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It’s funny how things work. A year ago, I was buying a plane ticket to head home because the world was shutting down. Now, a year later, I just received my first dose of the vaccine and I’ll get my second one the day before my 21st birthday. I never would’ve thought that we would have gotten to where we are after everything that happened in the last 365 days. 

On March 8th, I took a plane up to Oregon to visit my grandma for spring break not knowing that everything was gonna collapse in the midst of my visit. The week before the trip my roommates and I discussed the virus and how it was spreading rapidly. I remember being nervous and buying immune system vitamins because I have  never had the best health, but dismissed it overall not knowing how much of an impact it would make on my life. 

During my limited vacation, COVID was the only thing that was talked about and people were discussing it as if it was simply a spicy flu. Everyone was fine and places were crowded (at least in small town standards). By March 13th, I received an email from my school stating that instruction would be going online till further notice (which three semesters later, we are still doing), followed by an  n email from my job saying I was furloughed. Suddenly, I went from someone going on vacation to someone trying to figure out what the hell to do next. My vacation ended early and my grandma decided it would be best for me to not hunker down with her in Oregon, but return to Vegas. So on the 15th, I boarded a flight back to San Francisco and tried to pack as much of my apartment as possible into the three suitcases I had. On the 16th, I caught the first flight out of the Bay Area to Vegas. 

Meanwhile, at home my mom, unbeknownst to her, had begun to develop a slight fever, but we would not t discover that until three days later. I arrived home and found myself feeling like a high schooler again living under my parents roof completely dependent on them with no income or direction. Everything in the stores was  bought out and it seemed like life was at  a standstill. But the worst was yet to come — my mom was infected with COVID-19. 

Thus began the three weeks of delivering her food and water, changing her sheets from her breaking a fever over and over again, and hoping that we didn’t have to take her to the hospital. Trapped in her room, she stayed alone and scared fighting to breathe. Meanwhile, my dad stayed in the living room and my brother and I tried to keep each other distracted. Nobody wanted to talk about what would happen if mom got any worse. She ran 103 degree fever one night and we thought we would  have to drive her to the hospital and hope she would make it. However, one day the fever officially completely broke and she began to improve. She still couldn’t completely breathe, but it was an improvement. By my birthday last year, she was cleared of the two weeks without a fever and could be around us again. That was the hardest month of my life and I mourn for all those who didn’t make it and those who have lost someone. 

Since last March, we have seen  spikes in cases, people being stupid, variants emerging, and countries closing. But, we have also seen people join together and people fight for their rights. People advocating for justice and community. Hoards of people coming together to contribute to the recovery of the community by getting vaccinated. By April 19th of this year, my entire family will be fully vaccinated and I can begin to look towards the future. Now, I’m going to  reflect on what’s happened in the past year and process my emotions about it. You cannot move on without understanding what has happened. Stay safe everyone, we made it a year and we can keep going. 

Becca is a graduating senior Communication Studies major with a focus in Public Relations from the University of San Francisco. She is currently located in Las Vegas, Nevada due to the pandemic and enjoys consuming too many true crime shows and obsessing over her dog. She aspires to be a public relations professional specializing in political campaigns as a speech writer or campaign manager in the future. For now, she is enjoying finishing school and figuring out what all she wants to do in life besides work.
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