Reflecting on COVID-19: Students in Our Community

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every aspect of our community, especially our youth population. The Waterbury Historical Society asked local students to reflect on their experiences since the pandemic began by answering one of the prompts below. We received responses from students of all ages.

  • What has been the best part and/or worst part of the pandemic?

  • Describe how a particular part of your life has been impacted (good or bad) by the pandemic.

  • Write a letter to yourself during the pandemic. What do you want your future self to know about this time?

  • How will you describe this time to future generations? What important aspects of this experience should be remembered and shared?




Olivia Ambler


At first I thought covid would be hard and challenging. I remember the first day we were in lockdown, my friends and I joking and talking, “We would have a three week break and then summer!” We would plan our days out and facetime as much as we could. As covid got worse, I was afraid what would happen next. I looked on to summer and learned I couldn't go to my sleepaway camp, I couldn't go to Canada to visit my family, and I couldn't have the summer that I really wanted. As school came close to an end, I started to really like remote learning. I found that I could do my work in the morning and have fun and do my own thing in the afternoon.


When summer came around we slept at our cottage. It was not the same as previous years but it was still fun. No fun parties or sleepovers but swimming, walking, boating, tennis and ice cream was still an option. Looking back on the summer, it was fun, yet different. The change was a challenge but I liked it. My family and I had to work around not going to Canada to see our entire family, but we found other things to do like get a puppy! He really filled up our time.


As the school year slipped into my schedule, I found it was my type of thing. I love the way I can just relax on the couch or sit outside and work at my own pace. Going for walks with friends or skiing was something I could look forward to everyday. Skiing became a big time consumer, it was really fun just going to the mountain with friends and just skiing and goofing around. As the winter came to an end, I tried to figure out what to do since I couldn't ski in the spring. So, I started going on walks and making jewelry, I found a passion for jewelry making in the late winter I started a jewelry business called “Palette by liv”, I sold handmade beaded jewelry on Etsy, I got many sales, followers on instagram, and I made friends with other young business owners. As you can see, my life of covid became my daily life that I loved and enjoyed.




Cora Binkerd

Age 10


Feelings from the Pandemic


Covid can’t be that bad right?

WRONG,

Covid sucked,

And it still does,

We had to wear masks

We had to social distance

But worse of all

People died.

Masks

Hard to play sports with,

Hard to talk with,

Hard to see facial expressions with,

Suffocating things.

Social distancing

Hard to hear people,

Hard to show people things,

Hard to congratulate someone with a high five or a fist bump,

6 feet away.


People dying

Sorry for them and their families,

Sorry that they had to go through it,

Sorry that you had pain,

Sadness.


We worked together

Scientists got the vaccine,

People were wearing their masks,

People were standing 6 feet away,

We put our heads together.

We will get through this together

It has been a rough year,

With many bad things,

But we will get through this together.




Vivienne Boyle

Age 10


The pandemic had its goods and bads. One of the benefits of it was that you got to be with your family more and save money because you didn’t go out as much. You learned more about technology and good digital citizenship and everyone was trying to do their best to not spread the virus. One of the bad things was you couldn’t spend time with friends as much because you had to social distance. Then there was also more screen time (which by the way future humans is not very healthy for you) plus you couldn't see any family who live far away, or even those who live close by so you don’t spread it. Some things I remember we're seeing more Black Lives Matter signs and everyone in masks staying six feet apart. You could always smell hand sanitizer and chemicals and often when you wanted to watch sports, they had replays of old seasons, no audience or cardboard cutouts of people in the stands. I bet a lot of people including myself were surprised because at the store all the shelves were empty there was no hand sanitizer, no toilet paper, no paper towels, not even flour or sugar. Another feeling everyone was probably having was some anger or sadness because we had to wear masks, stay inside, and not face people when we talk to them. In conclusion, the pandemic had goods to it and bads to it thanks for reading.




Liam Cleveland

Age 11


Here I will be telling you about my COVID-19 experience. During the beginning of the pandemic, some of the things that I didn't like were that I did not get to see my friends like I used too. I didn't get to have a 10th birthday party with my friends.


Instead my mom organized a surprise birthday parade. The local fire department and even the police drove by my house with their lights and sirens along with a long line of my family and even some friends. I still got to see everyone as they drove by and honked and waved out of the windows at me. For the rest of 4th grade, I had to do remote learning at home. It was stressful to learn how to work Zoom calls and learn math over the computer.


