Pandemic life has felt not like a fever dream, but a fever nightmare. The U.S. alone has over 14 million COVID-19 cases and over 250,000 deaths. Last school year never truly finished, and the summer was wasted away in our homes. The days since March have blurred into one another in the same mundane fashion, and it is hard to believe that it has almost been one year since the first official report of the virus. In short: This sucks. However, some RHS students have said because of the production of the Pfizer vaccine, which has 95% efficacy, and increased awareness of COVID-19, there may be some hope.
So are these students right? Will we be able to break free of the virus soon? Worried RHS students expressed that the pandemic will only worsen, mentioning people’s ignorance and arrogance towards the virus, including influential individuals such as President Donald Trump, and idle and ineffective government officials across the country. Although some said that progress has been made, the statistics say otherwise: the recent “second wave” in New Jersey has proven itself to be even worse than the first wave, currently peaking at a daily average of over 5,000 new reported cases.
But despite all of the bad news, it might be best to be optimistic. Even with high unemployment and many lives at stake, during a time like this, it is crucial to take care of your mental health. Being anxious over the future will only spiral into more anxiety, and can cause a vicious cycle of constant stress. Optimism can also drive motivation and possibly incite greater action being taken against COVID-19. This isn’t to say that the virus should be completely neglected. Rather, one should celebrate the milestones of COVID-19 prevention. Wearing a mask, washing your hands, and simply persevering this far have been personal accomplishments for everyone. And although it may take a while, the virus is inevitably going to fade with time.
One student said that even if the virus goes away, the effects of COVID-19 wouldn’t. But perhaps the virus’s lasting effects are a good thing. Most of society has learned and discovered new things that they wouldn’t have without the pandemic. All the things we had once taken for granted might finally be treated with a larger degree of gratitude. It might be easy to just assume the worst. But no matter how hard it gets, keep on hoping. It’ll benefit everyone in the long run.
Graphic: Chloe Cho