Someone might ask me, “How does this pandemic make you feel?” And honestly, I would tell them “calm.” In the midst of all the mess and chaos and fear, I feel nothing but calm. Is that strange? Maybe a little. Ever since this all happened, I’ve had this gut feeling that I’ll be ok, my family will be, too. And if the rest of the world uses common sense thinking, not just fearful thinking, I think we will all eventually be ok. In situations like this, it’s easy to be fearful, don’t get me wrong. But in my opinion, the calmer we stay, and the more logical we act, this will all be a lot less scary.
It’s clear that this is no small news story. Most news channels have shifted their focus to solely reporting the changes, cases, and announcements around COVID-19. That in itself is what scares me, if any of this does. The media, the news, it’s constantly reminding me that yes, the world is a pretty scary place right now. I get it. A little fear is what’s needed to keep us safe and to keep us from acting stupidly. But in no way do I need to live my life drowning in this fear, I refuse to.
In past situations of panic, I’ve found that I tend to delve into a project. It’s my brain’s way of coping, I suppose. If I’m not doing something, or occupying my mind and body with something, that’s when the crazy starts kicking in. Finishing a puzzle, writing a song, writing this story now. All these things are what get me through this type of situation. So far, it’s really worked. Being able to start and finish something, having the time to do it, that is what’s amazing about this whole thing. Yes, amazing is not quite the word most people use for it. But I do think that from all this chaos, there is good. From the Italians singing from their balconies, to the free meals offered to K-12 students by many, many restaurants. Yes, there is some toilet paper hoarding. But, if you overlook all of that, people are banding together. And together, we survive.
Orli Juarez is a student at The Met High School in Providence, Rhode Island. She is a 2017 and 2019 Write Rhode Island winner.