🇺🇸 A View from the Heartland

Hastings, Nebraska, USA:

Where I live, in Hastings, Nebraska, the current guidelines from our health department are that everyone needs to practice social distancing in any public place. My church just opened up this past weekend for our first in-person service, but many other businesses are still closed. However, my city and state seem to be progressively opening up more.

The hardest part of the current situation with COVID-19 for me is how I am not able to see my friends and family like normal. This being my senior year, I was planning to be able to celebrate with all of my friends and family before I go off to college in the fall. Although this may still happen, it will definitely look different than I ever imagined it would. I did not leave my house at all from the time that I got back from our school Spanish trip to Costa Rica on March 15th until about May 15th or 16th, except for maybe one or two trips to my grandparents’ house, where we sat outside in their garden.

Now, I have started my summer job working at a hospital about 45 minutes away from my house, and that is pretty much the only reason that I will be leaving my house until September, when I hope I will be able to go to college.

COVID-19 has caused my graduation from high school to be postponed until the end of July. It has prevented me from visiting my grandma and grandpa in the midst of my grandma undergoing treatment for bladder cancer. The coronavirus pandemic has also postponed my first day of classes at Washington University in St. Louis until September 14th, if I am even able to go to campus for classes in the fall.

However, COVID-19 has also allowed me to teach myself Calc. 2 and prepare more for my AP test this year than I ever would have imagined. It has allowed my mom, dad, little brother and I to have extensive family time before I go off to college, which we have used to play games and watch all the Marvel movies, in hopefully chronological order. Finally, COVID-19 has also helped me to have a greater appreciation for our healthcare system in the U.S., the daily activities I took for granted before this COVID pandemic, and the complex and fragile system of the United States’ society.

If I were to give any advice to anyone else, I would say please follow the health guidelines set in place by your local authorities as closely as possible. Working in a hospital, I now have a better understanding of the medical side of this pandemic and all the staff (doctors, nurses, etc.) know that this pandemic is far from over, still! I would say please adhere to even more strict health guidelines than are in place from your local health departments. Please wear masks, social distance if you are in any public place and stay at home if possible.

Thank you so much for letting me share my opinion, and if you do not agree, I will not be offended. All I know is that our healthcare system is doing the best it can to protect as many of us as possible, especially the older generations, and I think we should do everything we can not to jeopardize or neglect the efforts that they are going to for us and our health.

Landon P.

9 June 2020

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