I hated lockdown. I hated online school. I hated zoom. I hated the boredom. And I hated not being able to see friends. Words can not express my deep hate for lockdown. I distinctly remember the first moments of the nationwide lockdown.
The date was March 23 2020, we were all out on our lunch break doing very little until we saw Jacinda live on TV who announced that effective immediately we would enter covid alert level 3 and that in two short days we would all be in level 4 for a minimum of four weeks. It was surreal. None of us had ever experienced anything even remotely similar to and now we were being thrown into the deep end with what felt like no warning. Only six days later, the first death was confirmed. Our country stood still, frozen in place, almost. We learned to go jogging, make sourdough, use zoom, and how to isolate ourselves from the outside world. Every day was the same.
It was an interesting time, considering we had seen nothing like it before. But it was also one of the most boring times of my life. Every day I would wake up and log on to google classroom to see what was going to happen that day. Then I would proceed to do very little work and laze around the house, complaining for the rest of the day. No one ever imagines missing school, but I have never wanted to be somewhere more than I wanted to be at school in those moments. I missed my friends, I missed seeing people in person, I even missed my teachers and my classes.
Yet we all made it through and can see the positive impact that lockdowns had on our population. But still with this immeasurable benefit to our country. I still feel resentment towards the sheer memory of lockdown. After all our efforts to keep covid-19 out, we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. That was until Omicron.
I haven’t worried about omicron until now. For weeks on end, I dismissed the notion that very many of us would catch covid-19. I lived in blissful denial as people all over New Zealand and the rest of the world caught covid-19. Then people in Wellington started catching covid-19 and still I continued to dismiss it. But as with everything, nothing can last forever. So before long, Omicron visited Wellington High School.
The government has kept up to date with what would happen should there be cases within our school and now we are experiencing the first stages of those plans. Suddenly, it hit me. I will probably catch covid. Seeing people stressing out at school, going home, being marked close contacts and even hearing about people in my classes having covid-19 was a bit of a reality check. Now it’s in full force.
Coming to class and being one of the four students left standing is surreal. All class sizes have shrunk but none at the same rate as my science class, where there are only five people in the room at any time, including the teacher. Or journalism where there are six. There are so many close contacts or just people who are too scared to leave home.
Now with covid all around me closing in, I feel like I’m at the top of a diving board. It’s nerve-wracking seeing how close I am to catching covid, and while all the evidence points towards it being a mild illness from which I’ll recover quickly it still leaves me feeling like I’m about to fall.