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A Change In Perspective– Has COVID-19 Benefitted Us?

Jenny Zhang
Grade 9
2020 is beginning like a hectic ride of chaos. During this pandemic, people are becoming more cautious of their health and sanitation. Not only are people washing their hands and social distancing more, but their perspective in everyday life will never be the same. Like animals, when humans adapt to an environment for a long period of time, a habit is formed and even after the period is over. While we’re all stuck at home quarantined, the natural environment is open to animals. Animals start living in the parks at night, and once this pandemic is over, the animals might be used to living in the parks, and it will be difficult to make them leave. We’re all adjusting, and people are still figuring out their difficulties. Covid-19 has taught an important lesson to society: cherish the freedom that you have, respect the moments that you spend.

It all started in March, when Covid-19 began appearing in Canada. People started wearing masks and warned others about the virus. But we ignored it, as we thought that they were over exaggerating things and continued doing the same things everyday. When the number of cases started rising, people realized that this was becoming serious. Our reactions to COVID-19 represent the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Almost everyone refused to follow instructions that were given on the news. Everyone wanted their own freedom. People reacted selfishly and inconsiderately, which led to the future that scientists predicted. In mid-April, schools were announced closed and restaurants, stores, and unnecessary businesses began closing for the period as well. That was when people started the second stage: anger. People became angry. Some regret their past decisions, and some thought what health officials did were against citizens’ freedom. This was when the tables turned, and our lives became uncertain. During this pandemic, I can conclude that people will show their true colours and take advantage of the chaos. Cases of burglary and theft were higher than before, and people woke up with broken windows in their cars and glass shattered on the floor. This was the third stage: bargaining. Instead of the number of cases decreasing, police found it difficult to control the amount of burglars breaking through stores. Toilet paper and disinfectant wipes were limited in grocery stores, and instead were sold online so people could earn money. Advantages were taken by some people while others struggled. Slowly, we moved to the fourth stage: depression. Many elders died and got sick during this time, and those who have been hurt the most realize and are the ones who pay the price. They are the ones that have been affected the most during this pandemic. They fall into depression, and are stuck there until they reach the fifth stage: acceptance. For the past few weeks, people are overcoming this obstacle and the number of cases in Canada is starting to curve downwards. We’re accepting how life is, and instead using this time as a benefit to come closer to family members and cherishing the moments that are special to us.

In the first week of May, I interviewed students attending Burnaby North during this pandemic to get a real perspective on how students are using this time at home. Instead of thinking negatively, I asked students: ‘How did you benefit from this period of home quarantine due to this pandemic?’ With a total of 44 students answering my survey from Burnaby North, 18% answered that staying at home forced them to exercise more, 20% answered that staying at home brought them closer with family members, 2% answered that staying at home increased their amount of reading books, and 59% of the students answered that staying at home allowed them to have more free time to pursue new hobbies such as cooking, starting a diary, and interacting with their friends online. Even though COVID-19 gave pain and suffering to those who were sick with the virus, but to those who are healthy and quarantined at home, COVID-19 provided change in life and respect for the times that they could have freedom to go outside, hang out with friends, and go on vacations.

2020 will be remembered as a historic period of time. We will be remembered as survivors of COVID-19. When this is over, nothing will be the same. Even right now, people are slowly adjusting to the new reality. People who lost their jobs, their children and family will all be affected. The economy system is struggling and is changing significantly. COVID-19 is teaching us how to value the present and the feeling of freedom. Maybe it’s a good thing that COVID-19 happened: we would never have changed our habits of washing hands and using money, and even cherish the little things that we experience in life otherwise.

Together as a community, we work together to overcome this obstacle. Together, we are making history.