We’re living in an unprecedented time. No one currently alive (outside of the few 115-year-olds here and there) was around the last time a pandemic such as this struck the world, and even so, modern medicine and technology have drastically changed the response from how the Spanish Flu was dealt within 1919.
It’s difficult to be selfish during a time like this, especially when so many people worldwide are fighting for their lives. And yet, it’s hard not to think about everything that I, a high school senior, am missing: Senior Prom, Graduation, the final months spent with my friends before we head our separate ways for college. In a BBYO context, the list piles up even more. Due to the spread of COVID-19, New Member Weekend - a convention I worked for months to plan - was postponed until November, by which time I will be attending college (hopefully). My final Council Convention, the last time I’d interact with many of my BBYO friends (as well as give my Council Lives), has been moved online. My recent Chapter Convention (though not yet officially canceled) - where I would get to provide chapter lives, a moment I have waited five years for - will likely follow suit. Every event throughout the Spring Term, many of which would’ve been my “Last ___ in BBYO,” was stripped from me.
Now, even as I list everything I’ve lost this semester, there have been a few bright sides to what’s happening. My entire family is together at home again, something that hasn’t happened since my older brothers went to college. I’ve been able to focus on my health much more and taken steps to improve that part of myself. I’ve found a new appreciation for everything my parents have given me and made sure to thank them for it.
While nothing will ever be able to replace the lost memories of this spring, I have realized that there’s very little I can do about it. And that’s OK. All I can do is follow the guidelines of health officials who know much more about what’s going on than me: stay at home, limit contact with others, keep clean, and wait. Wait until nature runs its course and this virus - as have all others before it - dies out, and we can return to normal, or whatever normal will be when this is done.
To the Class of 2020 and all others who have lost something because of the coronavirus, I ask you to remember this: Though nothing can make up for the loss of whatever you had planned, life goes on. You will still find happiness, sadness, and everything in between in your life, even though you missed out on fun events this year. We’re all going through this together, in our separate ways. Everyone comes with their own origin story, and this is simply part of ours.
Danny Tow is an Aleph from Max Cowan AZA #2552 in Northern Region East: DC Council.
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