Editor’s Exchange: Going back to life before COVID
February 25, 2021
Why I would go back to life before Covid
It’s no secret that the last year has been hard for everyone.
A global pandemic was the last thing anyone expected to happen, and it’s revealed the strengths and shortcomings of our society in a very short amount of time. To put it simply, we learned the hard way that life as we know it can change completely at a moment’s notice.
Growing up, I had always had expectations for my junior and senior years of high school. The last four years have been built on the premise that in the end, I would get to go to prom, visit my old schools one last time, and walk across the stage at graduation while my family members and the rest of my class observed. While I might still get to do some of those things, it will never be the same. Life will never be the same.
I’ve learned a lot from quarantine. I think, for a little while, it brought out the best in people. It showed the impact a community can have when they come together for a common purpose. Even in the darkness and death, the pandemic caused, there was light in the world.
Over time, though, that light faded. Gone are the days of birthday drive-thru parades and grandmas making masks with their sewing machines. The unity that quarantine brought was only a temporary fix for the deep divisions our country and our world continue to face.
Given the opportunity, I would go back to March 12, 2020, and erase the last year from my life. I didn’t know it at the time, but life really was better before the pandemic. I would give anything now for my biggest worry to be the SAT coming up.
That being said, I wonder what I would’ve done differently if I had known what was about to happen. I feel that I would’ve appreciated each moment more.
Since the beginning, the big goal in all of this was going back to normal. The problem with that is, as time goes on, we’ve forgotten what normal is. Life socially distanced, at a limited capacity, and wearing a mask really isn’t normal at all.
I think at this point we’ve all sort of given up. Instead of coming up with an educated, scientific solution, we’ve resorted to just trying to do things the way they were before and hoping nobody gets sick or dies.
We shouldn’t strive for normal because we don’t know what that is. There needs to be a new normal, a world in which we don’t take the little things for granted, where we stand a little further apart than we did before. We shouldn’t be trying to go back to life before COVID because it’s not going to be that way for a long time, if ever again.
I wish we could go back. I wish I could say that life has changed for the better, but I just don’t feel that way. This pandemic has taken our already divided world and pushed us further apart, literally and figuratively. We’ve seen the impact of the debate on science versus personal beliefs up close. At this point, we can only try to find some solace in the destruction this virus has caused. Since time travel doesn’t exist, all that’s left is to hope tomorrow is a step ahead of today.
Better days are on the horizon. Eventually, as with anything else, the bad times come to an end. It might not seem that way now, but someday we will walk mask-free and without fear in public for the first time in a long time. It’s already happening in other parts of the world. It’s going to take time and effort for us to get there, but it will happen. Personally, I can’t wait.
Why i would NOT go back
As we approach a year since the COVID-19 pandemic took over our lives, I’ve found myself looking back on the numerous things that have happened since this time last year.
I missed out on the ending of my junior year. This includes my theater performance being canceled, choir concerts being canceled, and missing out on taking the SAT that I had been preparing for.
I also missed out on getting my senior marching band experience. Especially because I was head drum major of the band, this was devastating. Being a leader of a group and not being able to fulfill all of the responsibilities that came with that title was really hard, and it took me a long time to be okay with losing that.
On top of all of that, I spent most of my summer bored in my room, rather than out with my friends, or on vacation with my family.
With all of this being said, if I could go back and change everything, I don’t think I would.
Sure, I missed out on all of those things, but a lot of great things happened that I would have never experienced if it weren’t for this pandemic.
I got a lot closer to my group of friends. I had known them for the longest time, but I never took the time to get to know them. With all of the boredom that COVID caused, I was able to really connect with them, and we’ve formed a great bond since then.
I now found myself talking to these people that I’ve formed these bonds with everyday. I’m so grateful that I have had them throughout COVID, because having them to rant to and to share stories with has been super helpful in getting through everything.
I also have improved my GPA, as being online allowed me to spend more time doing work. This obviously wasn’t the case for a lot of students, but I personally found that online school was easier for me than normal in-person, because it gave me more time to work independently.
I wasn’t necessarily a student who never did their work before this year, but I just found myself forgetting about work more easily. With being online, I felt like all of the work I had to do was really well laid out, and everything I had to get done was super clear.
Throughout COVID I was also able to get my first job towards the end of May, and have been working since. I had wanted to get a job way before everything, but my schedule was always so packed that I wasn’t able to fit in work.
With all of the free time, albeit boring, I was able to work through most of the week, and save up a lot of money that is all going towards college.
Most importantly though, I learned to appreciate everything I have and everything I’m involved in.
Of course I was so thankful to be a leader in everything I’m involved in, but since I was never separated from them, I never understood how much they impacted my life. Not being able to experience my senior seasons was really hard on me, especially towards the beginning of this school year.
I never realized how quickly things can be taken away from you until now. In just a snap of some bat’s neck, I, and many others, lost so many things, and even some people along the way too.
So, while the pandemic was not necessarily a good experience on its own for anyone, the things that I gained and learned during the time period will hopefully stay with me way longer than COVID will.