Dear Ms. Rona

Dear Ms. Rona,

 

Every time I wish I could write a final goodbye letter, you do something that makes me have to write to you. But I think I’ve accepted it. We started talking in March, and it doesn’t seem like you’re going to leave me alone anytime soon.

 

It’s crazy to think about when I first encountered you. It was the night before one of my weekly news quizzes for my News Reporting class, and I had just heard your name for the first time. Articles talked about how you started to affect China, but I never imagined you’d be making your way over to Jersey. But then you did, and all of the schools started shutting down. Before I knew it, I was back in my house finishing up the school year from there. I didn’t mind honestly because at the time all I was thinking about was an extra week of spring break.

 

You took that excitement as an invitation to enter my house, though. You chose to pick on my sister while she was working in a rehabilitation center trying to help those with disabilities. It was frustrating to see her locked up in her room and for me not to have someone to annoy. I was used to poking my head into her doorway and asking if we could watch some horror movie together, but I knew that if I did, you’d come and infect me, too. I wish you hadn’t gotten to her in the first place, but I’m grateful you decided to leave her eventually. Because let’s face it - you’re clingy. You decided to stick to so many other people, taking their lives. But you finally had enough of my sister and let her be. You somehow took no interest in my parents either, which is such a blessing considering they’re both nurses. 

 

With the danger you’ve put my sister and parents in, the danger you’ve put countless other people in, the lives you’ve claimed, and the experiences you’ve robbed us of this summer, I could definitely choose to stay mad at you. But someone’s poll on their Finsta made me think differently. 

 

It asked, “If you could choose to go back to the time before Corona, would you? All of the memories, experiences, and people you’ve met during the time of the pandemic would be gone, though.” 

 

The selfless answer would’ve been a resounding YES, OF COURSE. I’m selfish, though, and so were most of the other people that answered that poll. A lot of people answered no. Because as terrible, toxic, persistent, and confusing as you are, Corona, I still made some memories during the height of your stay that I wouldn’t want to give back.

 

You already know you’re the reason I got sent back home halfway through my spring semester of freshman year. Of course, I was upset for the reason I was being sent home, which was you feeling the need to go on an infectious rampage, but at the same time, it felt good to be back in my house with my parents, sister (when she wasn’t infected), and two dogs. I spent the entirety of that half-semester and summer bonding with them more than I ever had before. Whether it was watching movies, going for walks, eating together, or just having conversation, it was all the simple things that I missed during school. And we had endless time to do it. The amount of time I got to be with my family during quarantine has left a huge impact on me. It’s a given for me that I’ve always loved my family and have been close with them, but to genuinely want to spend all my time with them, keep getting to know them, and realizing how good it feels to have that type of a relationship with the people you share blood with is seriously a different and rare blessing. People are already back out, hanging out with friends and going to far places, but I’d hands down skip some of those days to hang out with my family.

 

I wouldn’t really give you the credit for this one, but I did also get my first job during quarantine. I get to write about dogs, cats, and other critters every single day for a pet supply store’s blog, all from the comfort of my bed. Being able to talk about animals, add a writing-based job to my Journalist resume, stay in my pajamas, all while getting paid? It’s definitely a win. I’ll credit that to one of my friends that introduced me to the job, but to you, Rona, I can credit the time I had to do it.

 

Overall, I’d say the biggest blessing that came out of you is exactly that: time. I got way too used to hustling ever since high school, and I brought that into college. Balancing grades, extracurriculars, working out, prayer life, friends and family turned me into a workaholic. And it definitely fed into, yeah, feeling empowered and productive, but also burnt out. Even now, it’s hard for me to actually let loose and let myself relax. I always feel the need to be multitasking and getting stuff done because otherwise, I think I’m just wasting my time. But with you around, I didn’t have to worry about most of those things anymore. My preoccupations were eating, studying, petting my dogs, watching a movie with my family, and sleeping. Not having to be on campus, go to meetings, meet up constantly with friends, and feel the need to maintain that grind gave me the allowance to just breathe. Seeing how busy sophomore year already is for me, I’m missing how slowed downtime felt during the summer. 

 

Going back to the poll, I wish I could Lysol and drench you in rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, and soap for affecting the lives of so many people. But if I’m giving credit where credit is due, you did still teach me what I value in life as a person. That’s family, writing, time, and mental health. So I can’t say I don’t appreciate and thank God for some of the values and experiences you have given me.

 

I hope you can find a way to teach those same lessons in a friendlier way, though! I would like for people to live in health and not fear. But if you’re going to be sticking around, please give people the opportunity and life to be able to learn some of the lessons I did.

                                                                                                           

Yours Truly,

Megan

 

P.S. Don’t write back.