I was working as a news anchor for Friday Morning News, my high school's television show, on March 12, 2020.
The script read cancellations for upcoming activities since COVID-19 cases were on the rise. My city started buckling down.
There were a few things I read.
Students at my school were looking forward to events such as the diversity fair that would happen the following week. During this week every year, my high school would give out free food pertaining to different cuisines while educating students about different cultures.
One year, the German teacher wore traditional lederhosen and danced for the students.
It was quite a hoot, and it became something the students looked forward to every year: whether it being for the food, laughing at a teacher, or actually learning about the different cultures.
I finished reading through the script and said the tag simultaneously with my co-anchor, "This has been Katie and Kruse, with the Friday Morning News!"
Our advisor yelled "CUT!" over the loudspeaker and walked into the studio from his place in the editor's room.
He had gotten an email just minutes ago, saying we couldn't air Friday Morning News after editing the next day, like we normally would.
Every activity was canceled.
Tomorrow would be the last day of school for three weeks, as the state was going on lockdown due to COVID-19.
Now, I tend to be rather over-confident in situations such as this.
"Three weeks," I thought. "Okay. That'll be fine. I mean, this is senior year. We'll be back in business in no time!"
Sure enough, my haughtiness didn't change the fact that the school year's last unofficial production of Friday Morning News was the last time I would see any of my friends for months.
One of my favorite activities was anchoring for the news at my high school.
I'm studying journalism in college now with hopes of perhaps becoming a news anchor or reporter for a living.
Working as a news anchor in high school was a special opportunity, and it slipped through my fingers.
I never got time to prepare and be properly sentimental for my last episode.
Regulations concerning COVID-19 have stripped away key experiences and ways of living that I believe will change the world forever.
Since this pandemic began, we've been told that we would have to adapt to a "new normal."
Hours attending to the seemingly omnipresent entity of Zoom.
If you're reading this right now, you've had to adapt to a new way of living in line with state and country protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
I can bet you feel different.
Everything appears uncertain.
Frankly, I think we're scared to admit to ourselves and each other that the state of life we're in is uncomfortable.
We don't like this.
This isn't normal.
And it shouldn't be.
But it is.
And I suppose it needs to be, for now.
Don't forget where you were when this pandemic started. This will be one of the most poignant events of the 21st century.
However, the way we're living is not the life we're meant to live.
Apart from one another.
Breathing through fabric instead of just the crisp air.
Instead of lying to ourselves and saying, "This is the new normal," why don't we simply remember and enjoy the good memories before the pandemic started?
Let's remember the times in which we used to live. There are better days ahead.