Behind the Mask
A Letter to COVID-19 — Georgia
My mother always told me that we were fortunate in the world. That we didn’t have to worry about anyone in our family losing their last breath. I always thought of this as selfish. Why should we be celebrating, singing happy songs, and laughing when you, COVID-19, are out in the world sucking the joy out of another soul? One by one. Day by day. One million people died.
I don’t expect you to apologize for the sins that you have brought into this world. You’ve killed so many innocent people and there’s no undoing it. I hope you realize that. My school closed down, I lost contact with my friends, I gave into an inescapable phase of sadness, and ALL I have left now is the mere TOUCH of society from everyday Zoom classes. But I mean, at least you’re getting your happiness, right? Wrong. You made me want to give up… and, there’s nothing worse than thinking there’s nothing else you can do to hold on. One thousand people died.
I lost myself, my identity. I didn’t know who I was anymore because you trapped me inside this large, vacant room you told me to call home. I couldn’t go outside without wearing a mask. I couldn’t bring myself to open my eyes after a long irritable nap. And I most certainly couldn’t find the motivation I needed to work anymore. One hundred people died.
I guess you do have some perks though. Because of you, I was able to expand and explore my love for engineering. I found new ways to make myself happy and I found new people to share this happiness with. I began teaching young, brilliant girls how to code, and I even organized my first hackathon. I broke out of my innocent little shell and became a new person, a person that I am now learning to love. I am finding new sides of me that I didn’t know I had, like the ambition towards STEM related organizations and how I can one day create my own. Ten people died.
I’m not saying I forgive you and your monstrosity. I’m simply giving myself the benefit of the doubt. One day, I’m going to become someone stronger than you think. But until then, I’m going to fight harder. I will find myself again, and I will build myself to someone higher than your expectations. I am going to be independent and continue to do what I love. I backed away once, but I won’t back away again. One person survived.
— Christie Kwon, 16