George, 17

I really started to get worried when I went with mom to Costco one day after this whole thing first started. We first went to the toilet paper aisle where there was a sign on a rope which said, “Toilet paper back in stock tomorrow.” My mother pushed the cart away and I could soon see tears in her eyes. I said, “What’s wrong?” She said, “Everything is going to be fine, Georgie.” She said it like I was a baby.

We went back the next day and bought two gigantic things of toilet paper, I think 48 roles in all, more than she usually buys. We bought more food than usual, too. Me, my sis and her were not going to starve — that was for sure.

But we had to go back to Costco about a month later for more food. By this time, the town was pretty closed up and we were all pretty scared about the virus. But my mother never liked to talk about it. Neither she nor my father, who got divorced when I was about 10, talk much to each other either. Neither one of them get the idea I get all the news on my computer or cell phone. My friends and I have talked more about what’s going on than my family ever does.

My little sister, who is nine, is pretty freaked, so I try and talk to her. I don’t think she gets exactly what is going on, but she is trying to act older these days. The other day, she tells me she doesn’t want to grow up, didn’t know what to say to that one. Now that we have the pandemic, who knows how long it will last.

As for me, it’s like we are on a foreign planet making a Star Wars movie. Everything is so different. Now I think I’m forgetting how it used to be. I hope I never forget how much fun my life used to be.

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