Nicole Fascinao ‘22
COVID-19, the disease associated with this coronavirus, is taking many minds for a spin. I sit here feeling numb as the novel coronavirus has infected almost 800,000 worldwide and killed over 37,000 people. Many of us don’t know what to believe, what to think, or how to act. My Mind is lost. The constant buzz that has emerged since the virus’s appearance, not only has been a disruption to everyday life, but a peaceful state of mind.
At the beginning of the mass hysteria, amid the breaking news and the constant alerts, I wasn’t alarmed. I was fearless, although maybe that’s because I didn’t know what to fear? What ran through my head was invincibility. Like many others in Generation Z, I was also annoyed and felt like my freedoms were being taken away.
Because of our young age, Generation Z feels untouchable and like nothing problematic or of concern could ever put a halt to our lives. I wish I didn’t think like this, but up until now I have. This is also exemplified by the thousands of spring breakers who swarmed the beaches in Florida during the midst of this evolving pandemic.
Amid the frenzy of media stories and the panic, I keep looking at my screen for a glimmer of hope that never seems to come. I need something to give me hope that we will all get through this.
As I have lived a very protected and isolated life, to experience this Pandemic has been something that has brought about new and raw emotions. Everyday seems to be different. Sometimes I resent the virus, while other times, I fear it. I even find myself feeling empowered from it, to try and gain some sense of control back in my life.
Since the situation has evolved, schools have been brought to a halt, sports and pop culture have vanished, and nonessential businesses have been closed. Life as we knew it has changed. Now, I know that as this issue is changing on a daily basis, it is necessary to adapt, but it’s hard. Change isn’t easy, especially when you’re not expecting it. Being told to shelter in place, leave your quarantine only if necessary, and to social distance, creates new fears simply because, for many, it’s never been done before.
I believe that we haven’t seen the worst of this yet. I believe that everyone does indeed need to do their part in slowing the spread. We have workers on the front lines making imaginable sacrifices to do the work we can’t. More simply stated, we are being asked to stay home. Although this may be a simple request, it is much necessary in slowing the spread. This is far from what anyone signed up for and it is not a solution, but for now it is all we’ve got. As trying to find the good to come out of this, has seemed impossible, there are things being done that people may not even recognize.
I try to focus on the good, the beauty and strength emerging from this disruption. This helps put my mind at ease.
The other day, I was walking my dog and I saw many others, too, some with a leash in hand, some not. Truth be told, I had never seen so many families and friends out and about in my town trying to keep busy while also social distancing. I haven’t seen so many people come together by the common grounds of having nothing else to do. It made me smile. To see fathers with their sons, to see them learning to ride a bike. To see an abundance of dogs happily trotting as their entire family was walking them. I saw what used to be bare streets become full.
I have also been thankful enough to enjoy homemade meals again. Almost every night, for the past two weeks or so, my family has joined together to cook, rejoice, and eat food together. I missed that.
I have been able to focus on myself. I’ve been given the opportunity to read, write, and watch things I wouldn’t typically engage with otherwise. I am able to listen to music, block out the noise, and be appreciative of time I wouldn’t typically have alone, otherwise. It’s nice to relax.
I have seen artists and celebrities bring light to the situation. I watched as Luke Combs live-streamed a concert on Instagram. The simplicity and unity of seeing a variety of different lives come together, during a time like this, is something I have never seen before. I’m trying to embrace it.
I have seen dedicated doctors and nurses work tirelessly to heal those who have fallen ill. I have seen stories arise from them, as they speak to us first hand. Through the power of social media, I have seen people support and embrace our health providers more than ever before. I am thankful for them.
I have seen real heros emerge in the form of grocery store workers who have put their lives on the line to make sure everyone has enough food and supplies. In times where we ask ourselves what is essential or not, we have come reliant on their service to fulfill our needs. We may not have realized our appreciation for a grocery store, but we sure do now. It’s still funny to see the vanishment of toilet paper. It makes me question many things.
I have watched communities, such as Merrimack’s, unite in ways I never thought possible. From its faculty and staff, to its students and families, we all have made immense sacrifices and adjustments to keep things running smoothly during this time of uncertainty. For that, I am proud to be a warrior.
I am choosing to care about the beauty and the strength emerging from a terrible situation, which I hope will last far longer than the virus ever will.