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8-18 Media: Step up in crisis

Ana Alexander

My alarm didn’t go off. I looked at the clock. It was 7:15 am. “Oh, no!” I thought. “I am going to be late for school!” When I spoke with my mom, she told me that we weren’t going to have school for three weeks. I was excited. Three whole weeks off from school! It has now been thirteen days. Being at home isn’t as fun as I thought it would be.

Nobody was prepared for this: my school, my parents, my friends, and our country. My school is trying to do online education, but it isn’t as fun as my real school. It was confusing at first while everyone was getting organized. It’s better now, but still not the same. I have the same classes, but some are easier to do online than others. I don’t know how students will get caught up. Even though it wouldn’t be fun, I wonder if we will be attending school in the summer to finish our material for this year.

After thirteen days at home with my family, it is getting boring and lonely. I love my family, but being together 24/7 is a lot of “family time.” My mom told me that we couldn’t see my grandparents. She said we need to keep my grandparents safe. I understand, but I miss them a lot. We are trying to stay in contact with video calls and text, which makes it easier. I miss my friends a lot too.

Even though I am a kid, I want to understand the big picture. My parents have tried to explain things to me. I have watched some of the press briefings with President Trump. I am young, but some of the stuff he says and does really confuses me. If we are supposed to social distance, why is he on a stage 2 feet away from people and shaking people’s hands, won’t they get each other sick?

I am worried we won’t be ready for all the people who will get sick. It sounds like we need lots of supplies. Now companies are asking for money to pay their bills. My mom calls it bailouts. If they want money from the U.S. taxpayer, why aren’t they offering to make supplies like masks and ventilators that save people’s lives? My mom explained that if companies don’t volunteer, President Trump could make them with the Defense Powers Act. But he doesn’t want to force them. I am afraid that if he doesn’t, we will end up like Italy. In Italy, doctors are picking which patients will live and which ones will die. There aren’t enough supplies for everyone.

We are one of the richest, most powerful countries in the world. Why are we so unprepared? We knew this was coming. We should have been making supplies and test kits long before Corona came to the United States. Even now, it feels like our president isn’t helping us. Isn’t that the job of the president to keep people safe? If the president isn’t going to do his job, I feel like the people of America should demand that companies help. Without their help or better support from the federal government, lots of people may die that didn’t have to.

This crisis has only just begun. People need to take this seriously. Our leaders need to do better; our companies need to do better. I am doing my part. I wish I could do more, but I am just a kid. The only thing I can do is stay home from school. I am giving up my education. I am giving up time with my grandparents and my friends. If we want to survive this pandemic, everyone needs to STEP UP and do better.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ana Alexander is 11 years old and in the fifth grade.

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