Published: June 2, 2021

When the lockdown first started in the United States, none of us expected it to last longer than two weeks. I remember when the lockdown was first announced, my friends and I celebrated because we would have a two week break from school. Looking back at it, a year later in the pandemic, I wish I could have told myself that it would be a lot more complicated.

In the beginning of the pandemic, as cases started to rise in the United States, the situation became more stressful. We didn't know a lot about the virus, and it was highly contagious and unpredictable. With outbreaks and surges in cases, I was worried about my friends and family, especially the people who were at a higher risk. It was a stressful time for everyone, especially since there was a shortage of many important supplies, like covid tests. Even food was limited at times. When the author, Fang Fang, mentioned in her diary that there was a shortage of masks during the Wuhan lockdown, and how people were stressed out about it. I could relate because, when my parents were shopping for supplies, it was harder to find cleaning supplies, like wipes and disinfectant spray.

School was also harder during the beginning of the pandemic. When we first went into lockdown, we weren't prepared to learn online, since we were not used to it. During the lockdown, there was an important writing project that we had to work on. Working on it was difficult, because we didn't have access to certain resources that we needed, and since we were not used to online school, information about assignments and the format of online school was confusing at times.

Another difficult part of the pandemic was that events and gatherings were canceled. I'm in the last year of middle school, and as an eighth grader there are some activities that I wish I could attend in person, like graduation, which will probably be virtual, and field trips. I'm a part of the humanities program in my school, and as part of the program, we were supposed to take a trip to New York. But unfortunately because of the pandemic, it was canceled. It's sad to think about all the events, like birthdays, and gatherings, that other people had to miss.

Also, in the pandemic, it was harder to keep in touch with my friends. As the pandemic grows longer, I miss talking to my friends and hanging out with them in person. It was harder to keep in touch with friends through text messages, because we were online at different times, and there is only so much you can talk about through texts.This year is probably the last year I'll get to see many of my friends. Since we are going to high school next year, many of my friends are going to a different high school than I am, which probably means we won't get to see each other often.

Although the pandemic created a bunch of unhappy moments, at times staying home was fun. I had more time to watch Netflix and other streaming services, and ride my bike more often. I was able to spend more time with my family, and go on hikes and try new activities like baking.

The pandemic has been going on for more than a year, and although things have started to ease and get better, it will take some time to go back to the normal that we were used to.