I am an American girl living in the best country in the world. America the Beautiful. But right now, I’m living through a silent war. A war in which anyone could die. In the past 14 years of my life I’ve learned that life isn’t easy and there are tough times you have to face. I learned that you need to fight on, but I never imagined it would be fighting this pandemic.
I can’t even step out of my front door, see my neighbor, hang out with friends, or even go for a walk. I can’t hold the door for the people behind me, wave to the baby in the stroller, go to the mall or even see the old man at the gas station.
Before I graduated middle school, I was to have my first “official dance.” I was so excited to pick my dress and have a sleepover with all my friends. At first, I thought that the worst part of all of this was that there was a very low chance of getting to be at that dance, but these past weeks showed me that there are things much worse than that.
Recently, I was watching the news and saw a man’s husband dying in his arms. Dr. Frank Gabrin, a two-time cancer survivor, was an ER doctor in New Jersey who fell to coronavirus. He treated patients who didn’t know if they were infected. This man had a smile on every day — a smile saying “I’m here for you and I’m supporting you through this.” Seeing his photos reminded me that in this country we care and we stand for each other no matter what. When I saw his husband crying I realized that there are so many people who are going through the same thing. Writing about this amazing doctor makes me feel as if I am honoring a beautiful soul.
Many people don’t like hearing about death. Death is something everyone fears, it’s something every person thinks about. When you are young everyone tells you that you’re still young and only good things happen to you, the worst is very far. But it doesn’t feel good when you hear about it every day across the globe because of this virus.
I think people should know that even when you’re going through hard times there is light. Each day when you get out of bed you should say “today is going to be a good day.” Here, I want to discuss a person on the TV who inspired me to fight when times are tough. CNN anchor Chris Cuomo was tested positive for coronavirus. I’ve never seen a more positive person than him. He is one of the main reasons I am writing this story because he has inspired so many to talk about what they are going through and how to support each other.
Every night he comes on CNN and talks to so many people with the same energy and inspires us that we can all fight it. He gives hope to people who have lost their loved ones. No matter what goes on with him he gets on the news and speaks for about an hour. That one hour is so special for me because I get to see him inspire the many Americans. Thank you Chris for being someone I look up too and wish you a speedy recovery.
For the first time in two weeks of being home, the first person I saw beside my family was the person who tends to our lawn. I was so happy to see another human being. Initially, I was confused because he is not supposed to be out at this time. But I realized that these people need to work, they need to feed their families and pay their bills. Right now we are having an economic crisis, people are losing jobs, they are going into debt. Losing a job is hard, it can take a lot of things away like families, homes, clothes, food and other necessities.
When we say America is going to get through this together , it doesn’t mean that only the federal and state governments are supposed to help. People have a big role to play — stay quarantined and help the frontline workers who are fighting for us. Additionally, we can sew a few masks and make gowns and send them to frontline workers. Staying home is a need but making 5 or 10 masks each would make a lot of difference..
I penned my thoughts which have been on top of my mind for the past few weeks. The frontline workers have shown me that this country has so many people who are selfless and are fighting to save others while putting themselves in danger. We need to get up each day, radiate positive energy and do what a good citizen should be doing at this point — help others by staying inside and don’t create situations that will hurt the society at large. We are Americans, we fight and we will get through this pandemic. We will bend this curve and come out stronger than ever.
Sanjog Kaur Dandona is a freshman at South Brunswick High School in New Jersey.