The COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions of people and changed the world in a way that no one could have expected, especially me. The first indication that the world would be turned upside down, for me, was when my friends, boyfriend and the rest of the students living in dorms were given a short 48 hours to move out of our first-year residence. Having to move out of the space that had become my second home was very difficult for me. The independence and confidence I gained in my first year really helped shape me into who I am.
Upon my arrival at home, the world quickly became infested with this incredibly serious virus. My family and I were forced to work and complete online school from home while my brother was unable to return to work. Long story short, we were scared, like the rest of the world. For me, the scariest part was the uncertainty that awaited us all. Two months passed of not leaving my house, and my old anxiety and depressive habits soon returned. By this point, I was coping by creating a routine for myself of doing my best to exercise, finding new hobbies, reading and eating healthy so that I felt good.
After not seeing my friends, boyfriend and extended family for months, I was finally able to see one person: my boyfriend. The idea of creating social bubbles was a turning point for my ability to cope with the pandemic. I was now able to interact with others outside of my little family. Keep in mind, it certainly wasn’t anything huge but being able to see just one person after months of isolation brought me hope.
In the spring, I took courses and then it was finally summer. Cases began to slow down, and it seemed as though the country had a better handle on the crisis. The social distancing that my family and millions of others in Canada were doing was actually making a visible difference in the number of cases. Thank goodness. My friends, who I had not been able to see in about five months, were now able to sit outside together in a socially distant circle. What a relief it was to see them again.
Looking back, this pandemic opened my eyes to the fact that the only thing in life that matters are the people you love and those who love you. We must all do our part to help those at risk and know that when the world comes together, we can make a difference. If there is anything that I could say to myself as I was moving out of my first-year residence, it would be that everything will be okay and it is going to be tough, but so are you.