By Olivia Remedios
I suppose we should introduce ourselves: We are the Quaranteens.
Our world was never prepared for a collision like this, although there were signs that could have changed everything.
Since you are sticking around for a while, closing down schools and putting families out of jobs, we wanted to tell you a few things about us. We know that no one asked for this, but specifically we didn’t ask for our childhood to be ripped away right when we thought it was time to say goodbye, so weŕe just going to have to roll with it.
First off, we hate you. For your dry cough, your fever, your tiredness, your difficulty breathing, and your other symptoms. For how many of our parents and grandparents are afraid that their diabetes or heart condition is what’s going to take them out. For our classmates or siblings who are afraid that their next asthma attack could be the first sign of this killing machine in their home.
We’re a startlingly stubborn and self-reliant generation, but this time we need to ask for help. This won’t happen often but right now we truly have to. We can be put through the ringer time and time again and we will not stop fighting. No matter how many magical teenage moments are stolen from us we will not stop. We will never listen to that little voice inside our head telling us we can’t do it. Because we can.
You probably already know how much we cherish the time we spend with our friends and significant others, without the fear of an impending disease threatening our generation. We spent countless hours on our phones with each other acting like we are in separate rooms, when that is how we choose to spend our precious time. Now that our choice is gone we have been forced to fill our fix for validation solely through the wonders of social media. Now that the entire world looks like us seeing their family and friends through a telephone screen they will finally see where we are coming from.
But we’ll try to not judge their lack of experience in this time of uncertainty.
Everyone has their own way to love their daily life or routine such as the normalcy of waking up in the morning, making coffee, and heading off to work. But in the midst of years of angst and uncertainty we hold on to the tasks of seeing our peers and struggling in school as our lifeline to keep going.
Many people don’t see why these things are so important to us. While adults constantly hear us complaining about school and the loads of work that we are forced to do, they don’t see the other side of the story. Why do we want to go back so bad now?
We can’t explain much. This is just how it is.
You ́ve probably seen some of us going out against all authority and try to live our normal lives in spite of your treacherous reign. As bad as it may seem or truly be for you to infect our lives, some adolescents cannot bear to part from our rebellious ways and continue to see their friends and significant others.
The only way you could understand us is if you were in our shoes right now. The 12 years of education that most of us have persevered through leading up to today feels like it is being thrown out the window. For some of us vital moments in someone’s life such as prom or graduation are going to be over video chat or Zoom.
Don’t be scared to ask us how we are feeling throughout this. Our child lives are being rushed at a glance and this has turned into some of the most frightful times in our lives. But we will rise above this.
After all we have been cleaning up after the mess that our parents and grandparents have left for us for years.
Maybe we are the generation of depressed teens or self absorbed children who are always on our phones but we will become more than that.
When this is all over we will be able to start anew and just might be able to thank you, for changing our teenage years into a story of survivors.
That is our dream.