Teen Voices of COVID-19: In 50 years, how will you look back on this moment?

Q: In 50 years, how will you look back on this moment?

Njoki: I recently saw a post on Instagram with a poem by Kitty O’Meara that described how I hope people will look back at this time, “And the people stayed home… And learned new ways of being, and were still… And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.” I hope this pandemic can be looked back on as a time where everyone came together for the greater good, made some sacrifices and gained new perspectives. I hope this can be a model for future problems, not a lesson on what not to do. I hope I will look back on this moment and think about how I got to spend a lot of time with my family and try new things.

Owen: If it all goes well and the world turns out fine in the end, I won’t remember it as some traumatizing event or life-changing horror. Instead, I’ll remember it the same way I remember a school year, the premise is overall memorable but I won’t be able to get any details. While the memes and the free time are fun, there’s a much larger crisis that I’m trying to take seriously, but it’s difficult when there aren’t any stakes for me. Keeping it in perspective is important to me. It may seem like a harmless vacation day to day, but staying updated shows how serious the situation really is. I want to try to remember this as something more than just my experience.

Alexis: In the future, I will look back on this as a big part of my high school experience. Many events had to be pushed back or completely canceled; and if we return to school, seniors will only have three weeks of school left. This sounds like something any teen would be thrilled about, and I was excited for high school to end of course–but not like this. I will look back on this time and remember how bored I got at home and how I took going to school for granted.  I’m glad, however, that the schools were shut down to avoid a greater spread of COVID-19, especially among students and teachers.

Kaitlyn: This hasn’t changed my life that much in the long run, so I feel disconnected from the larger effects that have been brought on across the world. However, I think that later on in my life, I’ll understand that this did have a huge impact on even my sheltered world, and that impact will continue for years after the virus is gone. I hope that I don’t take this time for granted, because it’s given me the chance to catch up on sleep, relax a little, and spend time with my family. I haven’t had the chance to just hang out with my brother in a long time, and this pause in my normal life has given me that chance.