Over the last two years, a lot of stuff has happened.

 So… Two years ago a virus hit the world, called Covid19. It closed schools, restaurants, and businesses like my family’s sports store. Many weeks later the stores opened but you had to wear masks which are so annoying. They itch your face and you can’t really breathe, especially when you play sports. The worst thing of all was that hockey stopped for about a month and there was no end-of-season. I was very sad because I’ve played hockey my whole life and it is a part of me. I love it and I felt frustrated, angry even.

 The year continued, and so did Covid. The restrictions became less, then more, then less, then more again. I couldn’t finish my school year with my favourite teacher or my friends.

 After summer break, I returned to school with my friends but I could not see them because of cohorts. Hockey was weird too. We only played two games. I was captain but couldn’t lead my team, except during practices. I’m grateful for the private ice sessions with coach Ryan. My team hockey coaches tried their best but they were restricted by social distancing rules.

 We lived on a farm with many animals but decided to move into town. Four months after the move, Covid was still going on and big fires started to burn in BC. The new owners at the farm had to evacuate because the fires were close. A lot burnt down and it seemed like it was never going to end. They tried to do a backburn but that made it worse. There were fires in many places. Logan Lake and Lower Nicola had to evacuate but in Merritt, we were only on an alert. We helped some evacuees on their way out of town. They were sad and very upset. This made me sad.

 During all this time, Covid was still going on. A lot of people’s houses burned down. My dad and my brother helped ranchers to get their horses out in time. Ryan cooked 60 hamburgers and my mom packed them for firefighters with drinks, to be delivered, to show our appreciation. I was scared, especially when we could see the orange glow at night.  

 Months later, and Covid was still going on. There were mudslides and a lot of rain, and then the water reached Merritt. The water broke the banks and it kept raining heavily and Merritt was evacuated. A lot of people did not leave, but more did. We stayed. We had enough food and bottled water but we could not drink tap water or flush toilets. We were told that if we flushed the toilet all the gross stuff would come back up and flood the house. It sucked, but not nearly as much as the people who had basements full of water or worse. Some gas stations were open, so we could buy water, food, and milk if they had, but we could only buy 1 bottle of water at a time. We ate a lot of chips!

 Everyone who stayed behind to look after their homes and businesses were punished. Food was sent out of town by the food bank even though those people could reach food stores. We weren’t allowed out after dark and the police who came to help from a different city weren’t as kind or helpful like the Merritt police. The firefighters, rescuers, and city workers were very busy.

 The people who stayed behind supported one another and looked after one another. They shared food, water, and many other things. Some people snuck food past the barricades but most were too scared. People were judging you for doing what you felt was best.

 After all the fires and floods, good deeds, and people who easily helped one another, Covid is still around, and those who are against vaccines are also judged and punished. Many of the good deeds are forgotten now that the water has gone down.  Everything is so messy, not just the mud from the floods.  If someone who has judged me and turned against me for my choices, would call for help, I would help them every time.   

Aiden van Rensburg, 11
Merritt, BC