We’re All Tired of Covid — And That’s a Privilege

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With the increasing amount of people testing positive, students’ minds on Covid-19 have changed since the pandemic started more than two years ago, with many reporting that they are “tired of it.”

Coming back from the holiday break, Williston went online for one week to assure that classes could be offered under safe conditions. This, of course, brought students back to last year, when Williston held hybrid classes both online and offline, and was a stark reminder that the pandemic has never left. In fact, as of Jan. 3, the U.S. reported 1,017,376 new cases, peaking towards an all-time high.

All current Williston students have spent most of their middle or high school surrounded by Covid. Middle and high school are crucial shaping periods in their lives where they are involved in collective activities and social interactions. On top of accepting and living with new social norms, students’ perception on the pandemic and the future are also changing.

“Generation Covid,” according to CNN, first appeared on social media at the beginning of the pandemic. In 2021, researchers started to look behind the term, focusing on the impact of Covid on the younger generation. CNN reports that scientists’ definition of “Gen C” includes people currently at the age of six to college-aged.

Soleil Richardson, a sophomore from Bermuda, believes that when Covid-19 first hit, most of us did not realize the seriousness of it.

“I think we all thought ‘oh two-week break from school! Awesome!'” she said, “not knowing what was in store.”

Her perception of the situation grew along the way.

“As the pandemic grew,” she said, “I grew to understand the complexity of the virus, [that] this wasn’t going to be over after one week.”

Now more than two years in, Soleil tries to keep positive about the situation. “Now I am where I am,” she said. “I really want to say it will get better. However, I’m not sure [if] that’s entirely true.”

“Not that I don’t think it will ever die down,” she added, “but rather there is a new normal we will all have to adjust to.”

Soleil said that although there is an increasing amount of people testing positive, she does not feel less scared “in the slightest.”

“I, myself have lost family members to Covid, so I have never once doubted the severity of the virus,” she said.

While she can “understand that people are tired of Covid,” Soleil said people also have to “recognize that there is a certain privilege that comes with that.”

Soleil thinks that Covid has left a profound impact on people that is hard to process because of current modes of interaction.

“I think we all have permanent scars from the pandemic,” she said. “We are all going to have a harder time making connections, reaching out to people, etc. But I think eventually everyone will get used to the ‘new normal.'”

Shirley Shi, a junior from Beijing, China, entertained the idea, two years ago, that Covid might have no impact on her.

“To be honest, at first, I thought Covid was very far from me,” she said, “and I was not the best at following safety precautions.”

However, many of the people she knows tested positive for Covid during winter break, which made her change her mind.

“I never thought that Covid [was] so close to us,” she said. “Right now, I am doing everything I [can] to stay healthy.”

Like Soleil, Liz Gluz, a junior from Syracuse, New York, feels that Covid is going to have a profound impact in our generation’s future.

“At first, I thought Covid would end fairly quickly, and it would just be a story that I would tell to people in the years to come,” she said. “But now, I see that it is obviously going to take a lot longer, and it’s going to impact our lives for a long time, especially our education.”

Like, Shirley, Liz’s perception of Covid changed a lot when people around her started to test positive.

“I do not feel scared for myself. Personally, I am triple vaxxed,” she said. “But recently, coming back from break, it is the first time during the multiple-year-long pandemic that people in school I know have gotten Covid.”

“Thank goodness they are ok,” she continued, “but it does not hit that much until it affects you or someone near you. I am now more aware of what’s going on, because before, I kind of refused to keep up with everything.”

Katy Guo, a sophomore from Beijing, China, also expected that “the pandemic was going to end pretty soon” at the start, and she didn’t envision it spreading across the globe.

However, she does feel more hopeful as more people who tested positive have had mild to no symptoms.

Katy tested positive during the winter break, and she did not expect it because she had mostly been isolated during that period. However, she does not feel panicked or stressed; instead, she is focused on staying healthy. However, she does feel that there is a lot of stigma surrounding people who have gotten Covid.