Five children candidly share how the pandemic affected their daily lives, how it altered their views and attitudes, and what lessons they learned from the experience.
Rayyann Haron Alqadry, 14 Malaysia It’s all a blurry dream. I know it existed. I know I lived it, but I don’t remember how it felt, except for a warm embrace and a sense of security. Then, in one day, the entire world fell apart. Suddenly, everyone, my friends, even my relatives, was a threat to my life. If you told me years ago that the simplest of status quos would be abolished, I’d like to think I wouldn’t have believed you. A young boy like me couldn’t have fathomed. No one thought i would last long. A new virus enters the world, so what!? This has happened before, we are prepared now. But it didn’t end then, did it? We weren’t prepared. For the longest time, I never left the house. From waking at 7 to waking at 11. From changing for school to not changing at all. From outing once a day, to outing never, any day. My parents had it worse. They had a school that was rarely used. They were losing students faster than they were gaining new ones. They were trying to cope with a situation they had never prepared for; everyone was not prepared. However, with every seemingly disastrous situation, often comes unexpected positive opportunities. With the closure of physical gathering sites, congregations moved online, opening them to multitudes, more people than before. For example, via the “Together at Home” series of performances, I managed to watch Paul McCartney live! The pandemic has also brought my family closer, with more frequent conversations and (online) meets.