Graphic drawn by Natasha Leong
Honestly, at first, a lot of the struggles that came with coronavirus didn’t seem to impact me or my family too much. Sure, there were curfews where we lived, but it still didn’t affect us too much. We simply got our groceries delivered to us, and even before the pandemic, my dad had always worked at home, so our financial situation remained relatively the same. My siblings and I were adjusting fine to online school. Overall, my family didn’t seem to mind staying at home.
We had everything we needed and it seemed like the worldwide panic and chaos had ceased to seep into our household. Everything was going pretty smoothly until one of my sisters had a medical emergency. Thankfully, we were able to get her to a doctor amidst the curfews and lockdowns and the emergency didn’t seem to be as detrimental to her health as we initially thought. However, because the surgery was relatively minor, the doctors told us the procedure had to be delayed because of the risk of contracting COVID-19 in hospitals. I understood that handling the virus was a priority, but at the time, it seemed so unfair that one of my loved ones had to be put on the back pedal and suffer for a longer amount of time. What could have been taken care of within a couple of days would now have to be extended over a couple of weeks.
This whole experience put a lot of things into perspective for me. I saw how the most unexpected of circumstances can just hit you out of nowhere. I feel a little ashamed that I didn’t do my part in the communal effort of fighting against this virus sooner and that I only felt this way after it directly affected my family and somebody I care about. After this whole ordeal, my family began to get a lot more involved in helping out and lending a hand to other people who are struggling during this difficult time. We now regularly donate to organizations that provide food for people who can’t afford to go outside to buy groceries and we also give away any extra masks that we know we don’t need.
I think one reason why it took so long for us to get actively involved was because different people have different triggers to jump into action. For us, it was seeing a member of our family suffering in prolonged pain due to the coronavirus. I know this trigger seems somewhat selfish, but at least we recognized it eventually and chose to take action. We learned one big lesson after all of this— if a global issue ever emerges again, my family won’t wait so long to act. Instead, we will do what we can from the very beginning and persevere until the end.
Written by: Debi Chakrabortti