by Ashton Andrews
The pandemic has become a significant part of our daily conversations, with a profound impact on how we view each other. It's changed several aspects of our lives, like the once unusual and cumbersome daily mask-wearing routine, which is now second nature. Zoom meetings have replaced in-person classes, leading to long hours in front of screens. And of course, there's the longing for social interaction. Despite these new routines becoming part of our lives, it's crucial to acknowledge the valuable lessons the pandemic has taught us. For me, it highlighted the importance of building relationships and reconnecting with my roots.
When the pandemic first made headlines, I have to admit, I was happy about not having to go to school anymore. Sleeping in and having leisurely lunches with my family seemed like a good deal, and I thought the pandemic would just pass without affecting me or my classmates. However, I had grandparents living in the epicenter of it all, China. They saw the pandemic as something more than a seasonal flu – a deadly virus that was particularly dangerous for seniors. Being thousands of miles away in Canada, my family and I were deeply concerned. Instead of our usual yearly visits, all we could do was video call them. While it wasn't the same as being there in person, those conversations made me realize how lonely seniors can feel. So, I started valuing our calls and listening to their stories, which helped me envision their daily lives even from afar.
COVID-19 has significantly disrupted our lives, but amidst all the challenges, it's essential to focus on the positive side – the lessons we've learned. For me, it's been about recognizing the importance of forming meaningful connections. The pandemic may feel like a dark tunnel, but every effort we make to improve ourselves will also benefit our community. As a society, we will emerge from this pandemic having learnt more than ever.
Ashton is a junior from Atlanta, Georgia. He is an avid writer for his high school newspaper. He hopes you have a wonderful day.