It’s interesting how something that is seemingly so insignificant at first, could change my life and the lives of others around me. The first time I had heard about the Coronavirus was at school. At first, I thought it was a rumor like most stories passed around the lunchroom. I didn’t put much thought into it since the facts that the clueless highschoolers surrounding me were providing didn’t make much sense. “It’s only in China, I promise,” I would hear from one corner. “It’s all the way in Italy,” I would hear from another. I found myself choosing to only listen to the claims that made me feel better. For example, I’d prefer talking to the people that would say things like – “It’s better than the flu,”. Who wants to hear that “it’s wiping out thousands of people every day”? Not me.
As time went on, the stories became persistent. The information being passed around seemed to be converging and were starting to sound similar. It felt like the virus had completed its conquest of China and Italy and was getting closer and closer. The number of reported cases in the United States grew. Then the number of cases in Massachusetts inched upwards. There was even a case in my town. Things were getting worse. Fear was starting to circle my heart.
In each of my classes, my teachers started giving us lessons on how online classes would function if we were to miss school. What was happening? Online classes? I observed the total confusion in the eyes of my teachers. They no longer appeared to know everything. When your teachers begin to answer your questions with “nobody really knows”, it is time to panic. Something was desperately wrong. Not even when a bullet shell case was found in my school and we had to go into total lockdown did my teachers seem more alarmed. It was terrifying.
The day before quarantine began, no one had a clue how it was going to work. In fairness to my teachers, they tried to contain our excitement by telling us we’d be back on Monday. But their tactic didn’t work too well, nor was it very reassuring since they also told us to take all of our notebooks and textbooks home. So when I finally got home after lugging my textbooks off of the bus, and my mom let me know we wouldn’t have school for the week, let’s just say I was pretty excited and also terrified. Thinking back, me believing that the whole pandemic would pass by in a week was pretty naive, but hey, I was excited about my week off.
On Monday, my school sent out an email telling us all to pick up any binders we may have left at school, and any laptops if needed. I went in with my mom and my siblings, and it was like a ghost town in the school building, like something you saw in movies. We were the only family there at that time and I had never seen my school that empty. In a way it was sad. A place that was always teaming with noisy, vibrant and obnoxious kids looked desolate and cold.
But I must commend my school for getting it together and being one of the first schools to establish a solid learning from home program. Thinking about it, I don’t even think the ice age could stop my school from educating me at this point. So, when I finally got all of my supplies, we started learning right away. Most days, my morning routine didn’t vary. I loved to sleep and I would wake up so late that it was embarrassing, get ready, work on school work, attend mandatory zoom classes, and get on with my day. Fortunately, this new quarantine thing didn’t affect my sleep schedule, so I was pretty happy with it.
As time went on, after the governor kept extending the date school would resume, we all started adjusting to our new lifestyle. I have personally grown to like it. There’s something to be said for making my own schedule. I’m not saying I’m happy this all happened. I am still terrified of the virus but I’m just happy I found a silver lining to this unfortunate situation.
Adanna is a 9th grader and can be reached on Instagram @adanna.eze. She would love to read your comments.