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  • Behind the Mask

Roller Coaster — Massachusetts

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

When I first started hearing about COVID-19 in early 2020 I didn’t think it was such a big deal. I heard that more people died from the flu than from the coronavirus, so I wasn’t worried. The accelerating death rate to really open my eyes. At that time, we were still in school and were allowed anywhere without a mask. But even while things were calm, there was still an impact. Since Trump called it the “kung flu,” pointing fingers at the Chinese, many Asian-Americans in my high school started being slandered as a result. I have Asian-American friends who told me a lot of classmates teased them saying things like “Stay away. You have corona.” As if the coronavirus can only be contracted by Asian Americans.


When the global panic began my world turned upside down. I was so used to being active: I played sports, did extracurricular activities, spent time with my friends, and much more. Then quarantine hit. I was forced to stay home for months. No more volleyball. No more after-school clubs. No more in-person contact with my friends. At first being isolated was alright, since I am okay with being home for a couple of weeks. But months? No. I needed human contact. I needed to laugh with my friends. I needed adventure. This took a toll on my mental health. I became weary and sluggish. I lost all motivation to do anything productive or even take care of myself. I was numb and the world looked gray and quiet.


This experience taught me some valuable lessons. I learned not to take things for granted. I used to dread going to school everyday but now I would give anything to be in a classroom again. I didn’t think being able to breathe freely without a mask or not having to rigorously wash my hands 24/7 was that great. Now I know. I learned to prioritize my mental health and happiness. I learned that being alone doesn’t make you lonely. I learned to hold my loved ones dear because next thing you know, poof, they’re gone. Corona took so many lives but luckily none of them were any of my loved ones. COVID-19 was a rollercoaster. The type of roller coaster that takes you up really high to the point where you see things differently but then drops you. The type of roller coaster I do not want to ride again.


— Rose-Edgaina Jean Pierre, 17

Everett, Massachusetts



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