365 Days Since March 13th, 2020: A Year in a Pandemic

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Sophia Khan

Haverford seniors remain six feet apart while wearing their masks in this school year’s 2020 Homecoming Court.

Miriam Pennock

 
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The last 365 days were a new version of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” that none of us were expecting. There were murder hornets (where did they go?), the election, the insurrection at the Capitol Building, the inauguration, countless celebrity deaths, new movies, and most importantly a global pandemic. There’s no proper way to quantify the last year. There’s no way to cover the life-altering changes we’ve all encountered and to discuss the loss that many of us have experienced. It’s been a little over a year since March 13th, 2020, and so many things that we used to take for granted are now gone. March 13th, 2020: we had a day off from school. We were excited;  a surprise day off from school is a teenager’s dream. That one day turned into two weeks, then four weeks, then four more weeks, and then the remainder of the school year. Now it’s been a year and we’ve yet to have a “normal” day of school. 

In the last year, over 530,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the U.S. alone. But, we all know this. We’ve talked about deaths and statistics for an entire year. So, just for now, while you read this article, don’t think about the statistics. The people that you have lost in the last year are not merely statistics. In the past year, inexplicable changes have occurred in every single person’s life. In the last year, news headlines have been grim, people have been angry, and no one has had time to process. In the last year, the world has become a very different place.

Let’s talk about the good things, such as the amazing things that many of us discovered we can do. Maybe you learned to play guitar or you made bread that one week that everyone was making bread. Maybe you reconnected with friends or made new ones through different social media platforms. You could have learned to paint, read fifty new books,  or written a book of your own. That’s amazing!

But, maybe you’re thinking “wait I didn’t do any of that.” That’s okay! It’s okay if in the last year you just ran through the motions. It’s okay if the last year wasn’t everything you thought it would be as you were watching the ball drop on December 31st, 2019; it’s okay if you’re disappointed. You made it through. It’s been a very hard twelve months, and if all you managed to do was survive, then that’s incredible too. 

Everyone has learned something in the last year, whether it was a life lesson or how to spell congratulations. One more thing to learn this year—being a human is hard, and every human has different challenges at different points in their life. If you had challenges that others didn’t, that’s perfectly okay. Everyone is just trying to get through this the best way that they know how. You’re doing your best, and that’s what matters. 

If you wore a mask and you quarantined in the last year,  then you were a hero whether you believe that or not. Being a hero isn’t about destroying a monster. You did a hard thing to help others, and that’s what every hero ever has done. As Rick Riordan said, “Being a hero doesn’t mean you’re invincible. It just means you’re brave enough to stand up and do what’s needed.”

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