Before covid came

July 12, 2022

Before Covid, Friends School was in almost a tranquil haze as we marched on to Spring Break. Spring sports had started, and the return of warm days marked the start of a new season. But despite the hope and promise, a virus we now know as Corona loomed above our sunny skies. I could go out and have fun with my friends, go shopping, and see my little cousins then. I could go to Bed, Bath and Body Works and not even look at the sanitizer, because I knew my family had a bottle at home, and that was enough.   – Jordan Brown, 11th grade

I remember a mask not being mandatory. I remember being able to walk the halls of school without keeping six feet between me and other people. I remember being able to go to my friends’ houses and give them a hug. I remember being able to gather as an entire Upper School in one room. So many things I thought were perfectly normal, until it all got taken away.   – Cate van den Beemt, 11th grade

I remember seeing people in the grocery store wearing masks and gloves. I recall saying to my mom: “These people are ridiculous; this virus is probably just similar to the flu.” My mom works in the medical field, and she didn’t seem too alarmed yet, so I wasn’t alarmed either.   – Kayla Kurtz, 12th grade

Of course everyone knew about Corona in China, but we weren’t too worried, we were just having a good time. We would have real wrestling practices, not walk around in a mask. Life was chill.   – Zakiy Gasparovic, 12th grade

Back then, whenever I would talk about corona with family or friends, we would always talk about how we felt bad for China and everyone who lived there. I also remember hearing concerns of a virus spreading rapidly in Wuhan. When I heard about it on the news I wouldn’t pay too much attention, because I thought it didn’t really affect us. These are my first and earliest memories of what would come to be a defining period of all of our lives.   – Julia Barry, 12th grade

“There’s a growing number of confirmed cases in China daily!” one of my friends said at lunch on a cloudy day in February, getting us updated from CNN news and social media posts about Covid-19. All of us were extremely worried about the situations back in our hometowns, turning a relaxing and enjoyable lunchtime into a moment filled with solemnity and anxiety. Sitting in a place 7,500 miles from China, where people weren’t yet bothered by the pandemic, we felt uneasy and restless, scanning through the data on new cases each day in China.    – Rain Ruan, 11th grade

I vividly remember sitting in my history class weeks before school shut down. We were all sitting around and laughing, and some people were showing memes about the coronavirus that we all thought were kind of funny because none of us knew how real it was. It seemed so distant from us, I never even thought it would affect our lives. When we were laughing, Mr. Henschen walked in and said: “You guys won’t be laughing when we have online school in a few months.” We all thought he was joking, or just being dramatic.   – Charlotte Martin, 12th grade

I specifically remember being in English class and looking at a world map of how many cases there were, and hearing about how a few cases popped up in the US. I started to become more and more worried when I realized how fast the positive results were growing exponentially.   – Natalie Barber, 11th grade

A week before March 14th, I remember walking to the dining hall with a friend. At that moment, the cases in China and Italy were increasing rapidly. “Do you think it’s China’s fault for bringing the virus to the United States?” I asked him. “I believe it is their fault, and they should have been more careful and warned the rest of the world.”  My friend responded: “You think so? I think this virus is inevitable.”   – Krish Sharma, 11th grade

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