Fourth Grade is the last year at TBPS. I had been looking forward to the Step Up day events and Graduation to celebrate leaving TBPS and going to CBMS. The hardest part was I did not get to see my friends in the summer. With all the bad things I experienced, there were many good things too. One good thing is that I got a new puppy during the Covid-19 pandemic, and he's a farm dog so he is very energetic, and with being home and remote learning I could play with him to tire him out.


I found that I liked remote learning once I got the hang of it because I was home, didn't have to wake up early, and when I worked hard I could finish my school work early and play video games or I could go outside and play. I could also eat food whenever I needed instead of waiting for snack time or lunchtime like at school.




Nate Conyers

Age 13


2020 was a weird year to say the least. While it had ups and downs, I think it is a unique experience we will never forget. Throughout the year there were good times and bad times. One of the hardest parts of this challenging time was not being able to gather with our church family. Ever since we went into lockdown we have been remotely live streaming our service. It had become such a norm to see our church family every week on Sundays and not having that aspect of community was and still is very hard. Another very hard thing to deal with is not being able to see our family in person because they are in the southern part of the U.S. We usually get to see our family at least once a year and sometimes twice. We are hoping to see them soon but it has been hard to be isolated from our friends and family. While Covid has taken its toll on everyone, I still do think I have gained some very valuable experiences. For example I am in a program called Civil Air Patrol, which is the U.S Air Force Civilian Auxiliary. Over these remote times I have found Civil Air Patrol to be a way for me to enrich myself. During Quarantine I have alsofound a new sense of motivation to succeed in school and do the best I can. I think if we had not gone into quarantine, I would not have gained these new skills to help me succeed in life. While there are some very sad things happening during this pandemic. I think when we come out of it, we will all have gained some new important life skills.




Leah Dunster

Age 11


Dear Future Generations,


The good things that have happened in 2020/2021 are: We got a better president, the vaccine, we’re able to be with at least one household and we can go to school. Not only were there good things, there were also some bad things like in March 2020 we got a call and it said we couldn’t go to school because of covid, we weren’t able to see are family, we weren’t aloud to leave our house unless it was for groceries and there were a lot of deaths. Some important aspects that people should know is if another pandemic happens be safe and always wear a mask.




Riley Erwin

Age 11


Emotional Rollercoaster


The pandemic has been an emotional rollercoaster, but the best part has been more time with family. Having more time to be creative. But there have been bad things like staying six feet apart and not being able to see friends or my family who live in different states. The first time I had a Zoom it was for math. I was screaming at the Chromebook to let me in the Zoom ten times until it let me into the Zoom ten minutes later. And I wanted to throw my Chromebook out the window because it was not connecting to my internet.




Hadley Gilson

Age 10


Dear Future Self,

I am writing you a letter, so I can remember this time of crisis. Masks. Social distancing. Remote learning. This pandemic was a big, bumpy ride. The masks felt suffocating, at first. Now, I can wear one for seven hours straight (almost). Social distancing was hard, I wanted to see my friends. We compromised and had FaceTime and Minecraft time set aside. Remote learning was infuriating. No guidance, and not enough instruction. I felt SO happy on the last day of school. Now, I look forward to remote learning (Mostly the sleeping in ;). Stay safe. Stay positive. Be happy. Be true to yourself. Be kind. Stay strong. Believe in yourself and everyone around you. When things are tough, you’ve been through tougher. And most importantly, HAVE FUN!!! You can do this! Life is good. Go enjoy it.




Kennedy Gosselin

Age 10


There have been some advantages and disadvantages of Covid. Now here are some advantages of Covid. On remote days if you get all your work done your school day will be over faster than usual. Also you can sleep in on remote days. You can spend more time with your family and pets. The mask is protecting you from germs. ALL kids have gotten better on technology. Now here are some disadvantages: you have to wear a mask and you can’t see your friends. Also some stores are closed so you can’t go in them and restaurants have closed some places have even shut down. You can't travel to go see your families on holidays and all the stuff in stores is gone like sanitizer and toilet paper and paper towels. People are buying a lot of stuff online. Now there are more advantages and disadvantages but there is not a lot because people don't really like Covid.




