The COVID Diary

1. Life Before COVID

Prior to COVID I had many expectations going into the 2020–2021 year. I believe I was in a healthy mental state and was motivated to work, complete school work, and socialize with friends. I was especially looking forward to adventure filled summer where I would juggle work and social life in order to create a healthy balance.

The COVID risk map to show COVID hotspots on 5/30/21

2. Dawning Realization

When COVID was first mentioned in news articles and social media posts I remember rubbing it off along with my family and friends as we thought it would amount to nothing. only prevalent in China at this time I did not really pay to much attention to the brewing pandemic. However, it became much more serious when I was watching an NBA game and all of a sudden it was called off due to a player being diagnosed positive for COVID.

At this point it seemed like much of the world now viewed this virus as a serious threat. I began to pay closer attention to news media outlets and social media in order to obtain information about the spread of the virus. Viewing these media posts made me anxious and worried about my health and future. My family and friends both shared similar reactions. We wanted to listen to medical professionals in order to take proper precautions and stay safe from attracting the virus.

“Masked up”

3. Studenting

My academic time throughout COVID has changed dramatically. Originally before COVID I was just starting part-time online school. My plan was to only spend half of my time doing online courses so that the rest of the time could be spent physically on campus. I still wanted social interaction with friends and other peers. However, since COVID, everything is now online. The academic life is no longer normal as I have not been to the campus since orientation. I also moved away from the city since I’ll only be doing online classes for the next while. Even though my normal academic lifestyle is no longer existent, this has become the new normal seeing as everyone is being affected by it. It’s simply something we have to do and don’t really have any other choice.

My new school setup.

4. What in the World…

It is no surprise that racism has been an ongoing issue in the United States.
It’s impact has seen massive attention after the killing of George Floyd and many other racial profile shootings.

I can not even describe how it must feel to be a member of a minority group in our current time. There is without a doubt a panic and fear in the lives of minority groups in America and “Many social workers are all too aware of the devastating and long-term consequences of racial injustice on the mental and physical health of individuals”.

Thankfully we have obtained justice for George Floyd, however, there are still many people being affected everyday and lots of other victims of racism that have not had their justice. This is just the start towards a better and equal future.

9 Biggest Social Justice Issues of 2020. Yeshiva. (2020, December 8). https://online.yu.edu/wurzweiler/blog/2020-biggest-social-justice-issues.

If you haven’t heard of cryptocurrency or bitcoin, you must be living under a rock. The financial sector of our modern lives has changed substantially. The newest craze is cryptocurrency. This past year has been incredible for the stock market and crypto space as we are in a massive bull market. Something that is concerning to me is the rise of popularity of Alt coins or “meme coins”.
These crypto coins are being largely consumed by social media and many people our age are putting money into them because they think they will get rich quick.

It is alarming to me because I always here stories of the new “crypto millionaires” and how they got rich off a new coin, but nobody ever talks about the people that lost all their money by taking a gamble on a coin because Elon Musk or some other influencer tweeted about it.
It is obvious that there is massive potential right now in the financial space, but people need to educate themselves and make smart choices on what they choose to invest in and not just follow what they see online.

Melas, C. (2021, May 14). How two brothers went from nearly jobless to multi-millionaires with a bizarre crypto bet. CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/14/investing/crypto-shiba-inu-brothers-millionaires/index.html.

One of the quietest but scariest societal issue is climate change. What concerns me about climate change is that as we live our everyday lives it is always going on in the background. It is not something we can reverse, only slow down. I believe that our society as a whole does not take climate change very seriously. However if we zoom into some of the changes that are taking place, we can see substantial strides towards a cleaner environment.

It is obvious that one of the largest pollution causes is the oil industry. Something big recently took place in the form of a court ruling that Shell corp. must reduce their global carbon emissions by 45% by the end of 2030. This is very important because as stated by Roger Cox, lawyer for Milieudefensie, “This is a turning point in history. This case is unique because it is the first time a judge has ordered a large polluting corporation to comply with the Paris climate agreement. This ruling may also have major consequences for other big polluters.” Even though this is something that may not take place for another 9 years, it is a stepping stone that can have a chain reaction to other big polluters in reducing emissions. One noteworthy change I am seeing is a lot of car companies pushing their electric vehicles and switching over to them. Tesla is a large competitor and I would not be surprised if electric cars take over the majority of vehicles in the next 20 years.

Guardian News and Media. (2021, May 26). Court orders Royal Dutch Shell to cut carbon emissions by 45% by 2030. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/may/26/court-orders-royal-dutch-shell-to-cut-carbon-emissions-by-45-by-2030.

The waterfront is where I spent most of my youngers years.

5. Journey Toward Resilience

Even though the pandemic has brought on many negative reprocussusions it also had a positive impacts as well. Not focusing on the negative effects helped me make sense of the situation. It has taught me the ability to bounce back and be stronger after facing difficult experiences. Resilience was a characteristic I did not fully capture prior to COVID.

However, going through the difficulties of COVID helped me learn many valuable lessons. Being deprived of social interaction for quite some time allowed me to see just how important this aspect of my life was. I began to cherish interactions whether it would be with my roommates, friends, or an interaction with a stranger at a store.

Moreover, many resources helped me get through the pandemic. these include video games, music, and twitch. These forms of entertainment allowed me to escape from the world for some time and focus on myself.
It was good for my mental health to have these avenues to keep myself happy and emotionally sane. One saying that I often repeated in my mind was “everything happens for a reason”. This allowed to me rub off all of the
negative effects COVID had on me.

Just an hour away from home, Mt.hood meadows was a good escape from reality.

6. What I’ve Learned and Will Remember

I have learned a lot over the past year. COVID has been a very difficult time for not only myself but for millions of people. One major aspect that I have learned is that mental and physical wellbeing are very important for my health. COVID definitely took a toll on my mental wellness with all the lockdown and mask regulations. The anxiety of getting the vaccine and what side effects it could possibly implement.

I have also learned how to be alone more and enjoy time to myself. Now that I am doing school online only and not having as much social interaction, I have been able to learn more about myself and who I really am as an individual.
I’ll always remember slow down and enjoy the things I have and to be grateful every day that I am healthy and alive. I will also remember to be kind to others because you don’t know what they are going through, and also to always be kind to myself. It is important to be kind to yourself, after all, you have to live with yourself every day! One last note, social distancing isn’t really that bad, and I don’t really mind wearing a mask. It kind of makes me realize how dirty everything was before COVID and that we just lived our lives like that.

Downtown Hood river

7. My Hopes for the Future

My hopes for the future is that after high school, I may go to community college and complete my time there. I’m still not sure if I want to get a degree after community college but as for now that is still an open option. I have always been an individual that thinks differently than societal norms, and I don’t want my future to be a regular one like everyone else. We only get one life and I want to make the best of it and do what makes me happy. I hope that the future of life after COVID is a lot more open and free. I wouldn’t mind still wearing masks, but I wasn’t people to still remain cautious and safe. I really want to travel, so I hope countries in Europe can open up fully to travelers soon. Maybe I’ll take a year off and travel and not rush into things that I am uncertain of. All I know is that I hope for society as a whole that we remain smart and vigilant if another pandemic happens so that it never has to last this long again and have such detrimental effects on society.

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