My COVID Dreams: Colin Crites’ COVID Complications


Gage Crites

COVID Complications: Like his fellow freshman, like all members of the Class of 2024, Colin Crites has, by and large, spent most of his freshman year at home, staring at a computer to do “Zoom School,” not having the normative experiences that accompany the first year in high school.

Colin Crites is a complicated guy. The freshman at North Atlanta High School can be hard to read. He pretends to hide behind the “COVID curtain” saying he isn’t bothered that much by this entire worldwide pandemic that’s uprooted so much and caused so much suffering. But deep down inside, when someone really gets to know Crites, you can find he dwells on good old days, pre-pandemic school, hanging out with buddies, and going to the movie theater. “I try to worry about it too much,” he said. “I don’t really care that I’m missing out on high school. I’m doing just fine, really.” 

When someone plays the “just fine” card, no one can really expect them to be doing as well as they say they are. There must be something going on. No one is just doing “just fine” when our world is in one of the toughest situations it’s ever faced. Millions of Americans in financial hardships, families suffering from the loss of loved ones, and nothing feels the same. Crites says he’s “just fine.” But is he?  

When first introduced to Crites, one may completely forget about the coronavirus. Crites tends to shy away from the usual dose of questions that we are all being asked these days like “How are you?” and “How’s COVID going?” since apparently, that’s a normal question now. He seems to be living his life in a personal bubble — which is good these days, right? — where he completely tries to forget about all the bad things. “Personally, while everyone else is off going crazy about COVID, I try to pretend it doesn’t exist,” he said. “Of course I still follow the rules and guidelines, but in the end, I’m not super crazy about it like everyone else.”

There is nothing special about a regular day in the life for Crites during quarantine. Just like many of his fellow students, he wakes up around 8:20 and prepares to go to school, in his case “Zoom School.” Atlanta Public Schools, the system that is in charge of North Atlanta High School, has not opened for school and only on Feb. 16 is allowing for in-person instruction. It may not be until all these students go back that the school realizes how unproductive online school has been, especially for Crites. “Unfortunately my motivation level has completely run out,” he said. “I feel like I have more time to do things without real school, but in reality, I end up procrastinating a whole lot.” 

Crites’ “don’t-really-care” attitude eventually started turning around as he reflected on what COVID has really been and how he should view it. School seems to be a major topic on Crites’ brain right now, whether he should go back to school and experience his first year of high school as a freshman stays completely virtual. “COVID has made me reflect on the past a lot,” Crites said nostalgically. “I miss the days when I could high five my friends, cough without anyone looking at me, and go into a store without wearing a mask.”

We all miss regular life, and no one — not one North Atlanta student — is hiding that. Crites — like millions of his peers — longs to go back to the way things were. He is ready to see his friends again, and josh around a little bit. “I hope it’s over soon because it’s really impacting my life. Whether it’s a good way or a bad way, I guess we’ll see. But I certainly want to throw these masks away and I say goodbye to hand sanitizer. That’s the true dream.”