COVID review in a 10-year-old's eyes
Updated: Apr 23
By Shayaan Khan — Special to Today Magazine
A 5th-grader, Shayaan lives in Simsbury with his parents
COVID-19 has been a new beginning. It has taught a new way of life. A life where simple things, such as going to the market, have become planned occasions. It is difficult to imagine a world where everyone is afraid of a microscopic virus.
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I cannot explain how worrisome but nonetheless rewarding this past year has been. I do not know about you, but I have personally achieved multiple things in the past year while we have been living in a world frozen in fear.
Sometime in January 2020 I saw in the news that in China a new virus called COVID-19 was spreading like wildfire. I pondered if this virus would spread around the world. I shushed the thought away, but here we are today. I was not the only person worried if it would spread around the world. At school there was a hushed chatter and fear of COVID, but if the teachers heard us talking about it they tried to change our minds, but we kids were still worried.
By February 2020 cases were rising in both Asia and Europe. Some cases had also been recorded in the Philippines. A 60-year-old American man died in Wuhan, China, on Feb. 8. The talks were less hushed at school then, and on some occasions we heard the teachers talking about COVID in the hallways. COVID was no longer a secret.
In March 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) officially called coronavirus a pandemic. In March it was my Dad's birthday. We celebrated by baking a cake as a family, and doing that together brought more joy than buying a cake and having a big celebration. I love to think that sometimes in life it is the small things that matter. Also in March we started distance learning at school.
In April 2020, cases were seriously rising in the U.S. I got two pet birds in April and I really love them. I remember that we were so worried about COVID we wore a raincoat to go to the market, put our phones in a ziplock bag, wore gloves and wore two masks. To be honest, I think we went overboard, but back then we were all so worried.
In May 2020 the rise of cases stopped in China, the first time since the outbreak started. Our lives became static. I do not remember anything important going on beside the constant fear.
June was the beginning of summer vacation and everyone was ready to travel, but that came with a risk. The U.S. had passed a total of 2 million COVID cases by then. The places my family traveled were close by. Comet Neowise (C/2020 F3) was passing earth, and my family went to a nearby field and looked for it, and finally in the end we could see it.
This is important for me because this is when I discovered my love for astronomy. I so much wanted a telescope to explore more.
Sometime in July, the first experimental COVID vaccine was created. I also did some astronomy in July.
August was an exciting month, but first, like all of 2020, there was some sad news too. I lost my pet bird Lush. The entire Simsbury community was looking for her because my father posted about her on Facebook. On my birthday, three days after we lost Lush, a kind lady rescued her and gave her back to me. It was a birthday miracle.
Now we are suffering, but by creating the vaccine for this deadly virus, won’t we be the heroes for later generations?
There was more happy news as I got a telescope as my birthday gift, which meant I could peer into the skies. That day was my first perfect day! I also went camping and had so much fun.
The more recent months have been quite different. People have started to be less afraid of COVID. The news of the vaccine has brought reassuring thoughts to us. COVID has killed lots of people but it has brought the community together. This past year the community has time and again come together to provide food and other essentials for the poor.
Not just communities were brought together — I think COVID has brought a sense of unity to the world because we are all together facing the pandemic.
Through centuries people have been relying on vaccines to help them, and people have created those old vaccines. Now we are suffering, but by creating the vaccine for this deadly virus, won’t we be the heroes for later generations? Maybe, centuries from now, people will be thinking that we saved them from this deadly disease.
• An award-winning publication, Today Magazine published another article by Shayaan Khan — "COVID-19 in the eyes of a 9-year-old" — in our June 2020 edition ... see page 12
• Today, in April 2021, Shayaan is a 10-year-old 5th-grader at Central Elementary School — he lives in Simsbury with his parents, Sana Syed and Anwar Khan
• Today Magazine covers the heart of Connecticut's Farmington Valley — to find other previous editions, visit www.todaypublishing.net/digital-editions