My Pandemic Story: A Seven-Year-Old Who’s Missing Her Friends and Her Birthday

Sasha Martin chats with her mom about what quarantine has looked like from her perspective.

child's coronavirus perspective

Seven-year-old Sasha Martin provides a child’s coronavirus perspective.

Published as a part of the “This Is My Pandemic Story” article in the May issue of Philadelphia Magazine. Here, seven-year-old Sasha Martin is in conversation with her mom, Ashley Primis.

What do you know about the coronavirus?
It’s a small virus, and when you get it, you need to go to the doctor and they test you for it.

Do you know why this sickness is so different?
Because I heard that you can die because of it.

Are you nervous about getting it?
Not really, because it’s kind of rare for kids to get it.

Where did you learn that?
I don’t know. Somebody talking about it. People are talking about it all the time. You need to wash your hands. That’s the most important part.

How are you doing with that?
I’m doing actually pretty good. I mean, sometimes when I’m in a rush …

Do you try not to touch your face?
Yeah, I really haven’t been touching my face.

That’s so hard, right?
Yeah, sometimes I just really need to itch my face.

You just touched your face!
Oh! [laughs]

It’s been about three weeks since things have been closed and we’ve been home.
Which is sad, because I kinda like school and my teachers, and I miss my friends.

So, who have you been playing with?
[Sigh] Willa [Sasha’s little sister].

How’s that going?

You’ve talked to your friends?
Yeah, on Zoom.

Speaking of, how is virtual school going?
Well, it’s way harder, because, like, you’re not a teacher, and my teachers are way better at teaching stuff than you. No offense.

What’s the best part of online schooling?
Probably being on a screen. But there’s really nothing good.

What are some other things you miss?
Going out to restaurants. I wouldn’t call myself a picky eater, but I don’t like eating food made at home all the time. I miss having playdates. I miss going to parks, too — like just climbing on things.

Are there any things that got canceled that bum you out?
My basketball championship game. I played so hard and, like, for nothing, really.

We were supposed to go to Florida for spring break.
I wish we would have made it there, because then we would be stuck in Florida, which would actually be pretty good.

What else?
I’m worried about maybe missing my birthday. Yeah, I know it’s gonna get canceled.

Have you ever spent so much time with your family?
No. And it’s hard, especially with Willa, who is just four. We get into lots of fights. She’s loud.

When you feel sad or mad, what do you do?
Sometimes I punch a pillow. Sometimes I lie down. And sometimes I just take it out on my sister.

Can you think of some good things about this whole experience?
I like being able to see you more.

Same for me. I feel like you’ve gotten a lot more treats and juice.
Yes, yes, let’s keep it that way!

How do you think this whole thing is going to end?
Everyone’s gonna probably spend a little more time at home. It’s going to be a few more months.

How does that make you feel?
Really, really sad. If there was a new secret room, I’d be really happy, but I’ve checked out every single room in our house. And Willa’s room is a mess, so I can’t go in there. And I wish I had a new family member. I want to get to know someone else.

Published as part of the “This Is My Pandemic Story” feature in the May 2020 issue of Philadelphia magazine.