Changing Seasons, Changing World
By Bella King
When I think about the world we are currently living in, I have so many emotions– first is anger. Then disbelief, then sadness, fear, and every other emotion one could possibly think of because 2020 has abruptly reminded us that life truly is unpredictable, and nothing stays the same. The simple joys of going to a restaurant or walking into a store without having to wear a mask seem so long gone, and I kick myself for taking these experiences for granted even though I never could have predicted that my life would be upturned by a global pandemic.
When Covid-19 began, I was working in Orlando for the Disney College Program. I remember reading about a strange new illness that was sweeping across China, and my coworkers and I wondered if it came to America, would Disney still remain open? Would we lose our jobs? Each week there were new updates globally and less answers from our managers, and the same day that Disneyland California closed, Disney World in Orlando also closed. I thought I would only be off of work for two weeks while we were furloughed, but the next day I got an email that I had lost my position in the College Program and needed to move out of my apartment due to safety concerns. The next day, I packed up all of my things, returned my uniform and parking sticker, and moved to my grandparent’s house two hours south of Orlando.
After being at my grandparent’s house for a few days, I realized the gravity of the situation. The news was grim; there were constant videos being shown on the news of bodies being stored in freezer trucks and people gasping for air in hospital beds. The whole scene looked lonely and isolating, and as I looked at my grandparents and thought about the rest of my family, I began to have severe anxiety that the people around me were going to die. Because of this, I didn’t want to leave the house. Going into the store with a mask was so strange and uncomfortable, but I knew I had to do it to protect those around me, and I felt angry at those who valued their personal freedom to not wear a mask over my health. Not being able to hug people or shake hands was jarring for me because I crave human contact.
I began visiting my aunt’s house and slowly feeling more comfortable with leaving the house. We would order dinner out and pick it up once a week, attend virtual Shabbat services on Fridays, and watch movies to distract us from all the other negative emotions surrounding us constantly. Beginning my classes again in June helped me focus on other things and allowed me to begin processing how to live with the pandemic instead of running away from it.
Like me, many other people’s lives were changed over the course of a few days. Everyone knows about the struggles that Covid-19 has brought on—the unemployment, the death, the destruction, the anxiety and fear. All of these emotions are magnified by a president who shows no empathy towards those who suffer. We as a country and as a global community are navigating our way through a new world and are finding ways to combat challenges together. Covid-19 has outlined that a virus has no political affiliation, and the choices we make now about our future speak to our morals and values, not only our politics.
In quarantine, I have found that keeping myself busy is the best way to avoid negative thoughts and anxiety. I go to school online at Tri-C, participate in two internships, and work online full-time. Covid-19 has provided me with a necessary break that I may not have gotten otherwise to focus on my health and wellbeing. It is a testament to the idea that even the darkest days will eventually see the light. Finding positivity in these times is imperative to our survival, mental health and wellbeing, and sense of community.