Living in a new world, formed around the pandemic of COVID-19.

We've all lived a life that we considered to be normal. Nothing has ever questioned the normality of our everyday routines, at least, nothing until recently. Not many people in this world have truly faced a pandemic, if they have then they might already be aware of the terrors that come with each pandemic that occurs. Many younger generations, including myself as a Gen. Z., have not yet had this previous experience when facing such a drastic and overwhelming change. For me, pandemics are something you only learn in a history class, like the infamous yellow fever. The idea of experiencing an event similar is something I couldn't have imagined especially as a seventh grader. At least, not until the middle of my eighth-grade year. When COVID-19 first created an uprising, it was feared, since it was something, everyone was uncertain about. What made this uncertainty worse, especially for me, was the idea of not having a cure or solution. When the news plastered the overwhelming information and the internet posted daily updates on the growing cases, it was almost terrifying. It was a new society that evolved based around this commotion. I still remember the empty shelves in the stores and my mom getting groceries early in order to stock up on what the news had been saying, "was going to run low for a while" whether it was toilet paper or canned food. The commotion reminded me from a scene in a zombie apocalypse show, like where each character would rummage through abandoned stores looking for medicine or canned food. To me, the terror was each "what if." Not only that, but I wondered, "For how long do I have to live like this?" I remember in the beginning, getting ready for track practice. Everyone on my team was so excited for the first meet of the season after working for about two weeks to get where we were. It wasn't until the highly anticipated meet got canceled, and then canceling practices for the rest of the year. Soon, my school moved completely online. Every student had to move their belonging from their lockers back home. Each day we went in order of getting our books and notes based off our last names. I remember being one of the last and grabbing a box to shove my textbooks and notebooks into while wearing my cloth mask. I remember the following week being the first where I got introduced to online learning and the now infamous platform, "Zoom." Classes ran shorter, and teachers didn't know how to adjust to such changes - I was barely into the second semester when a trivial event, like COVID-19, had to take away that comfort of my routine in my own life. There was no more going to school regularly, there was no more eating in at restaurants, no more seeing friends I used to see almost every day and the hardest was no more seeing my family which just showed this dire feeling of hopelessness in society. I remember looking at social media to everyone's silence and invisible cries on the growing depression and loneliness we all felt from being alone. I think this feeling that was building up was something that everyone could relate to. It was something that the entire globe was experiencing. To me, it didn't matter what the background was since we all had that one common emotion relating to coronavirus. Of course, with this virus being global, it stirred conflicts that were especially apparent in the news like pointing fingers at China or any Asian related country for the faults of COVID-19. These past couple years of being isolated and in this pandemic was time where every group of people, whether it was political or not, pointed fingers or argued on topics that may have not been related with COVID-19. We all were in a period of frustration and anger, and a time of reflection that would soon turn to a period of protests or riots around the country. Now, referring to the isolation it allowed most of society to turn to social media. The new hit being "Tik Tok." This is where being isolated didn't have to mean being bored or depressed, or even stressed of the current political, economic, or other underlying issues around the world. It was a platform that gave us entertainment. It was a way to get our newly developed voices and opinions to be heard, with the more time on our hands of course. For me, I think the pandemic was both a time of reflection and a new start for the country to be able to understand; however, I think that it was also a time of chaos and fear that instilled its way into our world through the overall idea of the pandemic. Though today COVID-19 still exists and constantly mutates into another variant, we can try to live to what can now be a life of normality whether it is living with more vaccines or more masks in the world. This is now what is going to be common and what is going to be "normal." So, for me, I don't want to live again not being able to be thankful for another form of a routine that I had before.


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