As we move into a rhythm of connected learning as a VCS community, one student shares their reflection.


We are still being blessed.


During this pandemic, I am experiencing the absence of things I have been accustomed to having my whole life: the ability to freely socialize with friends, a clear(er) future, a schedule that doesn’t require enormous self discipline to get things done, the freedom to go anywhere and interact with anyone, fully stocked shelves in every store. There are doubts and anxieties about friends and family. There are inconveniences, disappointments that hurt in the moment but can be smoothed over by time: my cancelled trip to see my family and friends, an interrupted skiing season or the possibility of other future events being postponed. I worry sometimes about my dad and our other doctor friends, who work overtime in the hospitals, and I am concerned for friends and family who take medication that weakens their immune systems. One of my own problems is that, in the rare instance that I go out into the public or shop with my mom, I can no longer touch things and pick them and bring them closer to my face in order to see them more clearly. I am to touch only what I take, and until now I hadn’t realized how much I rely on touching things to see them.

When I walk through the neighbourhood streets with my dog, it is silent and we cross paths with no one else. The usual white noise of hundreds of cars hurrying down the highway is gone. Almost every house has one or two cars parked there: no less, no more. Those that can, work from home, and people can no longer visit their friends in person. The outside world is nearly deserted.

Maybe these things are all happening for terrible reasons. Maybe the absence of people gathering together can be seen as tragic; or maybe it can be seen as a blessing to the earth. The normal, controlled, bustling way of modern human life has come to a halt, and suddenly nature’s invaders have retreated and our planet has a chance to breathe. When I walk my dog, the absence of cars make way for us to hear the chirping of birds. The lack of people and their comings and goings leads us to notice the plants bursting to life between the cracks in the sidewalk, in people’s gardens and in the strips of empty land between their houses. As non essential stock plummets, people are faced with an immediate reason not to waste goods, and suddenly there is less of our garbage choking out flora and fauna.

We are getting a chance to breathe, too. Our usual busy schedules are being put on hold. When I am at home, I can do my schoolwork in my pajamas, with work blocks and methods that suit me best. I am getting more done in less time, because I am focusing less on the journey from one task to another and spending my energy on the task itself, now that we don’t have to drive anywhere. Now that the business and stress of my usual schedule is gone I can more easily focus on the important things in my life: my family, healthy living, the maintenance of my relationship with God and, of course, smothering my dog with attention. We are fortunate enough to live in an era with medicine, people and technology that enable us to continue working without putting ourselves and others in danger.

Yes the world is in a time of trial – and yes, we are still being blessed.

A VCS Middle School Student

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