(A Map showing the total number of Coronavirus cases, as of April 7th, from the New York Times)

At first, when I heard the news about the Coronavirus and the quarantine, I didn’t know what to do. I sat on the floor and cried because I realized that I would miss part of my senior year, and would miss out on time with my friends and teachers. I realized that I was no longer able to play soccer either or see my amazing mentors and coaches. This was when social distancing was supposed to last until April 12th and we were expected to return to school on April 20th. The week after governor Cuomo closed schools, I was underproductive and felt sorry for myself. I didn’t have any school work and I couldn’t go outside, so I just gave up. 

During the second week, we started remote learning. The work I was assigned helped me stay productive, and keep my mind off the virus. I tried to stay optimistic because I realized that I would still be going back to school, but the situation was getting worse. In all but a few days, the United States had the highest number of deaths and cases compared to any other country. I tried to stay optimistic even though the situation was dire, but there’s a difference between being optimistic and being realistic. I knew that school would be postponed even more as we have sadly not even reached our peak yet, for deaths. President Trump initially wanted socially distancing efforts to be over in two weeks and for America to resume normalcy by April 12th. After the casualties of the virus intensified, social distancing would still be in place until at least April 30th. Trump also hopes to have the country on the road to recovery by June 1st at the earliest.

I want everyone reading this to stay indoors as much as possible because we all think we’re immune until we get it or someone we know will get it. I also want to clear up false information about the virus. You might have heard that if you are young the virus can’t affect you. That isn’t true. Many young people are asymptomatic because of their strong immune systems. There is still a risk even if you feel healthy or have underlying conditions. The government and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) mostly worry about older people and people with underlying illnesses because they have weaker immune systems. Recently, a seventeen-year-old died from the virus in the United States, and that person was the youngest death we had experienced from the virus. Even if you contract the virus and are asymptomatic, you can still pass it on to others. It makes me sad that there is a possibility I might not return to school, or attend prom, graduation, or my senior trip, but I am grateful to potentially have those opportunities. Many other schools nationwide have canceled school for the remainder of the year, and high schoolers will miss these events that serve as a staple to a memorable high school experience. 

Although right now it’s difficult to be a high school or college senior, we must think of those who are compromised should stay indoors. Before this virus, I spent a lot of time outdoors and kept myself busy every day. When I heard about social distancing, I didn’t know how long I could last, but I have been home for about a week and a half now. Some tips that have helped me include keeping a schedule, working out, meditating, and taking cold showers. I use the Wim Hof Method as meditation. It really helps me and everyone should give it a try, but it’s really important to be active now more than ever because we are living a sedentary lifestyle and we’re constantly looking at technology. This situation is unprecedented, but if we work as a collective and everyone plays their part, then we can be on the road to recovery quicker than expected and minimize the number of fatalities. It is important now more than ever to stay strong and take care of yourself.