10 Words of 2020


Shaala Seganka, Guest Contributor

1.) Protests:

Many protests—an action expressing disapproval of something—took place this year following the tragic murder of George Floyd. These protests were held by outraged black people and allies, not only because of the murder of George Floyd but as a symbol of rage from the constant prejudice, discrimination, and racism African Americans face on a daily basis. These protests brought lots more media attention to the Black Live Matter movement. The struggles of black people have been ignored for years. However, protests have made a lot more people aware of the racial injustices that black people have been facing for years.


2.) Uncertainty:

We are currently facing very uncertain times. The coronavirus came as a shock last year. Scientists and medical professionals were unsure of the virus and did not know what to do about it or how to contain it. Our health is at risk every time we leave our homes. On top of that, there are people who are asymptomatic and are spreading the virus without even realizing it. Not only do you have to worry about your own health, but we also must worry about the health the people around us, since the virus is highly contagious. Therefore, it is so important to practice the recommended precautions such as wearing a mask, washing your hands, and limiting your contact with other people.


3.) Quarantine:

With this unexpected pandemic, a lot of people have found themselves in quarantine; a period of isolation in which people who have been exposed to the virus are required to stay in. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) currently recommends quarantine periods of 14 days if you have been exposed to the virus. However, you can end your quarantine short without a negative test if you have no symptoms in 10 days. You may also end your quarantine after 7 days if you have no symptoms with a negative test. Quarantining is essential during this pandemic because of how easy COVID is to catch. It helps slow the spread and keep people around us protected from the virus.


4.) Mask

Though this pandemic, masks have become a big part of our everyday lives. Wearing masks is a crucial precaution to protect yourself and others around you from the virus. As much of a burden as wearing a mask may be, it is necessary for everybody’s safety. Mask wearing is a recommendation from the CDC and supported by scientists and medical care professionals. When in close proximity to others, it is vital to wear a mask to help slow the spread of the virus. You may even make your mask more fashionable, as they come in assorted colors, designs, materials, and store.


5.) Virtual Events:

As we are stuck in the house and a lot of places have closed, there are a lot more virtual events going on. These virtual events are a fantastic way for people to gather and socialize through COVID times. Finding ways to improvise going out during this unfortunate time in our lives is so important. There are so many online events being held that anyone can attend. These events range from concerts to book clubs. You can even take online classes such as a dance or cooking class. There are so many things we can do online to forget our reality and enjoy ourselves like we did prior to the virus. It may be different than we are used to but, just as enjoyable.


6.) Online School:

A majority of the students in the United States are currently enrolled in online classes. It has been quite a difficult transition for many students. There are a select few who are fortunate enough to be adjusted well. However, many students have found it difficult to stay focused in your house and complete work on time. Procrastination is a big issue for many, me included. Staring at a screen all day is not necessarily something to look forward to and learning online is plain hard. However, as difficult as it may be, we will overcome it and learn to work with it. Adjusting to change in any circumstance is a challenging task, but we will persevere. It is important to remember that this is temporary, and we will be back to normal soon.  There are also resources you can reach out to such as tutoring, the counselor, or even just asking a teacher for extra help.


7.) Hand Sanitizer/Washing Hands:

Washing your hands is essential to combat this virus. Washing your hands is a highly effective way to prevent spreading the virus. When washing your hands, it is important to make sure you wash every part of your hand and wash for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer has also been extremely helpful through the pandemic. At the beginning of this pandemic, hand sanitizer was one of the most highly demanded items and exceedingly difficult to find in stores. It comes in handy when you do not have access to a bathroom to wash your hands. Keep in mind that sanitizer does not get rid of all germs, so it is particularly important that you wash your hands still.


8.) Temperature Checks:

2020 was quite an interesting year. We now have several places closing, a requirement to wear masks every time we leave the house or are around other people, lines to get into stores, and having to maintain a six foot distance away from people as much as possible. Of all the new precautions 2020 has brought upon us, I believe one of the most striking lifestyle changes is temperature checks. It is just so crazy to think there are places where we must have our temperatures checked before being allowed to enter, given how we lived our lives prior to Corona. Thoughts of how carefree things used to be is surreal. Although Corona has brought so much change to our lives, it gave us time to slow down and reflect on how many things we take for granted on a daily basis. For example, a great number of students, myself included, used to complain about going to school.  Now, many of us would give anything to be to learn in a classroom environment. We took for granted how lucky we were to be able to go into class every day and learn as well as socialize with our friends. It is so important to appreciate what you have when you have because you never know when you will lose it.


9.) News:

The news has been a great and reliable source to what is happening in the country and around the world. During 2020, it seemed like there was a different tragedy every day. There were natural disasters, millions of Americans dying from the coronavirus, and several racial injustices. 2020 was one difficult year. The news provides us with a great outlet for important information. However, over-consumption of such negative things can be extremely detrimental to our mental health. It’s good to take a break from it time to time. Instead, we can watch something positive or do something that makes us happy.


10.) Mental Health:

Through rough times like these that are detrimental to our mental health, it is important to prioritize it. There are a lot of people who have taken this time that we are in quarantine to work on themselves. This is important since we are trapped inside and we might feel lonely and other negative emotions. Although we may feel this way, it is essential to understand that this is temporary and things, with time, will get better soon. With all the crazy things going on outside, we deserve to have peace in our minds. There are a lot of things that we can do to make a positive outcome in such a negative circumstance, such as learning something new, doing things we enjoy, trying new recipes, practicing self-care, talking with family and friends, reading books that interest you, watching new TV shows, etc. It is so easy to get consumed by what is going on outside and neglect ourselves and our well-being. Prioritizing mental health can be a great aid in getting through this.