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Updated: Jun 26

By: Alice Su

“Do you think it’s Covid?” I asked my mother, looking at the thermometer, which read ninety-nine degrees.

“I don’t know, let’s take a test,” She replied. I stood on unsteady legs from my lazy sprawl on the couch and followed her to the bathroom, where she pulled out a testing kit. The packaging crinkled as I shook out the contents. I skimmed the directions, followed them numbly, and went back to the couch.

I, being an average seventh-grader, instantly informed my friends of this news. Twenty minutes passed in a dazed, sleepy trance, consisting of watching useless, forgettable videos, listening but not listening to music, and texting on and off.

I heard my mother from the bathroom gasp. “It’s positive! Come look, there’s a line, it’s very faint, but you can see it…” I unsteadily walked over to her, peering at the tiny but undeniable red line. The information barely registered in my mind as my mom ushered me upstairs into my room with my mask.

Every step was dizzying, and the world seemed to spin. I was so out of breath, though I had only walked a little bit. I was freezing, my limbs stiff and cold, as if it were the middle of winter, though it was already the middle of June.

When I got to my room, I collapsed on my bed and let my thoughts float around me like snow on a January morning as I stared up into the blank white ceiling. I felt disappointed - I had once believed that I was different, somehow, that I was a rare person to not be vaccinated fully and not have gotten covid. Now that that had been disproven, the fact that I had Covid by itself wasn’t even unique - tons of people, millions upon millions, had gotten it, which again proved that no, I was not special. Sometimes, I felt like everyone deep inside had an illusion that they were separate from everyone else - unique in some way. The feeling of crashing into reality, realizing that you were just another stranger, another side character, another somebody… It could be the most devastating feeling, and I was feeling it at that moment.

Somehow, through feverish dreams, curiosity as to whom infected me, concern for the people I was putting at risk, anger, and loneliness, that feeling lingered, like the bad taste in your mouth when you eat something sour.

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