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Covid-19 Perspective Essay

Will Shepard, Staff Reporter

Originally published may 23, 2020

The happiest I have ever seen my fellow students of Ballard High School was in the moments after the announcement rang out that our school was to be closed for the next two weeks due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In those moments, we were liberated, we were free of work, we were free of stressors, and all consumed by the idea of release from school. 

My friend Parker hopped onto my shoulders, and together we paraded around the school’s library, bouncing off walls and bounding from friend group to friend group, eager to make plans and rejoice in the perspective we had created for ourselves. The perspective that summer had come early. 

It’s hard to comprehend how wrong that thinking was, how that perspective would be smashed almost the minute after school closed down.

It began the very next day, when Gov. Jay Inslee announced that all schools in Seattle were to close for six weeks. I was with three friends at the time and it felt like the world had ceased to spin, and so did I, stopping full blown in my tracks. 

That was the most unmoored I have ever known the students of Ballard High School, in the moments after the governor announced that our school, and every other school in the district, city and county were to be closed for six weeks. 

At that moment another perspective became absolutely clear, that this was no early summer. That this was going to affect everything we did, and annihilate our routines and ideas of normalcy. 

Within a week all the restaurants, movie theaters and places for people to go had been closed down.  Meetings of more than 250 people had been banned, and everyone was either being forced to work from home, or being advised too. 

Still, whenever it was possible there I was, hanging out with my friends and family, attempting to normalize this state of emergency. Constantly there were children running in and out of my house as it appeared everyone in my family was doing the same thing. No one in my family, or anyone I hung out with practiced social distancing. 

Hold a routine, find structure, don’t think about the virus too much, be outside and be with your friends. That’s what I believed was necessary to maintaining sanity, and so that’s what I did. Whatever the government canceled I found a way around, hoping to find the normality, and to stick to it.

However, on Monday, March 23, Gov. Inslee announced a “Stay at Home” order, condemning all social hangouts and non essential businesses to shut down. And that was it. My illusion was broken.

No one in my family is immunocompromised. No one in my family is at risk of losing their job, and I acted like it. Despite the constant warnings from the news and the media, because of my youth and lack of risk I didn’t care.  I regret acting as the virus could only affect me, and without so much as a thought to the vulnerable population that will be affected by it.

I believe the most euphoric I will ever see the students of Ballard High School is the day when school is put back into session. When we can all see our friends again without the fear of the virus. 

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Covid-19 Perspective Essay