To that I say thank you
Editor-in-chief Emma Conway puts the current crisis in perspective for us
You’ve caused fear, anger, and sadness across the country like I’ve never seen before. As the cancellations keep mounting—whether school, state tournaments, or class trips—high school seniors, such as myself, are crying. Feeling gypped. What about Prom, Senior Night, or even Graduation? Unlike many in the world today, I’m going to stop screaming and utter two words hardly anyone has said to you: thank you. Instead of focusing on the darkness, I’m choosing to focus on the light.
200,000 people from 144 countries have been infected by you, with cases multiplying everyday. Death tolls are plastered everywhere. But what about the man in Italy who decided to turn his anguish into awareness and record a video while his sister lay dead in the bed behind him? What about the man in Washington who was on death row until he was given failed Ebola fighting medication? What about those 70,000 people who contract the virus and recover? To that I say thank you.
About 20% of Americans will lose their job during the crisis. Yet what about the business owners who are giving back in a variety of ways? What about those in communities who are picking up meals curbside at a local favorite? What about the grocery and retail stores who are hiring new workers almost on the spot? To that I say thank you.
Medical personnel are on overtime, combating you. Now those doctors, nurses, and EMTs may finally get some credit. To that I say thank you.
Although sometimes excluded or teased, the elderly are being offered a helping hand at grocery stores by those at lower risk. To that I say thank you.
While students are at home, parents are finally seeing the chaos teachers deal with on any average school day. To that I say thank you.
Coaches, advisers, captains, school board members, government officials, and “ordinary” people around the country are stepping up as extraordinary leaders even in uncertainty. To that I say thank you.
Everyone, now more than ever, is relying on journalists to cover not solely you, but silent heroes too. There’s restored trust in the media. To that I say thank you.
So yeah, you bring darkness; however, you also bring light. Never again will the world take social interactions for granted. You have brought countries together, restoring my faith in humanity. I’ve never seen individuals check on each other this much. I’ve never seen individuals be this vulnerable and genuine on social media. I’ve never seen this many individuals, regardless of race, religion, or political party, come together to fight one common cause—you.
And to that I say thank you.
A Minnesota high school senior