To Say I'm Angry is an Understatement

Dublin Core


To Say I'm Angry is an Understatement


When my high school went into lockdown in March, I wasn’t too upset. Sure, it would be an adjustment, I thought, but a temporary one. Just two weeks of learning from home and we’d be back to attending school in person in no time. However, two weeks turned into four, then six, and soon enough, my school announced that we wouldn’t be returning. As I came to terms with the fact that I wouldn’t be able to give my friends and favorite teachers the proper goodbye they deserved, tragedy struck: my grandfather, who had been living with dementia for the last few years of his life, contracted COVID-19 in his nursing home and died two days later. Since my family and I couldn’t travel, we had to watch his burial on FaceTime. This was no longer a temporary adjustment like I so hoped it would be. I was okay with converting my entire required graduation project (an art exhibit) into a virtual format and teaching myself how to make a website, despite having no experience whatsoever in web design. I was okay with not being able to see my friends in person. After all, we did have cell phones. But I wasn’t okay with losing my grandpa to this disease, to this pandemic that was caused in part by our then-president’s utter disregard for anyone other than himself and his delusional devotees. I’m not mad at people with medical exemptions who can’t wear masks or get vaccinated. I’m not mad at people who are hesitant to get the vaccine, but open to it. No, I’m mad at the people who refused to do something as simple as putting a piece of cloth over their mouths and noses to prevent the spread of a deadly virus. I’m mad at the people who are requesting religious exemptions from vaccines and trying to obtain fake vaccination cards when, really, they just don’t want to do their part to help others. I’m mad at the people who are purposely spreading misinformation about vaccines. They are the reason we are still in the throes of the pandemic almost two years since it emerged. They are part of the reason why my grandfather and millions of other people are dead. My grandfather did not deserve this. He was a kind, generous man completely devoted to his family. He loved baseball, the Beatles, and his children and grandchildren. He worked tirelessly at multiple jobs to make sure my father, my aunt and my grandma had what they needed to get by. He was the life of every party; at my parents’ wedding he gathered everyone onto the dance floor and got them moving. Even as his physical and mental health deteriorated, he never wavered in his love for all of us. Every academic accomplishment was met with enthusiasm and maybe a fist bump. At what would ultimately be his last Christmas, when we were all exchanging goodbye hugs, he said to me, “We’re proud of everything you’re doing.” Those were his last words to me, and they have stuck with me ever since. I may not have seen him very often in later years, but I miss him every day.


Around April 2020


rachel.firman, “To Say I'm Angry is an Understatement,” Chatham Covid 19 Collection Project, accessed December 11, 2023,

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