By Henry, 17, Seattle, Washington
Living in the first U.S. city to report cases of Coronavirus, every change is sudden. Just a few weeks ago, it was almost nothing; the virus was an illness in China that seemed worlds away. Now, it has consumed everything.
The U.S.’s first confirmed case was reported in Kirkland, Washington, just a few miles East of my house. I know a lot of kids that live in Kirkland, a lot of them go to my school, and it was sort of a wake-up call for the changes coming. Everyday after the first case, it felt like there was new information that everyone was talking about. One day, all the public schools on the Eastside closed, a few days after, some Seattle private schools did. Along with daily news came daily rumors. The daughter of our assistant principal stopped coming to school and proceeded to make a tik tok from “mandatory self-quarantine”. On Wednesday the 11th, we got the announcement that we would meet all periods on Thursday and would close school Friday in order to prepare for extended school closure. The next afternoon our governor, Jay Inslee, ordered all schools, public and private, to close for the next 6 weeks.
Just like that, everything went up into the air. At this point I don’t know if I will have a form of a senior season for lacrosse. I don’t know if my class will have a Prom, a final Olympic Week at school, or even a graduation ceremony. Instead, everyone in Seattle is asked to stay at home and away from others as much as possible for an unforeseeable amount of time.
It’s not all that bad. Yes, it is depressing to think about losing all these opportunities but there is a bright side. I got the opportunity to go on a couple hikes with friends (observing six feet distancing of course). My mom is making me learn to cook. I made pizza for my family last week and I have to say it was top notch. Everything in my house is also becoming clean, I organized my bathroom today and arranged all my 31st State products nicely on a shelf. Facetime and Snapchat have become vital to keep in touch with all my friends and I am using skype to continue my sports podcast with my co-host Christian. Even without school, I have been able to maintain a social life and the extra time I do have has been used connecting with my family, something that I didn’t have much time for with my busy schedule.
If there’s one thing that I would need to hear if people haven’t gone through this yet would be that this is really hard. It sucks to lose all these important times and experiences. But, it's important to take advantage of the opportunities you still have, to make the most of what is around you. Call a friend, watch a new show, read a book, just enjoy what you can knowing that everything will go back to normal at some point. Also, don’t think you are immune, stay away from others and WASH YOUR HANDS. If we listen to instructions and do our best not to spread the virus it will be over sooner and we can get back to normal life.