I still remember when it was announced that our school would be shut down in 6th grade a little more than 9 months ago. Everybody thought it wouldn’t happen; my classmates, my teachers, and my principal told us we would not be shut down. They held a meeting telling us we were going to stay open. The next week, Governor Charlie Baker immediately shut the state of Massachusetts down: the schools, the businesses, the restaurants, and the pools.
I had also gotten word that President Donald Trump had implemented a travel ban on China as early as Jan. 31, 2020. After the shutdown, much changed.
On a nationwide scale panic spread at an alarming rate. The public started hoarding consumer products such as toilet paper, paper towels, and sanitation utilities which eventually led to a national shortage. At the local Walgreens I saw empty shelves of where toilet paper should have been. They had to post signs that said to only purchase two products of cleaning and sanitation. Although it wasn’t just the fear of running out of supplies that existed, it was the fear of catching COVID-19 that panicked many. I began to notice people all around me wearing masks. Foot traffic around my local stores and businesses became almost non-existent. Traffic in general, actually, came to almost a stop, and I saw nearly no cars on the road. Everybody was quarantining themselves. The main subject of nearly all topics became COVID-19, social distancing, and most of all, questions about when it would end. We were still gathering information on COVID-19, so we knew it would be a while. I remember when people thought that the summer heat would slow the spread of the virus, but that did not occur. Eventually, we all got used to the lockdown and stays at home orders. Virtual school became easier, and when it ended, many students across the US attended virtual graduations. After this, summer came, and states started reopening. Massachusetts though, is still in a lockdown, but it is still looking to reopen in the future.
The fear of COVID-19 is still outgoing, but the hope of a vaccine will restore our country to normal in the future.