Brooke Greenberg

Age 11


This time has been difficult. However, I feel stronger because I know if something like this happens again my community will have my back. The Covid-19 pandemic has been challenging and hard on people whether it’s financial or challenges with mental health. I would not like the future generations to remember 2020 and 2021 and hopefully not 2022 the years of “Oh gosh.” I want people to remember it as the years of how our community has grown stronger and closer together. Yes I know that it will be remembered as the Covid-19 pandemic but it is so much more. When I’m sharing this hard story with younger generations, I want to focus on the positives and not the negatives. If this pandemic didn’t happen I wouldn’t be the same person I am today. I wouldn't have gotten to find new interests, meet new and amazing people, and become a stronger person in my community. It has been difficult finding new ways to live our lives and go places. But change can be good. Who knows? You may come out of the pandemic being able to bake a pie. The change that we have gone through is immense and well, life changing. There are all these rules now and more rules are terrible because it’s hard enough following the original rules. They’re like, make sure you keep a cow between you and stuff like that. But now you can call yourself a coyote because of how well you can adapt. This pandemic has also made us take less for granted. We appreciate the time we get to spend with friends and family more. We appreciate our amazing workers more. We appreciate the meals on the table even more now. This pandemic hasn't been all bad. Plus we started a new fashion trend!




Sophia Hill


Dear Future Self,

The best part of the pandemic is/was being able to be home a lot. Probably the worst part of the pandemic is/was NOT being able to see my friends, masks, and of course COVID-19!

When I stayed home, I had time to relax and do things like sitting on the couch and watching TV. I wouldn’t have had time to do that stuff if I had to do in-person schooling every day of the week.


The masks were a big shock. I had never worn one so it was SO weird to have a piece of cloth on my face in school, going to the store, and just when I left my property.

The good part of COVID-19 was when I was able to see my friends and play with them.

The Covid restrictions have lifted and changed so much, but we have also have so much to be thankful for.

Covid is the worst but we can always find a bright side to life.



Claire Ellen Nagurney

Age 11


Hello to the future generations of the world. My name is Claire Ellen Nagurney and I live in Vermont. I am 11 years old. 2020,” the worst year ever,” yeah it really sucked and sure we were stuck inside for days, weeks, months, a year. School went remote, we couldn't see our friends and family. But it wasn't all bad, it made me realize that even though I couldn't see my friends or go to school I am so lucky that I have a roof to live under and good food and water because some people aren’t that lucky.

It was March 13th, 2020 that we went into international lockdown. Only two days prior I had a sleepover with two of my friends and the evening of the day we had woken up and gone home we were with our family friends for dinner and I remember my moms face going pale as she read the email from our school, “school is canceled.” I remember thinking that it would be temporary, it would exciting and different, but I was all wrong.

It’s been over one year. Things have changed a lot. People have risked their lives to save the lives of others who were sent to the hospital, dying of Covid. The vaccine has been developed and masks are the new normal. The vaccine has been given to healthcare workers, senior citizens, and teachers. We hope things will change but it will take time, and I hope that the next generation will never have to experience what we went through.




Stella Mauro

Age 10


Dear Future Self,


Always be grateful for everything you have, and don’t be focused on what you don’t have, or how your life isn’t perfect. When you do start to think about everything you don’t have, remind yourself that in some way you have life easy and you do have everything you need. Realize that you are always going to be safe, and healthy.


If you ever live through another global pandemic remember to stock up on food and especially toilet paper and paper towels because you should have seen what the aisle in the store looked like. They had zip zero nothing. Everything was sold out. We couldn't get toilet paper and paper towels for days.


If there is another global pandemic, remember to help those in need, help those who are less fortunate than you. Remember those who live on the streets, or who struggle to put food on the table. Remember those who are less fortunate because of their skin color, and if they do try to stand up for their rights, will get hurt, and maybe killed. Last, be not least, the people on the front lines are working 24 hours a day every day, saving people who are in need.


You might think that this global pandemic was the worst thing, but really it wasn’t that bad. I spent more time at home with my happy family, I got a dog, and I didn’t even realize that I had it so so much easier than most of the people in the world. When you think about the bad things, you should realize that people have it so much harder than you do.

Sincerely,

Past Stella




Avery McConnell


I hope that you are “Just living the life” as my dad would say on all of his Zoom calls. Zooms you ask? To explain, Zooms are those terrible, never again, hate them so much, calls on screens. I had to Zoom almost everyday in the beginning of COVID-19. Also known as the Coronavirus, COVID-19 killed many people. I hope that, sort of like the great depression, people learn from this.

I hope people learn to be more careful and safe. Me? Well, I will probably sanitize and wash my hands more often for the rest of my life because of how much we are doing it now. On the first day of school, in COVID times, I was one of those “lucky” kids that got to go from Elementary School to Middle School. This was my first time going to middle school, and it was in the middle of COVID. Anyway, I got there and walked down the hall on the first floor. There was a big sign that said “WIZARDS!” with an arrow pointing to a door. I am on the Wizards team at Crossett Brook MIddle School. I went in and there were about 10 kids in the room. That was my class. Because of COVID, I had to go on Mondays, and Thursdays, with half a class. Then things started to open up a little more. We started having “whole” classes. We had to wear masks all the time, and I got used to wearing them. So did everyone else. This year has been really wild. To explain even further, COVID is still up and about. The scientists stopped giving out the Johnson and Johnson vaccine because people are dying because of it. At least the vaccines are out!


