A letter from a Helias Freshman

Dear COVID-19,

No one saw you coming. No one thought you would ever shut our world down. No one thought you would be a heartbreaker of your own. You have impacted our whole universe, not only physically but mentally and emotionally. Seniors may never walk across the stage to graduate as a class, have their last senior prom, walk the halls with their friends, say their last goodbye, or have senior night on the court. 

People are losing jobs left and right. Doctors are working very hard to keep patients alive. There are also people out there who may never say goodbye to their loved ones, all because of you. Because of you, our world has been shattered, people have been ripped from their loved ones. 

I have never felt closer with God. This virus has shown me and others how to overcome hardships and become stronger individuals. I used to say, “Can we just have a break, and never return?” or “Can someone just burn our school down, so we don’t ever have to return.” When Helias first sent out the message to our parents that we were leaving for two weeks, I was so happy. Although it literally felt like a dream come true, I never thought I would be saying how much I miss school.  I miss the everyday “normal.”

I miss getting up in the morning getting ready for the day, driving into school, and walking into Helias Catholic High School. I miss seeing all of my friends.  I miss seeing my teachers waiting outside of their doors before the first bell and wishing for us students to have the best day, especially our amazing principal. They gave us all positive vibes and made my day great even when I didn’t want to be there. I miss the prayer before every school day. I used to think the teachers were there to torture us, but in reality they are there to help and guide us for our future. Ultimately, all they want is to see us succeed. I have never felt more appreciative. 

I don’t know how many times I have sat down and prayed while tears have fallen from my eyes because I miss things the “old” way. I have sat in my room and thought to myself, “Why do bad things like these happen to people who don’t deserve it?” I got so upset at one point that I started blaming it on God, because I have been putting all of my trust, hope, and life into him and he turns and backstabs us. I went to bed thinking that, and the next morning I woke up and thought, “I regret saying that.” This is not God’s fault, nor mine or yours. It’s Satan. He does evil things. After realizing that it wasn’t anyone’s fault, I continued to pray. 

I am getting through this all because of the people who have helped me. My teachers, parents, siblings and the number one person is God. God has a plan for each and everyone of us. I am a huge believer that everything happens for a reason. Everything will get better eventually. It may not be the way we want it, but that is what makes us stronger individuals. Even through tough times like these God is not going to leave our side. We may think everything is gone or that it’s falling apart, but He is there. He is there in every moment, and we have to put our trust in Him. There is light at the end of the tunnel. We just have to live day by day, hoping for the best but planning for the worst. 

During this time let’s spend time with our loved ones, write letters to those we can’t see, tell our families we love them, thanking them for everything they have done. Pause and pick up the phone and call your parents or siblings and tell them you love them, say a prayer with them. Don’t let this virus rip everything away from you, keep fighting, never give up. We will get through this together. It may not be the way we want, but we need to be there for one another, we need to fight for those we love. This is not the end for everyone, it is just a new beginning! 

Anyone who lives through COVID-19 will be stronger, and I don’t mean lifting weights stronger. I mean once this is all over and we walk out into the “normal world” again, we will never take for granted what we have. We will be stronger because we believed in ourselves. 

So COVID-19, you may think you’ve won, but at the end of the day we will overcome the challenges that you have thrown at us. Humanity will get through this. We are tough as individuals, but together we become unstoppable. 

Keiara Jaegers — Helias Class of 2023