What kids are telling us about their pandemic lives
Updated 0702 GMT (1502 HKT) March 28, 2021
(CNN)As more children get to head back to in-person school after a year of virtual learning, they bring with them the lessons learned from a year of living under the threat of a once-in-a-century virus.
Our kids have learned a lot during the pandemic. Many have gotten closer to their siblings and others fought more with them; they have loved spending more time with their parents at home and gotten sick of only having their families to talk to -- just like adults.
Some of these parents have cancer. Others are first responders or live with lupus or other health conditions. In quarantine, these children have worried about losing their parents to the pandemic. These kids have seen if their communities mask up and practice social distancing -- and if those communities want to keep them safe -- or not.
"As a mom, I've seen firsthand how hard this past year can be for kids," photographer Kate T. Parker told CNN. "My own two struggled, fought, learned and grew like so many others. It is hard to find an area of their lives unaffected by this pandemic. I was curious to hear from them, in their own words, exactly what they thought about life during quarantine.
"Due to Covid-19, we've been forced to create smaller, safer worlds for ourselves. I was so thankful for this project to push out of our own bubble to safely see how other families and kids are experiencing this virus and the ensuing change of life," she said.
"Kids are overwhelmingly resilient. I remain in awe of their perspective and think Kaitlin really summed up the general response of the kids: 'I learned a lot this last year,' she told me. 'Follow your dreams, and do it now. ... Don't wait, because you never know when you won't have a chance.'"
Here's what several children told Parker about their lives during the pandemic.
Kaitlin, 12: I have asthma. I've had it since I was a baby, so we had to be pretty strict in quarantine. It wasn't all that bad, though. I learned how to skateboard and how to cook better. Also, because we had totally new routines, I formed a bond with people I might not have before Covid. I've gotten to know and make friends with people I might not have before this.
I learned a lot this last year. Follow your dreams, and do it now. ... Don't wait, because you never know when you won't have a chance.