The following guest column was written by Westfield High School freshman Annika Vesuna.

The coronavirus has impacted many people’s lives around the world, including mine.

My life has been put on hold, as I’m trapped in my house all day. It was day one after the schools closed and I was stuck at home and I was bored. Bored out of my mind because I had nothing to do. It was awful being home, and I felt like I had it pretty bad.

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I was seeing people on social media hanging out and enjoying their time off from school, meanwhile my family had to take extreme precautions because of my mom. My mom is immune compromised so my entire family couldn’t leave the house. No grocery shopping, no extra-curriculars, barely any fresh air because the safety of my mom came first. And I hated the fact that I was stuck at home all day with very little to do.

But as the days have gone by, I’ve started to appreciate these circumstances by staying positive, and I want you to do the same thing.

I thought I was affected so badly by the virus and my situation, but I realized that there are so many people worse off than I am. Sure, I’m a little inconvenienced because of my mom, but there are a ton of people out there who have lost their jobs, the people they love, their homes and so much more. So to the people who feel like their world has fallen apart, you’re not alone, and remember that there are people who have lost a lot more.

I’ve had to start walking my dog everyday because my mom who usually does it can’t go outside. Since I’m the oldest child in my family the responsibility came on me. Every day when I take my dog out for a walk, I see people with their families playing a game outside, walking together or riding their bikes as a family.

Before all of this happened, it was rare for me to see so many people find the time in their busy schedules to be with one another. This virus has forced us to take a deep breath, slow down and be with our families.

Instead of thinking about our quarantine as a “prison” we need to see it for the gift it is. The gift of time; focus on the positive. We have been granted time to be with the people we love. We should be taking advantage of that instead of complaining of a party or sporting event that had to be canceled. We need to stay positive and think of this as a gift in disguise.

I’m looking around and I’m seeing our community come together and help one another. People are helping elders with groceries, donating food/supplies, making masks and we as a community are going out of our way to help. This is a good thing, and we need to see it that way.

I started journaling and finding ways to become more positive. I look online and find positive quotes that I think are important principles to live by and I write them down in my journal in cool designs; it’s my new hobby. These quotes inspired me to write this article.

This is the time where we need to stay positive more than ever. The circumstances are terrible, the virus is terrible, but if we remain positive and change our perspective, we can find ways to overcome this. Once we reach the end of this tunnel, we are going to look back and be proud of the things we had done to help.

Me, I’m planning on virtually tutoring kids-in-need who are struggling with their homework after the schools closed. I’m finding ways to help my community and so many people are doing the same. It’s truly something amazing. We are going to come out of this stronger than before and proud of everything we had done to help.

And to the people who still see this situation as a curse, my advice is to think positive. That is the only way we have a chance of coming out on the other side. Find ways to help your community.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the coronavirus is going in the books. Years from now textbooks are going to cover this and the coronavirus will be history. Do you want textbooks to say that the people were faced with a challenge and they sank, or the community came together and found ways to help overcome it? The choice is yours.