Living At Risk

Elise Jensen , Reporter

With COVID-19 being on Colorado’s doorstep in mid March, it came as a surprise to almost everyone that school was going on a break… almost everyone. My family had been watching the virus since January, when the first known cases popped up in the United States, and it was a display of the severity of the situation when Niwot High School closed. My family began worrying for the health of the immunodeficient within the first 25 reported cases, and we were especially worried for the health of my little brother. 


At the age of two, Alec (15), was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes, often called juvenile diabetes, is commonly found in children. It is a chronic condition where the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to help metabolize the glucose from food. Now, while this isn’t an immunodeficiency issue, Alec is still at risk for COVID-19. If he were to contract the virus, it would be very difficult to manage his blood sugar levels, and he has a great chance of never recovering from the virus. 


The reality of the situation was that we gave up a lot of our restricted freedom in order to keep Alec safe. When the shutdown started, my family already had masks, a food supply, hand sanitizer, and all of the “necessities” that were supposed to keep him safe. After the stay-home-order was set in place, our family continued to follow the rules, and for the majority of the spring and summer we stayed inside. My parents were still adamant about sending their children to sports practices while in the middle of the pandemic, but we were required to take more precautions than our fellow teammates. My brother and I were required to stand more than 6 feet away from our friends in situations involving large groups, and weren’t even allowed to see our friends at times. As the virus became more severe, our family put stricter restrictions on us seeing our friends based on whether they had been out of state or not, causing a lot of my younger brother’s freshman year to be taken away. 


Since the school is shutting down again and we are reaching another high wave of cases in our state, our parents are beginning to enforce these rules once again. Even though our life isn’t what it used to be, I’d rather lose all my freedoms to keep my little brother safe. 


Even if you don’t have an at-risk family member, please remember to still wear your mask for people who are fighting to keep the people they love alive.