Wake Up Call

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Wake Up Call

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I was nineteen years old, now soon too be twenty-one, when news started circulating about a new virus that was spreading around in China. Personally, I thought the whole thing was just a bunch of fear mongering being played up by the media for clicks. In March of 2020 my theory would turn out to be drastically wrong. Slowly the spread of this new virus became worse and worse and before I knew it, everything was shut down and my family was in lockdown. My in-person classes at Duquesne University were all cancelled and moved to online conference calls over Zoom. For the first time in my life, a global event was having a real, tangible effect on my life. Being born in December of 2000, I have already lived through some world events that will go down in history. Wars in the Middle East, the Housing Market Crash, 9/11, the rapid advancement of computers and technology… all things I was alive for but either to young to remember or to ignorant to see the significance. For the first time in my life, I was seeing a major occurrence in the world directly impact my life and was able to comprehend the seriousness and significance. The object I have loaded is a picture of the Ferris Wheel my family owns and potentially one of the last times I will ever have seen it up and running. Hundreds of thousands of small and family run businesses have either been shut down temporarily or shut down for good because of the pandemic, my family business is no exception. My family runs Reinhart Amusements, a business that provides rides and games to Parishes around the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area for their summer festivals. I’ve been working for the businesses since I was fourteen and started helping long before then. Like many others, we too had to shut down because of the pandemic. My family does not rely on this business financially like my grandfather did. For my parents and many in my large family, it is more of a self-fulfilling hobby. I’m very lucky to get to say that my father and his father have put smiles on the faces of kids and adults alike all around the Pittsburgh area. It is now September 20, 2021 and we have not been able to partake in a festival for over 2 years now. It is sad to say, but after talking with my father and if we are unable to open back up in 2022 then we never will. I don’t know what the future holds with this virus and the world. What I do know is that though the pandemic may take away my family business, it will never take away my own and many others happy memories of it.
Photograph of My Family's Ferris Wheel

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This item was submitted on September 20, 2021 by Samuel H Reinhart using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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