This week on Dayton Youth Radio we have a new series from Kettering Fairmont High School. Students there were eager to talk about life under quarantine, and so their teacher, Laura Hutchens, called us up and our collaboration began.
Today we'll hear from Imani Reed and Molly Mitchell, both juniors at Kettering Fairmont High School.
Last month, I was going to have a sleepover with my best friend Gianna and another friend, but it got canceled because of this whole COVID-19 stay at home order.
My name is Imani Reed. I'm 17 years old. I live in Kettering, Ohio, with my mom, Janice Reid and my sister Adja Sylia, and my 63 year old grandma whose name is Rebecca Reid. With my grandma being at a higher risk of catching this virus, she's on total lockdown. We won't let her go anywhere because we can't lose her, at least not like this.
I found out about school being closed during break by watching the special report with my grandma. This is going down in history.
At first, I was very happy at the time because everyone at school was really starting to drain me emotionally. I deal with bullying very heavily. Being in the house as a teen with the people you love and just being able to binge watch TV, workout, eat when you're bored and just relax at home with the exception of school is pretty cool. It's given me more time to sleep, and it gave me a kind of peace.
But part of it is kind of bittersweet because I kind of miss school.
There were rumors at my school saying our prom was canceled. It was completely upsetting to me to find out that these rumors were true.
The people I talk to the most would be my closest friends. There's my 18 year old friend Constellation and my 16 year old friend Gianna. I call them both my babies. This is the longest that we've been apart. I miss them so much.
And they're the ones that have been helping me get through this. And I know they miss me just as much.
My name is Molly Mitchell, and I am a junior at Kettering Fairmont High School. I found out about the school's closing at the very end of the day, the day before spring break started. I was with my English class, and I looked down at my phone to see that my friend Tristan had texted me with a screenshot of the official announcement from Governor DeWine saying that schools would be closed for the next three weeks. I announced it to my class and we all cheered.
Leaving school that day, we were all elated about having a three week break. I noticed that my parents' mood toward the school shut down was very different.
They kept saying, "we'll see" with a sort of grim expression whenever I asked to do something later in the week. I was supposed to go to San Francisco for my break. It was a trip I'd been planning since this past July, but my parents had decided to postpone my trip because they were very paranoid about the virus. After my San Francisco trip got canceled, Northern California was put on lockdown. So I guess it was the right call. Otherwise, I'd be stuck in California right now.
I spent the rest of the day sulking around the house and texting my friends to let them know that I had to cancel plans we've been making. I was really upset. I understood why it was important that we were self-quarantining, and I knew it was the right and smart thing to do but that did not mean I had to like it. That night, my friends Grace and Michael felt bad that I was stuck at home and came by with a smoothie and some pasta they had made themselves. It was delicious.
We sat in front of my yard, six feet apart, of course, and talked for like two hours. Since our prom was canceled, some of my friends and I were talking about having some sort of backyard prom where we can all hang out and play music and eat snacks and dance in someone's backyard.
As upset as I am about everything - like, for instance, I've missed three birthdays and I always try to go all out for them, for my friends - I also have to acknowledge how fortunate I am here. It's not my senior year. I got to finish out my swim season, and me and my family all seem to be very healthy for the time being. I feel awful for anyone who doesn't have those things, but I'm still allowed to be upset by what's happening to and around me. It is a rough, historic and awful time for everyone and we have to stick together.
Imani Reed and Molly Mitchell are both juniors at Kettering Fairmont High School. Special thanks to their teacher Laura Hutchens. Dayton Youth Radio is supported by the Virginia W. Kettering Foundation, the Vectren Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council.
This story was created at the Eichelberger Center for Community Voices at WYSO.