Sincerely,


Avery. M. McConnell




Griffin Paine

Age 9


The pandemic hit really hard, so hard we had to switch to remote learning and a lot of businesses closed. One of the good parts about the pandemic was that I got to go outside all of the time and I got a lot of fresh air. Another good thing was that more people found ways to stay active outside, like going on a hike or fishing. One of the worst parts of the pandemic for me was not being able to see my family and friends, so when school switched to remote learning I didn’t see my friends in person. I also didn’t like being on the computer all day and I don’t think I learned as much as in a normal year. I also missed out on sports like basketball. Never in a million years did I think I would live through a global pandemic!




Charlotte S. Piatek

Age 10


We Can Give More Than Money


As humans on this earth, we can give more than money. Some people in the world think that all we can give is money but that’s not true. If you are someone that thinks that then just think about it more. One great thing that we humans can do is love, support, and make people happy. If you think you can’t make anyone feel those things then just think about how if you smile, hold the door for someone and just give them a compliment you can make them feel happy, loved, and supported. So if you think that all we can give to the world is just money then maybe that’s all you do for the world but during this time of COVID-19, you need to give more than just money. You could make a post on social media about how front-line workers are doing amazing then it will encourage more people to want to help front-line workers. So just remember we can give more than money.


Thank you,


Charlotte S. Piatek




Nathan Rundle

Age 11


The Powerful Pandemic


Here I sit.


Thinking about all going on in the world.


All of us separated by the invisible.


I would reach out to you

but a simple elbow touch wouldn't do.


Lysol spray has become perfume.


hand sanitizer has become hand lotion.


The newspaper has become the Bible.


People scrambling for TP.


The rush for a vaccine.


The stress of protests.


The stress of election.


Getting to sleep in


is oh so nice.


Staying healthy


is oh so nice.


Spending time with family


Is oh so nice.


Staying social distance


Is oh so hard.


Keeping masks on


Is oh so hard.


Remote work


Is oh so hard.


Dealing with stress


Is oh so hard.


Remember when


the first case was recorded.


Remember when


the tenth case was recorded.


Remember when


the 100th case was recorded.


Remember when


the 1,000th case was recorded.


Remember when the 10,000th case was recorded.


Remember when


the 100,000th case was recorded.


Remember when


the 1,000,000th case was recorded.


Remember when


the 10,000,000th case was recorded.


Remember when


the 100,000,000th case was recorded.


Remember when


the 130,000,000 case was recorded.


Remember when


the vaccine came out.


Remember when


8 percent of the world got vaccinated.


Here I sit


Thinking about all still going on in the world


All of us slowly defeating the invisible.




Cody Ross

Age 11


Dear Future People,

The Covid pandemic has killed 2.82M people world wide. I learned to go with the flow, wash my hands and when things get hard keep pushing and move forward. Maybe you're wondering how I went to school because I couldn’t even go to my friends house. For many months, school was on a computer and we did Zooms and remote work everyday then it changed a lot, but at the end I went to school 4 days a week. I was in a different school by then.


Do your parents go to work, like leaving the house? Some parents were able to stay home and work remotely. This was a plus because that one day off I was able to have lunch with them. They helped with remote work. You could just walk to your parents and say hi, or can I have help? It cheers your day up.

Also, it was scary because the first time I heard about Covid on the news, I didn’t know what it was about. When I had a stomach ache I thought I had covid and that was scary too, but I didn't get covid, thankfully. Next, we had to wear masks which were terrible and annoying. You can’t breathe in them and no one can hear you when you talk. I suffocated in masks and they made my friend stay remote for the whole week because he had asthma and couldn’t wear a mask!!! But they keep us safe and others safe too. But overall, the covid pandemic was good because I got to spend more time with my family, but also horrible and annoying at the same time.




Colin Smith

Age 11


A Strange Year


The COVID-19 pandemic was a strange and somewhat spirling thing that occurred in 2020 but both good and bad came out of this strange time. First off, to get the bad out of the way, 55,000 died and we got stuck in our homes. People felt worried they were going to get covid. And people lost loved ones and their homes and food. But we got some good out of it. We now appreciate the time we get with other people and we found other ways to talk and hang out like Google Meet and Zoom.




