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To Students Mourning What the Coronavirus Outbreak Has Taken

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Everywhere we look, there is coverage about the coronavirus. On the news, you can see the number of infected people scrolling across the bottom of the screen. On social media, we see story after story of people unable to work due to businesses shutting down or decreases in the workforce. We’re taught what “social distancing” means and forced out of our daily routines.

The impression I get is that the focus is on the parents — how parents are going to get by without being able to work, or how they are going to figure out childcare since kids can’t be in school anymore. But, what about the students? What about how this is affecting them?

Students, I see you.

I see you. I’ll admit, I’ll never know what it’s like to miss out on things like prom, or the rest of senior year, or walking at graduation, or any of the many other milestones one can think of due to all the schools being shut down. I have had to miss similar milestones due to medical reasons, but this isn’t about me. With that said, I do know it can hurt. It will hurt, and that’s OK.

It’s OK to have big emotions about this stuff.

It’s OK to feel afraid when navigating these uncharted territories.

It’s OK to feel angry at the universe for ruining the idea of what senior year could look like.

It’s OK to feel sad that you don’t get to see your friends as often (or at all) or that you didn’t get to say goodbye to your favorite teachers.

It’s OK to feel confused with all the chaos of the world when every day it seems as though the experts say something different.

It’s OK to feel relieved from the pressures of being at school while you finish your studies at home.

It’s OK to feel joy in creating new memories with family or learning a new hobby.

However you feel is OK.

One of the amazing things about this pandemic is that we are not going through this alone. It’s possible that your friends and family can provide enough support to you right now, and it’s OK if they can’t. Speak out because maybe someone else can relate and you’ll find you’re not alone. It’s OK if you need to reach out to professionals for help too.

If no one else can do this for you right now, I will. I see you. Whatever your circumstances, however you feel is valid. There is no right or wrong way to feel. I believe we can get through this together.

— A Fellow Mighty

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Originally published: March 19, 2020
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