by Julia Dickinson
February 22, 2021
When most people in the United States think about the beginning of the pandemic, they think about March 13, 2020. That Friday the 13th was indeed unlucky: COVID-19 was rapidly spreading, and few understood what was happening. However, when I think about the start of the pandemic, I think about March 6, a week before the U.S. shut down. March 6 was our last pre-COVID day in the BUA building.
I remember March 6 like it was yesterday. We had taken the National Latin Exam the day before, so we chatted about the topics on it. In sophomore English, we watched a movie adaptation of Frankenstein. During lunch, we talked about the recently canceled international spring break trip to Venice and Vienna, both COVID hotspots at the time. We asked each other what fall BU courses we’d registered for, hoping to find a friendly face in class. I had just begun to block in colors for my self-portrait in art class. I went to the Conversations @ BUA discussion on the issues surrounding an on-demand economy. I hugged my friends goodbye before spring break. I took the T to concert band as I did every Friday afternoon.
The one-year anniversary of March 6, 2020 is in less than a month. As the date nears, I feel more anxious. This time of year will always remind me of the vast unknown we all dove into in 2020. It will remind me of those last unmasked conversations, those last hugs. COVID-19 was a 9.0 on the Richter Scale. It had a devastating impact that emanated through the world, causing months, even years of damage. We are still in the heat of it, with millions infected and hundreds of thousands gone, but the vaccine is our first glimpse at the light at the end of the tunnel. Over sixty million people have been vaccinated in the U.S. already. Each day, as more get vaccinated, the light grows. I’ve learned that you need to keep hope close to your heart. Spending too much time reflecting on the past can lead to a downward spiral; keeping the hopeful future in your line of sight uplifts you.