By: Vanessa Reyes – Student Journalist
The television’s bright glow hit my face as I watched for the ball to drop in Time Square. This New Year’s Eve did not feel like any other as I was in the living room feeling like I’ve been hit by a bus, distancing myself from my parents who were not feeling sick. My husband could not be with me in my time of need as he was feeling sick before me and quarantined at his brother’s house while I stayed with my parents.
The countdown was about to begin — 10 seconds left until this nightmare we called 2020 would be over. My parents were sitting at the edges of their seats with excitement on their faces that couldn’t be contained. I was also getting ready to wish them a happy new year, five seconds remaining. Four. Three. Two. One. Ding. I pulled out my phone thinking it was my husband calling to wish me a Happy New Year. Instead, it was an email from Vault Health Labs, informing me that I was positive for COVID-19. The beginning of “Auld Lang Syne” played in the background like an ironic Black Mirror scene was playing in my life.
Going through an almost-war, a deadly pandemic, killer hornets, and a dark mental health cloud made many of us hope that 2021 would be a better year. Even though I still have hope for this year, I couldn’t help but feel angry when I got my results back on New Year’s Day of all days. It was already after Christmas, my finances were not the best as a result from Christmas shopping. I recently got a new car along with tuition, bills, and other expenses that need to be covered. I wouldn’t be able to see my siblings, in-laws, nieces and nephews, extended relatives, and friends until I was deemed clear and safe to be around. Most importantly, I couldn’t even hug my parents, husband, and said loved ones because of this virus that plagued me from the outside world. In the blink of an eye, I had turned into Ariel from The Little Mermaid, wanting to be a part of the outside world with no sea witch to bargain with to set me free.
As I await the results of my second test, I have been thinking a lot about how there are other people in the world that have it worse than me. I could be alone in this journey that I’m going through, but instead I am surrounded by people who love me. I think of all the people and the things that I have in my life and I couldn’t be more grateful.
2021, although you already had a rough start, I remain hopeful that things will be better. Through riots and viruses, I continue to look towards God and the universe for better outcomes for myself, my loved one, and all living beings across the globe. The world needs to be more united now than ever if we hope to make it out of this horror movie.