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  • Writer's pictureBehind the Mask

Heroes — New York

Updated: Aug 5, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic rampaged through New York City, essential workers needed to go to work, despite safety concerns. These workers are true heroes for putting other people's lives before their own through risking their own safety. For that, I respect each and every one of those workers. However, when quarantine began, I did not consider the effects the coronavirus had on these people. At first, quarantine sounded like a blessing from God: it meant no more school for me. While everyone else was getting adjusted to staying home 24/7, I started taking advantage of the joys of life. I was on my PS4 throughout the whole day; some days, I was pretty sure I didn't even leave my chair! There was no more waking up at 6 A.M. for school anymore, so I made sure to go to sleep when I felt tired (which usually was around 5 A.M.). When I got hungry, I just made myself a sandwich or poured myself cereal because I didn't have to wait until my lunch period to eat. I was living Odysseus's life on Ogygia. However, with all of these benefits came the reality of my situation. My situation made me question my actions by asking myself: is the extra free time really worth it when there is so much happening in the world? After heavy thinking, I told myself the free time was not worth it.

With COVID-19, you can expect the unexpected. For example, I went from expecting to go to school this school year to not even being able to go out. Another change was a little more dramatic: it was the amount of time I was used to seeing someone compared to now. In my case, I don't get to see my dad as much as I used to. Since he is a doctor in Queens Hospital, he is an essential worker. Like I mentioned earlier, I feel that all essential workers are heroes during this hard time, so by that logic, my dad is a hero. However, one thing I dislike about heroes is how they have to take risks to protect the people they care about. In this case, my dad risks his own safety to help those in need. For his commitment to the sick, I respect him more as a person overall than just him being my dad. However, I do not want his life at risk when it comes to protecting other people. I fear losing him to COVID-19 like the tens of thousands of people who died from it in just New York alone. Now, I try to spend as much time as I can with him because time is precious. With COVID-19, I can never be too careful so I promise to make the most out of my life because tomorrow isn't promised!

— Joshua Feldman, 16

Queens, New York City


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