A Covid-19 Personal Essay

by Isaac Barrett, age 17
A Covid-19 Personal Essay With an interest in history and a skill for writing, Isaac Barrett is one who can write an interesting article. He was born in Ohio and is currently 17 years old and going into his Senior year of High School. He is always enrolled in honors classes and in many clubs. This is his first piece published in an article, but he hopes to one day become an author. He has been supported by his family and teachers to do so and hopes to do more in the future.

“Governors and the President both had daily briefings about the virus and how they were working to fight it.”

COVID-19 has been a scourge to our community, nation, and world. It has brought much pain and suffering to millions and in America alone has killed over 40,000 citizens. My own experiences with the shutdown have been difficult to deal with and adjust to like in most other countries around the world. This essay will take a look at how that process affected me and the differences it made in my life.

I am a junior in High School from the state of Ohio, both the aviation and presidents state, and I am fortunate that I live in a region of the state that does not have a lot of people in it. That region is in the Southeastern part of the state, also known as Appalachia. Prior to the closure by COVID-19, my school had experienced closures due to a flu outbreak; and my AP Government class had to cancel their trip to the state Supreme court. Of course both of these events were only harbingers for what was to come. For some reason the early talk about COVID-19 originated in my Hon. Chemistry class in early March. Some days these talks would take up most of the class period with the kids expressing their concern and the teacher working to help reason out my classmates’ fears. Even as this was going on my classmates and I continued to perform our work and assignments as usual. It was on Thursday, March 12 that all of that changed. My parents received alerts on their phones that my school would close for three weeks by issue of the governor, Mike DeWine. The next day, Friday, was a crazy day with all that went on. My AP Government teacher reminded our class that this was going to be remembered in the history books, something I had thought as well. During lunch that day the student body, of which there were only a few hundred, were divided into the cafeteria, gym, and outdoors in groups of 100ish. We were dismissed from school that day with packets and work online, but unsure of what was to come.

Things only got worse after school let out. The original groups of 100 turned to 10 rather quickly. In no time the now well known 6-foot rule came into practice. Governors and the President both had daily briefings about the virus and how they were working to fight it. The Sunday after I was let out of school, March 15, all restaurants in the state were closed and only allowed to accept drive-thru orders. Additionally, the State cancelled their primary election that was supposed to take place Tuesday the 17. This detail was of primary upset to me due to the fact that, in the state of Ohio, if you are 17, but will be 18 by the general election, you are eligible to vote in the primaries. I happened to fit into this category. That night, the 17th of March, I wrote the following reflection on the recent state of things: “This is a rather interestingly boring time right now with the outbreak of COVID-19. I call it interesting because of the entire world’s reaction to it, boring because of how it impacts people. At least three weeks until we go back to school. A time when only ten people are supposed to be in one place at a single time. All of these circumstances only allow so much to be done. I have a good deal of school work to do over break and I will not enjoy it. I was supposed to vote in the primary election too, but it was rescheduled due to the virus. I hope all of this does not go on longer than it has to, because I don’t like it.” Perhaps at the time I was being a little upset at the way things had changed, and to be honest I still am. 

Speaking of the school work that I had to do at the time, it was, and has been, an interesting process. Seeing as I am a student who likes to take challenges, I am enrolled in either all honors or AP classes. Of these classes, as previously mentioned, I received both packets and online work. For the purposes I would like to display here, I will briefly discuss my work in English, though History is my favorite subject. Much of the work that I did online stemmed from a book called Hillbilly Elegy that is based in Appalachia. I would read a certain amount of the book at a time and later record my thoughts on it in an essay format. Doing this and work for my other classes proved to be a challenge for me. Setting times to work and time to play became difficult tasks. Eventually my father stepped in and helped by establishing a more structured work plan that has worked quite well. During this time I also did small work around the house and helped to stain my parents’ porch with help from my brother.

It was announced this past Monday, the 20th of April, that school would be cancelled through the end of the year. This was a rather disheartening, but not surprising, event to me. My teachers had had online chats, but I was looking forward to seeing my classmates again this year. The faculty has informed students that they hope to have events for this year’s seniors, but I do not feel that it will be the same. COVID-19 has taken out much of the excitement involved with the end of the year as well as the summer. As I look to becoming a senior in high school next year I hope that all of the hard work that has been put into defeating this dreaded killer is fruitful and all of us will see a brighter future tomorrow.

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