Camara on Covid

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Senior E’mma Camara

At the beginning of March, we were all getting ready for a spring break that was desperately needed. Little did we all know that spring break would be extended for longer than we wished. Juniors missed their first Prom, Seniors their graduation, for athletes, their spring season, and for everyone else a normal spring semester.

I sat down and had a conversation with my friends E’mma Camara ‘21 and Jamey McCalley ‘21 to see what they had to say about all of this. 

E’mma is a senior who has been very involved in the music departments here at Ames High as well as multiple clubs. Jamey, a very studious student, is one of the senior leaders of the Mental Health Club here at Ames High. 

“My overall thoughts about quarantine are mixed because I don’t like the idea of people being in danger, I don’t think anyone likes the idea of there being a pandemic obviously. I definitely think saying that quarantine was a ‘blessing in disguise’ is definitely a reflection of privilege; that it hasn’t directly affected you yet.” Said Camara. “I definitely think that just a lot of things wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for quarantine” she continued. 

McCalley said, “I spent all day every day, studying during the beginning of quarantine and I think when I was doing that I was like ‘this is such a blessing in disguise  because I have so much more time to get this stuff done and my AP Exam scores are gonna go up because I’m so ready for this’, but then after that I was like, ‘I don’t have anything to do, what am I supposed to do with myself?’” 

Camara goes on to explain what her quarantine looked like. “I was planning on going to France, and they cancelled the trip 2 or 3 days before we were going to depart… I didn’t even pack my bag because I didn’t think that we were going to go and we didn’t” she said. 

Between the AP exams going online or not even happening, and then for most ACT takers not even getting to take the test, or having to continue to sign up for different dates was a common occurrence. Like E’mma’s France trip many other trips were cancelled including college visits which usually helps on the path of deciding where to go to college especially for the seniors this year. Thanks Corona. 

Naturally as the course of the discussion went further more heavier topics got covered. “And then of course there was the whole thing with police brutality and there was even more tension on top of that” said Camara. “I am African-American so, sometimes it gets to the point where I can’t just sit back and be like ‘thats sad’. I feel like everyone can sit back and say ‘thats sad’ but for me, I was terrified. I was scared to go outside. I wanted to go on walks and ride my bike but I had no trust in the world. I didn’t feel safe and I think that’s something that is kind of over-looked I guess. Especially because I know people of color are just tired and it’s exhausting hearing about everything to the point where I just kinda shut down” she said.

She goes on to continue, “I was probably the lowest in quarantine, in June. It was weird because you don’t know everyone’s political stance. Because I have a lot of white friends, I was just like ‘should I be worried about how you see me?’ It’s just more personal because its like ‘do you actually support that?’”

When I asked E’mma about what she thought about the school handling sports/extracurriculars right now, this was her response. “I think there is always a risk for everything but I think it is okay as long as you are being as safe as possible, but I think if it’s not safe to do sports we shouldn’t do sports and I know it sucks especially if you’re a senior. But, we need to make sure that we get it under control now, because you don’t know- because if we don’t fix it now then, it’ll interfere with this year and next year and I think I speak for everyone when we much rather have it affect one year than this year and another.” 

The pandemic has ruined a lot of precious moments for a lot of people and has changed almost everyone’s lives in some way or another, but, I think what E’mma said will resonate with many people, “I’d do anything to have a normal senior year.” 

Please do your part of wearing your mask anytime you go out, try to keep your distance from others. If you are feeling in any way ‘sick’ even if you think it’s just allergies, please get tested for Covid. If you think you know someone who has tested positive, please be responsible and either get tested and/or quarantine. We all want this pandemic to stop.