Students in Jennifer Rosewarne’s Grade 11 English class at Huntsville High School were given this assignment: “Explain one positive thing you think will come of the COVID-19 crisis. Why did/will it take the crisis for this change to come about?” This was one student’s reply.
By Spencer Haney
Never have we been challenged quite like this. Collectively challenged.
We might set personal challenges for ourselves—run a mile, balance our budget, write the essay—but never have we been challenged to do so little to help so many people.
Simple, everyday luxuries—like going to Starbucks or Tim’s to get a drink, going out for lunch with friends, browsing around the mall for the hell of it—are luxuries we take for granted, not realizing how much they are worth to us until they are taken away.
Thousands of people have died and thousands more will suffer the same fate. Never have recent generations faced anything like this. This is like a passage from a history textbook—finish the paragraph, turn the page; maybe you’ll remember but probably not. Except that this will be our history, the one we all lived and that we will never forget.
We are beginning to realize, even in the modern world, how vulnerable we truly are. It will get worse before it gets better.
Never before has each human being played such a crucial role in protecting our own generation, other generations, and the ones to come. Staying home and social distancing: this is how we will save the world.
Who knows how long this will last, but one thing is clear: the more readily we accept the challenge, the quicker things will begin to turn a corner. The faster that Earth will be restored to some kind of normalcy. The faster that we can return to our simple luxuries.
When this is over, I expect things will be different.
People, civilization, will have changed. People will be nicer to one another. Different things will consume our lives.
For once, people have found solace in nature. When this is over, being outdoors will be more popular than ever and people will spend more of their time there.
We will appreciate what we have. The simple luxuries. Being able to go get an ice cream or simply browse around the bookstore. These simple things will mean more to us than they ever have before.
Together, as a civilization, we will stop the spread. We will flatten the curve. We will eradicate this virus and when the smoke clears we will join together. We will celebrate a new world, a changed world, a new decade. We will remember the ones that have lost the fight and we will honour those who fought for others. The ones who worked on the frontlines, the ones who saved the world.
When this is over, we will celebrate the freedom that we have.
The future of mankind relies on the choices that we—you and I—make today, tomorrow, and in the weeks and months to come.
This is our defining moment.
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