It is 12:35. The bell rings. I get up, get a wipe and wipe down my desk. I throw away the wipe. I start heading towards the Hajjar dining hall. I claim a seat next to four of my friends. I put my backpack down near the chair, get out my EagleCard, and go to get my lunch that I preordered. There is a long line, so I wait, socially distancing. It’s finally my turn, show the cafeteria workers my EagleCard, as they give me my lunch. I head back to the table that I was sitting at and strip off my mask. My ears immediately grimace with irritation. I ignore it and take off my glasses to clean them. I put my glasses back on and began to eat my lunch. Suddenly, my friend knocks on the plexiglass. I ask, “What’s up?” “Nothin much, just wanted to talk,” he replies. I begin a conversation with him as we eat. At times we have to raise our voices. I finish my lunch, I put on my mask, and throw the garbage in the trash. I grab a wipe as I walk back. I clean my area and take out my laptop. Fifteen more minutes until lunch ends. It’s 1:05. I put my laptop away and wipe down my area again. The bell rings, so I wipe my chair and put my EagleCard into my backpack. I push my chair in and put on my backpack. I head for the recycle bin and throw my wipe out. I head to my next class.
This is 2020, my first year here in BC High. Back in March I was surprised that there was a deadly virus that to this day remains unresolved. And don’t even get me started that we have to quarantine for over six months – it’s jarring. I will be honest, I was not that surprised that BC High had to take these safety precautions. They are very important so the virus doesn’t spread rapidly. But with these safety policies, there’s downsides. One thing I have found hard is making new friends at BC High. I fortunately have some old friends that were from my old school that went here with me, but I still had the hope to make some new friends here. Going forward, I hope that everyone will work together to defeat this virus. I hope that one day I will be able to sit with 20 people in the classroom. And I hope that I will be able to throw my mask away for good, that everything will return “normal” for this school and for America. But for now, I will wait and play my small part in helping to defeat this virus.