The Enemies That Blindsided Us All

As the world is getting a grip on the worldwide pandemic, some feel like this period of time resembles a past global crisis

Two people walk past a 9/11 art tribute while wearing masks during the coronavirus outbreak

Mother Jones

Two people walk past a 9/11 art tribute while wearing masks during the coronavirus outbreak

Restaurants are closing, airports are doing extra checks, America is shutting down… but this isn’t the first time. The CoronaVirus pandemic is changing the world and is making people behave more cautiously towards their peers and towards what used to be their normal. Most people born after 2002 can say they have never been part of something like this and can say that they have never seen America like this in their lifetime. The same can’t be said about the people who lived during the terrorist attacks of 9/11. There are many people who have said the feeling that they are getting during this pandemic is very similar to the way they felt during 9/11. The two events are so different in what actually happened and is happening, but America’s response to the two events are very similar.

The Atlantic
A smoke cloud rises into the air during the later hours of September 11th, 2001

“When 9/11 happened, we didn’t really know what to do. We tried to act as if things were the same, but they didn’t feel the same” Teacher Parker Lee said, “This pandemic has been the only other time in my life when I have had that feeling. Once this is over, I feel like things won’t feel quite like they did before.” Lee finished. The main similarity between the two events in history is the feeling they gave off. During 9/11 the sense of uncertainty that Americans felt was what they thought to be a once in a lifetime occurrence. When the pandemic started shutting things down the people who lived through 9/11 had a feeling of worry and knew that this was going to change the world just like the terror attacks did 19 years earlier. 

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“For me, the pandemic crisis has matured slowly, whereas 9/11 was immediate and shocking,” Science teacher Nikki Wyman said. “The evidence of the pandemic is invisible which makes it more challenging to conceptualize versus 9/11 which was graphic and obviously devastating,” Wyman concluded. There are also huge differences between the two events. The 9/11 terrorist attacks happened so fast and the change in response happened just as fast. With the pandemic we all knew it was coming, the news was broadcasting it for almost two months in advance. We did change a lot of things very fast like switching to online school and the stay inside orders, but people in America still aren’t accepting that the pandemic is a problem that will change their life forever.

A man wearing a mask looks off into a crowd of people during the Coronavirus pandemic

“After 9/11 there was a sense throughout the country that we needed to take action. Now there is no action we can take, there is no tangible way to stop things,” history teacher Joe McGavin said, “All we have to do is stay home and stay isolated, which causes people to feel very disconnected, whereas after 9/11 the country felt very galvanized together around one thing.” McGavin finished. The way the world is reacting to the pandemic is to stay away from each other and stop the spread. The pandemic is also bringing out a lot of people’s true colors, there are huge groups of people who are stealing all of the toilet paper and treating others in a less than satisfactory way. The opposite can be said about the reactions to 9/11 when 9/11 happened people stood together against the enemy that was the terrorists that carried out the attacks. Honestly, the whole world stood together after the attacks, but now no one is standing together. They are standing apart which can make people feel extra lonely.

The last day most people were in school, can be said to be the weirdest day of a lot of people’s lives. However, the people who lived through 9/11 can say it was the second weirdest day of their life. Even though there are many differences between the two moments in history, there are also many similarities. The biggest being that the world will never be the same now just like 19 years earlier. When everyone can finally see the light and leave their houses we know that life will look a lot different and it’s not just going to be the extra use of hand-sanitizer.