Editor’s Note: Highlands Youth Advisory Board (HY) members were asked to write letters to their future selves, reflecting on how their lives have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This series of articles, one published each month in Connections or other official media, will enter into the Issaquah History Museums collections to be preserved for generations of youth to come.
You never expected the COVID-19 pandemic to reach you; it just seemed like a bad bedtime story. You didn’t understand how devastating it was until your family quickly moved back from Brighton, U.K., to find your hometown had turned into a ghost town. You learned the health of the community was more important than reuniting with friends. This meant you had to discover new ways of appreciating your community.
You went on walks with your dog, Hudson, and found that he had an unhealthy obsession with squirrels. You built a stronger connection with Hudson, shown through his affection towards you. These walks were a wonderful way to relax. They allowed you to feel like you were getting things done since staying in your house all day couldn’t compensate. They made you feel healthier and more energized as you continued to go out.
School had always been one of your top priorities, but this was especially true once you were isolated from your friends. Although it was nice to be fully caught up in class, you found it difficult to maintain the positive affirmation you received from school when work kept being assigned. This turned into somewhat of a toxic relationship with school, but you found ways to make it easier, like taking breaks to relax.
Baking became your new obsession. The vegan lemon cakes you made were to die for. Baking was a nice way to explore and experiment with food (and your family appreciated it). You earned many battle scars from accidentally slicing or burning your hand. Nonetheless, you still rocked out in the kitchen listening to jams like “This Christmas” and “Under the Mistletoe,” stuck on repeat.
Before Christmas 2020, you and your family decorated the entire interior of the house to “show the love.” Decorating that year came with some shocking realities, like finding out your brother was now the tallest sibling and you had lost that title. Decorating and board games really helped bring your family together, as long as the board games didn’t get too competitive. These games were a wonderful way to find out how you and your family worked together, and you could more of your parents’ personalities shine.
Overall, you looked at this time in your life and realize how grateful you were to live in such a wonderful environment during this pandemic. You recognized your privilege and had empathy for those who were not as fortunate. Reflect on this and remember how crazy it was to live in such a historic period.
Photo: Sage (center) enjoys a board game with her dad, Tony, and sister, Indie.