The world has been changing drastically. This pandemic has forced us to rethink our values because it threatens our way of life. To many people, this ordeal has brought adversity, pain and sorrow. To me, however, this virus feels a lifetime away.

I live in a bubble.

Never in my entire life have I faced true hardship. My biggest concerns were completing my homework and wondering if a girl likes me. I spent all of my time thinking about a girl and hoping that I’ll make junior varsity basketball next year. 

Now, I keep hearing terrible news about a high mortality rate, a crashing stock market and a horrifying global pandemic. Slowly, I can feel the bubble around me being punctured. 

Despite this global crisis erupting around me, I have found myself facing a terrible truth: I have been incredibly shallow. 

To me, the solution to this crisis feels so simple. Why can’t everybody just stay home for two weeks? Ignorantly, I assumed that this pandemic would be a two-week setback and then be forgotten. 

For reasons that I cannot begin to understand, I have found that my First World life has suddenly imploded. School, Herzl Camp and my soccer season have all been canceled. I have been forced to stay in my house for months and am unable to meet up with my friends.

Benjamin Kruger

And yet as I say this, I realize how absurd this must sound. I live in a nice house with plenty of food and a loving family. While I agonize over my empty and boring summer, other people living in unsanitary conditions are facing a horrendous virus with little access to medical care.

Outside my bubble, people are living an unimaginable reality, facing unfathomable obstacles. 

I know that I cannot even begin to compare myself with the victims of this virus and that I am lucky to be in the situation I’m in. While this is true, I have realized how connected the world is. A single mutation has the potential to threaten all human life. Life is fragile, and I now know that it contains more than just girls and sports.

If I could say one thing to the entire world, I would say that we are all in this together … 6 feet apart.

Benjamin Kruger, 14, lives in Chesterfield and will begin his freshman year at Parkway Central High School in the fall.