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East Brunswick Tech students share poetry influenced by COVID-19 crisis

The April/May 2020 issue of STRIPES, East Brunswick Technical High School’s Literary Magazine, is dedicated to the first responders, healthcare professionals, essential workers and families in the EB Tech community who have been affected by COVID-19.


by Ryan Reyes

Change is everywhere
Dead silence is in the air
When will we return?



by Jocelyn Rodriguez

Stuck inside the four walls of my home.
The lost lives bring sorrow.
Nothing to do, nowhere to roam
Waiting for tomorrow.
Helpless in this ill world alone.



by Leanna Pede

Longing for outside
never take it for granted
When will it go back?



by Tia Polanco

I was scared, to be thrown back to the very thing that brought me down. It was then I realized that we were all in this together. For the safety of everyone, ourselves, our parents, our favorite little cousins, our grandparents that make amazing foods. Everyone wants life to go back to normal, but for that to happen it is a team effort. As someone that lives in her mind a lot I know how much this can hurt and just be overall boring, but I’m managing. Playing video games with friends, scrap booking, reading, binging shows, calling friends and family constantly. Although this isn’t ideal, it’s life for now. Enjoying the little things and being there for each other while still practicing social distancing is how we’ll make it through. As for all the seniors, we’ve been through a lot to get here. I am so proud of every single one of you. We deserve prom and graduation, and our school is doing their very best to get that to us. We got this! Stay strong, and safe!



by Isaac DeAraujo

I’ve been quarantined, and I’ve been forced to stay home with nothing to do except online school which I can not stand. But I struggle through it every day. But I’ve been trying to do stuff and get out like yesterday. I was welding with my cousin and I built supports for my roof. But I’m all out of stuff to do. That’s all, Journal.



by Alyssa Mendez

Two weeks was all it was supposed to take
Two weeks until everything got better
Two weeks of staying at home
Two weeks until everything become normal again
What should’ve taken two weeks ended up being unknown

Two weeks of focusing on school
Two weeks of high hopes now gone
Two weeks of slowly losing track
Two weeks of holding back tears
Now two more weeks have passed

Three weeks of attempting high grades
Three weeks of staying in the same two rooms
Three weeks of pretending I’m fine
Three weeks to finally realize how much I took the outside for granted
I see my grandparents once a week but can’t stay long

Four weeks of debating should I sign in today
Four weeks of loneliness seeping in
Four weeks of creativity coursing through my veins
Four weeks of sitting on the bed wondering what do I do
I spend hours on my phone to escape what’s happening

It’s not fair my family and I have to Facetime just to sing ‘Happy Birthday’
It’s not fair testing isn’t free
It’s not fair the hospital and media aren’t releasing everything
It’s not fair supermarkets are sold out of the necessary things
It’s not fair I’m doing my part while so many others aren’t



by Ruth Learn

When Corona came
There was little warning.
The virus seemed so far and truly
Few took the threat as seriously
As they should have.
In just two months it went from
The terror of China to
The terror of the world.
Exposing flaws in our government,
Hurtling us
Deep into a recession.
I guess it really is the roaring 20’s
All over again;
The stock market crash
And the Spanish influenza,
All coming back to haunt us.
I went from two jobs to zero,
Make no money,
Teach myself math to pass the time.
I miss my friends and
Our adventures.
Exploring, trying new foods,
Going on road trips
To who knows where.
I miss feeling ALIVE.
We just hide to survive.



by Abigail Nelwin

Social distancing has not necessarily been such a horrible thing. I find myself being able to reflect more, being that the closest person I can always be around is the person in the mirror. I lie awake more often these nights and ponder what it means to be more present, and how much I believe we will all find a deeper meaning in the little things after we can see each other again. I feel the blending of days more intensely; though I did feel them before, I just had more things to distract myself with. The moments that occur now seem undefined and miniscule, yet we are more self aware than ever that our simple actions carry tremendous weight. I see people transforming into more sincere creatures with a common concern that we must protect one another and practice resilience more than ever. This moment in time, despite its calamitous shadow over humanity, is one of the most remarkable occurrences that we will have all collectively experienced. I take all of it in; I absorb the good with the bad, and it does feel more bad than good. Today I listened to the song “Everyday Is Like Sunday” by Morrissey, and I found it ironic considering how relevant it is to our situation. The hook in which he repeats “come, Armageddon, come” harps on the despairing outlook that is synonymous with this outbreak. With this time, I look for perspective. I ponder the future and how it will inevitably be forever changed. I recognize the many moods I feel and they shift like the phases of the moon. I know tranquility, boredom, despair, happiness, and of course, the chronic and creeping underlying rage that still burns with questions and discontent. I am more grateful than ever for just simply being, and through everything, knowing that the distance is only temporary.



by Cindy Perez

At first, everything that had happened felt like a dream; it didn’t feel real to me. But once I saw how dire it has become, I now know that it’s more serious than I thought it was. The first week of doing classes online was very difficult. There is rarely any communication with anyone that you have classes with, unless you call them or text them. In addition, there were lessons that I couldn’t understand because I needed extra help. But once that first week was complete, online classes seemed to have gotten much easier because I got used to it.

What being stuck at home for the last couple of weeks has taught me is that I won’t underestimate the value of being in school again. I do miss waking up early on a Monday morning.  Although not many people like to get up early to learn, we get to see our friends and talk to each other. Also, because of this virus, we are not allowed to be close to each other. We have to be stuck at home until this whole pandemic is over. Even though I can call my friends and talk to them, it isn’t the same as seeing them in person; there is nothing like talking and catching up in person. It’s scary to know that this is happening right now, and how it is affecting so many people. All day I think about the people that are affected because of this virus, and what they are doing now. But I realized I’m not alone. We are all together in this, fighting this virus.

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