It was the dawn of a new decade. An opportunity for another glorious "Roaring Twenties." But on 24 March 2020, our lives were flipped upside down.
We watched the news and saw the coronavirus was making its way around the world, infiltrating borders and homes, disrupting routines and taking lives. But living on a small Caribbean island, practically isolated from the rest of the world, many never thought that COVID-19 could come to us.
I remember how my brother and I started grinning and celebrating when our mom told us about the lockdown. It sounded like a two-week break from going to school to us, even if I still worked hard on my classwork. At first, it was great: Delicious breakfasts were devoured every morning and every school assignment was dutifully noted in my planner and ticked off mere hours later. But as the Zoom call classes went on for weeks, our grins and eagerness were a thing of the past and we wondered when and if this nightmare would be over.
My friends and I were on a FaceTime call almost every day, taking the advice of our teachers and family to stay in touch. One day after a chemistry class, we didn’t speak — we only cried. We were 13 years old and stuck at home during a pandemic. We all had family members that were sick, and no one could promise that we would ever see their faces again. Our workload was unbearable, and we were beginning to buckle under pressure. Lockdown was one of the hardest times of my life, but through the loneliness and pain, we managed to find joy. There were surprise birthday calls where we laughed until it hurt, singing and doing Just Dance. I took up some new hobbies like gardening and crocheting, both of which allowed me to focus on myself and my well-being.
Admittedly though, I soon learned that my thumb is not as green as I had hoped.
Looking back, it's easy to see how lucky we were and how lucky we still are two years later, with the Caribbean sun shining down on us just as brightly. I truly believe that we’ve made it through the worst.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic is not completely behind us, I can’t help but think what great stories we’re going to have for our grandchildren, wondering why everyone scoffs and knocks on wood after hearing about the year 2020.
Jade Robinson is a 2021 Dart High School Scholar attending St. Ignatius Catholic School.
This article appears in print in the April 2022 edition of Camana Bay Times.
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