Author: Johnathan Lin
Editor: Rayna Almas
Featured Image Designer: Alessia Carpino
Publisher: Jumana Ismail
Covid has been a rollercoaster of emotions from loss, distance, regression, gain, groups coming closer together, understanding, and appreciation for nature and the arts. A lot of my friends have come closer and further at the same time. My friend has moved around throughout the pandemic and hasn’t really been outside a lot. I’m the only reason he’s been out; it’s been like teaching him the joys of being outside. I’ve learned that things like nature are rare and far between commodities, especially if you’re in high school where even time is a luxury.
Throughout the pandemic I’ve enjoyed the park near my house a lot more than I did previously and after my friends and I got double vaccinated we hung out together at the park near our places. (well mainly them playing sports, me sitting around listening to music, enjoying the shade, and fresh air.) I find myself staring off into space when I’m outside or touching the leaves on trees; it’s a very different feeling from all the concrete, glass, metal, etc that you’d see or feel in school.
My favourite part about my connection with nature and the pandemic is everything feels so much more enhanced than before. I think my personal understanding and my surroundings have become a lot clearer after being inside for so long. The rain doesn’t make me feel sad or dreary but refreshed just like the plants after a long dry spell. The windiest days feel free and unpredictable and offer me a cool respite on the brightest or most humid of days. My personal feelings, whether that be towards myself or towards others, feels clearer. I can better understand what someone else is feeling, albeit not always being able to explain or communicate my full understanding.
The phrase “touch some grass” has become more widely used at the very least in my friends group; and it’s typically used as trash talk for people who haven’t been outside in a LONG time. “Touching some grass” man when I finally went outside after being inside for months it felt really good. I missed the breeze and the smell of cut grass. Almost 2 years of quarantine feels like you kind of just had amnesia and you’ve found out you’re close to graduating and you have no clue what’s happened, what you’ve learned or what you’ve accomplished. The few things that have stayed consistent are nature, my house, and most importantly, my comfy bed. I’m kind of grateful for it staying so consistent and sturdy even when everything was so chaotic and draining, especially since nature isn’t something anyone can really control or predict.
Heading back to school has been more draining than I could’ve possibly imagined. The fresh air is nice and I’ve appreciated spots of colour you can glimpse just from looking out the window onto the forest outside our school. I was definitely right about the hypersensitivity I’ve had recently. I notice a lot more and the wind, rain, and snow have me excited for whatever lies tomorrow.
I implore everybody reading to get out more and try to make some time for some nature. Go hug a tree maybe, hang out at the park, or step outside with your favourite drink and soak in some fresh air. Being outside is a necessity that we take for granted and Covid has given me time to process and understand that. Now go out and enjoy the sun, fresh air, and cool days while you still can. Winter is just around the corner so you’ll be inside a lot again soon. Have a fantastic day, goodbye!