Reflection on COVID, one year on

Payton Cook, Staff Writer

Well, here we are, one year later. One year ago, we would soon find out that our lives would take an interesting turn. We thought we would be doing online school for two weeks, only to find out a few days later that we would have to remove our belongings from campus and return home for the rest of the semester. The weather was turning nice, we had a few days off from school, and we weren’t really sure of what was to come ahead. It was like a second spring break, until things progressively got worse. All of a sudden the world shut down. This new virus was spreading like wild fire. The nightly news was scary to watch. People bought groceries as if the apocalypse was coming. We worked and communicated through Zoom. Everything was sanitized. Concerts and sporting events were cancelled. Netflix was binge-watched. Masks were mandated to be worn. We couldn’t see friends and family. Fear was instilled in us all. Over this past year with COVID, we’ve been through a lot.

We lived with COVID through all four seasons; tackled wildfires on the West Coast; protested for racial and gender-inequality change; mourned the loss of key figures such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Chadwick Boseman and Alex Trebek; voted in a presidential election during a pandemic; spent holidays without our families and countless holidays on campus; and now finally, one year later, we have the opportunity to get the vaccine. Over the past year, COVID has affected nearly every decision we have made. We had to adapt to this virus and change many aspects of our lives. We have had to live with so much uncertainty.

If anything, this virus was a lesson for all of us. COVID taught us how to work together, whether it be helping a small business in your community, or one country providing aid to another. We also learned to never take anything for granted. You never know when the last time you’ll see your family or friends is, or the last time you will step foot on the field or on the stage. We learned to appreciate what we have. No matter how much we complain about school or work, we realized that we need and have missed personal interaction. We are social beings who were not made to live only online. We’ve come to appreciate the little things more, such as being able to go to the movies, gathering at restaurants and traveling.

This year, full of COVID, we have been taught valuable lessons. Now it is the one-year mark of the onslaught of COVID-19. Things seem like they are slowly starting to get back to normal. We have successfully almost made it through a full school year with some classes in person. We are allowed to play sports, and recently the school has allowed for some spectators. Big events, such as March Madness, are happening. Restaurants are increasing their occupancy. Hopefully, once most of the population is vaccinated, traveling will be more lenient, and masks will slowly make their exit. One year later, we are nothing but optimistic now.