aIn early March I counted the days until my stay abroad without thinking that the virus could affect my stay. For two years I have been imagining what it would be like to go to a Canadian high school, travel to some of the most beautiful places in the world, such as going to school in Hollywood movies, exploring a new culture and life. I envisioned going to school ice hockey games with my new friends, playing with the children of my host family – an unforgettable experience.
Tour with host family
I spent months researching and trying to explain it to my parents. In the end they agreed. For me, my stay abroad revolved around everything. We spent countless evenings choosing our subjects, filling out forms, booking flights, wondering what else I needed – shoes, clothes, favors. I met my host family long ago, wrote to them, and we were planning a trip. Then my organization called. He said that my school will not accept any more exchange students from now on. Canada closed its borders a few days later. I have never been so sad and empty before.
Is there a more dangerous virus?
Now everything has changed. There are only houses, supermarkets and disturbing news in the world. You do school work, call or play so that you don’t sit at home. Alone, of course. Sometimes there is a moment of silence. I’m worried about my grandparents and I’m scared. In people over 65, every fourth case is described as fatal. Neither my parents or grandparents have ever experienced this kind of epidemic. You never hear of some epidemic here in some countries, on other continents. When will it happen again? If one virus can spread so quickly, what can prevent another, perhaps even more dangerous, virus from doing so in the future?
It sounds like a fantasy novel
I am saddened by the unique chance of my dream that was taken from me. I want to be mad at someone, but who? Who can do anything about it? How can I complain about something like this while others fear for their work, their home or their lives? People lose their jobs. And I complain that my stay abroad was canceled. Sometimes I would wake up and hope for a few seconds that it was all just a dream. An epidemic, a virus that cripples the entire world – ridiculous. It sounds like something from a fictional novel. But it is real.