I would tell my pre-pandemic self to prepare for the worst. The pandemic hit out of nowhere and showed no mercy. I remember sitting in STEM chemistry and my mother texted me saying that all schools in Allegheny County were to be shut down for two weeks. Everyone was all happy because they thought that they would have a whole two weeks without school and they’d be able to hang out with friends all day, every day. But that wasn’t quite the situation. Two weeks turned into almost 6 months of lockdown in our county, at least, and the pandemic has reached at least 14 months.
When Covid-19 hit during March last year, the Avonworth Varsity Team was preparing to go on our Myrtle Beach trip. We were very excited to begin a new season especially after we had just won the WPIAL the previous season. I remember that most of us were actually already packed and ready to leave the next week, but then we got the text from our coach that the entire event was cancelled. Then the WPIAL said that spring sport seasons were just pushed back, but then when we got the news that all spring sports seasons were cancelled, that hit us really hard. We had one of those drive by parades for our 2020 seniors and we would have socially distanced lunches with each other. We still got to spend time with the team but it just wasn’t the same.
Another thing that I wasn’t prepared for was that my family didn’t get to spend as much time with each other last year. My grandfather had been sick and was getting worse and with the virus being as bad as it was, it was hard to visit him. My family didn’t have our Easter dinner together because of the risk of my grandparents being there and the lack of social distancing. The pandemic was a really devastating period for my family and nothing could have prepared us for that.
The entire year of 2020, in general, was the worst thing that any of us could have experienced. There was very little good that came out of it. Most memories are not happy or something that people even want to remember. My family is lucky to have had no one to catch the virus yet, but it’s a given that that was not the situation for others. It broke my heart to hear about people that were personally affected by the virus. I wish my pre-pandemic self was able to just give me a warning.