2020 has defiantly been a year that everyone will remember forever. So many horrible events around the world, that would be difficult even if they were years apart, all combined into one year. Lists are being created all over the internet counting all the terrible things that happened this year. “A string of wildfires, airplane crashes in Iran and Pakistan, the death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, social unrest over the killing of George Floyd, the deadly explosion in Beirut, and various natural disasters — all under the cloud of COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic” (Al Arabiya English). Those a few examples of the different events taken place this year. We have all struggled this year in many different ways, but the scariest time for me was the first two weeks of lockdown in the United States.
The week leading up to lockdown felt like any other week. I went to school, softball practice, and already had plans for the weekend with my three best friends. The only difference was my mom went to the store and stocked up on food, water, and toilet paper for a possible quarantine. At school, the topic of discussion was the coronavirus in almost every class. Everyone knew about it but had no idea how serious it actually was. The rumor was we going to have two weeks off of school to quarantine and then everything would be right back to normal. Looking back now, I cannot believe how wrong we were. We were excited to get off of school for two weeks instead of understanding how serious this pandemic was. We did not fully understand how many innocent lives it was taking around the world. I had softball practice every day after school. This was my senior season and my last time playing softball, so I was looking forward to it. Softball has given me so many great memories for years of long car rides to tournaments, staying in hotels with all of my friends, and making friendships that will last forever. The conversation at practice was the same as it was at school, this time our coaches joined in with us. We were bummed because our first game was the following week, but we still wanted off from school. After practice, we all stood by our bags putting our gloves and equipment away while joking around as usual when our coach called us over to the outfield. We ran over to her wondering what she was going to say since practice had already ended. We stood around our couch in a circle as she stared at her phone. She started explaining to us that President Trump had announced a national emergency, and we would not be back for a while. I was shocked because I did not think it was actually going to happen. I looked around at my teammates and they looked just as shocked as I. As we walked back to the dugout to gather our things, we all said we were excited to stay home for two weeks and get a break from school. We did not realize that we would not be back at all. I missed so many events from the season like our first home game, a 2-hour bus ride with my teammates to Delmar for a game, senior night, senior night gifts from the underclassmen, our annual cookout, and all 20 games. Softball has been such a huge part of my life all year round since the age of 7. I have played on countless rec, travel, and school teams. I decided the summer before my senior year that that was the last time, I wanted to play travel, meaning the next season for school was going to be my last time ever playing softball. Missing this entire season was terrible, but the worst part is I do not even remember my last game. I did not pay that much attention to it because I thought I have an entire season ahead of me.
This first week of lockdown was unlike anything I had ever known. The scary part about this virus was no one knew anything about it. The first time my dad went to the grocery store felt like something out of a movie. As I was sitting at the kitchen counter, I watched him gear up, as if we were living in a zombie apocalypse. He tied a bandana over his mouth and nose since we did not have masks at the time. He was worried about the virus getting on his hand, so he walked over to the hall closet to find gloves he could wear to the store. As he left for the store, I remember feeling worried about him bringing this unknown disease home. I sat in my room and waited until he got back. The second I heard the garage door open; I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs. He was standing in the doorway leading out to the garage wiping the groceries with Lysol wipes then putting them on the counter waiting for them to dry. As they dried my mom stood there putting the groceries away. I immediately asked, “what happened?” He said the store was full of people trying to get groceries, unlike anything he had ever seen. “People were panicking and grabbing a ton of the same things, there was barely any milk, cases of water, or toilet paper.” This panic caused people to act like there next time they were going back to the store everything would be gone. Everyone wanted to stock up on things they thought they might need over the next few weeks. Shelves were empty, epically the toilet paper aisle, people were trying to grab what they could. I imagined something from a zombie apocalypse movie, where people were looting stores, running around like crazy, grabbing everything in sight they might need. I felt very scared at this moment because the lockdown just started. I wondered what would happen in a few weeks if grocery stores would run out of food. I have never lived through something like this, so I did not know what to do. The uncertainty of the pandemic brought a type of fear into my life that I had never felt before. This is something everyone felt because none of us have lived through something like this.
As we were in lockdown every day felt the same. I woke up, logged into school online, cleaned my room out of boredom, and facetime my friends since this was the only way I could communicate with them. It almost felt like I was stuck living the same day over and over again. I worried about how long this would go on. A few weeks into lockdown, in every class, people would ask our teachers if were going to be able to have events like prom, our senior trip to Hersey park, but most importantly, graduation. The only answers we ever got were “I don’t know” and “the school is working very hard to figure something out for you guys.” No one knew what was going to happen. I was worried we would not have a graduation, but at the same time, this was always a little hope. I thought there’s no way we are just not going to have a graduation. Everyone in the world who finished high school had a graduation. I felt guilty thinking about myself at this time when hospitals were crowded with sick people, but things like graduation were something everyone looked forward to after all their hard work.
To this day, this virus is unknown. People are scared every day that they or a loved one will die from this. Thinking back to the beginning of lockdown reminds me of a scary time when I felt trapped and worried about the unknown. I was reminded of this time about a week ago when my brother got COVID. My family had to quarantine again, which gave me flashbacks to the beginning of the year being trap in my house. No matter how scary times are we must stick up and be there for each other because we are all experiencing similar things. Hopefully, one day soon we will be able to go outside without a mask.