Want to keep reading?

You've reached the end of your complimentary access. Subscribe for as little as $4/month.

Aready a Subscriber ? Sign In

Gemma Harrigan, 12

I sat in the taxi staring at the screen, as I usually did, watching a scene showing several Chinese people wearing masks. The taxi TV blared, “the Coronavirus rages through China, enhancing the possibility that it will spread to America!”

“Dad,” I asked. “What is the Coronavirus?” He turned to me nervously, as if I had asked where babies come from or if Santa Claus was real. Questions that for me had been answered long ago.

“Well, the Coronavirus is a disease,” he said. “It's taken a few lives, but none of them have been kids.”


Why were they all wearing masks? I thought. In my mind, it was a sign of weakness. Giving into their nosophobia. I was the only one not wearing a mask outside. I looked at my mom and asked, “Why are you wearing a mask?” “Because it keeps me and others safe,” she answered.

I had not been outside since school went remote. I was terrified by the thought of everyone wearing a mask. It made me uncomfortable. What if, even when the Coronavirus ends, people still wear masks? What if things never go back to normal?

Reader Interactions


  1. Good job on your story, Gemma. I can picture exactly how you felt. I’m glad you were able to reflect on that again. I don’t think those feelings should be forgotten.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.