The pandemic has been hard. Kids thrive on consistency and structure, but ever-shifting safety guidelines have delivered them a world of cancellations and chaos. Between complex and nuanced feelings about masks, vaccines, quarantines, and shutdowns—there’s a lot to process. Front Porch asked young people to depict their thoughts, feelings, opinions through art and/or written word.
It Could Always be Worse
By Sophia Brown, 9th grade, Northfield High School.
My US history teacher plays the ukulele in class. When I attended the Colorado Thespian Conference, I took an entire course on learning how to walk confidently. I wore a bright pink wig and knee socks in the school play. It’s a strange collection of memories and I’ve curated them extensively, but they could have been different. My history teacher told us on Google Meets that he plays the ukulele. I got to watch a webinar from home with my chapter of the Colorado Thespians. My internet went out during a Zoom performance.
The past two years have brought trials and tribulations for all students, and I’m sure that some of my fellow classmates have experienced difficulties that I can’t even begin to imagine. But despite all the plans that fell flat and the struggles that minors across the country faced, I feel impossibly lucky to have these bright memories that came from the first semester of my freshman year. These are the kind of high school memories I had dreamed of having before the pandemic, before I questioned if they would become a reality. Then, our entire world collapsed, and we relocated to the virtual one. It was devastating to see proms and graduations missed, and we all thought what if this were my graduation? And now we’re saying “Well, it’s better than the previous winter.’ But considering that I have already gotten to experience more in the past 5 months than I have in the past year and a half, I would consider “better” a huge victory on our path to “best.”
By Sonia Parkhie, age 10
From the constant ‘you’re muted’ to ‘turn your camera on’ we really had to adapt to the new normal. My school went home for what was supposed to be an ‘extended Spring Break’ on Friday, March 13, 2020. We returned in-person Wednesday, October 21, 2021, only to shut down days later. The stress, extreme boredom and social isolation we experienced was at times unbearable. For months on end I was trapped within the prison of my four walls. Guidelines kept changing and uncertainty broke loose. During that terrifying time, I saw something truly remarkable. My classmates, only pre-teens, banded together when adults seemed to do nothing more than fight. Our world was cracking under pressure and kids were inventing new ways to live. We organized social-distanced supply pick-ups for school materials. We tackled the confusion of technology together. We crafted an online newspaper, but most importantly, we wore our masks, sanitized and stayed apart to keep each other safe.
In one of my earliest Covid journals, about 2 years ago, I wrote, “Many of us forget how much we depend on our friends. We take them for granted. We think of them as small parts of ourselves, when really they are some of the biggest.” Throughout the pandemic, my friends and I sent out dozens of letters to each other, letting pieces of ourselves escape. We pushed each other through the missed birthdays and frequent cancellations. We were constantly improvising, trying to make the best out of horrible situations. The pandemic took a wrecking ball to 2+ years of our childhood. Through it all, we innovated this new era, braving the challenges and persevering through the COVID-19 pandemic.