A Teenager’s Reaction to Learning About COVID-19

March 30, 2020

Hearing about Coronavirus 2019 from opinionated and often unreliable sources made this 15-year-old more nervous than she needed to be.

CORONAVIRUS CHRONICLES

My school officially shut down on March 12, 2020. They sent an email at 3 PM, five minutes before dismissal. The atmosphere was chaotic. Many students squealed with excitement; others shrieked with worry regarding COVID-19. Had my school waited until the weekend to share the news, or given us more warning, I would feel more in control than I do now.

Suddenly, I realized the magnitude of this pandemic. I cried myself to sleep the next few nights, fearful of my parents and grandparents catching the virus. The sudden closure of many things I love like school, gymnastics, and Hebrew and Chinese classes compounded my anxiety.

I learned about the virus only from my freshman classmates; I mainly heard racist jokes or hysterical comments. My school never taught us about the virus. Instead, they responded to the virus. To be fair, they are not doctors or knowledgeable about epidemiology. Hearing about it from opinionated and often unreliable sources made me more nervous than I needed to be.

Ms Goldstein is from Evanston, IL. She is 15 years old.