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The LEAP Student Blog

Reach Out to Someone
 3/26/2020 12:00:00 AM

Lauren Frueh
Issaquah High School, Class of 2020
 
The announcement that school would be closed starting the next day came over the intercom during my PE class, and I let out a cheer along with my entire class. The prospect of a six week impromptu break my senior year, with no required homework was thrilling. The next few days I hung out with friends and made the same jokes about the lack of toilet paper as everyone else, not thinking about what this break truly means, and never imagining the virus could affect me.
 
A few days into “corona vacation” I received a call from my mom while I was at a friend’s house that contained surprising news. Our family friend had tested positive for coronavirus and was being hospitalized. My heart stopped. This friend is the poster-boy for people susceptible to the coronavirus as he has underlying medical conditions. I was scared for him and my family because we had spent the better part of four days with him at the Tacoma Dome. Exactly one week before this happened, I had been embracing this same friend and his daughter, my basketball teammate and best friend, after winning fourth place in the WIAA 4A girls’ basketball tournament. Coronavirus was the last thing on my mind. Our basketball team hadn’t made it to state in the last 10 years, and hadn’t placed this high ever. Achieving 4th place my senior year was everything I had worked for and dreamed of, and the elation was overwhelming - in stark contrast to what I was now feeling. My entire family, including an 87 year old grandpa, and basketball team had been exposed to the coronavirus. I raced home, where my family and I placed ourselves in self-quarantine for the next 14 days.
 
We have been beyond lucky as none of my family showed any coronavirus symptoms during our quarantine. Our family friend is also making a recovery, and for that, we are beyond relief. However, watching the news, especially in Italy, continued everyone’s unease. This prompted my mom to announce at dinner one night that she had a task for all of us. Our job was to reach out to someone each day to reassure and check in with them. At first I thought this was a little silly, what could my friends need from me at this time? However my mom insisted, pointing out the mental health problems quarantine poses, and the general panic this pandemic is causing. I know many friends who struggle with their home life and mental health, making quarantine strenuous. So I decided to try it out with a group Facetime of my friends; which ended up lasting over 2 hours because of the fun and therapeutic conversations we were having. I continued on to a Zoom call of my youth group, then with my cousins, and also the LEAP committee. While it may feel awkward at the start, the simple act of checking in on each other and exchanging stories of quarantine or recommending new hobbies makes the long days more purposeful.
 
I want to extend that same challenge to all of you. Reach out to someone (while maintaining social distancing of course!?) who you think might be having a hard time during this crisis. I know from experience it will be therapeutic to them and to you. And I’m not talking about sending Snapstreaks. I mean a heartfelt phone call or group face time, so that you can actually check in on your friends and family. Technology is powerful, and we should be using it to uplift others instead of binging Netflix shows, now more than ever in this uncertain time.

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Comments
From: Beverly Aska 4/7/2020 7:46 AM

Lauren, You are amazing in all that you do. Your perception is wise beyond your years. I am proud to be your aunt and to have you as an amazing niece. Much love from Lima!

From: Suzanne Moser 4/7/2020 10:37 PM

Hey Lauren this is an awesome article! You and your family are handling this situation so well and your advice is right on...perfect just like you! Bunches of Love to all of you!


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March 2020

3/31/2020 Dear Class of 2020
3/29/2020 We're All Doing Our Part
3/26/2020 Reach Out to Someone
3/22/2020 Control What You Can Control

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