Linnea Johansson

At this time, wearing a mask into a public place seems normal. We finally have the ability to leave our houses and spend time with people that we care about.

Are we taking this global pandemic seriously anymore? People do not discuss the coronavirus much because it seems normal. We got through the worst of it, right?

With scientists predicting COVID-19 sticking around for the next 11-17 months, we all need to prepare for (possibly) the worst. Being isolated is not fun for anyone, but it is something that needs to be done if exposed to the disease.

I know all of this from personal experience.

My mother got exposed to it, tested positive, and that was when I knew I was not going to be able to have a normal life for a little while. People all over the world are dealing with the feeling of isolation and it is hard to know how to handle it.

The virus almost did not seem real to me. I knew that it was going on and affecting many people in the world, but it is difficult to grasp how extreme it truly is until you have lived through it.

I personally did not know anyone who had the virus until my mom tested positive. She has been extremely careful. She has not been in large groups of people, she wears a mask while in public, and she only goes to work a couple of times throughout the week. If anyone in my household were to get COVID, I would have never thought it to be her.

What they do not tell you about being exposed to COVID is that if you live with someone that tested positive (if you test negative), you actually have to quarantine for 24 days. Quarantining is hard for anyone, but especially having to do schoolwork and staying only in your bedroom. The 10 longest days of my life were definitely when I could not leave my room.

Talking to people on the phone and in-person are two completely different feelings. That is the reason that I am extremely thankful for all of the people who came to my window just to talk for a couple of minutes.

For me, boredom was the smallest obstacle that I had to overcome during this time. The most difficult thing to overcome was a feeling of loneliness.

So, if you know anyone in a position similar to what I was in, reach out to them. It will mean the world to them.

COVID-19 used to seem unreal to me. I was aware that it was happening and I was taking precautions.

But anyone can be affected. It is so random that even the most careful people can be affected.

It is necessary for us to keep wearing masks, social distancing and stay home if we feel sick. Together, we can get past this disease.

Linnea Johansson is a junior at Westmont Hilltop High School.

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