This past December, I had earned the highest score in the interview category at my state pageant, winning the title of Miss. Virginia Jr. Teen and the opportunity to attend a national pageant in Florida against the other state winners! I shared my asthma story, my mission of advocacy, and my blog (where I hope to educate and inspire you) with the judges!
The national pageant is happening this week, with girls from across the nation, in Orlando. I had hoped that they would reschedule until after the pandemic, but the event is still occurring.
It seems that asthma does not affect the severity of COVID-19; however, the common respiratory cold has put me into the ICU; therefore I do NOT want this virus. I had to make the tough choice not to go. My mother encouraged me to do my research and make my own choice; she told me that she would support me either way. This was a big decision, none the less a huge one for a 15-year-old, but I read articles from the CDC, and state guidelines to help inform myself.
I decided that although Florida is in stage three, and the pageant is following state guidelines, it wasn’t right for my family to go. We weren’t comfortable being in tight spaces with others, traveling all the way there, and going to a coronavirus hot spot. We want to stay healthy and are doing every precaution to do so. This was a hard choice, but I know that I will have other opportunities, and my health is more important.
It is essential to listen to guidelines, do your research, and make your own choice! Having asthma has taught me to learn to say no sometimes, and know my personal limits; this situation was no different.
I wish all the girls lots of luck, and I hope all of you are staying happy and healthy!