Cecilia closed her eyes tightly. She took a deep breath that reached every inch of her body from the tips of her toes to the top of her head. In and out. In and out. That perfect rhythmic pattern she turned to when she needed to slow the downpour of stress and emotions overtaking her. In and out. Slowly she opened her eyes. She was still unsure, scared, and overwhelmed, but slightly more calm.

The world had become an unsure place in the matter of weeks. Schools, restaurants, events, all were shut down. The once bustling city, halted by a preventable outbreak. Cecilia found herself alone more often these days. Her family, though in the same household, felt like they were a world apart. They needed to stay home but each of them had to be separated. Her mother and father had underlying conditions and were left without jobs. Her brother was isolated in his room struggling to breath with the disease rapidly chipping away at his normally positive outlook. He was losing hope. Cecilia was losing hers as well.

She was the only one left, being the only one with papers made her the one with the most opportunities. For her parents and her brother, no social security number meant no job with health insurance. No insurance, meant no affordable possibility for a hospital. Her brother needed medical help. Her family needed a roof over their head. She had to step up. Never mind her cancelled school year, prom, or graduation. Her sadness over the loss of these rights of passage had to wait. The reality at hand was far more dire and important.

Cecilia, closed her eyes once again. Took one more big breath in through her cloth covered nose, and out through her cloth covered mouth. She opened her eyes and looked at the person on the other side of the clear plexi-glass. With as much joy as she could muster, she said, "Hi! Do you need any bags today?" and she began to scan the food on the belt.

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