It began on November 14th. My mom noticed symptoms of what she thought might be COVID-19. She was worried, and in the next couple days we all began feeling something. After two days, my grandma, mom, two sisters, little brother and I went to get tested. We had no idea what would happen, but hoped it was just the common cold. We all lived together, so if one of us had it, we all did.

A couple days later, we were sure that we were infected. We all tested positive, besides the younger kids. We figured that my brother and sisters were so young that they just could not get it so easily, but we took that as a sign of hope that we could still do things to prevent them from getting it as well — disinfecting the room that we used when leaving the house, staying in our rooms and not drinking from the same cups and spoons. It was difficult to keep track of all of this, and by the end we realized that it probably wasn't doing much anyways since we were all still breathing the same air, but we continued anyway. It was the only thing to do.  

As we self-quarantined for two weeks, all we could do was watch each other get sick. Us kids would seem totally fine besides the initial headache. We watched as my grandma and mom hardly could get up out of bed, and listed their many symptoms. It was terrifying for us, not knowing what to do, because often we were the ones being taken care of. To see that you have the exact same condition as someone else, but that you're completely fine while they’re in so much pain, is gut-wrenching. The discomfort we all felt as we could do nothing to help left an awful tug in our stomachs.

As things got bad, we all seemed to know how serious this was. We just didn't want to put out any negative energy. We did not talk about the scariness of the situation. I think this made it easier, since for a time it felt as though the kids were in charge. We all tried our best not to make a sound and to be the least as annoying as possible. It felt like a mutual understanding not to put anything negative in the air and not talk about it.

After about a week, I noticed I couldn't smell anything. I had lost my sense of smell, which was the only symptom I got from this virus. My mom did as well, but she regained it after about a week. I, on the other hand, still couldn't smell long after my quarantine. This virus affects everyone so differently. Some will not feel a thing, while others may be on the cusp of death. 

We were lucky, but we shouldn't have had to go through this because of those who don't care. We were always careful because of my grandma's health problems, and always made sure we did everything to keep her safe. But sometimes it can happen; someone walking along the street who doesn't wear a mask, a mailman who partied the night before forgets to wear his gloves, a neighbor invites a friend who says they're fine because they say young people can't get the virus. It can travel so fast. 

Many people won't take COVID-19 as seriously as they should because they don't think they'll be affected, the way my siblings and I did not. What they don't understand is that people who are older or suffer from health problems, like my grandma, can lose their lives because of it. The people who go outside everyday without a mask and do not follow the safety measures put out can be the reason that someone is lying in bed right now fighting for their lives. It's a choice you're making to threaten the lives of others, even if that's not how you think of it.

It all comes down to people not caring about what doesn't affect them. If it's not happening to them, it's not their problem. But it affects a greater part of the population because although it may seem like the old people who get it will die anyways, kids need their parents. It's sad to watch what the virus does to the people who raise you, even though what's happening to them isn't happening to you. It feels like it is, because it can feel like part of yourself is affected by them. So, when you decide not to do the bare minimum of following known safety precautions, you're saying that your not being able to go to that party on a Friday night is more important than a family saying goodbye to their loved ones. For many of us, this is more than not being able to go out, it's about living and keeping each other alive.

While my family was sick we missed a birthday and Thanksgiving, which is something we always host and is very big in our family, but it didn't matter. Through all of this, all that mattered was what was happening in the moment, because we were afraid the future might be very different if something bad happened. 

The only way you can try to do your part is by wearing a mask, following safety precautions, social distancing, and doing your research to prevent another family from going through what I went through, even if my family and I were lucky enough to all make it out. Now I will be able to educate others on why this virus does affect them, because it affects everyone.