Experiences With COVID — Florida
When COVID-19 hit, I was an eighth grader in the middle of Spring Break. I was initially excited to not have school for two extra weeks due to the lockdown, but that quickly changed when we found out that we wouldn’t be going back to school. I thought that remote learning would be a fun new opportunity: it was something I hadn't tried before and I was curious about it. I soon realized how difficult it was to remain focused, especially as someone who has A.D.D., and I wasn’t doing well in my classes anymore. Remote learning continued until we graduated from middle school, and carried one when I started high school this fall. I spent my birthday and my first day of freshman year in lockdown.
Moving on to my extracurricular activities, I sing in a choir outside of school and we suffered greatly from the lockdown. All concerts and rehearsals got canceled, which resulted in financial loss for all of us. We even had to shut down one of our other choirs. We didn’t have the money to do the things we used to and gain the same experience. We quickly found a way around it in the new season, however. We took a lot of steps to be safe, such as holding Zoom rehearsals, changing rooms, using air filters, wearing masks, and staying six feet apart from each other during in-person meetings. Being safe doesn’t mean that it was fun, though; my mental health greatly suffered through this experience and I found myself getting more anxious and depressed. I spent more time on social media, which can be very toxic, but I did get to talk to more people with whom I wouldn't usually have the opportunity to sit and talk. Overall, the lockdown had its ups and downs, but I'm hoping that we can get this solved so that we can have our somewhat usual lives back.
— Katie Altman, 15