Dear Coronavirus: A High School Student’s Perspective
by Noah Henderson
I didn’t expect you to take over the world like this. From businesses shutting down to being locked away in our homes, I never expected it. Separating from friends for the next two weeks to stop the spread of you, I never expected it. Taking all of what I love at school and throwing it all down the drain, I never expected it. No, I wasn’t clueless about you. I knew your strength and I knew your power. But why? Why did it all have to come right now? Why couldn’t you have come later? Why did you have to end all that I really cared about? Why?
I’ve been a member of Show Choir for the past five years at Hamilton High School. It’s been a fun ride getting to perform in multiple states including West Virginia alongside fifty other people. The crowds give off so much energy and it’s an amazing feeling that can’t be described. But all of a sudden, that feeling is gone. You caused the cancellation of my performances. You caused me to not have that rush. Now I’m stuck here at home staring at a wall.
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2, NIV).
Maybe you came for a reason. Maybe you came to show me something. Was I too invested in my activities that I lost sight of God? I have to practice a lot. I’ve gotten so caught up in worldly activities that I wasn’t spending as much time with God. I need to turn back to him. I need to show him what he really means to me—how he saved my life and that he has always been there for me. I need to demonstrate that I love him again. So while all of my activities are cancelled for a while, I’m gonna focus on God.
I’ve made so many friends this year that have helped me through many personal battles in life. A lot of them have been really hard recently. My friends guided me through those hard times and, to be honest, some of the challenges are still continuing. My friends love me and are there when I need them. But where are they now? Stuck at home like me. We can’t see each other now because of you. We’re struggling with these issues that we don’t know how to get through alone. But why are you taking my friends’ time away from me? Why are you leaving me to struggle?
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1, NIV).
I’ve lived in unity with my friends for the past few months. But what about my family? Have I shown the same devotion to them? I haven’t shared a lot of things with my parents. You’re trying to bring my family closer together. I see it now. My struggles aren’t just for my friends to hear, but my family cares about me too. I can have the same unity with my parents as I do with my friends. So during these next few weeks, show me ways to get closer with my family. Let me be open with my struggles.
For the most part, I’m a happy person. I like to keep a positive outlook on life no matter what life throws at me. I strive to help be the motivation that people need to get through life. It’s what I’m called to do. But you came. Some people are sheltering themselves and living in fear because of you. They have lost hope in what is to come. Everything seems so dark right now.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13, NIV).
As we go through this time, people are looking at you in fear when they should be looking to God. God is showing me peace. I may not be happy with this but God knows what he is doing. Even though people will struggle emotionally through this time, God is still evident. He is there to give us comfort, peace, and joy when we trust him. So as we walk through this, help me be the motivation people need to help carry on, but most importantly let them see God through my actions.
I live a busy life. I’m not at home a lot and there’s nothing I can really do about it right now. I’m involved in so many extracurriculars that I just don’t have any time. I loved doing all of them and it allowed me to keep my mind occupied. But you showed up and ruined it all. Everything is cancelled. How can you do this? There is nothing to keep me focused. There is nothing for me to do and nothing I can do to see people face to face.
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:9, 10, NIV).
I struggled with time management until now. I’ve always wanted to serve God more but I’ve never had the time to do so, or so I thought. Maybe this is your way of giving me that time. Maybe this is how I get involved in my community. You’ve given me a choice: to live in isolation, or be there for others in any way necessary. No matter what form, in person or online, show me ways to be there for others during this time and beyond.
Construction comes because of deconstruction. Sometimes we need to be broken down to be built back up. We get so caught up in the highs of life that we lose sight of why we are up there. Maybe you’re here to break us down. But as you spread, you may think you’re doing harm to everything but you’re strengthening our community together and helping to bring a world closer to Christ. And, for that, I thank you, Coronavirus.
Noah Henderson is a junior at Hamilton High School. He loves being a part of the music and tech teams at his church and school.