One year ago this March, a terrible pandemic swept the world. It felt like our lives ended and that we were never going to have fun again. Now, a year later, we’re still losing our minds due to being quarantined, but have found ways to cope with it. Instead of being negative this month, I decided to think about all the things I want to do the minute things reopen. I want to be positive, although this year we have been trying to stay away from “positive” people. Just kidding!
The first thing I want to do is drive-by visits with friends and family members. We did drive-by visits during quarantine in the summer and they were great. During the winter, it’s hard for me to be outside in the cold. My immune system is really weak so I can’t really be exposed to cold temperatures. Sitting in a wheelchair accessible van with my Quantum® Edge® 3 Power Wheelchair means that I can’t really see anybody from the trunk when we do drive-by visits. I am really looking forward to seeing people in person while maintaining a safe distance.
I want to throw several parties, including my birthday barbecue with music, good food, and spending time outdoors with family. It doesn’t get any better! I want to have many sleepovers and go to the movie theaters! I miss watching movies in the theater with my family.
The next thing I want to do is shop until I drop! I would use all my saved birthday money to go to the mall with my friends without my parents and go on a shopping spree. Most of my shopping during quarantine has been done online. I cannot wait to go to the store so that I can see things that I like in person. I also love the mall experience and Wetzels pretzels.
Another thing I want to do (and it’s something I am most excited about) is go to the beach! We went to the beach one or two times during the summer when it wasn’t crowded. We weren’t able to go into the water because there were still too many people and it wasn’t safe. After COVID-19 ends, I am really looking forward to swimming because I love the water.
Speaking of swimming, one of the things I am really excited for and missing out on is aquatic therapy. Before COVID-19 started, I attended aquatic therapy twice a week and it was awesome. It also helps my muscles get stronger and helped with the pain. I had to stop therapy because it wasn’t safe. Now, it’s been almost a year and I really need it, especially after my surgery.
I also want to travel everywhere! I know it might be a while before we can board an airplane again. Even if we did some road trips around the United States and explore the outdoors, that’s something that I would really love to do!
I know COVID-19 will never fully go away and that we still have to be careful and wear masks. Still, I’m definitely looking forward to getting back to normal and living my life as a teenager. Not being able to experience normal things for the last year has really taught me to value the time we spend with loved ones and make the most of each day!
About Sakina Shamsi: Sakina lives in New Jersey with her parents and brother. Although she has spinal muscular atrophy type II, Sakina lives a full and independent lifestyle. She uses an Edge® 3 Power Wheelchair for mobility. Sakina is active in the disability community and enjoys horseback riding, baking and crafting. Click here to learn more about Sakina.