The impact the pandemic has had on my life


Skyler Reaper

My brother took this photo of me when I missed my High School Graduation Due to Covid. This picture was the only real picture of me in my cap and Gown.

COVID-19 started while I was a senior in high school. Many students in my class were excited that we had almost the whole semester off, but I was not one of those students. I lived a very active academic life both then and now. Back then, I had clubs that I was in, and I was an editor on the yearbook staff. I was set to graduate with honors in May of 2020. I graduated, but I didn’t get many things that seniors were supposed to get. We had no prom, no award ceremony, we barely got a graduation ceremony. I did not get to attend graduation because I was quarantined at the time and got out of quarantine the day of what should have been my graduation. Instead, I got to go to the school and get my diploma in the office of my high school. It wasn’t at all what it was supposed to be.

My freshman year of college wasn’t much better. A large part of classes were online, and those that were in person were split, and we only went once a week. Most activities were canceled or extremely limited on the number of students who could attend and what they were allowed to do. But that was okay because I was on SAB (the student activities board). I helped host events. But then my sister got sick. It wasn’t covid, but I chose to give up SAB because she was ill. After that, it was hard to go to events, though I managed because my position on the Oracle allowed me to go as a reporter. I quickly discovered a passion for writing.

Then there was this past year. I hadn’t had anyone in my family get sick yet, so I was beginning to relax a little bit. The world was going back to normal, except for us still having to wear masks. Midsummer came, and my dad got sick. It started as what seemed like a simple cold. No big deal, right? But it got worse. He went to the doctor about a week later because it was hard to breathe, and he could not do many basic daily activities. The doctors evaluated him and thought it was COVID-19, so they tested him. But it came back negative. They ran test after test and couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Meanwhile, my dad couldn’t walk to the mailbox without being too out of breath to keep going. He works construction, so that was no longer possible which was hard financially.

Construction was complicated financially with covid as it was. Who wanted a stranger working on their house with COVID-19 running rampant? They didn’t know where this person had been or who he had been around. He was sick for almost three months. The doctors still insist it was anything but the virus as they couldn’t find anything else, and he had all the symptoms. But he got over it eventually. I helped support my family financially because I didn’t want my mom to feel alone.

My family is my world, as anyone who knows me will tell you, and I would do anything for them. Christmas came and went as things were starting to get back to a semi-normal. The pandemic was still a threat, but it seemed to be at bay. This past week, my dad was sick again. Only this time, he tested positive for covid. I was fully vaccinated, so I continued going to class and working as usual. I felt fine. But a few days passed, and on Thursday morning, I woke up at 4:00 am. I was running a 101.2 temp, and I couldn’t get warm for the life of me. I struggled to breathe, and I was concerned that I was sick. So I did a home covid test. It came back positive.

The school was closed, so I couldn’t do anything about it yet, so I messaged my parents and told them what was going on. I started packing to go home. At exactly 8:00 am, I called the student health center and set up an appointment to officially get tested. That test, as expected, also came back positive. I went home to be with my family as they were sick anyways. We all quarantined together. I went to the doctor to get medications to help control the symptoms and avoid getting any worse. They gave me two different prescriptions and sent me home. I ate soup, drank Gatorade, and slept for the next five days. I had to sleep in a recliner in the living room because I couldn’t breathe otherwise. Today, Wednesday 16th is the first day back from quarantine, and I feel great. My dad is now back to work, and so am I. Life today is entirely different than it was before the pandemic came, and it will only continue to change.