The coronavirus pandemic in the United States negatively impacted the social environment of many cities due to social isolation and repetitive memes.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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By Cadence Li

Long Essay Question Directions: You have 45 minutes to type a coherent response to the following prompt. All test-takers will be under surveillance by Zoom Inc. Like the rest of the examination, all websites will be locked down. Remember to press the “turn in” button when you are finished.

Prompt: Explain the social, economic, or political effect of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on the United States in the period between 2020 and 2030.

Sample answer:

Nearly a century before the coronavirus pandemic affected a bajillion people in the United States, the Great Depression devastated the country. Everyone was broke, and the Spanish flu had killed a bunch of people just 10 years prior. In short, America wasn’t doing too well. The economic crash resulted in many people losing their jobs and being depressed. In 2016, after President Donald Trump was elected, people cried, made memes, and America, again, was not doing too hot, unless you counted the rise of global warming. In 2020, America was attacked, not by North Korea, but by this weird germ thing that was known as the coronavirus. Reminiscent of the Great Depression, the period now known as “the Dying ’20s” looked like an Edward Hopper painting, characterized by empty streets and lonely people sitting by themselves due to the dramatic shift in social expectations. The coronavirus pandemic in the United States negatively impacted the social environment of many cities due to social isolation and repetitive memes.

The coronavirus prompted many state governments to issue recommendations of staying inside or at least six feet apart from others. Common catchphrases during this time included “two bros, chillin’ in a hot tub, five feet apart cause they’re not gay but six feet apart because they don’t want COVID-19,” and “I’m bored in the house, and I’m in the house bored.” The latter depicts both the struggles of self-quarantine and the desperation of Generation Z. Additionally, much of the younger generation turned to social media as a solution to their boredom and depression.

During this time period, everyone suffered, and platforms like TikTok and Zoom reached an all-time high as a result. The loss of sanity among the general population was also evident in the existence of “Instagram challenges.” Finally, fear spread among the 17 and 18-year-olds about their impending futures. The 17-year-olds didn’t know if they would be able to take Advanced Placement (AP) tests, a concept that is foreign to us because who wants to sit and take a test?

One of the greatest social problems during this time period was the staleness of memes. As a result of quarantine, new experiences were not as available for meme creation. Thus, memes consistently revolved around the lack of social interaction, Cardi B saying “coronavirus” in a dramatic tone, and people being bad students on Zoom. However, these constant yet repetitive memes exemplified the population’s attempt to grasp onto their sanity. Furthermore, this allowed intellectual development even outside of the physical classroom. By moving to remote learning, many students learned skills that were more applicable to their futures. These skills included pretending to work as a superior is watching you, avoiding human contact, and training their retinas to not burn off in the growing digital age. As the National TikTok Archives show, many students even predicted this specific LEQ prompt. The anxiety produced by the virus also prompted armies of Karens to battle it out in the middle of Walmart and Costco for toilet paper. Some demanded to speak to the manager of the coronavirus, and others protested the virus by hosting walkouts. Some even tried digging through the coronavirus’s history in order to “cancel” it. Sadly, these actions furthered the spread of the virus, ending the lives of a bunch of people.

In conclusion, the coronavirus was very bad for people. It was bad for society. In an age where technology was expanding rapidly, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this growth. Without this pandemic, many social conventions present today would not be in place. For example, AP tests may still be on paper, which would have made us run out of trees nearly 20 years ago. Thus, our generation owes it to those who were under quarantine who sacrificed their sanity for such a great contribution to our history textbooks.

Teacher feedback: This is completely factually correct. Absolutely nothing is wrong with this. It should be published in a newspaper.

Thesis: 1/1

Context: 1/1—Insightful connections were made.

Evidence: 2/2—Extremely relevant details were thoroughly explained.

Analysis and Reasoning: 2/2