Our Changing World

My thoughts on COVID-19


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Mackenzie Noakes, Staff Writer

Growing up, I was always an avid reader. I spent my days lost in the halls of old castles, on the shores of sandy beaches, or wandering through the wild west. I could always rely on fiction to be a source of joy, an escape. Even if reality failed me, a good book never would. 

When you read at the magnitude and volume that I did, you begin to recognize certain aspects that are consistent throughout literature; the hero, the damsel, the sidekick and the villian, just to name a few. I always liked the bad guys, the ones who poisoned the princess or stole the time travel machine. I liked their funny names and always clever one liners, how they could add dimension to the simplest of stories. But the thing I always liked most about the bad guy is how they always got defeated by the good guy. The hero always made it in time to save the day, to protect the city, to get the girl. 

When I wake up, I feel like I am stuck in one of the novels I loved growing up. A super virus that no one knows much about? An isolated world? It is surreal to see how fast your world can change in a day .Life feels more fiction than fact; these surreal circumstances seem almost made up.  This time, the villain is not the greasy- pirate looking dude: it is a macrobiotic virus that has over 42,000 casualties. It even got a fun villain name: the CoronaVirus. If life were one of my books, next we would be introduced to the hero. But this is life and I have no clue who this hero is. 

It is times like these where I begin to question if it is all worth it: still going to work so I can provide people with groceries, keeping up with my online school, being a well-rounded student. There are times when I become angry, at the world, at the virus, at myself. When you go from a social butterfly to a practical recluse, social distancing feels like house arrest.  

Then I remember all my friends I have not seen in weeks, the customer’s I get to  help everyday, all the people I have met and all the ones I have not. I think of those affected but such a terrible thing.  I remember the days spent so happy that I could cry thinking about it. I remember the smell of school. I remember that even in the scariest and darkest of times, there is always beauty and laughter in the world. 

I try to think about the future, when all of this feels like it was just a bad dream and we all get to say “Hooray! We made it!” I cannot put a face to the villain but I can put a face to everything good and bright in the world and try to protect that. 

In this chapter of our lives, there is no singular hero: we are all each other’s heros. We all have our little parts to play in defeating the evil, even if it is just washing your hands. It is important that we be kind to each other. To be empathetic. To listen. This is just a scary chapter of our stories that we will be able to get through, together.