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The year 2020 will go down in history.

“It’s as if we have to adjust or adapt to the way life is right now because it’s going to become the “new normal.”

Covid-19 had a massive impact on lots of people. Not just in our homes or cities, but around the entire world! Covid-19 disrupted my school year by getting in the way of my extra-curricular activities, such as community theatre, the after school programs, clubs, and other things I do. Having to be home and do school work was also difficult. I began to get easily distracted by the things around me at home, like my siblings or television, making my grades very poor. I had to start doing something to make sure I focused, but it was still difficult even then. Overall, I ended up having good final grades, but I know my grades would have been much better if I had been in school.

My everyday life has changed a lot. Having to ALWAYS remember to wear a mask before I go anywhere outside is easy to forget when you’re so used to not having to. I can’t go to the movies, local stores, or even give my friends, who I haven’t seen in so long, a hug. It’s as if we have to adjust or adapt to the way life is right now because it’s going to become the “new normal.” Having to keep in mind that some people don’t even develop the symptoms of Covid but can still have them and pass them on is also very scary. As citizens, we have to walk around worried that maybe we can catch the virus and don’t even know when from whom, or how. My family has tried their best to make sure we still see each other and have as much family time as possible because it is the summertime. We’re still in this pandemic. My family is very close-knit. We have strong bonds with each other as if my cousins were my siblings, and my aunts and uncles are like my second parents. Being that I can barely see them or hug them makes me yearn to spend time with them. I’m worried about losing any of my family members due to this crisis. They are forever in my prayers until there is a cure found.

My mom has been a registered nurse for over 20 years. She has taken care of elderly demented people for 18 years of her career.

My mom is a 49-year-old African American female who lives in Essex County, NJ, and works for the Barnabas Health System. My mom has been a registered nurse for over 20 years. She has taken care of elderly demented people for 18 years of her career. She now takes care of cancer patients in an outpatient infusion center. She is on the frontlines in this Covid-19 pandemic and has shared her experience with me. Here’s a little bit about my mom’s pandemic experience:

My mom tells me that her first close-up encounter with Covid-19 was at the hospital when they received their first patient into their unit to receive chemotherapy. No one knew that the patient’s family member had just flown in from an Asian country with high exposure to Covid-19. The patient himself was coughing and had a fever. Upon questioning him and his family member, they discovered the daughter had possibly been exposed to the coronavirus. My mom told me that the unit became frantic! Everybody was scared, and no one knew what to do. My mother remembers her heart racing. Everybody wondered about the nurses on the unit who cared for that patient and those who could have been exposed through high touch areas. After this event, my mom also recalls having a cough of her own and having to stay home for 14 days, and having the worst fear of her life – fear of dying and leaving her children motherless. She says this was the most frightened she had ever felt in her whole life.

This is a picture of me at a BLM protest in Montclair, NJ. I’m holding up a sign that says “No Justice, No Peace!” There are names of several victims of police brutality, the names could’ve kept going.

During the crisis, there have been a lot of other things taking place in America. My fellow African-Americans and I are still fighting for our justice. On May 25th, 2020, a police officer took George Floyd’s life, who had his knee on George’s neck for around 9 minutes straight. George Floyd was repeatedly straining to say, “I can’t breathe,” while the officer continued to restrain him.

As a unity of African Americans, we have endured injustice for far too many years. This year was not the beginning of our protests and riots, but I believe this time, we’ve made a statement. As a race that continues to come together in times of suffering, I think this time, our voices will be heard. The protest has been going on for longer than a month, and I believe changes need to happen. I went to a protest that occurred in my hometown, and the turnout and experience were amazing! So many people from many different backgrounds were there together, marching and chanting for our rights. My mother made sure that the protest was safe before I went because she didn’t want me to be in harm’s way. Once she knew it was okay, we made our signs, and she took me to the park in my city. The crowd was enormous! It was so diverse, and the energy was so high! It showed me how African-Americans aren’t the only people fed up with oppression, but other races too!

This a picture of my mother and me at the BLM demonstration in Montclair, NJ. My mom’s sign reads, “When George called his Mama, he called us all! Mothers against police brutality.”

“When we say, BLACK LIVES MATTER, we aren’t saying other races don’t.”

Racism is hard for me to even think about because nothing shows we as a race deserve this treatment. It makes me scared for my future and even if I’ll be able to see it. And when other groups come along saying ALL LIVES MATTER, it’s just a protest to our protest! When we say, BLACK LIVES MATTER, we aren’t saying other races don’t. We’re just saying that black lives are not being treated as if they matter, and until they do, we will forever take a stand!

Overall, Covid-19 has made a massive impact on 2020 in many ways. Everyone thought this year was going to be a new start and have many great beginnings. But honestly, it was one of the worst years in history and will be talked about in future textbooks. I hope many people see the impact this year has had and try to change themselves next year.