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Written by Gianni Zamarron

I remember it was around this time that I couldn’t hear the birds sing. It was odd, something wasn’t sitting well with how everything was going so serene. The first two weeks of March, the first two weeks of something we couldn’t understand.

I remember it was the day before Spring Break. I had my news app muted on my phone, sick of how 2020 was going. The year was supposed to be something exciting, something memorable. But 2020 didn’t seem any better.

The Beginning

It felt like there wasn’t a new patch in the quilt. Walking into my Algebra class, the last period of the day, we heard news of having two weeks of Spring Break.

Naturally, as a freshman, I was stoked about this. More time to be at home and more time to catch up with everything. I remember saying goodbye to my friends. Everyone was going to go to Starbucks and take that traditional “Spring Break!!” Instagram picture.

It was ironic, somehow.

Like we bumped into a table full of dominoes and it never stopped.

Two weeks became a month. A month then turned into the rest of the school year.

I remember seeing how people rushed to the stores to grab essentials like toilet paper or canned food. It felt odd. The counts of cases rose. Instagram memes adapted. “CoronaCation” is what they called it, what seemed like something so easy to take down was so much more than we expected.
I remember getting a B on my health presentation earlier in the year about this newfound virus that spiked in Wuhan, China.

In retrospect, I didn’t think I deserved that B. I was presenting hard data about a virus that people weren’t going to hear about until later. Everyone seemed to ignore me on my soapbox.

I remember putting the data into the slides presentation and sighing, hoping this wasn’t going to worsen.

Australia: 15
Belgium: 1
Cambodia: 1
Canada: 7
China: 64,435
Finland: 1
France: 11
Germany: 16
India: 3
Italy: 3
Japan: 32 plus the 218 on the cruise
Malaysia: 19
Nepal: 1
The Philippines: 3
Russia: 2
Singapore: 58
South Korea: 28
Spain: 2
Sri Lanka: 1
Sweden: 1
Taiwan: 18
Thailand: 33
United Arab Emirates: 8
United Kingdom: 9
United States: 15
Vietnam: 16

26 countries in all have been infected with COVID-19

Data reported on February 19, 2020.


It was bitter to watch the dominoes fall. I remember seeing my peers become distracted during the presentation, people looking down on their phones. I remember breathing in a classroom without a mask.

I remember the announcement from the CDC calling this a pandemic and a global emergency.

The number of cases increased, the deaths followed.

From 64, 957 cases in February of 2020, and about 1,000 confirmed deaths.

To 114 million cases in February of 2021 and 2. 54 million confirmed deaths.

Now, I can hear the birds sing.

And sadly, I’ll always remember the first two weeks of something we didn’t understand.