What COVID-19 Has Truly Taught Me

Op-ed

A Sudden Jolt of reality

Covid-19 has now entered the United States, What does that mean for us? I read a notification on my phone. I looked at the source and saw it’s from the trusted news site “CNN”. Okay, I think to myself. At least no fake news. It was delivered in February at a time that I really didn’t know what eerie things lie ahead in the name of Covid-19. Very few people in fact knew what the disease was. I thought "oh you know they have reported things like this before and it turns out it was somewhere in rural Africa'. Right…. I guess I did not understand what boundaries this would impose on my freedom to talk to friends and just freely roam while protecting myself from other low-risk diseases like a sore throat, or headache; something to be cautious of yes, but not deadly to my health. March 6th was a day like no other, the last day of the quarter and just one more quarter till the end of the school. I said goodbyes to my friends, teachers, and schoolwork and said hello to breathing and letting go. It was only a week, I thought. Boy, was I wrong.

The Change

The bell rang out at 3:30, and I was super excited to be able to go home and forget about the load that I endured during this particular quarter. A week passed by and then I received a notice from the school district saying schools are closed till April 10th. As I sat there bearing witness as the number in cases spiked rapidly I felt uneasy. Just like any other young American, I felt my anxiety indeed spike too. Easter went by with virtual church service and remembering what the true meaning of Easter is and of course sugar. I was super excited to get up before 7:00 which is unheard of. Monday passed by and then came the daunting words “Schools are closed for the rest of the year.” Days turned into virtual school with no exact directions on how to do it. Parents took up a second career: homeschooling. I would sit days on end with my computer, pajamas, herbal mint tea, and headphones. I listened to more Ariana Grande and Cardi B then a normal person should. I watched all 15 seasons of “Grey's Anatomy” on Netflix while finding other hidden gems that Netflix had to offer.

The Reality

Then came the “Migration” of doctors, nurses, frontline responders and the nation’s mental health seeing spikes in anxiety and depression. We saw a president who did not try to make the situation better, but instead called it a hoax or China's problem. And those of us hoping the president would take something as serious as this- well serious. We saw the most unemployment that we have seen for at least a few decades, that happened not many months combined but a week. And we saw the hundreds of thousands of nurses and doctors, the best in their practices cry out for help. “ I am so sorry Mr. Anderson” was the new familiar words spoken to families who lost a loved one just seconds before getting a hold of the family. We saw the young, old, and middle-aged people who had any and every medical background sign up for shifts at the worst epicenters across the country. And perhaps more colorful, we saw the lawmakers' and congresses' true colors.

But nothing compares to the crisis we faced as the national unemployment rate increased dramatically. Single parents, worried about what to do about basic needs. No parent should feel the need to do that isn’t it enough already for parents who are working paycheck to paycheck then lose their jobs and on top of that, find a way to feed their children? It should never be that parents have to decide “okay do I feed my children, or do I figure out a way to keep the house cool?” I mean I don’t think it is that black and white. I am pretty sure that we need some good news, yet some of us provide unsettling fake news? While it is true that checks were sent out, it may only be enough for some families to pay for a month’s supply of food and possibly get by for this month’s electricity bill by a hair.

You know, healthcare professionals always give us remedies for how to tackle stress. That is wonderful, but when a president is elected to run THE country, it means they are the ones who represent America and there is no ME in America. Yet I still believe that a certain person was elected, and he decided let’s eliminate the A the R the I the C and the A. Oh no! But what is left? Oh, that’s right ME. He is not representing 4/4 of this country, he is still just representing ¼ of this country and yes in case you are wondering that does not include his wife. Being elected for such a high honor such as commander in chief, there is quite a lot of work and pressure considering you are the face of this nation, but back in 2008 when we were experiencing the worst recession crisis yet, Obama did and accomplished it with such grace and honesty. If you haven’t been one to be exactly honest and a provider of goodwill, at least stop fooling around during this time. I mean come on, people’s lives are on the line. I guess the whole “let’s learn to be honest” spiel hasn’t sunk in for some of us, even at the bright age of 73.

A Country Pleading for help

How is it that we “AMERICANS” need to practically beg congress to give us needed supplies? We are the richest country in the world. To me this is alarming. We are practically losing our fellow brothers and sisters and the president is taking Hydroxychloroquine and saying everything is okay? Okay, let's just take a second here and pray for him. It is time for Congress to step in. It is time for a need for a president who will side with the American people, not himself. Because let's face it, how will we be able to create a more perfect union for generations to come if we allow those of us to die? So what has Covid truly taught me? Well, it's taught me to believe that America will push through and that we are always better together.

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Keira Harrington

Keira Harrington is a 17 year old advocate and activist for young girls and women. She is passionate about helping lower the statistics of Sexual assault and violence that occurs daily in the world. She is passionate about helping the rape kit backlog and is vocal about changes to laws. https://www.change.org/p/michigan-state-house-rick-snyder-more-than-just-a-misdemeanor?recruiter=1174863184&recruited_by_id=c1e677f0-5840-11eb-b9fe-3be958c29f8b&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=psf_combo_share_initial