boy that you like.
You miss doing certain things. You miss certain places. You miss certain people. All the little things are like pieces that form a beautiful puzzle.
It felt weird trying to replicate the practices of normal life. Meeting people virtually or converting the spare room into an office. It felt like a forged version of everything. It was a recreation of life without it truly being like it.
There were moments of loneliness and terror. But I kept myself productive, doing my schoolwork and constantly writing. I finished multiple drafts of different books, which were always meant as a distraction.
All the stresses and anxiety of life were amplified ten-fold by the pandemic. And the antics of politicians choosing to escalate the situation by politicizing basic things like wearing a mask just exacerbated the situation.
But things are starting to change, or at least feel like they are. People are finally getting the vaccine! I don’t know where the story goes from here, but I’m hopeful that this story has a happy ending.