By: Fatema Dinary

A year ago, if you had told me a virus, entirely unknown to the human population, was going to eliminate thousands of innocent men and women. If you had told me loved ones would die alone, as though they had been forgotten by their families. If you claimed that thousands would leave this world without a proper funeral. That corpses, hundreds at a time, were going to be kept refrigerated because the manpower to at least perform a mass burial was lacking. I wouldn’t have believed a single word, I wouldn’t have wanted to believe that I would witness such tragedy in my life. Nobody would. I knew I would experience difficulty, common troubles that everyday people go through on a daily basis. In no way was my generation so special that we would be chosen to endure calamity or hardship especially at such a young age. However, this is life. 

Before, the disasters suffered by others, strangers really, did not emotionally affect me. It was history. You would complete a unit that devastated hundreds of people decades ago but then it became a thing of the past. You would not grieve like those that suffered through the calamity. You would not fear the threat that possessed every thought and action of the people who experienced that time period. How could I know that mortal danger was such a great and scary thing? How could my fourteen-year-old self whole-heartedly grieve and pity those who suffered when I myself have never experienced such a thing? I couldn’t truly appreciate their sacrifice and bravery. But now is a different story. Though I am only a year older, I have witnessed, heard, and acknowledged the efforts of public health workers and researchers in the scientific community, of doctors, nurses, medical workers, of emergency service, custodial, and sanitation workers. So many have pitched in to help our community in this volatile time. From farmers, and grocery workers to public transportation workers, teachers, and childcare workers, the global community had become more united in this historic experience. Not only the global population however, but neighbors and families who have also come together to support each other through the small acts of kindness and appreciation that make all the difference.