Lauryn Rhodes

COVID-19 Chronicles: Lauryn

Three weeks ago, my day-to-day life was a lot different than it is now. I was itching to get a week off of school for spring break finally. I was convinced that seven days still wasn’t enough time to relax and recuperate before my last stretch of high school. I had a million fun things planned to do with my family, and a million more activities for my friends and I to do to celebrate our last year together. Though talk of the coronavirus was sometimes brought up at the dinner table, as well as a growing topic of interest within the walls of Westminster, I really didn’t see it as something to take very seriously. I definitely didn’t think it would ever grow into the problem that it is now.

Three weeks ago, I told my mom she was overreacting every time she began to worry that COVID-19 wasn’t as harmless as people thought it was. I told her to stop freaking out when she wanted to rush to Target or Schnucks to stock up on the supplies we might need to be safe. I thought she was unfair when she dwindled my once endless list of ideas for spring break down to just a few things. I was convinced she hated me for some unknown reason when she canceled all of my plans and put me on lockdown until further notice. One week later, two weeks ago, I began to wonder if my mom had been onto something, after all. I’ll admit that it was pretty painful to see all of my friends traveling with one another and making memories without me. But I also couldn’t ignore the breaking news – the growing numbers of people sick with Corona, as well as the rising death toll all over the world as a result of it. Deep down, I was kind of relieved that I had been forced to stay in St. Louis. Even then, the reality of just how harmful the virus is hadn’t hit me yet. Sure, a few people in a few states around America had it, but of course, I felt perfectly safe and secure in my Town & Country bubble. A week from that, one week ago, COVID-19 was no longer viewed as a nasty case of the flu but was declared a worldwide pandemic. Overnight, Americans were rushing home, trying to make it back before they were stuck in a different country. The number of people infected or dying was growing by the hundreds with each passing day. Schools told their students not to come back after the break. Every last shelf in every last grocery store was wiped clean of food, toilet paper, soap, and basically everything else. People everywhere finally got the hint that COVID-19 wasn’t a minor inconvenience that they could brush off – myself included.

To say the least, so much has changed in such a short time. Weeks ago, I couldn’t wait to get out of school. When my sister asked if I wanted to ride our bikes around the neighborhood, I told her we could at some other time because I was too busy watching the newest season of my favorite show on Netflix. Now that my senior year is on the line, and I’m more scared to breathe the oxygen outside than I would like to admit, I know how many things I take for granted every day – education at a place that I love, surrounded by the people that I love — and I don’t have to talk to through group FaceTime. On top of that, I get to go home every day to a family that loves me and wants to spend time with me.

In conclusion, amongst the midst of all the chaos and confusion that has come with the Corona crisis, I have learned some things: that every moment is a blessing, that Netflix can wait, that I should stay stocked up on toilet paper, and that my mother is always right.

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