Brooks School

Shalini Navsaria

 February 3rd, 2021

Changing Perspectives

“Don't stress on what was, fight for what could be.“ -Sean Higgins

 

Covid-19 hit while I was in the middle of a forest in South Carolina; completely isolated from the outside world that was becoming unrecognizable. I was at the Clemson Outdoor Lab with the rest of the Brooks crew team for the first week of spring break. We left on March 7th and returned March 14th. It was the week America went on lockdown. Bustling airports turned into buildings full of scared people just wanting to go home. 

 

Don't stress on what was, fight for what could be.

It was a peaceful week for me.  I was surrounded by my friends, and rowed at least twice a day on the beautiful lake just steps away from my doorstep. I had heard of the “novel Coronavirus” in countries oceans away from me. I had no reason to be apprehensive about what my life would look like once I returned. That is why when our coach announced that we could not go into the town of Clemson in order not to possibly be exposed to Covid I was confused, even a bit angry. Angry at this virus for taking away a few hours in a new place with my friends. Things were quickly put into perspective.

 

Don't stress on what was, fight for what could be.

 

I texted my mother asking her if she could cook one of my favorite meals when I got home. “If there’s chicken at the store” she replied. What does she mean, “If there’s chicken at the store?” Why would there not be chicken at the store? As quickly as the week started it ended. My friends and I promised each other “If you wear a mask at the airport I will too.” We did not want to look stupid or be embarrassed. The Atlanta airport was virtually empty when we arrived.

 

Don't stress on what was, fight for what could be.

 

I was fortunate enough to sit next to my friend who wiped down our airplane seats and monitors. I laughed; I thought she was crazy. We landed safely in Boston, and said goodbye in a tentative manner. We debated over a possibility to  not see each other for a maximum of two weeks longer than break. In the end ,none of us believed it. However, a sense of dread lingered. Something felt wrong, but I did not know what.

 

Don't stress on what was, fight for what could be.

 

March me did not know how fortunate she was to be home. She was too absorbed in self pity, and wallowing about how there was no crew season, and how she could not see her friends. She was “losing her mind” in the comfort of her own home. I was not thinking about the millions of people stranded in America. The people in my own community who could not go home and see their parents. 

 

Don't stress on what was, fight for what could be.

 

As all the dystopian novels I obsessively read in middle school started to feel a lot closer to home, there was a change in me. People are often divided up into two categories; people who like change and are able to adapt, and those who are not. I believe there was an irreparable change in all of us, neither good nor bad. Change used to be thought of as moving houses and schools, or something more impactful such as losing a loved one. None of us, even those familiar with change, were ready for this. In what seemed like a time of disarray we united in order to finally start calling for the right change in our country. The change that was long overdue. 

 

Don't stress on what was, fight for what could be.

 

Coronavirus is not over in America. As cases continue to rise we are still in a tumultuous era of changing facts, figures, and identities. People have still not made it home, and we have lost over one and a half million people worldwide. Recognize and accept that change in yourself, and use your new perspective to fight for what could be.

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