• Jake Mastronardi

Gratitude During COVID-19

Updated: Jun 25, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has been really stressful for me. It’s not just because of the COVID-19 virus that’s spreading, it is because of the sudden changes and orders given out by the Mayor of Westfield, the Governor of NJ, and the President of the United States to stay home and keep 6 feet away from people. This means that I cannot go and hang out with my friends or family as often as I did and I cannot dine in my favorite restaurants anymore. I just have to stay in my house, or go outside to parks or other outdoor facilities where there aren’t lots of people crowd

ed around. This was especially hard in the beginning because I was expecting that I would be allowed to go and hang out with friends and order in take out and watch a movie with them because I was not sick and that was what I usually did when I had free time to do so.

I had told my mother that I was going to hang out with Matthew, my friend, but she said that I couldn’t because we had to do Social Distancing. This made me really really upset because I wanted to see my friend like I always do when I’m bored, and I made a plan over text message to hang out with him. So I started becoming argumentative, asking why I couldn’t hang out with him and that I’m not sick, and she said to me that she did not know if his parents wanted anyone over there, which made me even more upset. I could not really understand why I was being told

not to go to Matthew’s house, and I felt stupid for even wanting to go there despite all of the warnings people are putting out due to COVID-19.

I had to regroup and come up with different things to do with all of the free time that I have, like playing guitar, taking the new dog out for walks, studying for my Professional Dog Trainer’s exam, and FaceTiming with friends and family when I would normally be physically hanging out with them.

I’ve wanted to start playing guitar again, but I have not have the time or energy to because I was always so busy with work before this pandemic began. But now that I have the time, I have started practicing every day, playing some of my favorite Disney songs from some of my favorite Disney movies. So far, I have learned to play Let it Go by Idina Menzel from the movie Frozen, and I Have a Dream by the cast of Tangled from the movie Tangled, and will continue to learn to play more of my favorite songs.

I have started to FaceTime friends and family to make up for all of the lost time that I will have with them for as long as this pandemic persists. I have also came up with new anger-management strategies to use when things get tough at home, and I have decided to think of things that I am grateful for. This helps me a lot when I am feeling down about myself because it reminds me of what a great person I am and how far I have come in my life.

It also reminds me that people, like myself, all have issues to work on and make mistakes, reminding me that nobody is perfect, and that’s okay. It reminds me that even if I have a bad day today, it does not mean that I will have a bad day tomorrow, that I always have an opportunity to start fresh and make things right for my future.

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