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Coping with COVID-19

Caitlyn Kelly writes a letter to coronavirus.

By Jamie Johnson

For most people across the United States, and the world, people are dealing with what many are calling the “new normal.” Some who are considered essential workers, are still going to their offices, factories, or other work settings. Millions are collecting unemployment benefits, and others are learning to work virtually from their homes.

For the Florence School District, and countless other schools in neighboring states, administrators, teachers, teacher aides, school counselors and psychologists, were trained to teach online in order to continue education for their students. In particular, the Florence School District is now using Google Classroom and Blue Jeans technology to meet with students face to face online.

While staff and students are becoming comfortable with this new format, we are still keenly aware that our students are naturally missing many things including their friends, their athletics, and yes, even their classrooms and teachers. One student, freshman Caitlyn Kelley, found a way to deal with some of these stressors through writing.

Kelley wrote a letter to COVID-19, and shared it with me, her English teacher. I thanked her for sharing this piece of writing and asked for her permission to share it with a larger audience. This was not an assignment, but something Kelley came up with on her own. This brief, but powerful letter, speaks directly to our invisible enemy, COVID-19, revealing many layers of Caitlyn’s emotions, and yet ending on a refreshing, and powerful note.

Dear COVID-19,

      There is no other way to put this besides, I HATE YOU! You have taken away almost everything from me. You took away my sport, my education, my friends, my passion, people’s jobs, my coaches, and my mentors. You took away everything that I worked for! You basically took away my life. But don’t count your victories quite yet. I still have my faith, my attitude, my work ethic, my family, my optimism, and most of all I have God in my corner. So, COVID-19, bring on whatever you got because I am stronger than it may appear!

      Caitlyn Kelley