It Has Been Hard. And it Could’ve Been Worse.
By Nadine, Age 11
( This piece has been accepted for publication by the South Asian Digital Archive)
The quarantine has been really hard, but at least I have company. I am social distancing with my mom, dad, younger sister Raneem, and our cat named Crook. Since there isn’t that much that we can do, I have mostly been reading books like Harry Potter and the Forbidden Library, the same ones I have read thousands of times before. I bike outside, play badminton, climb trees, and spend time on the computer playing. I sit at the table all day staring at the bright colors of the computer screen or at the pages of a book. I tried to write a story, but I can never seem to get it done. I have done the same things so many times that they have gotten dull. I have been in quarantine for so long that I can hardly remember what life was like before Covid-19!
The pandemic has helped me realize some things. We have countless privileges that so many people wouldn’t acknowledge, like going to the grocery store and playing with friends. I am really surprised that the pandemic has lasted this long. There are drastic changes in our lives. We attended school virtually on the computer, canceled all upcoming trips, and have to wear a face mask in public places. I was supposed to go to Nairobi, Kenya, during spring break, but we had to cancel. We would have been able to spend time with my grandparents in Nairobi. We could have gone on safari, and seen the humongous slate grey elephants, tall-necked giraffes, and grand golden lions with their great manes. I was crestfallen, but I knew it was for the best.
One of the many hazards during the quarantine is the fact that many people refuse to follow the rules to keep us safe. Some people don’t wear face masks in public places, and that puts the people around them in danger. Even if having to wear a mask is irritating, I know that it is for everyone’s own good.
I hope I can recall this experience, as I am sure it will be ingrained in history. I would really like to remember when the pandemic started. That was when the biggest changes happened. It was a great shock to me when school was canceled and we were ordered into the lock down. I was stuck in my room for days, working on my school work and not going anywhere at all. My desk became a mess of papers, with eraser and pencil marks on its surface.
I am most looking forward to going places. Places like the store, my school, and the gas station, even with its icky smell. We have been stuck inside for so long that I can no longer remember the obnoxious honking of cars, the silence in school during a test, and the talking of people in the grocery store line, waiting to get to the cashier. I never would have thought that I could forget these things, but the quarantine has brought many surprises.
The quarantine has pulled us apart. I can’t wait to see my friends again, and run around through the luscious green grass, not even caring if we get dirty. It will be so strange to see people again, and give my friends hugs, and hold hands. I miss seeing other people, going out to the store, having fun, and just… doing my normal activities. I have to stay optimistic, and remember that we will get through it.
The quarantine isn’t all that bad. Even if Covid-19 is dangerous, I have to admit I am enjoying not going to school. It’s kind of fun staying home and eating, and playing games whenever I want. I get more time to spend with my family, practice my clarinet and violin, and talk to my friend on the phone. I get my schoolwork done a lot quicker and I don’t get any homework.
The quarantine is definitely necessary. I know people who have lost a family member or friend to this deadly virus, including my Great Uncle. The doctors are working to develop a treatment. If they create one, they will be able to save lives. All of the health care workers have helped us during this time. Nurses and doctors have to work tirelessly to take care of the endless flow of patients. Many hospitals are stuffed full of people, and have no more room left. I can’t imagine being able to take care of so many people, but the health care workers seem to be able to do it. They really are our heroes during this time and I am really grateful for them.
While the health care workers are working to keep us safe, my parents do their part, by working to take care of us. My parents still have to work, but my mom finds time to cook. My mom makes the best food and the delicious aroma wafts up to my room and calls me down to eat. As soon as my sister and I are done eating, we run outside to play. We run in the grass, screaming, yelling and playing. The trees shake in the wind, and even they seem lonely. We climb the thick rough trunks of the trees until the sun goes down and it’s time to go inside, but it isn’t the same without my friends. My sister is one person, and there is only so much you can do with one person. Coronavirus has changed life for everyone in so many different ways, and we have to remember that we will get through this together. Someday.
Your past self,