Reflections on COVID-19 - Inspired to Serve
Nora Zhu

Back in April, as the world was first thrown into the throes of COVID-19, I, like many other teenagers, enamoured myself with the various trends overtaking social media. Throughout these months, driven by a need to make my quarantine productive, I did everything from baking to trying to teach myself, rather presumptuously, Norwegian. 

The morning of April 5th dawned just like any other day. The sun glowed rose-dewed over the conifers, the birds chattered outside my window, and I woke up, ready to face the mundanity of yet another day quarantined at home. After endless hours of scrolling through the same three apps trying to get my mind off of the ceaseless anxiety caused by COVID-19, I got a call from my aunt. As a surgeon, she had been working for nearly 50 hours as a doctor in the ICU of one of the largest hospitals in China. Her exhaustion was evident in her intonation, and as she begged us with broken sentences to send her more masks, we understood that the situation was quickly deteriorating. This phone call was to be the inspiration of my service initiative involving the Peace Arch Hospital. Struck by the desperation in my aunt’s voice, I realized that something needed to be done to help alleviate the immense pressure put on hospitals during these difficult times. After doing some research, I realized that the situation in British Columbia was not much better. With renewed conviction, I gathered some of my peers who also possessed the ardent desire to create change within our community, and together, we were able to raise money to provide meals to the healthcare workers at the Peace Arch Hospital.

My story, thankfully, is not unique. All over the world young people have recognized the opportunities provided by the past months and have participated in initiatives to give back to their respective communities. Although the pandemic brought tremendous difficulties for everyone, it also offered youth the opportunity to show their gratitude to their community. The pandemic changed all of us. We learned of grief, loneliness, and despair. But we also learned of compassion, hope, and unity. And it is my most sincere wish that we will take the lessons the pandemic has taught us and bring it into our new reality.

 

Contributed by Nora Z, Grade 11
Originally published in Spirit Magazine - Fall 2020