In their words: Growing up in a pandemic

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Early in the pandemic, schools across the U.S. closed and many children turned to online learning, stuck at home trying to keep up with lessons and friends remotely.

"I felt uncomfortable because I never did like something like this, and I had to be on like a screen like all day," said Jamil Moore, a 10-year-old in New York.

Friends scheduled virtual playdates as the virus surged and slowly resumed in-person activities as cases dropped.

"I haven’t seen them for such a long time that when I when I had the first playdate, I didn’t even remember their favorite colors," said Otto Linn-Walton and 8-year-old in New York.

In November, kids ages 5 to 11 were authorized to get the Pfizer COVId-19 vaccine after more than 18 months of illness, hospitalizations, deaths and disrupted education. But the vaccination rate in this age group has been low due to misinformation and a rocky rollout.

As the omicron wave recedes, more communities and schools including in New York City are lifting mask mandates and trying to learn to live with the virus.

For New Yorker London Acosta, 10, she said she’s happy taking in-person classes at the Brooklyn Children’s Theatre.

"Even while I’m here, they give me like a better understanding of what to do because they’re right there," she said.


The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.