I know I am not alone when I say COVID-19 has taken a lot of things away. From graduations, to proms, to gamedays, to summer internships, to vacations, COVID has ripped it all away from us. When I got the email in March saying we weren’t just doing two weeks of school online, but rather the rest of the spring semester, I was devastated. Packing up my dorm room as a college freshman felt like I was packing up my life. I knew once I was fully packed up, I would not see my friends for a very long time and there was no chance to say goodbye. Over the summer I kept an eye on the numbers, but I knew the fall semester and my whole sophomore year wouldn’t be as expected. This fall semester has been different, and I can go on and on about all the negatives. But that is too easy to do. I challenged myself to find a silver lining. Yes, my classes are all virtual, but that has allowed me more flexibility. Yes, the semester is shorter, and we have no breaks, but that means I can have a relaxing winter break with my family. Finding these silver linings has allowed me to find positives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the best things that has come out of the pandemic is my job as a COVID-19 tester. Obviously, this would not be possible without the pandemic being a reality of our daily life. This is a perfect job for me. I love interacting with my community and I am able to take care of them at the same time. If COVID-19 never happened, then there would not be a need for my job. It is silver linings like these that help remind us that there is a reason and purpose for everything, even something as negative and deadly as COVID-19. I challenge you to find your silver lining as we learn to co-exist with the COVID-19 virus.
As a college student who works by testing my community for COVID, I have a unique perspective. One day I could be testing a family, the next a healthcare worker, and the next a fellow college student who was randomly selected. Because of the variety, I am able to learn more about myself as a caretaker and the pandemic. I see little three-year old’s to elderly 70-year old’s, most of the time the older they are the more scared they are. While I administer them all the same test, and have the same attitude, I have to approach each test differently. Whether that is a “give me a high five! You are sooo brave!” or fully explaining the process and answering every question that arises. While this is only one of many 5-minute interactions for me, it is their whole experience. I can make them feel more comfortable and at ease with my attitude and words, and that is what I enjoy about my job. I am able to see firsthand how testing is working to fight the virus. And I can say that the things we are told to do, really do work: wear a mask whenever you are within 6 feet of someone (whether indoors or outdoors!), get tested if you even just think you have been exposed, and if you test positive tell your friends and coworkers so they can get a test and quarantine too! One thing I didn’t realize until last month is to wear a mask in the drive thru! And remember to wash your masks regularly!
I know the saying gets old, but we are honestly all in this together. Do your part, but also find your silver lining so you cannot just survive it but grow from living through the experience.
About the Author:
Olivia Minor is a sophomore at the University of Kentucky, majoring in Biology with two minors, one in Gender and Women’s Studies and the other in Spanish. She wants to attend medical school, and then become an OB-GYN. In her free time, she can be found scrolling TikTok and hanging out with her sorority sisters. When she is not in Lexington, she is laying on the beach or hiking in the mountains.