by Mischa Beyers, 06/05/2020, Gaylord, MI

Middle School 6-8 Category

Global Pandemic. What comes to mind when you hear those 2 simple words? When i hear that, I get chills because of what i experienced during one. This is my story.
It started off as a virus in China that i would occasionally hear about, then it started spreading and growing and soon enough, it was the only thing i heard about. Thousands of people dying, and no one knows whats going to happen next. Towns, then cities, then even countries shut down. All a blur. Schools were closing in other states, and i never thought that mine would, then soon enough it was the last day of school for that year and no one knew it. No one hugged their favorite teachers, or their friends goodbye. No one really took it seriously until it started to spread all the way up to my tiny town in Northern Michigan. Friends were still hanging out, but then a loud blaring noise came from every device in my house and a stay at home order was set in place. No friends, no school, no outside world for who knows how long. At the beginning I was confused but it didn’t really bother me because I had no school and what middle schooler wouldn’t be happy about that. After awhile I got very tired of it. The same thing everyday. I missed my friends and my teachers. I missed the little things like my friends drawing me awful pictures or making jokes in the middle of class. I missed my life. A few more weeks went by and online class started. It was very confusing at first but i eventually got the hang of it. Then my throat and head started to hurt, i couldn’t stop coughing, and it was getting hard to breath. I was probably just paranoid right? Then things started getting worse. It felt like someone poured gasoline in my lungs and then set them on fire, the pain increasing every time i coughed. Someone was filling my lungs up with liquid from the inside, i couldn’t breathe. I was freezing and sweating at the same time. My head was repeatedly getting smashed with a hammer. I needed the pain to stop. It got worse as the days went by so my mom took me to the doctor. They told me to wait in the car while a man in a hazmat suit came over to my window. He told me that he couldn’t test me because there weren’t enough testing kits in our state, so he tested me for the flu and strep instead. He said that if those tests came back negative, then i most likely had COVID-19. The tests came back a few days later. Negative. My parents were wondering how i got it if i hadn’t gone anywhere in a few weeks. After we looked into it, we realized that my mom was probably a carrier because she works at the hospital, she brought it home to me unknowingly, and i got it because i have a very low immune system. I was scared. Another week passed and i wasn’t getting any better. When will it end. After 2 weeks of awful pain, i started to get a little better and better each day. A month later, my aunt from Idaho called and told us that we should come visit them because their stay at home order was lifted. My dad said no because my mom wouldn’t be able to go because of work, and he didn’t want to leave her. The next night he told me to pack my bags because we were leaving in an hour. And we were off. We got to Idaho, and even though i missed my mom, I had a great time. Definitely worth he 31 hours in the car. We got home the day before my birthday, and i was sad that I couldn’t have a party because of quarantine, but i made the best out of it, and I had a great day. My friends did a drive by and dropped off presents. Even though this whole experience has been stressful, it has made me appreciate life a lot more, I will cherish every hug, kiss, and conversation as if it’s my last, and I am very thankful for that. I can’t wait to tell my children this experience. If we can get through this, we can get through anything, so the big question is, what next world?