I sighed and slumped on the sofa. This coronavirus had really got in the way of everyone’s lives. My parents had banned my brother and I from leaving the house. My mum tried her best to engage us in different sorts of activities, but all my brother did was make a mess, and guess who got told off? Me!

The doorbell startled me out of my daze and as I went to open the door, I received a shock. My best friend Eleanor was standing on the doorstep grinning like an imp.

“Eleanor!” I shrieked hysterically. “What are you doing here?”

“Just thought of meeting up. These holidays are a bore,” replied my friend reaching out to hug me.

I leapt out of the way and Eleanor ended up hugging a marble pillar.

“What was that for?” she questioned with a hurt look on her face.

“Sorry El,” I replied. “It’s just that we shouldn’t hug. It will spread germs.”

“So, you’re saying I have germs?” questioned Eleanor.

“No!” I exclaimed, “Because of the coronavirus we should maintain a distance. I am surprised you came here. These holidays are not for fun or partying. They are for staying in the house and just going out for necessary things, like buying grocery, medicine and other necessities. Wash and sanitise your hands regularly. Wear a face mask when going out. Stay hydrated and take a shower daily.”

My friends stood staring at me, gawping. “When did you become such a hygiene genius?” she asked awestruck.

“It’s not an option. You have to know what’s going on in the world. The coronavirus is a global pandemic. Oh! Have any of your family members travelled anywhere recently.”

“No!” replied Eleanor impatiently.

“Oh well, if you’re here we might as well do something,” I declared squeezing some sanitiser into her hand.

“No! Tell me more about this global disaster. It is really interesting, I have not been paying much attention to the news lately.”

We ended up sitting on the couch, munching popcorn and me telling Eleanor about the coronavirus.

As Eleanor left to go home, she smiled gratefully and said, “Thanks for making me aware about what is serious and crucial at this time.”

“You’re always welcome El,” I replied flashing a smile. I felt proud of myself for raising awareness and teaching someone to prevent the spread of this virus and keep themselves safe.

My dear friends, spend these days wisely. Take just an hour or two out from the day to re-enforce your school concepts so that you remember them. Don’t just sit watching TV all day. Try new things. Expand your horizon and be creative. Paint or try and make a pencil holder.

There is a whole world of unbounded possibilities waiting for you to uncover them.

Published in Dawn, Young World, April 18th, 2020