Eyewitness: Coping With the Pandemic in Washington

Since mid-March, Zoe and other students in the Seattle, Washington, area have been learning remotely. 

The coronavirus pandemic has deeply affected students in Seattle, Washington, where I live. On March 12, schools were shut down to slow the spread of the virus. Governor Jay Inslee has since extended the closure through the end of the school year. As a result, students will miss major milestones, including field trips, graduations, and proms.

Teachers have been communicating with students through online platforms, sending worksheets and homework via email. During the school day, lawyers and musicians have pitched in to teach their children Math, science, and other subjects, while corporate executives, professional chefs, and pharmacists are making sure that their kids exercise since they can’t attend gym classes. 



The virus hit Washington early. On February 29, the state reported the first death from COVID-19 in the United States. It was learned recently, however, that others in the U.S. had already died from the respiratory disease caused by the highly-contagious virus.

Because Washington instituted strict stay-at-home guidelines, cases of COVID-19 have been declining in recent weeks. Still, some areas of the state continue to report a rise in cases. As of May 19, there have been nearly 20,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Washington, with 1,020 deaths.

Governor Inslee is allowing people across the state to resume activities gradually. But it will be a long time before we can attend live concerts and sporting events.

My family has been keeping a safe distance from our friends and relatives, and we’re trying to cope with all of the changes in our lives. The need for everyone to avoid large gatherings to curb the spread of the virus is called social distancing.

My typical day now consists of doing schoolwork at home, Zoom meetings with friends, and playing outside with my sister. Many families have been creative while staying close to home, hosting virtual Bingo nights, online gatherings, and other online activities to brighten everyone’s spirits. Luckily, the typical rainy Seattle weather has decided to social distance, too, and we have had mostly sunny days this spring. 


Photo courtesy of the author