Dear COVID: We won

“Dear COVID” is this year’s senior column series in which Hook seniors share their reflections on high school and the pandemic in the form of letters to the virus itself.

Why, why did you have to come and ruin everything? 

Because of you I was sent home in the middle of my junior year. I spent eight months in physical therapy after tearing my ACL my sophomore year so I could play soccer again, but you canceled our season. I was also supposed to go to Disney with the program AFJORTC because we had finally raised enough money for our end-of-the-year trip, but you canceled that as well. 

Because of you a lot of businesses were forced to close down. Everyone had to wear a mask, and stay 6-feet apart. People were stocking up on toilet paper and cleaning supplies so much that they were out of stock in many stores. I couldn’t go back to work because my boss was limiting the amount of staff that could clock in, and I couldn’t get another job because the places near me weren’t hiring, because of you we were all forced to make appointments to almost everything.

Because of you we were all quarantined. We couldn’t leave our homes and everyone was scared, especially me. I remember that my sisters and I were worried because our parents jobs required them to be around other people. I worried that they might catch you and get us sick. 

Because of you washing my hands and putting on hand sanitizer became my first priority before starting my day. 

Because of you I got so used to seeing my friends and talking through screens that now, when meeting or talking to people in real life, I get socially awkward. 

Because of you I wasn’t given a normal senior experience. I was forced to continue school remotely and see my friends through screens. You cancelled prom not once, but twice. 

Because of you, many members of my family were sick. Many people have died. All over the news it was you, spreading everywhere putting us in a global pandemic.

Oh COVID, you don’t know how mad and frustrated I am at you. But at the same time I want to thank you. Because even though you came at the worst time, took many lives and made many people sick, both physically and mentally, the world stopped spinning for a few months, things started to improve. 

Businesses started to open back up, but with a new policy. I was able to get closer with my friends and family even though we were talking through screens. I was able to stop procrastinating on movies and TV shows to watch since I had a lot of free time. I redecorated my entire room

I went back to the gym and shed some of the quarantine weight that I gained. I got a new job and a raise! I started to write a lot about my feelings and figure them out. I explored different genres of music and shows. I got to spend more time with my family, go on walks and be a little more active.  

I was even able to think about what I wanted to do with my life after high school and what college to go to. After having a minor crisis and second thoughts about that career field, eventually I was able to talk it out with my parents and other relatives and finally make a decision. 

I applied to many schools and was rejected at some, waitlisted at others and accepted by 15. After a lot of thought I made a decision, and I’m happy to say that I will be attending UNC Asheville in the fall. 

COVID, if I could go back to my freshman self, I’d probably give her a heads up. Everything won’t go back to normal, and we certainly won’t forget about this, but at least we can say we beat you. 

Sincerely, 

Cynthia Martinez 

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