This is the weirdest of times. That may not be the most glamorous way to put it, but nothing about the COVID-19 pandemic is. Nothing about it is normal. It is the perfect virus. It attacks silently but quickly and leaves you breathless. As a nerdy, soon to be pre-med student in college, even the structure of the virus is “perfect” with its crown-like shape, almost ironic in that it shows you that it can even attack the highest status of people. Kids say these are “textbook times”: an era our kids will be learning about in the years to come. This moment in our lives will follow us, and haunt us, to ensure that we make the most of our time on this planet. It shows us how important being social is for human beings, and that we can barely survive without human interaction. Besides the virus attacking our lungs, it has the utmost power to destroy our mental health.
While the entire world seems to have shut down, the entertainment industry has been upheld through shows being shot in the living rooms of some of our favorite celebrities. You hear people on TV asking famous people how they are doing. The simple answer is “You know, we are just trying to hang in there.” All of us are just trying to hang in there. If the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us anything, it has been that a virus does not discriminate. The people we so look up to and put on a pedestal have been brought back down to earth like the rest of us. People like Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon have to work with their kids jumping up and down around them. They have to endure the same things that us “normal” or “average” people are enduring. Yet, they have the ability to continue to reach their large audiences to depict that this is serious, and that everyone needs to stay home. This pandemic has humbled our world, who had become so caught up in the idea of classes and money. Right now, none of the material or social things matter. What matters is that we band together and stay inside, and if this virus has not proven that celebrities are real people and are just as likely to get sick as we are, I am not sure what will. This virus does not pick and choose its targets. It goes for whatever is in sight. So at a time like this, we need to remember that human beings are just human beings, and no race, gender, or sexuality changes that.
My friend had the Coronavirus. He is turning 18 on May 8th, and when the country began shutting down, so did he. When he felt sick, he immediately knew it was not strep or the flu. He just felt different. He was one of the first 1000 detected cases in New York. He had it for about a week and a half, and it was a week and a half of hell. He had bizarre fever dreams that kept his body from moving from his bed. The virus made its way throughout his home, and his mother and father contracted it not long after him.
We do not know what will happen. We do not know if the people that already had it are immune to getting it again. There is currently no vaccine, and one doesn’t seem to be coming soon. People are restless and feel lonely, like we are living in some twisted version of the movie “Groundhog’s Day.” Each morning I wake up, brush my hair and teeth, go to online class, fit in some sort of exercise, and repeat every day. Life has become predictable in such an unpredictable period of time. It is fascinating, and I think about it constantly. One day, people will be asking us questions about that time in our lives when we were quarantined in our homes for months in fear of a quickly spreading virus. What will you be able to say? Will you express what you learned and focus on the positive aspects of this insanity? Or will you only think of the negatives that have come from being locked inside? For me, I know what a chunk of time I am missing out on. Senior prom, a trip to Ireland, graduation, and maybe even the first semester of my Freshman year at Tulane. But I am trying, just the like rest of humanity, to get through it and come out stronger than I went in.