COVID-19: How I turned the pandemic into something positive


Photo by Robyn Castro

Ryan Houston-Dial, Assistant Opinion Editor

I sat in my room on a dreadful Monday afternoon staring at my roof. I overheard on my TV that COVID-19 was spreading quickly throughout the U.S. It was only a matter of time before it reached my hometown of Austin, Texas. I looked outside my window to watch the rain build up and flow down my neighborhood streets. For the first time in my life, I felt like things were coming together only to be washed away. Even though I hold strong love for my family, they started to get on my nerves. The coronavirus was a nightmare that seemed like it would not be ending anytime soon. Some days involved nothing but eating, sleeping and a depleted social meter. At an all-time sadness, I did not anticipate the good that would soon come. I just had to hold on. 

Helping myself get through most days consisted of listening to music and writing about how it made me feel. It helped me express my feelings about COVID-19: how I felt my freedoms were stripped away from me. I wrote until I cried. I wrote until I grew frustrated with my situation. The cycle repeated itself daily. I was humbled, forced to stop activities that were typically lined up in a busy schedule. In that experience lied the importance of learning to take care of myself before I decided to participate in anything. There were no more “I will take a break after I finish this task” excuses to push aside my well-being. Instead, my mindset shifted to taking care of myself so I could put my best effort forward. I began to find hope that I could continue to do the things that I love, just in a different manner. I had to understand that it is okay to adapt to my circumstances, even if it isn’t ideal for the time being. I began to create a routine that allowed me to complete my school work, write and learn to play the keyboard. I was more in the business of how COVID-19 would benefit me rather than seeing it only as an obstacle. 

The opportunity to create a better physical, spiritual and mental self motivates me daily to become a better person. By envisioning the people that may someday need me, I know that not even a pandemic will stop me from making progress toward my goals. Taking a chance to improve myself is better for those I want to help. The days my emotions were everywhere helped me identify who I am and who I aspire to be. If the pandemic has led you to be disappointed and frustrated, your emotions are valid. Remember to take care of yourself and reach out to a friend if you need assistance. When your motivation seems low, dig deep and explore the world of the unknown. In there, you will find more about yourself and a sense of hope that COVID-19 will subside soon.