The past two years have consisted of a rollercoaster of unexpected changes. Within these past few years, the news on TV has consisted of COVID, vaccines, and masks. However, at the beginning of this school year, the pandemic looked as though it was to possibly be a thing of the past in the near future. Yet, as unexpectedly as the first variant, the Omicron strand made its way into the United States on November 26th.
But what does this mean for the future? In my opinion, it’s too soon to tell. It seems as though it is a mystery variant as of now, being they don’t even have data as to whether the vaccine covers it or not. Looking at it from a more personal perspective, I am just hoping it does not unexpectedly take away a part of my Senior year as it did the two years prior.
When the Coronavirus first made its way into our lives, I remember living in constant paranoia. I recall going on walks and being scared that the strangers I walk by would potentially be infected. The feeling had come off as mutual, as typically people would cross the street to withhold the ‘6-feet apart’ rule even when outside. The reason I had been so scared initially was because of how new it was, and because my family is considered high risk.
As contradictory as it may sound, I believe that not watching the news updates on the new variant will help to not inflict fear on myself. And I’m the editor in chief for my school news organization so I’m probably more likely to force myself to pay attention because I need to. In my own experience, the more I watch the news and hear about the cases rising, or issues occurring with vaccines, the more anxiety I get about the whole pandemic itself. Yes, it is still good to get caught up on everything that is happening once in a while, but it is damaging to dwell on it. Looking to the future, I am hoping for the post-pandemic days to be back in view, and for this new variant to not be too detrimental to my education these upcoming months.
Having done virtual learning all last year, and knowing how mentally exhausting it had got after a long time, I would say my biggest fears lie in my Senior year being cut short, and having to go back into the virtual world. Luckily, though, I have confidence in the school to know how to make virtual learning more feasible (if it comes back to that) after receiving all of the feedback from students last year.
However, if we do end up going back to virtual learning for a while, and if you aren’t physically sick, you could try out some of the common trends several other virtual kids had taken on last (virtual) December. Some of the things I remember giving a try had been making hot chocolate bombs – let’s just say despite the numerous attempts I was unsuccessful at it. Yet, it still kept me busy and entertained for a bit – plus it still tasted great. Another virtual bandwagon I had hoped on had been mastering the art of making banana bread. This one was a bit more attainable and made me mildly addicted to banana bread. Not the baking type? You could always casually binge-watch an entire series of movies – I’ve done it several times and have zero regrets.
Despite what happens in these upcoming months with the Omicron variant, the best piece of advice that I hope many of us will hold is – stay positive, things will get better in time. We have been through so many unexpected changes and challenges and were able to adapt in the past, which goes to proves that we are fully able to make it through similar situations again.