EDITOR'S NOTE: Like thousands of other students in Andover, the Merrimack Valley and beyond, Andover High student Hannah Goff is stuck in limbo. The coronavirus crisis is holding them hostage, keeping them from classrooms and sporting events and even from hanging out together in their neighborhoods. Hannah submitted this reflection to the Townsman, offering a glimpse into the mind of a local teenager living through the crisis.
My name is Hannah Goff. I am 16 years old and a junior at Andover High School. This is my first, and hopefully, last, pandemic to live through, so I decided to document my every day encounters.
Here is one of my journal entries, titled "A Brokenhearted Supermarket.''
As we pull up to our local Stop & Shop, I see a vacant parking lot, with 3 to 4 cars, at most. Cautious of our surroundings, we proceed to the entrance. The automatic doors open wide, and a mysterious, eerie breeze hits my face ever so lightly. I stop and stare at the barren shelves and the evident paranoia on every customer’s face.
I mumble to my mom, “This looks like a scene from a movie!” She sarcastically replies, “So it may be.”
A once familiar, family-friendly place had transformed in front of my disoriented eyes. At a quicker than usual pace, we make our way over to the dairy section, stocking up on milk, cheese, and butter before it runs out again. My younger brother reluctantly stretches his skinny arm to the back of the fridge, grabbing the last few cartoons of 2% milk.
As we complete our "in preparation of a town lockdown'' shopping spree and near the self-checkout line, I notice that all toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and soap have gone extinct.
It is my first, and hopefully, last, pandemic to live through, so the arrogant behavior of others seems reasonable. I could not help but laugh at how quickly toilet paper became symbolic of the coronavirus crisis.
I begin to help my mom bag our groceries when, within the range of my peripheral vision, I see an elder in the check-out line next to ours. The worried man was wearing a tight medical-blue face mask over his nose and mouth. Even though it may have been a cautious procedure, I got sudden butterflies, a haunted fluttery sort of feeling that swept through my stomach.
We exit the supermarket, walking six feet behind the person in front of us, looking down at the shiny tiles, wishing that life would return to sanity.