Most are done with COVID-19, but I am not

Mia Alva, Editor in Chief

I am scared. I have been scared for over two years. And I don’t know when I won’t be scared again. 

Why am I scared? 

Well, there is this little virus that has been spread worldwide and hasn’t ended after two years. 

I’m referring to COVID-19.

Most are used to this virus, some have all but forgotten about it.

Unlike most of the population in California, the United States, and the world, I have not gotten it. 

Lucky, right? 

Honestly, I can’t decide. 

In my mind, I tell myself, “If I get it, then I will be immune for a while and don’t have to worry,” or “If I get it, then I can get it over with.” 

On the other days, I tell myself, “I don’t want to be sick and not be able to see my loved ones or go to school,” or “What symptoms could I get? How severe can they be? Maybe I could die.”

So don’t mind me if you see me at school wearing surgery gloves, a KN95 and maybe a hazmat suit. Why take the risk? 

I’m apparently in the minority. 

According to the Pew Research Center, in a survey conducted in May 2022, “about three-quarters of Americans (76%) say the worst of the country’s problems from the coronavirus are behind us.”

I disagree because I still fear for my life, and I think I know why. 

Ever since a young age, my dad has tried to instill in me that there are possibilities of huge earthquakes that could tear down a whole city, another world war, and even a zombie/alien invasion. He would make me watch movies that involved such disasters and wanted me to learn what to do to stay calm and, most importantly, how to survive. 

But, seeing and hearing things like this only made me more scared. I was 13 years old when he first started showing me these things, and I didn’t know how to process or prepare for them. 

Along with what to do during the actual disaster or the aftermath, he also told me to be aware of my surroundings. So, I started to think of where I could hide or run in every place I would go if a shooting or earthquake happened. I always thought ahead. I stopped thinking like this as I grew older unless I was in an unknown place.

But the fear came back when the pandemic came and grew. I would hear a person sneeze or cough and think of it as the end of the world. I would tell myself, “This is it. I am going to die.” 

I still have the same feeling years later. I think what my dad did to somewhat “prepare me” turned into a ball of fear and anxiety that I can’t escape. 

Now, the world has “blessed” us with Monkeypox, a viral disease that looks like smallpox. 

I feel like I can’t escape the anxiety.

But life goes on. I have to go to school. I have to spend time with my family. I have to take one step at a time. I have to calm down and move on. Just like everyone else. 

Some students from Cal State LA have a perspective of their own going back fully in-person to school. 

Sociology major Pablo Nuñez said that he feels a bit anxious coming back to school but thinks that the guidelines and resources for COVID in place make it okay to return.

“It doesn’t seem so nerve-racking to return,” Nuñez said. “Being informed and aware of your surroundings regarding COVID is always my priority.”

Nuñez has not tested positive for COVID yet and hopes to keep it that way, knowing that his family is mostly elders and has other underlying conditions. 

Biology major Alex Azarov is OK being back on campus. 

“I’ve grown accustomed to feeling more calm rather than anxious or panicked. However, I still make sure to follow safety protocols when on campus,” Azarov said. 

Although he has not gotten COVID, he is worried that he will have an unlucky day when he catches it. 

“School for me is a safe space and while it was a rough start at the beginning of spring 2022, I feel much more comfortable now being back on campus than I did back then,” Azarov said.