We Are America

Voices of the Nation's Future

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We grew up being taught not to be selfish and to not take things for granted. In tough times like 2020, you never want to take things for granted. In times like these, you're given the situation to comprehend it and survive or you’re left to die. This lesson is not something you can learn by yourself. You have to learn it by experiencing it. 

Before even knowing what Covid-19 was, life was fine. The year 2020 had a typical spring, I was waiting for summer to come around as I knew the school year would almost be over. I heard rumors about the disease in many countries and didn't think there was any chance our school district would send us home before the end of the school year. 

We were told that when the virus made landfall in Washington it was being controlled. Then on March 13, we were sent home from school for three weeks. I took the news of the virus lightly at first but when we were sent home I was a bit alarmed. My alarm grew during my time at home. The world went digital. We were forced to do all our homework online. The Zoom classes or Google Meet classes that we are now familiar with weren’t a thing yet. 

I didn’t mind the time staying home, but it did take a toll on me eventually. Daily life around the world was restricted. We were forced to wear a mask and ultimately limit our expenses. Life just became boring. It was the same procedure every day. Just like normal life, we woke up and every day we went to sleep. There was no difference but everything about the day in between was different. I’d taken the little things for granted and now I missed my friends. Working with other students and my teachers in school. This was all so new but the monotony was draining. I was focused on the day-to-day but in the meantime, the virus became a worldwide pandemic. It just continued to get worse and it was hard to comprehend but our families and leaders did what they could to help us all do more than survive.

It took many months for the restrictions around the world to be reduced. Finally, we went back to school, but, of course, many of the things we took for granted were missing because Covid-19 was still a thing. People even protested so their children could go back to school. We all still thought about survival so people tended to stay 6 feet, which is almost 2 meters, apart from each other. During these times, people fought over supplies, and scarcity affected the economy. Shops were empty of needs because people would buy excessive amounts. We could no longer take for granted that all of our needs would be met. When you go to a store, and buy what you need, you think it’s just an everyday thing, but when there are no more of the supplies that the majority of us take for granted and it changes how you see the world.  What lesson have we learned from this experience? Is it a different lesson for each of us? I’d like to say that we learned not to take each other for granted and we learned to help each other but I don’t know if we have learned that lesson or not.

© Ricky Wang. 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.