Last March, the pandemic came into my life and that of my friends suddenly and changed everything from one day to the next. It was a very negative thing for me. During the confinement I lived very stressed and with great concern. Not only me, but also my friends. Questions such as what was going to happen? What would it be like to leave after confinement? or how were we going to return to our schools? I think I speak for almost all young people when I say that because of COVID-19 we are more stressed, we have more uncertainties, we feel sadder and everything seems confusing. We are not so happy anymore.
For me, one of the things that has affected me the most is in studies. During the confinement, the teachers kept sending us homework, as if they thought we were bored and needed to entertain ourselves! And now that I’m doing Bachelor of Arts, it also affects me. Although I am passionate about it and am enjoying it, I know that this course is different from the previous ones. We can’t do a lot of cool things that had been done in previous years because of the anti-COVID measures. In my case, and in that of many others, we will be able to make up for lost time in terms of school and learn everything that we have not been able to learn because of the pandemic. However, there is a minority that will not be able to and it is important that we do not forget them.
In what I will not be able to make up for lost time is with contact with people. It seems to me something fundamental. My uncles and cousins live outside my city and now I can hardly go to see them, much less hug them and greet them with a kiss. The same as with my friends. Before the pandemic we gave each other hugs and kisses to cheer someone up or to show our affection. Now nothing. At 16 years of age, contact with others, something important at this stage of my life, I cannot live now.
I can understand that all the measures that adults have taken have been to avoid contagions and for the economy, that in the end money is what you eat. But it is also true that children and adolescents have not been taken into account when taking these measures. They forget that we exist sometimes. Very contradictory things have been done. For example, the association Grupo 5 Cuenca, to which I belong and in which the NGO Educo collaborates, had to suspend the activities of the leisure project La Brújula, in which I participated with other boys and girls, but could go instead to a terrace with those same boys and girls, and that made me feel very helpless. It didn’t make any sense. In addition, the image that has been tried to show of the young people is very bad. They put us as real brains who do not care about the lives of others, we only make bottles and trash. I’m not saying that there are no such young people, but there are many others like me, that we are young people who care about people’s lives.
Now that eight months have passed since the pandemic reached Spain, the time has come for us to be heard. We are young people who think, think and feel. We are not a hindrance. Our opinion counts. We sure have good ideas to better cope with this COVID-19 situation. We are just as citizens as any adult and sometimes we even reason better. The measures that are taken cannot affect only childhood, adolescence and young people, because it is implied that we are the problem, and this is not the case. If they asked us what we prefer, if they tried to understand our situation, if they stopped seeing us as monsters and began to see us as people, which is what we are, everything would be better.