Behind the Mask
2020 — Alabama
I have always been interested in the healthcare field. At my school, there are many pathways and clubs that I joined to further explore my interests in possible career options. HOSA is a healthcare club that allowed me to explore these careers through many projects, competitions, and volunteering opportunities. Last year, my friends and I decided to be involved in the yearly competition held. Our club sponsor gave us many ideas on how to build a portfolio needed to win and one of the ideas was to spread information about the novel COVID-19. Looking back, the presentation had facts about how numbers were small and no one in the United States needed to worry. Weeks later, I found myself sitting at home, trying to figure out how to complete my junior year looking at a screen. The outside world was thrown into chaos with people hoarding more toilet paper and hand sanitizer than anyone would think possible. Numbers continued to rise and more heroes began to shine. Groups of people helped others in need by making masks at home and more.
There was good and bad with the pandemic, but the worst was having to quarantine for an unknown period of time. I was able to bond more with my family, but I was deprived of social interaction with my close friends. A phobia was beginning to form within myself, thinking foreign people or objects to me could potentially pass on some unwanted bacteria or virus. After two months of isolation, I could finally stop seeing the world through a screen. Life was somewhat returning to normal, except faces were hidden behind a mask, and there was a constant indoctrination of social distancing to slow down the spread of Corona. The “normal” did not last however as my senior year of high school started very unconventionally. Hallways were barren, plastic shields kept students separated, and quarantining from school for two weeks became commonplace. Multiple privileges that made school bearable were taken away. What was supposed to be the climactic ending of my high school career became nonexistent. Work, home, and the occasional visit with friends slowly became my life. Though life has changed throughout the past year, I have been blessed with the best support system to help me and others through these difficult times.
— Sarah Carter, 18