The first 13-year-old has died two days prior to me writing this. With no overall health conditions, while being young and healthy, COVID-19 caught up to her and she passed away in Panama, South America.

We haven’t seen anyone outside of family for 19 days, other than going to the grocery store once or twice while risking our overall health. I am healthy and half way through my 15th year on earth and have no health complications. My grandpa, at the age of 85, just recovering from cancer, is not as safe as I am.

The first to go, in fact, is not humans, but rather toilet paper. The stores are out and when it does arrive, in its monstrous truck, people swarm it as if it were the Pope. Oddly enough, the next thing to leave our stores is beans, which does not help the new toilet paper depression.

My parents and stepparents still work, all involved in the medical field. My mom and stepdad mostly Facetime their patients, for the virus is not one of the computers. My father and stepmom, who are both paramedics, go into people’s houses dressed like they just got back from Chernobyl. I have been sitting in my house all day watching “Clone Wars” and editing stories. The only time I leave my house is to go fishing or to my other parent’s sanctuary. My dates now have been “Call of Duty” dates, which is indeed very romantic.

I have been to the store three times recently. Each time people put more clothing to their fragile bodies whether it be gloves, masks, or both. Our family has begun to wear gloves and, on some occasions, masks. At Walmart they herd us like cattle through one entryway, I suppose to see how many go in. When we finally make it inside, it is different each time; there are either fewer people than horses in the East, or more people than the battle of Waterloo.

They say that there have been no new cases in China, which raises the eyebrow. They also say that there had been cases before China spoke about it and that the great country had kept it hidden, which also causes speculation — though my dad and I agree it was so it wouldn’t get a freak-out from the world, and mainly America, which failed. They tried to keep it contained from the public and history books, and now there are rumors of China starting a pandemic. Some sources say that people from China snuck over here trying to give it to us, which is your choice to believe or not.

While we’re living with an economy now with no jobs nor toilet paper, we have politicians in Washington who are arguing if the term “Chinese Virus” is racist. We were already split in two and now a virus tears through us like an invasion.

I never expected something like this to happen in my generation, but it did. I may tell my grandkids or even show them this. In history there have been plagues and epidemics, but never like this. The reason it is so wide-scaled is because of transportation. Our world has never had the advanced technology it does now, and we have changed so much in the past century. Nowadays we are able to reach another continent in less than a day. The faster we travel, the faster COVID-19 travels.

We have found recently that most kinds of masks are doing no good and COVID-19 can get through it. Coronavirus also isn’t always on the surface and in the air around us. It has infested our planes, and ships. This fight is in the water and in the air. This is a war, not for money nor land, but for mankind.

Benjamin Armstrong is a freshman at Hermiston High School.

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