(Editor’s note: This essay is part of Bethesda Beat’s Coronavirus Chronicles personal essay series. Visit the submission page to learn more.)
“How are you?” is a question I’m used to hearing, but it’s different now. It’s no longer just a courteous question from people in my life; it’s a genuine concern being addressed worldwide.
Staying at home has been lonely. I’m accustomed to going to school and spending the majority of my day collaborating with teachers and friends. But now my days are spent in my room, by myself, staring at a computer screen.
A part of my soul is missing. I’ve spent nearly four years at Watkins Mill surrounded by a community of support and love—and now my senior year has vanished into thin air.
My heart aches knowing I won’t have my last season with the boys’ lacrosse team—being their manager means being their babysitter, but it also means making lifelong memories. Although I’d never admit it to them, it’s been a highlight of my high school experience.
There are so many unknowns. I don’t know if I’ll have a last day of high school, a senior prom, or a graduation. I don’t know if I’ll get to say a proper goodbye before I move away for college. The only thing I know right now is that I’m missing my teachers, mentors and friends.
I was expecting to leave—I knew I’d have to let go—I just didn’t realize I would be letting go this soon.
Nothing about life is normal right now, and that is a really hard thing to accept. The only comfort I’ve had amid the chaos is knowing I’m not in this alone. As tragic as it is that this disease is affecting people on a global scale, it is reassuring to know this pandemic is something we’re all struggling with.
It’s important to not just understand each other, but to also check in on each other. So, how are you?
Jade Pinkowitz is a senior at Watkins Mill High School in Gaithersburg, where she is the editor in chief of the school newspaper.
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