13-year-old gets some extra hiking time due to COVID-19

Student Journalist Zara Tranquada.

Mid-Hudson News has launched a “Student Journalist” section to allow elementary, middle, and high-school students to write essays or “news as they see it” for submission (details below).  The following is an essay from one of our “Student Journalists”, Zara Tranquada.

Like all who are reading this, COVID-19 has impacted our lives. First of all, the word “Pandemic” is a scary word. But what is scary about it? The fact of not knowing. Not knowing if disinfecting all of our deliveries and groceries, social distancing, and wearing protective gear will be our new normal? Will this last for longer than we expected? The longer this lasts, the more lives will be lost, and even the experts do not know for sure how long this will last, because no one can guarantee anything, and that’s scary. I try to act like everything is normal. I do love to write, and I’m writing my own book at the moment, but my books are not about COVID-19. That is because I didn’t want to pay attention to COVID-19. My book is about a girl and her dog, with sunny skies and pretty beaches, a blue ocean and so on. But now I’m writing about COVID-19. Why? I don’t know. 

My Mom works in a nursing home. She is an occupational therapist. And she does have patients with COVID-19. And I have seen first hand how susceptible front line workers are to contracting COVID-19. They are short on masks and the masks they do have, they have to reuse. They also need face shields but did they have them? No, they were not able to get face shields until a worker at the nursing home 3D printed them for everyone. My dad is a manager at a grocery store. He has seen many people without protective wear who were also violating the social distancing guidelines by approaching employees without keeping a six feet distance from them. I think that we should all take this seriously so that we can stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Another effect of COVID-19 is school. Many kids would disagree but I really enjoy online school. I’m not a big fan of crowded hallways or noisy cafétérias. I do not like being around lots of people especially in classrooms. Online school makes me feel more comfortable while learning. I think it’s the same learning online as it is in a classroom and if I’m confused I can FaceTime my friends or text them and we can talk about what we learned and how to do the work. I feel as if it’s easier to answer questions on online school because I often feel when I’m in school that I’m going to mess up and say the wrong thing and everyone will laugh at me. On online school though I feel less nervous about it. I’ve always wanted to try online school, and now I got the chance to.

Online school also gives me more time to do other things, such as hiking and playing tennis with my dad. My dog is also really happy that I’m home so much now and she just loves to get my attention with belly rubs and ear scratches. Being home also gives me more time to draw, paint and hang out with my animals. I have many animals as I love them and I am very knowledgeable on the topic. I’ve got rescue animals such as leopard geckos and frogs. Some have special needs too. 

Overall, I think that together we will get over this. We just need to have hope and believe we can. I feel that I have mixed emotions on all of this and I bet everyone else does too. But that’s ok. We’re in this together.

About the author:
I am Zara Tranquada. I recently turned thirteen on March 4th. I live in Newburgh, New York and I attend Heritage Middle school. I have a passion for plants, animals and the living environment.  I like hiking, biking and playing tennis.

If you have a student that is interested in writing a submission, please send an email to Todd Bender at [email protected] and ask for the submission requirements.

 

 



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