Christine Sousa


Covid-19 has had some disadvantages, advantages, some good parts and bad parts. Some of the good parts are that people had a lot more outside time because that was the only way people could see each other because they couldn't do it inside. That made me feel good because people always can have some more outside time. Our feet aren't usually that helpful but now since we have to kick stuff over to our classmates because we can't pick it up they actually have become very helpful. Some bad parts are that people were getting super mad about wearing masks, another thing that people were getting mad about is that people were stockpiling food which meant not a lot for the rest of us, and people were getting kind of hurt if they used hand sanitizer because it gets in your cuts and stings you. One disadvantage is my family usually has a Thanksgiving party that is as fun as video games a little before Thanksgiving with some of our friends, but this year we couldn't have them because their states and our state were in lockdown. Another disadvantage is we could not see friends. At the start of this in March, 2020 no one knew what school would look like in remote because that has never happened. In addition, a lot of pets were adopted because everyone was home and could spend time with them. Now things are finally starting to open back up and people are getting the vaccine, so hopefully we can be back in school five days a week by the end of this year or the start of next year.




Ridley Tessier

Age 9


In 2020 my grandpa is really sick and he needs a lot of help every single day. Even the home health nurse comes once and a while to help. We see him sometimes because we don't want him to get COVID-19. If we saw him and he had covid he would die. And I don't want him to die. So when people touch me I feel uncomfortable like I just got a chill on cold water. I don't want to die.


Photo of Ridley with her Papa



Kaliyah Washburn

Age 13


When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit I remember still being in school. Everyone in school was freaking out and joking that we were all going to die. None of us even believed that COVID-19 was going to hit the USA as it did.


In many different areas of my life, COVID-19 has affected me. I remember when I was still in school and COVID-19 had finally come into the US and all of the schools had put out hand sanitizer and were deep cleaning EVERYTHING! There had been talk about closing schools, but nobody thought that it would really happen. I learned that I was going to be home-schooled for at least the next two weeks. We were in shock. I completed my two weeks of homeschooling - all on paper. I was so excited when my two weeks were up and I was going to be able to go back to school! But instead, I ended up with remote schooling for my entire seventh and grade year.


COVID-19 has hurt my family, especially my uncle and aunt and one of my aunt’s children named Jenna. Jenna was going to be expecting a baby soon, and her husband Nick and their daughter Payten, who was only 3 at the time all got COVID-19. My uncle almost died. He was in the hospital for a long time and ended up getting a blood clot and had to be on a ventilator. It also hurt wearing a mask around my grandparents, because I felt very disconnected. I was never allowed to give hugs, and I had to stay six feet apart from them. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I learned that you don’t realize what you have and how important it is until you do not have it.


Thank you!




Lily Weigand

Age 11


Reflection


March 2020:

I’m stuck in my home.

I haven’t left in a while.

I’m isolated.

April 2020:

Finally outside!

The smell of fresh air is here.

The sun is shining.

May 2020:

Zoom birthday party.

My sister is 8 years old.

Surprises galore.

June 2020:

4th-grade grad and fun.

Summer vacation is here!

The school year is done.

Summer 2020:

Hanging out with friends.

Camping and swimming galore.

Everything feels fine.

September 2020:

My birthday is here.

I’m finally 11.

Everything is great.

October 2020:

No trick or treating.

Not on Randall Street, at least.

Just with my best friends.

November 2020:

A new president.

His name is Joseph Biden.

Maybe he’ll stop this.




Vince Wing

Age 11


Dear future people,

The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the scariest times. 2.82 million people worldwide have died and probably more to come. I was at my house when I got a call “ring ring. We were in lockdown for 3 weeks.”

After those three weeks, we got a call saying we would not be in school for the rest of the year. This was devastating. We had to wear masks everywhere and the groceries store was running low on toilet paper. Everyone was stocking up on food and drinks so that we only had to go to the store occasionally. It was not even on our mind a year before that we were gonna have to lock down. It was such a surprise. It was inevitable that we were going to have to be like this for a long time until everything goes back to normal.

It has been 1 year since lockdown started and everything is moving along there is even a vaccine. There is testing on 6 month olds to 12 year old right now and 18 and older are getting vaccines and it is going very smoothly.


Make sure you always wash your hands and stay safe so another pandemic does not happen again. It is not fun. Take it from me, even though Covid did not make me lose a loved one, Covid is still probably gonna be one of the scariest times I will live in.


Another thing that was a bummer is we had to watch kids graduate for 4 years meaning since kindergarten to 3rd grade we had to go to other students' graduation. Waiting for our turn and then it got canceled and this was so annoying. I did get to go to the school and drive through a line and get a book that we wanted just like kids that had an actual graduation.

Hopefully you learned how to prepare for a pandemic.


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