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Flash forward a week and a half later, and the entire state is under a new executive order to 'stay home' and self-quarantine. What now?

Recently, it's nearly impossible to find an article that doesn't have the words "coronavirus" or "COVID-19" in the headline.

It's somehow incorporated into every possible topic — election coverage suddenly circulates around the virus, Olympics news is now solely about the postponement of the games due to the pandemic, and even lighter articles about reality television acknowledge the various delays and cancellations caused by the crisis. Despite constantly being bombarded with information about the pandemic, it's undeniable that no one really knows what to do in this situation.

Our way of life crumbled into pieces so abruptly that, at first, it was almost funny in a surreal way. Receiving emails from establishments like Applebee's about their response to COVID-19 was so jarring that I couldn't help but laugh. When the basketball state championships were canceled two weeks ago, we all scoffed, saying things along the lines of "they can't do this" or "everything will be back to normal soon."

Flash forward a week and a half later, and the entire state is under a new executive order to "stay home" and self-quarantine. What now?

As someone who likes to plan ahead, this is a nightmare. I structure my life around school, tennis practice and preparing for major events like prom and graduation. With schools closed until April 28 (and potentially for the rest of the school year), all of that goes out the window.

I do feel guilty whenever I find myself wallowing in self-pity — it feels a bit foolish to be moping about not getting a prom or a graduation ceremony when the economy looks like it's on the verge of collapse and entire countries are suffering immensely.

Nonetheless, I think it's important to acknowledge that it's OK to crave a return to normalcy. It's OK to miss all of the little things that made us happy before the world turned upside-down.

It does feel like I'm living out the plot of "Groundhog Day," going through the exact same motions every single day until the hours and weeks blend together. All any of us can do in this situation is to try to be as productive as we can, take the opportunity to spend time with family, and of course, stay home to keep ourselves and others safe.

I'm a hopeful person, so I say this with confidence: We'll get through this.

Sydney Byun is a senior at Wilsonville High School.


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