If it weren’t for this journal assignment, I would stay off this certain topic. I prefer to ignore it because facing it would mean mourning over dead memories yet to be revived.

It instantly weakens my ability to stay strong and focus throughout the day. It makes me wonder why I didn’t hug certain people a little longer, or glance at them while I walked towards my bus, Friday, March 13th, 2020.

It makes me regret not being able to say, “Good morning, students and staff…” through the intercom that week.

It awakens my fear to wake up one day with my throat feeling sore because maybe it could be that I fell asleep with my mouth open, or that I have it. I have it. I have something that could potentially kill me. Death. Then off to a cyber-funeral. I drink water until the feeling goes away. I’d say it’s pathetic that we fear it, but what else could we compare it to, to lose those scary thoughts? It’s a pandemic. It avoids no type of human, no race, no gender, no ethnicity… I guess on the positive note; it’s the only thing fair in this world.

I wouldn’t say I fear for my life because although it is a horrible thing, I like to think, “Nothing ever happens to me.” Until it happens, right? You can consider that ignorance, I consider it sanity. Sometimes. Although everything’s online, I can’t help but refrain from completing my assignments until they’re due. I feel no motivation to do any of it because when I do, it’s real. Everything is. The lockdowns, the curfews, the worries, and the precautions we’re forced to take. It’s accepting, and I don’t want to.

Yet here I am, yeah. I wish it could all just pause, so I could run to those people I owed hugs to. Hug them for every day that has passed. Sit on swing sets while we talk about how the world is changing so quickly. Talk about our plan Bs for possible future outbreaks. Talk about an apocalypse kit where I try to stash ice cream sandwiches, only to find none the next day. Talk about expiration dates on water bottles, canned foods, phone batteries, energy bars, gummies, medication, and our own endurance.

Then, before it all goes back to routine, summon rain to dance in it. Throw a huge mud fight. And if there’s a little bit more time, apologize and forgive those I’ve hurt and who have hurt me. Forget all the bad things I couldn’t get over, and enjoy the fact that those I know are still alive. Play. I’m now in my room, typing on my computer while my mom waits for me to go cook some food with her. I thank whoever is above that I can hold onto myself staying here. You notice the things you didn’t before because A: You were too busy at school, or B: You were too busy sleeping. I feel for those who can’t. For those who considered school their ‘safe place.’ For those who consider leaving their room a living hell, so they take their chances. I feel for those who aren’t in good terms with the people they share a home with. This almost feels like we’re in “purgatory.” Awaiting trial; waiting for further notice on what could affect our lives forever. Until then, I’ll be enjoying my Netflix shows.

Signing off, Carter Student.

•Dual Enrollment Teacher
•Adjunct Instructor UTRGV/STC
•Journalism Advisor
•RGN Advisor
•UIL Coordinator
•UIL Journalism Coach