Words: Mariam Abd-El-Shafy
On Friday, March 13, Governor Hogan announced that all Maryland Schools would shut down until further notice to limit the spread of the Coronavirus. It has been over two months since the start of the COVID-19 Quarantine. Students in isolation have decided to share their stories of life during the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic.
April 15, 2020
People say the Class of 2020 had visions
for their senior year. We were excited for pep rally,
senior week, prom, and graduation only to now be quarantined
and everything be CANCELLED.
Quarantine is SO “fun.”
I was totally NOT waiting for graduation.
For all my years of high school to pay off
for this glorious moment
to walk across the stage
and be handed my diploma
only for it to be CANCELLED
and the diplomas be handed out virtually.
Supposedly the most memorable part
of senior year. Out dancing with friends,
dressing fancy with my hair and nails done, and
maybe I could have even gotten a date
only for it to be
Now, senior week…
I could not wait to prank my school
only to be sitting at home pranking my family
which is SO “fun.”
Personally I have never been on a cruise
and was totally NOT looking forward to going on some
fancy cruise with my fellow classmates
only for it to be once again…
And for the finale…
The most spirited and competitive time of the year
Events that actually mattered.
Where everyone in every grade
comes together to celebrate the school spirit only for it to be…
You guessed it…
And that is a wrap folks.
That is my senior year in a nutshell.
April 16, 2020
If you had told me in September of 2019 that I would not see the last three months of my senior year, that leaving the house without a mask would be illegal, and millions across the globe would be hospitalized at a rapidly increasing rate, I would have told you that sounds like the plot of a poorly written apocalyptic movie.
My senior year has been taken from me. “The glory year of high school,” as many adults have deemed it, has come to a sudden end, with no closure or final days. The year that has been described in lengthy stories from family members, romanticized by every coming of age film, celebrated for centuries, had suddenly vanished forever, on a random Friday in March.
It is currently 12:44am on the sixth (maybe eighteenth?) Monday of quarantine. I am not sure of the exact date. All of the days blur together. It is this weird phenomenon where they simultaneously move in slow motion yet seem to be over in just seconds. I thought I was going insane, that is, until the internet unanimously agreed with this feeling too.
Anyway, I cannot sleep. Typically my internal clock has me asleep by 10 pm and awake by 7 am, like an old lady. But, my head seems to be full of questions, questions of how or why the class of 2020 deserved to be born during 9/11 and graduate during the global pandemic of 2020.
But maybe, it is not a matter of deserving. It was a matter of chance, and because of that chance, we are powerful. The class of 2020 has arguably fundamentally changed the political and social aspects of modern society. We have protested for reform, climate change activism, given TEDx talks (wink), written books, composed, and created. We have thrived, even when it seemed as though the world was against us.
The stars aligned to create a whirlwind of catastrophe and tragedy for the class of 2020. We will forever be written into history books, lectures, and stories documenting this lifetime in which the world changed before our eyes. A time where things went silent. Parks empty, grocery stores desolate, and stillness across cities.
So in these moments, where I cannot fall asleep because my mind is plagued by terrorizing thoughts, I should remember. We are here for a reason. We are together, and that is more powerful than any global pandemic.
April 17, 2020
“Children of the Day”
April 18, 2020
Two weeks ago I would have been really happy about school assignments because that way I would be able to keep myself occupied. Now I am starting to regret it. The teachers are all great, but it is such a weird transition of going from doing nothing to actually seeing and having classes with them. They actually gave time consuming assignments! If online teaching had been put in place a week after school closed, I would have loved this little amount of work. But after a month of being out of practice, reading a single chapter feels like torture!
April 19, 2020
I felt extremely stressed all day because I keep seeing incidents of hate against Asians online because of the Coronavirus. Quite honestly, it has made me feel afraid for myself the next time I go out. Not necessarily of being verbally harassed, but being physically beat up and bloody and bruised. I am extremely weak, I cannot even throw a good punch.
April 20, 2020
April 21, 2020
“Life on repeat”
I sit in my room
with my journal on my lap.
It’s filled with words, pages
My pen raced across the paper…
for the first few days.
Every so often I have a lot to say.
Other times, I have nothing.
“Today was like every other day” is becoming a phrase that I use all too often.
I do not want every day to be alike
but they seem to morph into one.
An eternal groundhog day.
every day seems more important than groundhog day.
April 22, 2020
Waking up to the sun’s rays.
I do not know the time.
I do not know what day it is,
but I do know it is mine.
No need to get dressed.
I have nowhere to go.
No bus for school,
Not because of snow.
We are not supposed to go outside,
six feet apart we stay.
I cannot see my friends,
except for the digital way.
I am stuck inside all day every day
with only my family with me.
I do not mind them every now and then
but I really need to be free.
The only way to the outside world
is through Google Meet.
When I see the other’s faces,
the feeling is bittersweet.
I only have a little time
to be here with them.
I fear that when the year is over,
we will no longer be friends.
So what do I do?
It is hard to say.
I am not allowed my phone,
and my computer’s time slips away.
I sketch and read
sometimes I watch TV.
Or maybe I will sleep a while longer,
or perhaps dance without worry.
I now fear the idea
At first I thought
it sounded like a dream.
No need for school
no need for work.
But now I see
that it is a jerk.
I have nearly gone crazy
I need to go outside.
I need my school bus
so I can catch a ride.
I want my school back
to the way things were.
But maybe that will not happen
and time will go by like a blur.
April 23, 2020
-Mariam Abd El-Shafy
April 24, 2020
It has been a long time since I have seen my friends. I miss them so much. Senior prom is supposed to be in three days. I was looking forward to it so much, it is a real downer to lose it now. All our senior events are being cancelled, which sucks. We all worked 13 years for these last weeks of school, and now we do not get our reward. It sucks.
I have found new ways to keep in contact with my friends! I stay up until early in the morning talking with them about everything except the virus. We try to keep it light and stay positive!
Online learning has been tough. I really prefer talking with my teachers in person. And seeing my friends in between classes. I miss walking through the crowded halls. I miss tuning out teachers when they go off on unrelated tangents and laughing with my friends. With online classes, you really can not do that.
I really miss going to school. I never thought I would, but I am really bummed out about all my senior events getting cancelled and having to go so long without seeing my friends. I am going stir crazy locked up in this house for months on end. I do not like it one bit.
Hopefully this is all over soon.
April 25, 2020
It’s raining outside
Has been raining for weeks
I used to like the rain
But when will it stop?
It started as a soft drizzle
We could still go outside
and jump in the tiny puddles
Wearing just a light rain coat
But then the rain fell harder
The driveways are slippery,
The sidewalks are muddy,
All the flowers in the garden have drowned
It kept on raining harder than before
Everyone stayed shielded inside
We only left when we had to,
Wearing layers upon layers of coats, hats, and umbrellas
But it was still raining
Why was it still raining?
We did what we were supposed to do
Where’s the rainbow after the storm?
It is not fair
The rain was nice at first
But I do not like getting wet
It is still raining.
April 26, 2020
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