by Emma Herrington, 04/24/2020, Traverse City, MI

Middle School 6-8 Category

It all started with China. Not one person was that worried about it until it hit us. I went to school one day listening to kids asking teachers “what will happen if we get shut down?” The teachers didn’t have the best responses because they were not expecting to have it happen so fast. They answered with “we have an idea, we might move to online, but don’t worry about it.” My friends and I thought the media was taking this whole virus too seriously. The next day I come to school and it felt eerie. I felt weird. I heard kids whispering to each other, saying we were getting shut down for the next 3 weeks, but I didn’t believe it, I mean come on it’s middle school. My family doesn’t watch the news and we don’t have a whole lot of social media so I had no idea what was happening. I knew something was off, but I just couldn’t figure out what. Then my sister tells me it’s Friday the 13th. Friday the 13th! I shouted in my thoughts. I went to class like I would any other day, and when I got in there my classmates were still talking about this shut down. Then we start class and sure enough my teachers tells me our governor is shutting down all k-12 schools in Michigan for the next 3 weeks. I was shocked, excited but shocked. Had this gone that far already, it was only March 13th. I texted my mom a bunch of times that day, explaining to her what was happening to us. All the teachers kept saying was “check google classroom for assignments and always check your email while we are gone.” You could tell all the teachers were stressing and worried about the news they had been given that day.
After that day, the country never felt the same. Everyone getting stuck at home because “oh hey our governor isn’t letting us leave our houses now unless it is essential or we are going on a nature hike.” People were getting laid off work left and right. My sister came home and was planning on staying in Traverse city for only 3 weeks, later that changed. I couldn’t even go to church. Oh and not just that but the stores were being emptied, my parents had trouble finding toilet paper just because of how much our state was freaking out. I mean come on people, toilet paper really that’s what you choose to stock up on, what’s that supposed to do? Day after day, week after week the governor kept coming up with new ways to keep us stuck in our houses with nothing to do. My 4-H expierience this year has been shut down completely, I will be lucky to even sell a lamb this year if the fair doesn’t get canceled. I think my parents have been on Facebook more than they usually have because of this pandemic. My whole family time that I was looking forward to during this break has been interrupted by governor Whitmer this or governor Whitmer that. All our family ever talks about is this pandemic. My dad one day even said, “wow I thought I would never say this but I actually want to go back to work.” My sisters and I have complained so much because we can’t go back to school for the rest of the year. My sister one day even told me I was living out history. One day I will be able to tell my kids about this dreadful time. It hit me that day, when she told me, just how bad this pandemic was. It made me want to go cry in a corner.
I think I have enjoyed a lot of the nature walks and family time that I have gotten, but still this pandemic seems like it has been drawn out for way too long. I understand that our numbers are high is cases, but how do we know those numbers are true? How do we know that doctors aren’t just putting those numbers out there, because they want to be extra precautious? Doctors and citizens of the United States have just started realizing that this may have started during the bad flu season back in January. I love our paramedics, and everyone who has spent day after day trying to help our country, but we don’t necessarily know if those numbers are truth. I remember one day riding in the car and staring out my window looking at all the leaves on people’s yards, and looking at all the blank roads, and I started to think about this pandemic more and I realized I had never thought it was going to go on for this long. Although it may be scary, I still know that God has a plan. I learn something knew about his plan, every Sunday. I think God is using this time for all of us to shut our mouths, and listen.
Whenever you watch TV, the ad “Stay Home, Stay Safe” comes on. This ad worries me because it makes me feel like we are going to be stuck in our homes forever. Does this mean we will have to depend on our government for the rest of our lives? Look at the unemployment rate right now. All these people getting laid off work because places don’t have enough work for their employees. So, our government pays them to sit at home. How can anyone live like that, being fed by the government, it’s like the government is our parents and we are all their children. It’s a matter of time before people start fighting back for their freedom. Look at what happened in Lansing. People are ready to stand up to their government and let them know what they think. I can’t wait until this pandemic is over with, so we can go back to our normal lives.