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It was March 13, 2021, my sister’s birthday, but this was a special birthday for her because on her last two birthdays she had been sick, and this was finally the one birthday she wasn’t sick. I was very excited for school because we were doing virtual reality in English class about the Holocaust. 

I got to school and went to my first class. Everybody in that class was talking about closing down school for two weeks, which was weird because the day before everybody had been talking about China and how they started this pandemic. I was so confused about what was going on, and I was thinking about how Taylor’s birthday was going to be ruined again. 

It was the end of the day, and I was in English class, and we were about to put the goggles on. All of a sudden, the announcements came on, and our principal said, “In a few minutes our governor will call and tell us if school will be canceled for two weeks.” We sat there, waiting for the announcements to come on so we could hear the big news. The announcements came on, and the principal said, “School is canceled, and all students must clean out their lockers and wait for dismissal.” 

I was excited to go home and relax for two weeks, like another Christmas vacation. I got on the bus and headed home with a twenty-five pound bookbag and four binders in my hands. I remember my classmates walking out of the building, barely able to hold all their stuff in their hands. 

I got home and celebrated my sister's birth with gluten-free cupcakes and hot wings. About a week later, my uncle and cousins came over to look at my dad’s new gun. My cousins go to school in Mt. Jackson, so we were talking about how both of our schools were closed for two weeks. Then my mom called my siblings and me upstairs to tell us that she had just gotten an email saying school was canceled for a month. At that moment, I was more excited than I already was. 

After that, a couple weeks went by. I was starting to get bored and was looking forward to going back to school, although I might hate going back after the first day. We were sitting on the couch, watching tv, when Dad changed to the news channel, and what the captions said shocked me. It said the academic school year for all Virginia schools was canceled. You might think that I was excited, but, nope, I was actually very sad because I didn’t think for one second that March 13 was going to be our last day of seventh grade. 

I wished that I could go back in time to stop all this or say goodbye to all of my friends and teachers. My family started to stock up on food and toilet paper because everyone was buying it until the stores were out of stock. I remember going to Walmart and looking at the empty shelves where the toilet paper used to be. 

We really jinxed 2020. Everybody thought 2020 was going to be a new fresh start. Man, were we wrong. There was no toilet paper, millions of people were unemployed, the 2020 election was coming up, businesses were closing down, we all had to wear a face mask everywhere we went, and some people were afraid to go outside because they were afraid of getting coronavirus. 

The number of people infected with coronavirus is going up every day, and not only are they getting sick, but some are dying, too. Someone has to come up with a vaccine as soon as possible because people aren’t going to stop dying until there is a cure. Someone in my family has already had the virus. He had a fever, and he was throwing up, and it was just awful. I hope no one else in my family gets the coronavirus or has to go into quarantine. It’s almost the end of 2020, and hopefully the coronavirus, too. I hope 2021 will be better than what is happening to the world now. We just have to wait and see what happens.

© Anika Perry. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person's teacher.