the good news, by LD
This article is written for yooou! by 18 year old, LD.
I keep going back and forth in my head trying to figure out how upset it is okay to be. I say this because I know that I am not really being affected by this COVID pandemic. In the grand scheme of things, I am merely being inconvenienced. I am not a front line worker, I don’t have family members or friends that have been infected. As a matter of fact, if you asked me if I know anyone who has had the coronavirus I don’t think I could tell you a name, I’d say “a friend of a friend of a friend”. Because of this, I don’t feel like I have a right to be upset, people are experiencing real loss that I just see as a number, as data on an ever-increasing graph. Now, I don’t mean to say all this to minimize any pain that I or anyone else might be experiencing in the wake of these unprecedented times. I am merely using these facts as a preface. I need this preface because it helps me to keep reality in perspective and exercise gratitude. This is an acknowledgment that I know that any suffering or inconvenience I may feel right now is a small fraction of the devastation that is being experienced globally. That being said, my sadness is real for me.
I am a Senior in high school. This would have been my final year playing lacrosse with girls who have been my teammates since I was in first grade. We had a promising season ahead of us too, we hoped to win our county championship for the first time in several years and we were looking at the potential of winning our sectional title for the third year in a row. I had been appointed captain of my team and this was my year, my year for acknowledgment and leadership. I had been looking forward to being celebrated on Senior Day, earning my 100th caused turnover (a benchmark statistic that I had been building to for the past three years). I was looking forward to my last long bus rides, hair braiding sessions, and the team embraces. I was looking forward to team lunches, weird tan lines that my teammates and I would flaunt at prom and fueling school rivalries. These have been the best parts of high school, the parts that I will remember.
And so, I am grieving a little bit. I am grieving the loss of my Senior Spring on the lacrosse field. I am grieving the loss of any form of closure. I just found out that I will not be walking across the stage at my high school graduation, my walk will be replaced with some digital version of itself and for that, I am also grieving.
But, I am here to say that it’s too easy to think about what would have happened if the Coronavirus ceased to exist. It would drive me crazy if I tried to dive into some alternate reality of “what ifs”. So the way that I am coping is by reminding myself “what is”, and “what is good”. We are living in a world of loss and hurting. I would even dare to say our world is consumed with it. But for the sake of sanity, mine at least, I need to remember “what is good” in these times.
If it weren’t for Corona, I never would have lived with my older brother again. He would have moved to a city 600 miles away from me. My whole family is together for one last stretch before he leaves and goes out into the world for real adulthood. Self-reliant adulthood. So, I am thankful for that.
If it weren’t for Corona, my cousins would never have met their neighbors during the seven o’clock thank you to essential workers in New York City. Granted they met leaning out the window from across the street, but nevertheless, they have found community. So, they are thankful for that.
And if it weren’t for Corona, the global carbon emissions would not have dropped so significantly. And our Earth is thankful for that.
Even in the height of this pandemic, there is good news. There are things to be thankful for. It may be hard to believe but it’s there, the pain and hurting are just screaming a little bit louder. I want to challenge myself and anyone who is reading this to find the good news.
To read a high school junior’s perspective as well, click here.