by Sydney Neibert
I believe being born and raised in Coronado has made it harder to watch this community struggle in the battle against the Coronavirus. For the first time ever, I drive down Orange Avenue in the mid-afternoon without seeing anyone walking on the sidewalk. I speak to the cashier through a plastic shield from six feet apart while grocery shopping. When about to pass others while walking my dog, neighbors frantically cross the street without a greeting to avoid me.
When the quarantine first seriously started, I played online board games with my friends all day. I went days without showering and the floor in my room gradually began to disappear under the accumulating clothes and trash. I’ve recently been going on bike rides and runs to exercise more.
I feel somber when I think about the uncertainty of the future of businesses in Coronado. I feel somber when I pass by Coronado Elementary School, where I learned to read. I cry as I think back to the days where I sat on my parent’s balcony, at eight years old, two blocks away from Coronado High School, and listened to the proud graduation anthem as the names of the graduates were read. I wondered how that could ever be me. You hear from adults about how they were once your age, but you don’t believe them. Now here I am, due to be graduating from Coronado High School, but I don’t know if that anthem will play for me or if I will walk across that stage. I cry when I realize I have grown up, but cannot celebrate with the town which has made me who I am.
I feel strong when I think about how I have stayed in contact with my friends, despite a lack of in-person connection. I feel strong as I hear the signal of sunset by trumpets from the Naval Base: a sense of normality. I feel strong while I watch the sunset, and I know (in the words of Barack Obama) that “No matter what happens, the sun will rise in the morning.” I feel strong when I talk to a family friend, who is a nurse, and I am reminded of people like her who have stepped up to become heroes during this crisis.
I am grateful to have a supportive community during this pandemic. I am grateful to have had such amazing teachers and to have met inspiring classmates during my time in the Coronado Schools system. I am grateful to have played soccer for Coronado High School. I hope that I did my part in achieving my goal which I told my junior year English class–that we would be the seniors who are kind and welcoming to the younger classes, not cold and isolating.
I hope for the best for the future of our planet. I have faith in my peers of the Coronado High School Class of 2020 that they can impact our society positively and make decisions which will serve the greater good. I will always cherish the memories and friendships which I have held on these campuses.