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I consider America my home. I've lived here my entire life. I've traveled to many places throughout America, including a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. I went to Las Vegas for a gymnastics meet when I was twelve years old. Many of my friends went to compete at the meet too and we even got to watch a Cirque Du Soleil show all together as a gymnastics team. I got to see many cool places and shows. It was probably one of the best trips I've been on. I hope to go back there soon.

But due to the Covid-19 virus, it's very difficult to travel and go places now. The cases are going up every single day in America. They keep getting worse. Due to this virus and where I live, anywhere I go I have to wear a mask. I haven't been able to go to school or the store without having a mask on in almost two years. Some young children have grown up with everyone wearing masks. They have never seen what the world used to be like. I think we all wish that the world could go back to the way things used to be. Before Covid, things were easier and less stressful. Covid-19 has caused everyone stress, with not being able to work because you could get exposed, or being afraid to get the virus and getting super sick.

A couple months ago I got Covid. I didn't really get sick, but it was very difficult for me to stay isolated in my room. I always like to be out of the house doing something or hanging out with friends, so when I had to isolate myself in my room I had a very hard time. When I was isolated I had to stay in my room by myself. Whenever I needed to go to the bathroom or leave my room I had to wear a mask. If I didn't isolate myself and wear a mask when I left my room, I could have given the virus to my family. Luckily, I didn't give Covid to any of my family members. I also didn't give it to any of my friends. It was also difficult to keep my grades up in school when I was isolated because I couldn't be at school to learn, and I had to teach myself how to do my work. I couldn't talk to my teachers to ask them questions, unless it was over email.

When Covid is finally over with, I can't wait to be able to travel again. I also want to see my family members again without having to wear a mask, and I want to be able to dance and play basketball without a mask on.

© Alexa Montgomery. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team and we can put you in touch with the author’s teacher.