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to our 2020 Essay Contest Winners!

How Covid-19 has impacted my life

In no particular order ...


Hi, my name is Jessten. My dad is typing my words for me, because I have never used a keyboard.

I am excited I get to spend more time with my mom because she doesn't go to work anymore. I like to snuggle, play games, and play ball outside. I did learn how to deliver mail to people. I like to make people smile.

This is a picture of my family and it makes me happy.


ALYANA OBLINSKI, 3rd grade, Edinboro Elementary

Hi, my name is Alyana. My dad is typing my words for me, because I have never used a keyboard.

Covid-19 has affected me by making me sad because I can't really play with any of my friends at school. I don't like wearing masks and I am not allowed to go into stores. The worst thing was not being able to see my grandma and grandpa. I was really afraid of my family or me getting sick.

My family and I deal with Covid-19 by spending a lot of time with my family, like my mom and dad and brother. I was happy also because my mom couldn't go to work anymore and got to spend more time with me at home! We went on adventures like exploring the woods and going on bike rides.

Future concerns I have about Covid-19 include not being able to see my grandparents, having to wear a mask all the time, not being able to see my friends, and getting sick.

My picture is about how Covid-19 seems really bad, but there is a lot of good that came out of it, like spending more time with my family and loving each other even more. I learned to look at the positive side of things more than just looking at the bad.

CHLOE KISER, 10th grade, General McLane High School

The funny thing about life is, you can never anticipate what's next.  Five months ago, I had everything.  My life was on track. I dedicated months to my piano, writing songs, making professional connections and acing Freshman year. My hard work paid off!  I made it into a recording studio, working on my first album!  I had straight A's, a large social circle, and my first paying gig booked for Memorial Day weekend. To say I was ecstatic was an understatement.  Then, March came around and life stopped in its tracks. Quarantine.  I slowly began to cross off everything on my calendar, one by one. Everything I had worked so hard for was cancelled. Disappointment and despair set in, along with social isolation.  My grades slipped. Musically, I felt completely uninspired. There was nothing left to work towards or look forward to.  Then, my music saved me. Sitting at my piano, I started counting my blessings... My family, my health, my friends, my home, my community, my gift of songwriting. Somehow, throughout all of this madness, I reclaimed a little part of myself I thought had been lost. Music is meant to be shared, to inspire and touch the hearts of others.  I started a Facebook and Instagram page. I connected with old family friends, great aunts, grandparents, distant cousins and former teachers. I set goals for myself to learn new songs, new instruments, to write, create and share new posts each week. I focused on spreading positivity and joy to as many as I could reach. I've realized there is no better time than the present!  I’ve adapted, adjusted, and taken advantage of every opportunity possible to create and share my music to lift others up.  Because that's the funny thing about life, you never can anticipate what's next.

ABBY JOHNSON, 12th grade, General McLane High School

The morning of March 12th, I woke up and went to school like I had done every day, all year, and many years before. I had no clue that it would be the last official day of my junior year, and the last 11normal" day of school that I would ever have. It seemed like a joke, and we were all happy to have two weeks off of school. As things started to worsen, and I had more and more cancelled and postponed, it started to feel more real. It was suddenly less of a dream, and more of a nightmare. Although it was, and still is sad, and I am still grieving the things I have lost and the things I know I will lose, I have tried to keep a positive outlook. I hope to make the most of my senior year, even if it is not what I have always dreamed of. There are a lot of unknowns: Will I get to walk down the football field for my cheerteading senior night? Will my parents be allowed in for that night, there's no fans allowed, but will they make an exception for senior night? Is my senior fall musical going to happen, and will I get to perform in Broadway Dinner, or at least one last time as a GM student? As things change at such an alarming rate every single day, it can be hard to manage all of the emotions. I am choosing to stay hopeful and positive, because even though it is not the final year I dreamed of, it can still be an amazing year with the right outlook and the great support from the community. 

MALLORY GRUCZA, 10th grade, General McLane High School

Adapt and Overcome: The Greatest Challenge of 2020

March thirteenth was the last typical day in my life and many other lives around the world. Since then, nothing has been the same. Covid-19 took the world by storm and forced everyone around the globe to change many parts of their lives in order to keep themselves and others safe. As for me, I have realized that I am incredibly fortunate to not have been affected as greatly by Covid-19 as many other people have. Every single person in this world has been affected by Covid-19, some not as much as others, but everyone has had to adapt to the changes the virus brought to the world. The cancellation of school for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year was a challenge, for I would no longer be physically present in a classroom to learn. Online schooling was difficult at first, but my desire to learn aided me in staying focused. My piano lessons were cancelled as well, but I decided that with all of my new free time at home, I would push myself to learn new pieces and relearn pieces like Rondo “Alla Turca” by Mozart that I had not played in a while. Although living through a global pandemic was and still is stressful, my family found ways to make it tolerable. We spent so much time together, watching movies and going on walks, and I can say in confidence that I have a much greater appreciation for my family now than I did before Covid-19 struck. There is so much uncertainty concerning the future, but I am confident, that as a community, we will be so much stronger after enduring the virus. Good things will come, but for now, we have to be patient, stay safe, and stay hopeful for the future.

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