Silver Linings by Leah Chang & Eunice Lee

Silver Lining of the Pandemic

Written by: Leah Chang & Eunice Lee

Living in the dysfunctional year of 2020, there have been many exasperating events we’ve witnessed along the way. As a developed nation, it was disturbing how there was inability to handle the pandemic, which ended up impacting many lives as well as our way of life. Despite all of the negativity, we were pleasantly surprised with the multitude of "silver linings" people shared.

Once the virus was introduced and we were asked to quarantine, things halted  and made us realize that there is so much we had taken for granted. I mean, how distressing was it to not have the ability to go outside, in fear of encountering a human being? What got us through this can be wrapped up in this irreplaceable, and most valuable common theme of family. It has opened our eyes to the small bright moments in the dark, and we’re very appreciative of minor perks in life.

Thus, that is the silver lining of the pandemic. This thriller movie we’re living in has caused us to appreciate the minuscule and intangibles in life, as well as to not take things for granted. Throughout the months we’ve taken time to reflect on our past, present, and future, along with the transition from the people we are, to the people we aspire to become. Although there are still many questions remaining, we know that family will provide the strong foundation that we need to support our future survival and success. 

Here are some of the experiences from our peers and teachers:

“I definitely learned how to appreciate more of the things I used to take for granted. I feel calmer, and now I’m chill. My mindset is that I’ll get things done eventually, rather than ‘I gotta do this right now!’”



- Ms. Kennedy, living environment and AP Biology teacher


“I would say that the greatest silver lining of the pandemic for me, has been spending more time with my family and learning to appreciate the smaller things in life.”


- Toniann Guerreiro, student in ninth grade


“I learned that my family got along better than I thought they would under the circumstances. When people who care about one another are forced to be with one another all the time, one might anticipate problems.  My family, however, got along beautifully.” - Mr. O’Malley, AP Human Geography teacher

“This pandemic was a very challenging time for me and everyone I know. It was a complete change in reality, kind of like living in a movie. School was closed and I couldn’t see my extended family and friends which is horrible. But a silver lining of this pandemic was that I got to spend quality time with my immediate family and take up hobbies that I didn’t have enough time to do before which was fun. Overall, I am grateful to be back at school and see everyone again.”

- Markella Kiriakes, student in tenth grade


“We adopted a French Bulldog, so that was my silver lining.” - Mrs. Coelho, Spanish teacher

“I got the chance to spend time with my mom, which I didn’t get to do often prior to the pandemic. We had the opportunity to do activities such as baking, cooking, and watching the sunrise together. We’ll cherish the memories we made together, forever!” - Anonymous, student in ninth grade

“I learned how to make time for myself, and how to adapt to wildly unexpected things. I also learned how to bake, so that was pretty cool.”

- Conor Scott, student in ninth grade


“During the pandemic I definitely realized how much of an impact friends and family have on my life. Even though calling and FaceTime were still available forms of communication, missing the social aspect of being able to meet up with them and be present in person was hard.”  - Brianna DiVirgilio, student in ninth grade

“I started a garden and in my garden I began to grow zucchini, eggplants, tomatoes, and some other things. They began to grow over the summer, and what happened was that all of a sudden I got a small green bulb which was growing weirdly. I thought, ‘Maybe someone gave me a plant that was played with...’ but guess what it was! It was a pumpkin! That was my silver lining, it was the happiest surprise that happened. I also exercised and did yoga every day.”

-Mrs. Loughlin, art teacher (The image of the pumpkin is below.)


“I got a chance to pause time, and treat myself. Like exercise, pick up a new hobby, etc.”

- Diana Smykiv, student in ninth grade


“Last year, the way it was structured I had time to keep up with all my school, practice Portuguese, practice piano, and even learn a bit of German with some time to spare. Since it’s not as rigorous due to the pandemic, the silver lining has been the extra time I’ve been able to use in order to keep up with school.”

- Andrew Pereira, student in ninth grade


“I learned how to plant and I got into gardening. I got to bike, specifically mountain bike, and I like it a lot, which you can look at as exercising. I also got to spend a lot of time with my family, which is my sons, my husband, and my cats.”  - Mrs. Grassie, geometry and calculus teacher

“Well I actually learned how to bake, and I made so many cool things like homemade ice cream which was a lot harder than I thought (the different flavors of course like chocolate, vanilla, coffee and strawberry). I also made this amazing cheesecake, as well as a Bundt cake. My grandpa also came over and I got to spend a lot more time with him since I was at home instead of school.”

- Gisele Aery, student in eighth grade

“I was able to go home and be with my family and I had more free time to reflect and to work on myself and my mental health. I was able to relax more.”

- Ms. Guidetti, science research teacher


I'm in my 38th year of teaching, 37 of them in Mineola.  I teach 8th and 11th grade English at the high school, and I am the adviser for the Question Mark, the high school newspaper.  I also am assistant director for the spring musical and the adviser for the Creative Writing Club. 

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