Photo by Prasaus Yeager '22
March 11 will be a date that will be forever ingrained into my mind. I remember sitting in the choir room and getting a text that schools were closed indefinitely and it was possible that someone in Staples had contracted the virus. And as the bell rang and every student celebrated the cancellation of school, I began to panic. I felt the halls start to close in around me and tears well in my eyes and as I walked freaking out about the virus and calling my parents, my peers were happily cheering that they would finally get to have that break that was being talked about so frequently.
So many thoughts were running through my mind. It didn’t matter how long our “break” would last; all I wanted to know was who had the virus. What if I had contracted it? What would that mean for my family especially my youngest brother? What would this do to our community? And how would the next couple of weeks look like?
The first challenge that I faced with the cancellation was the fear of having the virus myself. I was scared of what was to come and although my friends and teachers kept telling me it was just like getting the flu, I couldn’t help but feeling sick to my stomach.
See, the reality is while someone in my age group can recover from COVID-19, older folks and individuals with weak immune systems can’t recover as easily. My panic did not arise from what would happen to me but rather my youngest brother who has a compromised immune system. He had been born three months early and as a result it impacted his health. So, of course I was worried.
It didn’t help that on top of all this, my stress was peaking with school work. Online options are being dished out left and right yet there is still much confusion among students as to whether or not they should start doing them or if they will even be counted for a grade.
Even when teachers planned for at-home learning, there were still many unknowns that came along with this. Should we be working on them, should we not? Some of my teachers have required these assignments to be done, while others say that they are completely optional. So which one is it?
The severity of COVID-19 and the impact that it has had on the Westport community and other places around the world is something that needs to be given a closer look. I, like many others, didn’t think much about the impact that the virus would end up having on me. I didn’t even worry about it until news got around that there were confirmed cases in our own state of Connecticut. But I urge the community to look further into this. This is not a matter that should be brushed under the rug and while measures are being taken to help prevent a peak, is it of utmost importance that people treat this as something that they could give to their grandparents.
What Coronavirus has taught me is that it is better to be safe than sorry. Yet, there is still that deep sense of uncertainty, worry and fear. What will come next is to be determined but for now Westport residents need to be ever so cautious with the presence of COVID-19.