In thinking about the chaos that has ensued recently, I have realized how little control we have over our own lives. Just think about how one tiny biological mutation has brought our entire species to its knees. The earthquake we had recently was just one slight shift of tectonic plates deep below the surface of the earth. Yet it cut off an entire city’s power. It brings things into perspective.

We become so absorbed in our daily routines that we forget how weak and fragile we are compared to the earth and its elements. How small we are in the grand scheme of things. Being stripped of normalcy has been a slap in the face of reality that cannot be ignored. These recent troubles have made it clear what’s important and what deserves our attention and devotion.

Being isolated has made me appreciate people more. Oh what I would give to be able to interact normally with people again. To leave the house without a face mask or to go out for dinner. To hug my grandma. To welcome home my brother from his mission out of the car. Remote learning has helped me understand the importance of school. I would gladly wake up at 6 a.m. and willingly spend hours on homework if it meant seeing my teachers and classmates again.

The whole experience has been frustrating, emotionally draining, and just plain awful, but I think we needed it. When this is all over, I hope that the world doesn’t return to its old ways. I hope that we won’t take advantage of ‘normal’ again. That people of all races, faiths, and backgrounds will choose to unite as they are uniting now. That we will go outside and take care of our planet. That we will love each other as if nothing else matters.

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