A Letter to My Future Self

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A Letter to My Future Self

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Dear future self,
Welcome back to the wonderful world of the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s been a year, so you will be in 2021, 17 years old and about a month from graduating high school. Current status: I don’t even know, the US is doing the worst in the world (for COVID-19 cases and other assorted issues haha) and last time I checked 34 of the states have stay-at-home orders. It’s April 6th, 2020, and we have been self-quarantining for about 3 weeks now, but the actual stay-at-home order from Ducey is fairly recent. All I’ve been doing is go to work a few times a week, babysit twice a week, and do online school. I’m excited to be a senior next year, especially because I’ll have a half day.
When the outbreak first happened in China, I can’t say I cared or knew a lot about it. Come February it was getting worse, and we heard about schools closing, but looking back I was in a bubble, and I felt like it wasn’t going to really affect me. (“They won’t close schools, and it’s not like anyone I know will get it”). We joked about it constantly, but we’re Gen Z, we’re nihilistic about everything - walking through the school I heard banter about people trying to get COVID-19 just so they will cancel school. Around then was when I started to see real effects of Corona, movies not being released in theaters, talk shows filmed at home. So, I began reading the news and listening to a news podcast every morning in hopes of educating myself. As I started to grasp the situation, my bubble burst all at once. It was the day after I took my SAT (I was one of the few who did take it: most test centers had been closed due to the virus - once again I was not directly affected), and it was announced that school had really been cancelled, so my first week of quarantine began. Spring break was coming up, and I still had a lot of hope: that we’d be back in school, that this would be over soon, that we’d still go on vacation, that life would quickly return to normal. Everything accelerated so quickly about a week after that, and the situation became stressful. All of the sudden my daily routine of waking up, going to school, coming home, sometimes working, sometimes going to French Honors Society: it was all gone. I realized I wouldn’t see my friends in person for months, and that I would have to try to keep my grades up from home. The only thing that really brought normality was my favorite show (Good Mythical Morning) that brought new episodes (now from their homes) daily, so that’s what I woke up for each morning. The next week I continued work, which I had taken a week’s break from to assess the situation, and started babysitting for two kids whose parents needed someone to look after them now that we are all at home. Having something to do brought a schedule to my life, and shortly after that school started up again online.
I hope that by the fall the outbreak has calmed. I have been listening to the news podcast for a couple weeks, and scientists such as Dr.Fauci say the virus might be seasonal, meaning it would never really go away. However, the swine flu was really bad like 10 years ago, and now it is just one of the strands of flu we get shots for.
In my free time I’ve been playing a lot of Switch, FaceTiming with my little cousins, and hanging out in the backyard. It’s really interesting to hear about the situation from the perspectives of younger kids because they see things much more simply than we do. It seems like they just miss going to school, and are waiting for this to be over already: I’d guess it’s hard for them to grasp the severity of the situation, especially since it seems like a lot of adults are failing to do so.
I think the main thing I will remember from this time is the confusion and some of the hopelessness I feel, staying at home to protect myself and others but wanting nothing more than to go back to normal life (as I suspect everyone who goes through an upheaval in their life feels). Anyway, I hope you’re doing well, future me!
P.S. Do you still listen to the same music and podcasts I do now? Right now I’m loving The 1975, Nirvana, Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Mayer (as I have literally my whole life - no way that’s changed), and the Mythical Feel Good Quarantine Playlist that Rhett and Link made. As far as podcasts, I listen a lot to Ear Biscuits, Philip DeFranco, and NVC, and some Dolly Parton’s America.

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