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A Life-Changing Pandemic

By Rahaf Ala’aldin Yousef Mishael, Grade 8

A virus has spread and changed our lives dramatically. Where before we were social, outgoing students, we are now almost introverts, worried about leaving our houses and socializing with our neighbors or engaging in any kind of social interaction. Schools are shut down and our learning process has completely changed into something we’ve never experienced before.

The current situation

Let’s be honest: we were never grateful to come to school and spend almost the whole day behind our desks and move from one class to another, catching up with lessons, doing in-class assignments, and sometimes sitting in detention. Until today, we never thought we would miss spending time with teachers and classmates or simply walking around the school on lunch breaks. Now, it seems to be our ultimate desire—something we need now more than ever.

Isolation is one of many new feelings we have been experiencing since the beginning of the pandemic. We’re unable to see each other or physically go out together. We are spending more time on computers and electronic devices. Not to mention all the anxiety and stress this quarantine is causing as we stay home and watch the unfortunate coronavirus news every day.

A blessing in disguise

Despite this negative twist on our lives, there have been quite a few positive outcomes. For instance, through distance learning we have acquired new learning techniques and been introduced to new technologies that have helped us pursue our education remotely yet effectively. We are able to manage our time and organize our study schedule with few constraints.

Teachers have been very creative in conducting online lessons, as well as in making sure that concepts are well-covered and students understand the objectives of each lesson. Before, using tablets was more something we did for fun, rather than as a means of taking online classes, submitting homework, and taking tests and quizzes. I believe we’re now practicing a healthy use of this technology and utilizing its power for our own good.

Our school has provided us with many online resources to enhance our everyday learning experience. We needed to grow smarter and more productive and thus created a new routine for our days, to keep us busy, healthy, and happy. We have uncovered new hobbies and tried to find ways to calm ourselves down during breakdowns and stressful moments.

This virus has made us strong believers in God and faith, in life and death, and in the importance of being pro-active. It reminds us to be humble, grateful, and appreciative of life and all its details.

Yousef Mishael is a Grade 8 student at Al Hekma International School, Bahrain.

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