Testing Positive

A student’s thoughts on becoming apart of the statistics in the midst of a pandemic.

After I tested positive for Covid-19, my first reaction was to laugh. The world has been shut down for over half of a year, and I knew I was destined to get a positive result eventually. My parents have been reminding me since March that I am not invincible and told me so even more after I got my results back.

I got my test results on October 21. I have been reckless; my friends and I hung out without a care in the world. We were woken up from our bliss when four of us tested positive. Due to no one close to us being affected by the disease, we had the luxury to let the fear of Covid-19 drift to the back of our conscience.

A family close to mine took a very different approach to the pandemic- they follow all rules down to the very fine print. Wiping down groceries and having the willpower to cut off most social interaction keeps their minds at ease.

My life and their lives are so vastly different, but is there a correct answer? I did not die from Covid, and no one in my family even got sick. I am fortunate enough to be young and to not have any predisposed health problems.

On the other hand, my close family friends have a lot of senior relatives. They stay cut off from most of the world to protect those they love. The answer to whether this is the perfect response or overkill is up for debate. Most people have only shifted to wearing a mask in public. Is that enough?

Our community and country are quickly approaching a potential second wave. Arapahoe County has had 412 new cases in the past 2 weeks; Colorado has had a 111% increase in new cases in the past 14 days. Since the start of the pandemic, 403 people have died from coronavirus in Colorado.

Nationally, 388 people have died between the ages of 15-24 from the disease, according to the CDC. That is less than the entire state of Colorado’s deaths. With rising talks of Cherry Creek Schools going fully remote, it begs the question of why.

School is the place that we learn not only textbook knowledge, but also life skills that cannot be taught through a screen. After my symptoms started, I had to completely quarantine in my room away from family and friends for ten days straight. It was the most lonely and difficult thing I’ve done in my life.

Once I would have complained about eating dinner with my family around our kitchen table, but now I had no choice but to eat every meal on my floor with plastic silverware. Showering became my event for the day. I took long and hot showers to give myself something to do. I listened to albums all the way through to pass the time in my bed. The screen time on my phone was pushing 15 hours a day.

My room quickly got messy from dirty clothes I didn’t wear anywhere and empty plastic water bottles. The homework that I needed to catch up on quickly grew, but my motivation to do anything died even faster. Many take the time in isolation to be the most productive they’ve ever been, but I found myself scrolling through TikTok for countless hours.

For many, being alone is hard, and losing school would isolate too many. At school, we wear masks and social distance, and many, including myself, feel safe at school. I did not contract the virus from school- it was from a friend I would still be seeing even if school doors closed for the semester or year.

“40.9% of 5,470 respondents who completed surveys during June reported an adverse mental or behavioral health condition,” said the CDC. “At least one adverse mental or behavioral health symptom was reported by more than one half of respondents who were aged 18–24 years (74.9%).”

The CDC also found that a quarter of all respondents aged 18-24 has seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days in the June report. That is scary -the future leaders of America were being crippled. We cannot afford to put people who are not at risk in captivity again.

As possible solutions enter important conversations, more problems become present. There are multiple answers to these problems, and no one seems to know the correct route to pursue- our community leaders included.

Eaglecrest is a small community compared to the world, and we all need to come together. We should not always be in search of answers, but find ways to share kindness to the people around us. In this time of chaos, it often feels like we have lost sight of what matters most.