Coronavirus is impacting many and opening the eyes of everyone


Elly Kenninger

One hobby I have picked up over quarantine is watercolor painting!

I don’t know about you, but these last couple months have been weird… like really weird. The coronavirus has taken over the world and it came fast. I remember hearing about it in Jan. and Feb. but never felt like it was going to be a serious deal to me, a girl living in the middle of the North American continent. In the past, so many diseases and viruses have stayed far away from my home, so why should I feel concerned about my health as this new one appeared?
However, the media about Coronavirus quickly increased to the point that seemingly everything was about it. I watched as reports came out about more and more countries becoming infected and more and more cases becoming confirmed. Amidst it all, there were people saying not to stress while others stressed that this was a big deal. I found myself confused as to how I should be viewing this virus. As someone who has a bad habit of thinking, “that wouldn’t happen to me” I dismissed any worry. But then things in the U.S. started shutting down, getting suspended and canceled. I think it was at this point that I began realizing that this virus could actually impact my personal life.
It seemed like others were realizing it too. I remember that the talk about the virus was heavy the week of Mar. 9-13. Classmates were asking teachers, “Do you think school will be canceled?” and many of my teachers would simply respond with “I don’t know”. And at that point, I don’t think any of us knew. And I’m sure none of us thought the next week we would find ourselves sitting at home, quarantined… or the one following that, or the one following that, but here we are.
The quarantine life has been interesting. I have found my life to be pretty boring. I’m a busybody and tend to have a full schedule most days, especially during the school year. But then, in what seemed like a split moment, my entire schedule was cleared as everything became canceled or postponed and we were instructed to stay home. I now had time, something I normally don’t have much of. And after scrolling through social media and talking to my friends, this time seemed to be a common theme to many.
Our world is fast paced. Being extroverted and social is seen as an advantageous trait. Getting things done quickly and efficiently is desired. And slowing down often looks like devoting 10 minutes to some type of self-care routine. But now, Coronavrius has stripped away that mindset as we wake up wondering, “what should I do today?”
I am a firm believer in silver linings and this quarantined life is full of them! This virus has taken away the excuse of “I didn’t have time.” So start that hobby, learn that skill, remodel that room, and write that book- because this is your opportunity! Coronavirus has forced us to get rid of some of the distractions in our lives. Take the time to sit and just think or journal. Set some new goals that aren’t influenced by school or work. Overall, being quarantined has temporarily allowed us to work on ourselves, whether that be our talents, skills, or health.
However, my mom asked me a question that I hadn’t considered, “What do you think are going to be the lasting impacts of this virus?” She stated how airport security had increased after 9/11 and wanted to know what things would change because of Coronavirus. I had been so focused on all the short term impacts of the virus and everything it had temporarily taken away or allowed, that I had yet to look ahead. Sure, maybe I would become better at painting or be able to say I’ve read more books, but what was going to be the worldwide, permanent impact of this pandemic? I wasn’t sure how to respond, but it is an interesting question to ponder.
First off, I don’t know how the medical world will change. I’m sure there will be improved procedures or precautions that will now be set in place. However, I am not very knowledgeable about that area and won’t try to act like I am. What I do know about is the human race, as I am one of their members… surprise! Throughout these couple weeks, people have seemed to be a lot more thankful. Many have reminisced on the past and mentioned how they have taken for granted so many big and little things. I have seen people post about the summer days and nights they look forward to with their friends, where they aren’t worried about spreading germs and washing their hands 24/7. In a way, this virus has connected us as humans. One event is impacting us all. There are no bad guys. We are all in this together. If I could choose a lasting impact, I would hope that we all become kinder. And as we enter the world that has temporarily been put on pause, I hope we enter with fresh eyes, a new mindset, and relentless appreciation.